Blog post ideas

11 Easy Ways to Get Hundreds of Great Blog Post Ideas

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.

Hot Tips

  • 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.

5. Brainstorm

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

Hot Tips

  • 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:

  1. Ask a question
  2. Ask Why
  3. How to
  4. Numbered lists
  5. Best or worst

Hot Tips

  • 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.

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Thank you friends. I really appreciate your support.

Photo credit: Pink Sherbet
Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristi Hines May 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Love the tips about using your own comments and other blog’s comments. I find that many of my post ideas are sparked from a comment, or just reading through questions that other people have. If they go unanswered, then you can be the right person to answer them!

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Annabel Candy May 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Hi Kristi, love how you give value by answering unasnwered questions. That’s priceless and amazing service. Thanks for the top tip:)

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Jane@Blogging Tips May 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Annabel,

Wonderful tips. Seriously love all of them. I spend a lot of time commenting on other blogs and I do use them, even though not in the way you have suggested here. While I type a thoughtful comment, an idea might strike me and I open up a draft post and save the idea.

But what you tell here seems more promising and practical – to copy paste the comment on a file. Reading my own comment again at a later time will give me a fresh perspective and could give me multiple ideas too!

Thanks again for the wonderful tips.

Cheers,
Jane.

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Annabel Candy May 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Hi Jane, well, that could be even better – just pasting the comment into a draft post all ready to be elaborated on! Thank YOU:)

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Sandra / Always Well Within May 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm

A very useful article, Annabel. Although, I never have trouble coming up with blog post ideas, I STILL found this article incredibly useful. I have a whole backlog of post ideas and only wish I had more time to write!

But you got me thinking. I’m far from having only 8 topics so I’m going to have to think about that one. the Google Keywords is a helpful tool. And, I like your simple 5-point plan for blog titles.

Very rich! Thank you.

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Annabel Candy May 27, 2011 at 10:40 am

Hi Sandra, yes, I have a BIG backlog of post ideas too! I guess this is why but it’s a good problem to have:)

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Prasant May 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm

What a post that it was, superlike(mean it)
My fav point is 8. Normally when i am reading some blog of a high profile blogger then it’s definite there would be 50+ comments(someday even i want :P), I try to read them as much I can and believe me I had got lot of ideas from there.
I have created a sheet where i keep on popping ideas when ever they come to me and again the advice you have given in point number one is something i need to seriously look. I am bookmarking this post, thanks for it.

Keep Rocking,
Prasant.

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Annabel Candy May 27, 2011 at 10:41 am

Hi Prasant, there are many good reasons for having topics on your blog – it makes it easier for the readers and you:) Thanks for the fab feedback, glad you found it handy!

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barbara May 26, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Annabel this is wonderful information. I’m going to share this on The Blogstress Network today. It will be a nice intro to your book, too.

I think reading the comments on a blog that gets lots of them can give you great ideas and insight. I’ve met some of my favorite bloggers from your blogs comments and gotten blog post ideas as well.

Thanks for this!
b

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Annabel Candy May 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

Hi Barbara, oh great:) We really are building up a fabulous team of bloggers here. Comments are invaluable for networking and meeting like-minded people as well as getting good ideas.

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Dave Doolin May 27, 2011 at 1:08 am

I’ve used every one of these to generate articles. At this point, I have so many ideas, so many drafts, so many titles, so many pages of hard copy drafts, pictures, drawings, bullet points, etc. I should take a day to just sort it all out.

Again: anyone needing ideas, these recommendations work very well.

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Annabel Candy May 27, 2011 at 10:44 am

Hi Dave, too many ideas, not enough time. I’m thinking two minute video posts could be a great way to cover more faster!

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steve May 27, 2011 at 1:14 am

Annabel, these are great tips! I just read another post this morning about the comments thing. A great place to get ideas for posts and products!

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Annabel Candy May 27, 2011 at 10:44 am

Hi Steve, good thinking on the product ideas too. Thank you:)

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Elle D Hayes May 27, 2011 at 1:34 am

Great tips! This is something I’ve been really struggling with since starting my blog in March. Your tip about using comments has already sparked and idea based on a Facebook comment I received earlier today. Thanks!!

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Annabel Candy May 27, 2011 at 10:45 am

Hi Ellen, that’s brilliant news, thanks for sharing here and joining in the discussion:)

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Hayley Solich May 27, 2011 at 11:14 am

Great ideas, Annabel. Keep them coming. :)

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Annabel Candy May 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Hi Hayley, great to see you here:) How many can you handle?!

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Seana Smith May 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Hello, this is a great post and one to file away for a day when ideas are not forthcoming. I tend to have all sorts of thoughts whirling round in my head and I do carry a notebook with me. Often I write them down then look a few days later and think – no! But lots are yes, too. I need the few days to let things stew.

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Annabel Candy May 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Hi Seana, oh yes, plenty of ideas seem good at the time and never get followed through, probably for a reason. That’s why I think the more blog post ideas you have the better then you can cherry pick the best ones:)

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Gabriella - The Stepford Wife May 27, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Choose short, meaningful and fun blog topics – not many people do this. Thye forget to add the ‘fun’ part…. that’s essential or else I’ll fall asleep after the second paragraph – many of us catch up on blogging afterhours and a long day’s work.

