How to Never Run Out of Blogging Ideas

A strategy that really works.

The great thing about blogging is that you can, literally, write about anything. The sky is the limit.

But that’s not the best thing. You’re probably not going to believe me when I tell you what the best thing is, but stick with me a minute.

The best thing bout blogging is this.

No one is going to read what you write at first.

Harsh, but true.And also great. Because it means that you can experiment with relatively low risk. You don’t have to worry about embarrassing yourself or what anyone thinks about what you have to say, because at first — no one is listening.

So, blog about baking scones today and about solving the problems of the world tomorrow — whatever.

You have the time and space to find your groove.

Remember that silver lining when you start your blog and four people look at it the first day.

The biggest fear that comes up when I talk to people about blogging is the fear of running out of ideas. I actually have a super simple system that works like magic for me.

Maybe it will help you, too.

It starts with Quora.

Quora is a social media platform based on questions and answers.

The questions are like prompts and the upvotes let you see what people actually care about, so you’re not just shooting into the dark.

It’s the difference between a blank page and a blank page with a question at the top that a bunch of people really want you to answer.

Here’s how it works.

I once saw a question on Quora: What does it feel like to be poor?

I have some personal experience with poverty and the question was interesting to me. It also had a lot of views and the answers already there had some upvotes, so I figured it was something other people were interested in as well.

So I wrote a post here on Medium answering the question.

That’s it.

I’ve found that answering questions in my blog posts that I already know people want the answer to leads sometimes to bigger things. Remember the silver lining I mentioned above?

That happened with my blog post about what it feels like to be poor.

The next morning I had a Tweet from an editor at Huffington Post wanting to republish my blog post. So that happened. Then I had an email from a different publication later that week, offering to pay me to reprint my post.

So, do this:

  • Make a list of topics that interest you. Go nuts here. Pick things that maybe you don’t know a lot about, but want to. Or anything you have any expertise in.
  • Look at the questions people are asking on Quora in that topic. Pay attention to questions that get asked a lot or that have a lot of attention.
  • Answer some questions in the form of blog posts.
  • Keep writing. You’ll narrow your focus as you see what you enjoy writing about and what readers are responding to.

Here’s my secret weapon for sticking with whatever your thing is.

Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She lives in Reno with her husband, three superstar kids, and a yellow rescue dog named Maybelline Scout. She’s on Twitter @shauntagrimes and is the author of Viral Nation and Rebel Nationand the upcoming novel The Astonishing Maybe. She is the original Ninja Writer.