One of the hardest parts of blogging is coming up with consistent blog post ideas.
When you’re new to blogging, it’s hard to know what people want to read about. And when you’ve been doing it for a long time, you start to feel like you’ve written every single thing about your topic already.
But the good thing is, there are always more ideas lurking in the shadows. Here’s how to make them come out into the light.
1. Get focused.
Do you worry that if you get focused, you’ll run out of ideas to write about?
Actually, the opposite is true.
When you have a very wide range of topics to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and struggle with pinpointing a topic to write about.
But when you get more specific, suddenly, you can see ideas that were hiding before.
It’s kind of like zooming in on Google Maps.
When you’re zoomed out, you can see the entire world, but each location is indistinct. And then, the more you zoom in, the more you can see individual countries, then states, then cities, and then streets.
Choosing a specific focus is like zooming in and seeing the streets – your ideas become clearer and more tangible. (And you also feel like you’re not trying to capture the entire world in each blog post.)
2. Stay close to your audience.
When you stay close to your audience, you will constantly find new blog post ideas that they want to read about.The best blog post ideas come from the intersection of your ideas and your audience’s desires.Click To Tweet
How do you stay close to your audience?
First, know who they are.
Go out and meet them in person.
Ask them about the challenges they’re facing.
Learn what they’re obsessed with. Listen closely so that you can find the deep emotion behind their words.
Become an idea sleuth. Consciously pull out blog post ideas and write them down for later.
Which brings me to the next point…
3. Keep a library of ideas handy.
I use Evernote to keep track of all my new blog post ideas.
Whenever I have an idea for a blog post, I:
A. Write a new note with the blog post title as the note title
B. Write a few bullet points in the body of the note
C. Tag the note with “Blog Post Ideas”
Then when I want to write a post and I can’t think of anything, I just search for that tag, and I have dozens of ideas to choose from.
4. Approach the same topic in different ways
Do you worry that you will bore your audience if you cover the same idea more than once?
If so, I’m going to let you in on a little (not so) secret.
Are you ready?
Most people aren’t reading all of your blog posts. You (and maybe your mom, or your partner) are probably the only ones reading all of your posts.
Sad. I know.
But guess what? That means you don’t have to worry about covering the same topic in different ways. You won’t bore anyone. In fact, you will actually serve your audience, because different kinds of messages resonate with different people.Writing about the same thing in different ways serves your audience. Don't be afraid to go deeper. Click To Tweet
By covering the same topic from different angles, you will also establish yourself as an authority on that topic. Which is kind of the point of blogging to begin with.
If you’re ever struggling to come up with blog post ideas, look at your analytics, see which old posts have been popular, and then ask, How can I approach this in a new and fresh way?
5. Learn from others in your niche
Beyond knowing what your audience cares about, there are loads of other ways to research and come up with new blog post ideas.
First, set a timer. (That way you won’t get lost in the black hole of the Internet, never to return.)
Search for your topic on BuzzSumo. You’ll find the most shared posts on your topic. Then take them and put your own spin on them.
Check out which books cover your topic in Amazon. Look at the table of contents. Can you write a blog post on the same topic as one of the chapters?
Create a Pinterest board of posts on your topic. Then refer back to it whenever you feel stuck.
You don’t need to (and you can’t) come up with a totally unique blog idea topic every time. Don’t be afraid to learn from others in your niche.
6. Write thematically
One of the easiest ways to come up with a lot of blog post ideas is to stay with a specific theme for a period of time. (I call this “dating a topic.”)
Choose a theme and commit to writing about it for a month or more.
Then see all of the different angles you can take on it. Write a broad blog post on your topic and then a more specific one.
For example, let’s say you had an art blog and you chose to write about how to do watercolor paintings.
You could write about…
- The tools you need for watercolor painting
- How to use water effectively
- The different types of brushes and how to use them
- How to paint a sunset
- The differences between watercolor and oil painting
Then you could offer a free watercolor painting challenge and link to it in all of your posts. BOOM!
You’ve come up with dozens of blog post ideas AND grown your email list. (You can thank me by sharing this post. Wink, wink.)
7. Get inspired
Sometimes it helps to go outside of your blog (and away from your computer) to find inspiration.
I get inspired by…
- Taking a shower
- Working out
- Going to good movies
- Listening to podcasts
- Reading books
- Having conversations with friends
- Exploring new places
What are you doing when you get the best blog post ideas?
Make sure to do that regularly.
8. Write the things you want to write but are afraid to
It’s really hard for me to write when I’m resisting an idea.
An idea will come to me, but then I’ll think, No one wants to read about that, or That’s too risky to write about or I’m afraid to write about that because I don’t feel like I’m an expert.
So I will try to come up with a different idea to write about. I’ll look into my Evernote folder and try to get inspired.
But no matter what I do, I can’t force myself to write.
That’s because the idea won’t let me. It needs to be written, and until I give in and write that tough post, I can’t write about anything else.
I’m guessing I’m not the only one this happens to.
So if you have an idea that you are avoiding, just go ahead and write it.
You don’t even have to post it on your blog. Just get that idea out of your head so that you can move on with your life (and your blog).
9. Have a writing practice
Writing practice means that you write on a regular basis, just for yourself.
Here are Natalie Goldberg’s rules of writing practice:
Set a timer, and then…
- Keep your hand moving the whole time.
- Don’t think.
- Lose control.
- Don’t worry about punctuation, spelling or grammar. (You can even write off the sides of the page if you want.)
- Feel free to write the worst junk in the world.
- Be specific.
- Go for the jugular.
Writing practice helps you get used to writing. It kicks writer’s block in the butt by forcing you to get your thoughts on the page.
Even if you never use anything from writing practice in your blog, doing it helps you tap into your deepest truths. And when you get those out, you’ll unleash a torrent of blog post ideas too.Want to banish writer's block? Give voice to your deepest truths.Click To Tweet
To recap, you’ll never run out of blog post ideas if you…
- Get focused
- Stay close to your audience
- Keep an idea library ready
- Approach the same topic in different ways
- Do research
- Write thematically
- Give voice to the tough topics
- Commit to a writing practice