What Do You Do When You Want to Blog and You’re Out of Ideas?
Some bloggers just stare at a blank screen, hoping inspiration will appear from nowhere. It might work — but an easier, faster route is to actively seek out some ideas. You might want to try some of these:
#1: Ask Questions
You can ask yourself questions, like “What do I wish I’d known when I started out?” and you can also ask questions on social networks, to get responses from your readers, such as:
- What’s your biggest struggle with X?
- What would you like me to write about next?
- How long have you been interested in X?
- Which other blogs about X do you read?
Often, you’ll get a fantastic new idea from something that a reader asks or suggests. If you’ve been blogging about your subject for months or years, a fresh perspective is invaluable.
#2: Read a Magazine
This isn’t slacking off … it’s research! Your magazine doesn’t even have to be focused on your own topic, though that can also be a good source of ideas. You’re looking for a headline that inspires you. In fact, you don’t even have to read the whole magazine to do this — you can just look at the cover.
Which headlines are attention grabbing? How are they structured? Does the magazine use numbers (like “39 money-saving tips” or “10 ways to…”)? See if there’s a headline that you could use as the basis of a title for a post on your own blog, with a few words changed.
#3: Go Back to an Old Post
Look back to the earliest posts on your blog. Are there any topics that you want to cover again, perhaps with the benefit of some extra experience? You could write a variation of one of your old posts, or you might find that a brand new idea jumps out at you.
It’s also worth looking through the comments on your older posts: which ones got a good reaction? Did readers ask any questions or make any points in the comments that you could follow up on?
Once you start looking for ideas, you’ll find them everywhere. These are just three ways to get your brain moving — there are hundreds more. So if you’ve got a great way of coming up with ideas, let us know in the comments!
Ali Luke is a writer and writing coach. If you want to take your blogging further, join her weekly newsletter list to get two free ebooks on blogging (“Ten Powerful Ways to Make Your Blog Posts Stronger” plus “Ten Easy Ways to Attract Readers to Your Blo… And Keep Them There”) as well as lots more goodies.
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15 Responses to “What Do You Do When You Want to Blog and You’re Out of Ideas?”
Personally i will take a walk to the mall and do window shopping for the latest books and magazines at-least this will motivate my blog post writing.
Whenever I feel like blog and I don’t get ideas, then I’ll read top class blogs in my niche. Frankly DBT is always my first choice. Whenever I read some of the greatest posts, I’ll get inspired and start writing in my blog.
Hey I don’t mean that I copy them 😛
Old posts are also a better choice to get more posting ideas.
Great post. I often find myself out of fresh ideas and looking for quality content. Thanks!
Go some place and be by yourself.
Some place where you can scream and shout.
Some place where you can let it out.
And just shout!
Shout it out!!
(Not my original words. Borrowed it from old song lyrics. But it does help clear your head and bring in hew ides. Works for me!)
I used to always run out of ideas for my blogs or for guest posts, but lately I’ve been using other blog posts as inspiration, specially posts that list types of post that can be done. Recently Kim Roach wrote one on SPI that included 17 different templates, I’m at #4 now.
I often have the opposite issue to deal with.
Sometimes I have so many ideas, It can be a little bit difficult to narrow down the choices. So it can go either way.
Though, just like not having enough ideas, going off to do something else to set one’s mind at ease, usually does the trick.
My problem is that I always get these great ideas while I’m out and about but they always vanish as soon as I sit down at the keyboard.
I have taken to carrying a pad and pen while I’m driving in case inspiration does strike…
Other times I get good ideas but when I do try writing a post it just doesn’t feel right. I am new to this so I guess I just need more experience.
When I am out of inspiration, I sometimes like to read a newspaper, or switch on the TV for ideas, but then a moment of magic happens, when you hit upon a fresh and original idea. Some posts feel like just going through the motions, so it’s refreshing when you get the feeling that you’ve really affected people through an article.
Mike @ Home Business Ideas
I keep a small notepad with me so I can jot down ideas I feel would make a good blog posts. Sometimes, when I actually sit down to write a post, I can see what would work and what may not and then decide on what to write, blogs, news all make a good place to get ideas. Thanks for tips.
You can also expand a comment that you wrote somewhere – be it in reply to a reader on your blog, or something left somewhere else.
I love Mike’s tip about keeping a notepad with you at all times – I’m now known as “the girl who always has paper” because I keep scribbling notes and my jeans pockets now fit my notebook!
Great post, simple but effective tips!
I personally think the best blogs are the ones where the blogger goes out and DOES SOMETHING within his or her nice, and reports back on it. I blog about social media, but I experiment with it and find ways of using it to my and others advantage, then tell people about it. I blog about Manchester, England by going out and experiencing events and writing them up. You’ll never run out of ideas if you look for things to DO in your niche. Successful people MAKE things happen, they don’t just write about them.
I did that kind of advice. Thank you for the tips.
What I usually do is to write down every time I have an idea for blogging. I then try to figure out what I can write and share with my readers on that particular idea.
Some great suggestions here — and I absolutely agree with Mike’s tip about carrying a notebook. (Well, I suppose all you really need is a pen. If necessary, you can always write on your arm… ;-))
Matt, great point about looking for things to do — that’s almost essential for some niches (e.g. food) but it’s definitely underdone in other niches.
@Daniel — on the opposite problem, I find that it helps to think about what I’ve written recently and which ideas might complement those posts well. Sometimes that means choosing an idea that goes deeper into a topic, other times it means doing something completely different so that I maintain a good balance of posts.
it’s the hardest thing about blogging – keeping it up! Sometimes I want to go off on all kinds of different tangents but they’re just not relevant, so maintaining relevance is something I really need to get a handle on!
I’ve settled on doing one blog piece per week & maybe one ReBlog because I use WordPress.com it’s so easy. Tumblr has ReBlog as well. Content curation is going to be the next big thing considering we’re pumping out so much these days.
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