By Lisa Tanner, freelance writer and contributor to this blog
When you sit down to write a post, do you find yourself wondering what to write about? Do you feel like you’re constantly searching for blog post ideas instead of getting down to work?
I know the feeling. I used to spend so much time thinking about what to write that I had very little time to actually write.
Eager to find a better way, I decided to find 25 blog post ideas before I sat down to write again. I started a new note in the Notes app on my iPhone. I simply titled it “Blog Post Ideas.”
Then I took the following steps to fill it up with ideas.
But first, need to start a blog of your own? Sally has you covered with her step-by-step guide to starting a blog.
I started my brainstorming session asking myself four simple questions. You can use these as a starting point for filling your idea list as well.
As you think about your answers, simply jot down your answers. You don’t even have to use complete sentences right now if you don’t want to.
They’re just ideas, meant to inspire you when it comes time to write.
Here are the questions:
- What are the FAQs your readers email you about?
- Are there any reoccurring comments on your existing blog posts?
- What do your readers need to know?
- Have you recently started (or stopped) doing something that made a big impact?
Let’s look at each one of these individually. Then I’ll cover some additional ways to find blog post ideas.
When your readers ask you a question, what do they ask about? Do you see any patterns that could make a good post?
I love scouring old comments on my blog for inspiration. Look through your comments for new angles to cover, questions that deserve an in-depth answer, or something that a reader thought was missing.
All of these types of comments can lead to new posts.
What Do Your Readers Need to Know?
Ideally, you have more experience about the topic you write about than your readers do. What do they need to know?
Think about what you wished you knew when you were in their shoes. Are there any “insider” tips you can share with a newbie? If your readers want to progress, what should they focus on?
Share your insight and help guide your audience.
Things You’ve Started or Stopped
Readers follow bloggers, not blogs. Providing insight into the “behind the scenes” is a great way to build a relationship with your readers.
Share peeks into your life. Is there anything you’ve recently started doing that has really made a difference in your productivity? How do you relax after a long way of work? Do you absolutely love this new planner that’s keeping you on track?
Think about your niche. What are you doing that’s related to this topic that your readers would find useful? Share it!
Also, think about things you’ve stopped doing. Did you used to always do things one way, but you discovered a better way to do it instead? Have you updated your stance on something you previously wrote about?
Spend some time brainstorming and see what you come up with. Add your ideas to your list.
By now you should have at least a few ideas written down for future blog post. But, asking yourself questions isn’t the only way to find blog post ideas.
When I’m planning content, I always spend a few minutes on Pinterest.
If I’ve been pinning content related to my niche, my SmartFeed is typically full of related content. I skim the headlines on these, writing down any that I think have potential.
Often seeing a pin will make me think of something else, and I’ll add that new idea too. It’s a good way to get your mind thinking about content ideas.
Read Amazon Reviews
Amazon might not seem like an ideal place to find blog post ideas, but it really is a goldmine.
Your goal on Amazon is to look at books in your niche. Then, read the reviews. What topics do these reviewers wish were covered? What information did they want to learn more about?
Sometimes just seeing what other people are looking for can unlock tons of post ideas in your mind.
What’s Another Angle?
Review some of the posts on your blog. Is there another angle you can take with them?
Is all the information geared towards beginners? Could you write a post for intermediate or advanced readers?
Can you post a case study about something you’ve done that’s worked?
Do you frequently reference a tool? Could you write a tutorial post about it?
If your posts are always upbeat and happy, could you share some of the downsides? If you blog about working from home, you could do a post about the struggles you experience.
Think of a different way to approach your topic.
Check the Calendar
What holidays, events, or other days are coming up? Are any of them applicable to your readers?
Here are a couple of ideas to get you thinking:
On Read Across America Day (March 2nd), a parenting writer could share a roundup of the best books to read aloud to toddlers. A food blogger could create a post featuring food from books, or a recipe inspired by an author.
For Pi Day (March 14th), a homeschool blogger could publish a post detailing how they celebrate Pi Day in their homeschool. A lifestyle blogger could share a roundup of the best pie recipes from around the web.
There are so many National Days. So look at what’s coming up and figure out how to tie it into your content calendar.
Fill Your Content Calendar
Whenever you spend time thinking of blog post ideas, write down whatever comes to mind. Don’t take time to analyze your ideas right then. You risk breaking your creative streak if you do that.
Instead, just write them down. Let your brain dump out all of its ideas.
When you finish, review what you wrote. Decide if any of your ideas could be combined into a longer post, or even a series.
Pick a couple of your favorite ideas, and get them into your content calendar. Now you have a plan for what to write about.
When it’s time to write, you will be able to get right to work.
Add to Your Blog Post Ideas List
By keeping my blog post ideas list in my phone, I’m able to open it up whenever inspiration strikes and add to my list. I don’t have to worry about losing a piece of paper with my ideas scribbled on it, or trying to find a random file on my computer.
You don’t have to create a blog post ideas list on your phone. But, you really should start a list somewhere. Think of a system that will work for you. Then keep adding to it.
Every time you have an idea, write it down. Otherwise you may not remember what it was. (I am definitely speaking from experience here! I’ve lost so many ideas because I never wrote them down…)
It’s also a good idea to plan time on a quarterly basis to repeat the exercises in this post. This gives you a bigger list of ideas to chose from for your upcoming topics.
Produce Great Content
When it’s time to turn your idea into content for your blog, take time to write a great blog post. Then, do it again the next time you publish. Do this consistently, and watch your blog grow!
For more help on starting and running a successful blog, check out Blogging Success. It’s a step-by-step guide covering everything you need to know to start making money from your blog – even if you’re a busy mom without a ton of time to spend.