19 Ways to Come up with Fresh Blog Post Ideas
It happened. It probably happened before, and will definitely happen again. You have “writer’s block”.
Bestselling author Meagan Spooner says that “writer’s block is just a fancy way of saying ‘I don’t feel like doing any work today.” While that may be the case at times, there are those occasions when you have a blog post due and you just can’t come up with any fresh ideas. So what do you do? As a blogger, you have a full-time “real world” life with commitments and important timetables, so time is of the essence.
You’ve blocked off this particular period of time just so you could write your daily, weekly or monthly blog post. And you know that your devoted readers and followers are expecting some amazing content to help them solve problems in their life.
Not to worry, fellow blogger, below we’ll look at 19 foolproof methods for coming up with fresh new ideas for your blog that you can put into practice immediately. Let’s get started.
1) Keep a Notebook Handy (Both Physical and Virtual)
Inspiration can strike at a moment’s notice. How many times have you had a great idea for a blog post that you know your readers will love, only to find that you have no writing utensils? A small spiral notepad and pen or pencil in your pocket or purse, as well as one beside your bed, ensures that you’ll never miss jotting down a great idea.
And did you know there’s even a waterproof paper and pencil set you can purchase online for your shower or bath? Also, digital recorders are super-cheap these days, and can also be used for your daily shopping and to-do lists as well as for capturing great ideas.
2) Write About Your Failures
When you come across to your readers as a real person, engagement and trust begin. Everyone has experienced failure and loss at some point in their life. And when you describe a situation relevant to your market or niche where you suffered a significant setback, you become human to your readers.
Now they’re not simply reading a blog, but are interacting with someone just like them. To make your blog a success, when you can’t come up with any new ideas for a post, explain one of your failures.
3) Write About Your Successes
Using this blog post idea hand-in-hand with the one above can make for a great two-part post. It also solves the problem of coming up with content for two consecutive posts. And let’s be honest, real human beings are reading your blog because they have real problems, and are striving for success in many areas. Just make sure not to “toot your own horn” too loudly. You want them celebrating with you, instead of feeling like you’re bragging.
4) Create a “Best Of” Blog Post
There’s no telling whether or not a reader on your blog is brand-new, or if they’ve read every single post you’ve ever made. Look back through your archives and make a short “Best of” or “Top 10” blog post that points back to previous popular content on your site.
You can make sure all of those posts cover a single topic, or different problems that are important to your market or niche. Not only is this an excellent one-stop resource for your followers, but it also develops important on-site SEO due to the backlinks this post will create.
5) Write About A Daily Experience
You probably saw something unique, memorable or out of the ordinary today. It doesn’t have to be related to your market or blog at all. By taking a random event from your daily life and tying it into your niche, your readers get to see that you’re a normal person with normal experiences. And when you relate your experience to some problem or solution important to your followers, you not only solve the problem of not being able to come up with a blog post, but you simultaneously help your readers while becoming “real” in their eyes.
6) Steal Some Name Recognition
Okay, we don’t mean steal in the true sense of the word. But no matter what blog you have, there are probably some big-name celebrities that have some relevance to your market. When you steal name recognition from an already popular and globally recognized industry leader, the title which is created instantly begs for a closer look.
If you’re in the finance industry, how about using a title like “Why Warren Buffett Is Rich and You Aren’t … and What You Can Do About It”. If you’re teaching blogging, using Seth Godin’s name in the title and body of your post instantly makes it readable.
7) Get Physical
No, we’re not referring to the Olivia Newton John song here! While getting that kind of physical certainly has its advantages, all you need to do is get your blood pumping to energize your brain. Sometimes you really do need to get away from your computer and turn off your cellphone to “reset” the way you’ve been thinking.
Some quick calisthenics, 20 push-ups or sit-ups, or a quick jog around the block gives your body and your mind a much-needed wake-up call. The benefits of physical fitness and exercise to the brain have been recorded in countless studies for hundreds of years.
You could also just go for a walk. Some fresh air and fresh surroundings will help you think differently. Don’t actively try to come up with new ideas while you’re out. It doesn’t matter if you don’t come up with any! But if you do, you’ll want to make sure your notebook is close by!
8) Ask Your Readers
You’ve probably heard this advice before. But there’s a reason why this is always a go-to strategy when your brain simply isn’t cranking out amazing content for your blog. As a blogger you have so many things to do. From site maintenance to SEO, from generating traffic to creating products, there’s always something that needs to be done.
Don’t waste much of your day brainstorming when your brain refuses to cooperate. Shoot out an e-mail or make a short blog post asking your readers exactly what they’d like to hear from you. The great Zig Ziglar always said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Ask your readers what they want, and then give it to them.
9) Thank Your Readers
For lack of a better term, the strategy here is to write a love letter to your readers. Obviously, you don’t want to go crazy here, or your followers may think you actually are a little off-kilter. Pat Flynn is a renowned full-time blogger that consistently thanks his readers in his blog posts.
And the comments he receives whenever he uses this tactic are simply amazing. People genuinely like to be appreciated, and this holds true across cultures, ages and genders. Just be honest and tell them how much their feedback and loyalty means to you.
