My mind flits around like a butterfly on a sunny day. I struggle to stay focused for longer than 30 minutes.
I even find it hard to sit still for that long which makes my chosen vocation of writing challenging.
Staying focused is tough but coming up with ideas is not a problem. Apart from the worry that I might drown in them and never actually follow through on any of them.
I love coming up with ideas, thinking about the best way to make them happen and helping other people come unstuck. That’s why coming up with blog post ideas is one of my favourite things to cover in a blog consultation.
But occasionally inspiration fails. Then I wish someone would just tell me what to write, and give me an impending and urgent deadline, so I’d have to start writing.
11 Proven Ways to Come Up With Great Blog Post Ideas
1. Have blog post topics on your blog
Having clearly categorised blog post topics will naturally help you come up with ideas to fill each topic, and quickly let readers see what your blog covers.
If you find you’re not writing much about one topic you can always delete or change it later. If one topic is proving popular you’ll know where to focus your blogging efforts.
- Limit your blog topics to eight or less so your blog readers can scan them quickly and you stay focused.
- Look at my blog topics here and at Get In the Hot Spot to give you ideas on how you can split your main niche out into sub-topics.
- If you’re a small business owner base some of the topics around the services you offer.
2. Use the Google Adwords keywords tool
The Google Adwords keywords tool will help you learn what people are actually searching for before choosing your blog topics.
If you use those key words as topics, or sections on your blog, it should also help you rank better with the search engines in the long term.
But let’s not worry about search engine optimisation now. The key to successful blogging is to have useful content and engaged readers so focus your blog post ideas on your readers, not the search engines. Just use the Google keywords tool to help you come up with related ideas.
For example, by using the Google Adwords tool for the terms “health and well-being” I can see that blog topics like beauty, kids, fitness or mental health might interest readers.
3. Narrow your blogging niche
It’s counter intuitive, but the tighter the focus of your blog the more readers you’ll get and the more ideas you’ll have for what to blog about.
The Health and Well-being niche is too wide. If you narrow it down to Kid’s Health and use the Google Adwords tool again, you can come up with much tighter blog post topics such as: Growing Bodies, Active Games, Healthy Food and Troubleshooting.
4. Choose short, meaningful and fun blog topics
The Google Adwords tool gives great ideas but I usually change the names to make them more interesting. For example:
- “how the body works” becomes Growing Bodies
- “games” becomes Active Games
- “problems” becomes Troubleshooting. It adds a touch of humour to a sticky topic and parents of kids with health problems will probably appreciate that.
If you’re interested in the search engine optimisation side of things you’ll need to make the permalink to your section contain the key words Google found. For example: www.healthandwellbeing.com/how-the-body-works/
But let’s work on that another time. Right now we’re focusing on generating ideas that inspire both us bloggers and our readers.
Now you have up to eight topics for your blog you’re ready to start coming up with blog post ideas.
Come up with ten ideas for blog posts for each category in ten minutes. No ifs, no buts. Just do it in ten minutes.
Just think, in ten minutes you’ll have up to 80 blog post ideas, enough for at least one blog post per week for a year or more
- Don’t discount any ideas, just write them all down somewhere you won’t lose them.
- Brainstorming with a friend is fun. Either a fellow blogger or someone with an interest in your topic. But make sure you set the ground rules and stick to them: don’t poo poo or discard any ideas, just write them all down.
6. Create hot blog post headlines
Use the five winning headline formulas from my post on blog headlines to come up with yet more ideas.
Eight topics times five headline formulas should help you come up with forty more blog post ideas.
If you need more help check out the post on blog headlines but the idea is to use each of the blog headline formulas for every topic.
There may be some overlap with the other ideas you brainstormed but don’t worry about that. You’re just generating ideas. Later, you can pick the best headlines and rework them to make them irresistible.
Here are the headline formulas:
- Ask a question
- Ask Why
- How to
- Numbered lists
- Best or worst
- Write these blog post ideas down with the others and don’t worry about having more blog post ideas than you could ever use. Now you’ll have the luxury of being able to pick and choose the blog posts your readers most need to read, or the ones you most feel like writing.
7. Use your comments
You’re a good blogger who leaves comments on other people’s blogs aren’t you? Long, meaningful ones that add to the conversation?
Good. Then use them.
Keep a note of all your thoughtful comments. Copy and paste them into a document along with a quick title.
This document will help you see what makes you tick, give you ideas for future blog posts and give you a short piece of writing to get you started.
8. Read other bloggers’ comments
On one of my Copyblogger guest posts over 50% of the comments are about one specific thing I wrote. So I know I need to write about that more in another post or posts.
You’ll find out about what interests blog readers in your niche, and what they need help with, by reading their comments on your blog posts and on other blogs.
9. Stop thinking about your blog
Have you got blogger’s block or blogger burn out? Go for a walk or take a week off if you need it. Hopefully ideas will start popping into your head, probably around 3am if you’re anything like me.
10. Write all your ideas down
Keep a trusty pen and paper to hand at all times (even on your bedside table), so when those ideas pop up you can make a note of them before they get forgotten again.
The Evernote app for iPad or cellphone is useful for this too.
11. Ask your readers for blog post ideas
I regularly ask my readers to tell me what their biggest blogging problem is. I often send new Twitter followers a direct mail telling them to fire away if they have any blogging problems.
In fact that’s why I’m writing this today.
Of course, the topic of coming up with blog post ideas was already in my long list of blog post ideas! But when Philippa Smart sent me a direct mail asking for tips on coming up with blog post ideas it gave me a much needed push to actually write the post and publish it. Thank you Philippa.
Hundreds of Blog Post Ideas
If you follow these ideas you’ll have plenty of ideas to choose from next time you’re stuck for blog post ideas.
In fact, you’ll probably never get stuck again. Now your biggest problem will be finding enough time to blog about them all.
Take Action Now
Set aside 30 minutes to come up with interesting blog post ideas. Make a nice cup of tea and have fun spending your time as follows:
- 10 minutes – Create up to eight blog post topics for your blog.
- 10 minutes – Come up with ten blog post ideas for each of those topics.
- 10 minutes – Use the five headline formulas above to come up with up to forty more ideas.
What Do You Think?
Share your blog post topics in the comments below if you’d like feedback or a pat on the back.
Got more ideas on generating hot blog post ideas? We’d love to hear them.
Like My Blogging Tips?
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Thank you friends. I really appreciate your support.