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Ideas for blog posts – five sources of inspiration to last a lifetime

For most writers, finding ideas and inspiration is always a challenge. If you write a blog, then you will likely be trying to come up with a regular stream of posts.

You may have started out thinking there was lots to write about in the niche you have chosen, but after a while, you find the ideas drying up.

Each of these five ideas could give you at least one post a week, every week, for the rest of your blogging career.

The answer is to get the old brain-cells whirring again. Inspiration doesn’t come to those who sit and wait for it. You have to go out and hunt it down.

The suggestions that follow aren’t intended to be one-off ideas, but ways to regularly find inspiration for your blogging.

1. Read books around your niche

No matter how well you know your subject, your niche, there must be more to learn. It pays to keep reading widely as a way to pick up new ideas and inspiration.

Re-reading books that you know are useful is especially beneficial. You’re already familiar with the ideas, so you should be able to convert some of them into your own content easily.

Don’t just steal content though, add you own thoughts, blend ideas together from various sources.

You build a reputation, and you snaffle some readers from that big-time blogger too. Cunning, eh?

Is there a dummies or idiots guide relevant to your niche? If so, these can be a good way to pick up ideas for blog posts, as they are structured into small chunks of information which you can digest, without having to go through the whole book each time.

And you don’t have to limit your offline reading to just books, of course. There are also newspapers and magazines to consider.

If there’s a magazine directly relevant to your niche, subscribe to it. You’ll likely get dozens of ideas from every issue.

2. Interact with other blogs in your niche

Keep a list of other blogs in your niche and keep an eye on what they are up to. You might get ideas from their new posts, or from their archives.

You should also sign up for any newsletters they send out as these can be a good source of ideas (see point 5 for an example of this in action).

Consider doing roundup posts of good articles from around your niche. This could give you one high quality article to write every week.

You also save time for your readers. I know you are sending them off to other blogs which you may see as competition. I don’t think you should worry about this. Interact with your community, show you are an active part of it.

Those bloggers you link to will very probably come and check out your blog: everyone wants to know who is linking to them and what they are saying.

It’s all traffic, and those bloggers are sure to be people who are interested in what you are writing and what you have to say.

OK, and here’s a killer idea for you – one that I’ve only just had while writing this post. So I haven’t even tried it out myself yet, but I think I will and soon.

Do you know of blogs in your niche which are popular and get lots of comments? But the blogger isn’t that good at responding to comments, and answering questions?

By answering the question in your next blog post, you establish yourself as an authority in your niche.

You can do it for them – but not in their comments. Write a post that answers the commenters question or solves their problem. Then go back, and put in the comments on that other blog that you’ve written your post.

How cool is that? You’re going to look an outstandingly helpful and generous person who’s really taking the time to sort things out for someone.

And you get them to come to your blog to take a look.

This would work even if the blogger is answering comments. You could provide a better answer, a longer answer, a controversial answer.

You build a reputation, and you snaffle some readers from that big-time blogger too. Cunning, eh? All you have to do is identify the blogs to target.

3. Brainstorm

Learn how to brainstorm ideas. Learn about mind-mapping, free association and free writing – and use these techniques as ways to get ideas flowing.

You could also consider going to a walk, meditating, getting away from your blog (and computer) for a while, so your mind can come up with ideas.

4. Do keyword research

Use a keyword research tool to find out what people are looking for in and around your niche. The simplest way is to use the Google adwords tool, which is free. You can find it here.

Put in a term which is core to you niche, and it should throw out lots of ideas for articles.

These are articles that will be targeted at search terms, so they are an ideal way to be bring in new readers.

They’re looking for something – go write a post that gives them the answers.

5. Go to the forums

Credit for this idea has to go to Pat from SmartPassiveIncome. He included this in his newsletter sent out this week.

I’m pilfering his idea, but I can recommend his blog and newsletter – so I hope that makes us square…

His suggestion is to find any forums that exist around your niche, sign up and take part.

That’s pretty obvious, I know, but it gets even more clever. Because Pat points out you can use threads to identify things people are struggling with, problems they are having.

Now you can provide the answers.

Better still, you can save yourself some time by using the search function. Pat writes:

In the search field, type in some the following terms and see what you come up with:

“advice about”
“I hate it when”
“I need help with”
“can anyone help me”
“I’m looking for”
“really bad”
“desperate for”
“can’t find”
“have no clue”
“question about”

When you search for these terms … more than likely you’re going to get a series of forum threads that have someone in need of something.

Pat points out that by answering the question in your next blog post, you establish yourself as an authority in your niche. You can then go back into the forum thread, and tell everyone there that you’ve written your answer and point them towards your blog.

Blogging ideas – roundup time

So, there you are. Five ways to get inspiration for your blog: read offline; interact with your niche; brainstorm (I’ll do a separate post dedicated to this soon); keyword research and using the forums.

I reckon each of these five ideas could give you at least one post a week, every week, for the rest of your blogging career. That has to be worth the price of entry. It’s got to be worth a comment at least. 🙂

So you’re all set, lots of ways to find ideas. Now all you have to do is find the time…

Pic by Madeira via Flickr

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Chicago SEO Companies March 31, 2010, 3:48 pm

    i think those first 2 are the real keys. that’s where all the authoritative and new news is going to come from.

  • Simon April 1, 2010, 4:01 pm

    I think 5 could give many of the best ideas, because it entails answering real problems for real people.

  • Allison April 13, 2010, 10:40 am

    Here’s to finding a need in the world and fulfilling it. Thanks for these clever, insightful and generous tips. (. . . and for using the word “snaffle”!)

  • Simon April 13, 2010, 3:42 pm

    Allison, thank you, and you’re welcome. Snaffle is a good word, isn’t it? It should be used more often.

  • Donald F. May 5, 2010, 5:15 pm

    Greetings. Please fix the link to your posted item “There’s gold in them there blogs – the truth about how to make money online.” Sounds interesting; thanks!


  • Simon May 5, 2010, 9:15 pm

    Donald, thanks for alerting me to that busted link. It’s fixed now.

  • John Sherry May 8, 2010, 4:44 pm

    Simon let me add, Observe Life. I personally love getting out and about to various places simply people watching. There is amazing inspiration from what you view or even who you meet as I often strike up conversations which become incredible. It’s free and people and life are our greatest, richest and never unending source of material.

    • Simon May 16, 2010, 5:21 pm

      John, agree totally. Observing life is fun too. Although it probably should be the very first source of inspiration for any writer. These are intended as some alternatives.

  • Kelly January 17, 2012, 2:36 am

    Thanks so much for the suggestions – I find your posts choc-full of goodness. I will certainly putting lots of this into practice. <3

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