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Annabel Candy May 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Hi Gabriella, love your photo, it’s fun and I always appreciate a bit of fun too. We can never have enough of it can we?! And even “boring” topics like business marketing can be made fun. We learn better when we’re enjoying ourselves so I always try to inject a bit of humor when I can:)

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Robin Dickinson May 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Thanks, Annabel. I get all of my many post ideas for my blog, Twitter and Facebook feeds from the endless stream of interesting and informative comments that people make and from paying careful attention to what’s important to them.

Take care,

Robin :)

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Annabel Candy May 27, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Hi Robin, hot tip hidden away there: paying careful attention to what’s important to your readers or clients. Thank you!

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GutsyWriter May 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I wanted to check the Google Adwords Keywords Tool but am I supposed to register.? I don’t want to have ads pop up on my blog, so will this happen? Also it only gave me options for Australian English, UK English, but not US English. WHY?
Ans then I did not understand the URL part. Does it want me to put my URL in there? Surely not when I’m searching for popular keywords to get ideas for popular topics to blog about. Please help! I’m confused. Thanks.

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Annabel Candy May 28, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Hi there, I don’t think you have to be registered to play with the tool. Not sure about the english thing…. I don’t enter a website or url, just the key words. Hope that helps. Ask again if not:)

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Graham Trevor May 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Hi Annabelle,
Just when I need some tips, some come along. I’ve also found making one post lead onto the next in a one month block helps. For example, Why should I write my personal story? Where do I begin? How do I structure my story? What to leave in and what to leave out. Under personal witing tips category. You can then review and see where things are going each month. There is also a free blog title generator out there. Think I found it through Blog Tyrant. Keep it coming.
Graham

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Annabel Candy May 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Hi Graham, sounds like a great way to get a series going. I don’t need a blog title generator. That’s one of my favourite parts of writing the post:)

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Phil May 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I have litterally hundreds of Post Its lying in and around my desk, each with 2 or 3 ideas for articles. One of these days, I’m going to get off my bum and categorize all and eventually use them.

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Annabel Candy May 31, 2011 at 9:08 am

Hi Phil, lol! I think you might find the editorial calendar handy too: http://www.successfulblogging.com/blog-editorial-calendar/ Good luck:)

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Caylie June 15, 2011 at 12:25 am

The top three tools I love include:
# FAQs or questions that receive a big response in forums
# Mind mapping – great for people who are very visual
# Blog idea list – scanning the ideas and recreating them with my own focus

I really need to incorporate Google Adwords into my strategy as well.

Keep the fabulous posts coming Annabel!

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Matt July 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm

One technique that I’ve found works well is to just think of tow things in the same niche to compare with each other. Then you can way up the pros and cons in a post. Classic examples would be Facebook versus Twitter, or Blogger versus Wordpress.

Once you settle on the two things, the post tends to write itself!

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Andy August 16, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Thanks for sharing this. I never thought of using technique #2 to find topic ideas. I will try this later.

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Annabel Candy August 16, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Hi Andy, I think you’ll find it fun, fascinating and useful:)

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Faizan October 26, 2011 at 5:42 am

I will definitely try to use these ideas, Thanks !

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Kath Dawson November 6, 2011 at 4:35 am

Totally inspired thanks to this post, I am loving your site this dark cold November afternoon. Excellent suggestions and I am reading through all the comments for extra inspiration. I like the idea of looking through FAQs on forums in your niche to see what topics are popular.

Off to check out the blog editorial calendar.

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Jo Castro November 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Super useful post for finding blog ideas, thank you for being so succinct and easy to follow with just the right amount of forward links. I particularlyliked the tips for creating hot blog post headlines and the idea of using your own comments to inspire future posts. I’m off to look at In the Hot Spot now to see how you diversify your blog and cover different topics because I’ve just started to do this with Zigazag and unwittingly seem to be getting more readers :) Thankx again.

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Philip Quintas February 24, 2012 at 1:04 am

Thanks for posting this, Annabel. I have a desire to write a blog but keep running out of steam. Each time I start I exhaust my supply of idea after a few regular posts and then inactivity follows for months.
Now I see that what I lacked was a system for generating blog post ideas. Your post here has given me a plan to follow which is tangible and doable. Before I read this I did know what to do now I do, thanks.

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Suzie C April 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Thanks for this post Annabel! I think the planning is where I lack focus. I seem to write whenever I get inspiration, whereas I would love to write a minimum of 3 times a weeks. I love to write but struggle for ideas so will definitely go through your suggestions and actions. – Can’t wait!
Your blog has been so helpful since I came across it!
Thanks
Suzie

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Lib Aubuchon April 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

Thanks a million for these ideas. I have been marinating on your suggestions for a couple days and finally just sat down and made myself do all of the exercises – super helpful! Like Suzie, I tend to write when inspired but my goal is to put myself on a regular schedule.

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Joseph June 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Great Tips Annabel,
I currently get Post ideas for my Tech blog via Google insights and reading other blogs.

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Philos Mudis July 12, 2012 at 4:20 am

And if there is a kid who likes talking to you (could be your child, sibling, neighbour’s) tell them about your blog and ask them what they’d write about if they were given the chance.

Some of them have terrific ideas – ideas that can be immediately turned into a new blog post.

Just don’t forget to thank them.

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Sean Pritchard September 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Great post and tips! This is clearly valuable information.

Reply

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