When you first start writing a blog, the ideas come from everywhere and they seem endless. After all, you’re (hopefully) writing about something you know and love, something that is dear to your heart.
But what happens after that initial burst of writing frenzy when the ideas dry up and you face a blank screen?
Here are 15 ways to find new ideas that inspire you to keep writing. And no matter what methods you choose, you’ll always want to keep a log of your ideas so you don’t lose them before you can write them.Remember: The idea you think of right now that is so outstanding you can't possibly forget it - is the idea you inevitably forget.
#1. Google Alerts. If you choose only one of these methods, then without a doubt this is the one to pick. Whatever your niche is, pick your best keywords, go to Google Alerts, and ask it to send you the best stories every day. Then use these as inspiration and research in writing your own blog entries.
#2. Read your competitors. You never want to copy them, but you will find plenty of ideas simply by reading their blogs.
#3. React to someone else’s post. Did you read a post that you have a strong opinion about? Do you perhaps disagree? Vehemently? Write your own post giving your own point of view. You’ll find the words pouring out almost without effort, and because of your passion your readers will post more replies and send you more social media love as well.
4. Ask yourself what’s missing. When you’re reading other people’s stuff, ask what they left out, what they missed, or what is going to come next. Both finding the less obvious or predicting the future can make for great posts.
#5. Read totally unrelated material, and then ask yourself how it relates to your own niche. This can provide out-of-the-box thinking that totally resonates with your readers and again provides you with social media love.
#6. Find the pain. Your readers have problems – what are they and how can you help?
#7. Do interviews. Get in touch with others in your niche and ask to do a written question-and-answer interview. You email the questions; they write back the answers, and you’ve got a blog post. How easy was that? If they have a product, let them plug it – if they have an affiliate program, sign on as an affiliate and earn a commission from your post. Even if you make just a couple of sales, you’ve now monetized that post.
#8. Talk about how your view has changed. If you’ve written for your blog for a while, go back and read some of your original posts. Do you still agree with what you wrote, or has your perspective changed? If you think differently now, write a new post referencing how you felt then versus why your views are different now.
#9. Did you make mistakes in your niche? Talk about them. Your readers want to hear that you’re human, and they want to know how you overcame your problems or lived down your beginner status.
#10. Debate. Do you have strong opinions? If so, can you find someone with equally strong opinions who disagrees with you? Posts written by two people presenting opposite viewpoints can be fascinating, and they tend to get a huge response from their readers.
#11. Make a prediction. Go ahead, lay it on the line and predict something that’s going to happen in your niche. People love to know what to expect, and if it turns out you’re right, be sure to remind them of your original post by writing about it and linking to it.
#12. Sit for ideas. Find a quiet spot, get comfortable, clear your mind and ask yourself, “What should I write about?”. Just relax, and the answers will come. Keep pen and paper handy – you’re going to want to write this down.
#13. Exercise. Go for a walk, jump up and down on a trampoline, whatever. Just move and get the blood flowing, and let the ideas come.
#14. Hold a contest. Why not? Ask the best open-ended question you can think of in your niche, and invite readers to respond. You choose the winner and provide the prize. Or you can let your readers vote for their favorite.
#15. Look to your blog comments. Read the comments you get and find questions you haven’t answered or ideas you haven’t thought of and then write your post based on those.