10) Compile a FAQ Post
When you need help coming up with original content for your blog, this strategy can end up creating one of your most popular posts. Everyone loves Frequently Asked Questions because chances are they’ve had a few of these questions themselves. Look back over your e-mail and comments, and use the feedback from your readers to answer those questions which are repeatedly springing from the lips of your clients and followers. This will provide a resource that pays dividends indefinitely, and also saves you valuable time when you get one of these questions again.
Alternatively, you can ask your readers for questions and answer one question every post you make. You might just find that this strategy keeps your blog full for months!
11) Interview Experts and Bloggers in Your Niche
This is age-old advice for a very good reason. It lends you authority while also revealing valuable information that your blog readers are looking for. Many times you’ll find an important blogger in your industry that’s willing to exchange interviews. You interview them, they interview you, and everyone in your market benefits.
12) Browse Facebook and LinkedIn Discussion Threads
Social media has taken over the web in a positive way. On Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, users feel as if they’re hanging out with a bunch of their friends. The talk that occurs there and the interaction which you can find is incredibly genuine and very revealing. When the old gray cells simply won’t contribute with a great blog post topic, go social and find out exactly what your potential customers are talking about.
13) List Your Readers’ Problems
Sometimes focusing on one solution to one problem can create a great blog post. If you’re simply out of ideas, think about one of the top problems you know your readers are having. Then use the time-tested and always enticing practice of employing numbers in your title, and you’ll likely have a popular post.
For instance, you know because you’re reading this that bloggers sometimes have a hard time coming up with ideas for a post. Why not use a title that says “7 Ideas for a Great Blog Post When Your Mind Simply Refuses to Participate” and then list seven of your favorites.
14) Connect Two Totally Unrelated Things
This strategy is great for so many reasons. Find something that’s notable or popular, and add it to your title with a problem or solution that you know your readers will find relevant. “What Superglue Taught Me about Viral Blogging” is unique and creative, and will get your blog post read.
These are the types of posts which are often shared by your readers as well. All you need to do is refer to the incredibly sticky properties of superglue to reveal why bloggers also need to make their content stick in the minds and emotions of their readers.
15) Use Google’s Autocomplete Suggestion Technology
When you’re out of blog post ideas, head over to the Big G. Type in “Why bloggers” or “Bloggers hate to” or “Top blogger” into Google. Then look at the autocomplete suggestions. This will instantly give you some great ideas for blog posts, and you can jot down every one of them.
Another great tip here is to simply go through the alphabet and add each letter for more suggestions. For example, if you type in “Why bloggers a” into Google, you’ll be shown every popular search that starts with the letter a in that position, such as “Why bloggers are important” and “Why bloggers are annoying” (these are actual results). Then move on to the letter b, c, d, etc.
16) Change Your Writing Environment
Most bloggers tend to write in the same physical location. Sometimes, by changing your environmental routine you can jar something loose in the old noggin. Just as taking a walk can get your mind thinking in ways that sitting in your computer chair won’t, changing your entire writing environment can do the same thing.
Changing your environment could even mean changing the time of day at which you normally write. While productivity usually requires familiar surroundings, and you’re probably most productive at the same time every day, if you’re struggling for fresh ideas, throw your mind off balance. Writing at a time of day which is out of the ordinary for you is a great way to tap into your particular mental process which is usually receiving totally different stimulus at that time. Move your writing from morning to evening, noon to midnight, and watch your creativity benefit.
17) Play A Word Association Game
If all you’re coming up with is the “same old” boring blog post ideas, then get the creative juices flowing with a bit of word association. How do you do this? Start with one word e.g., “gardening” and link it to another word, then another, then another — until you have a viable idea.
It could go like this: gardening, outdoors, activity, active, fitness — and then you might decide to write a post on “How Gardening Helps You Keep Fit!”
If you want a good way to keep track of your word associations, try using a mind map. You can refer back to this mind map any time in the future when you’re struggling to come up with new ideas.
18) Comment on Other People’s Blogs
Try visiting some popular blogs in your niche and making the effort to leave some thoughtful comments on their latest posts. While you’re coming up with a comment, it might lead you towards a related, but different, blog post idea! For example, while commenting on a post about how someone is drinking green tea every day to help them lose weight, you might choose to do a related post linking to all reliable sources you can find to show whether green tea really works.
Commenting on blogs also comes with the added benefit of getting your name out there and building relationships with other bloggers.
19) Check Out Some Bestselling Amazon Books
Amazon is a wonderful resource for bloggers. To get some fresh ideas, type in industry-related keywords or phrases into the Amazon search bar, focusing on e-books. You can sort by bestseller, and can even take a peek for free at the table of contents for those popular books. Chapter titles can often provide you with outstanding ideas for blog posts — just make sure to reword and rephrase them, using your own words.
Now you’ve solved this current case of writer’s block, it’s time to make sure it never happens again! The best way to do that is to get ahead of yourself. Instead of writing your blog posts on the day you need to release them, start writing drafts a week or more in advance. That way, if you’re ever struck down by the dreaded writer’s block again, you’ll already have a draft post in the works.
Now it’s time to get out there, make a list of ideas, and start drafting your posts. Good luck!