Apart from the need to write blog posts, most bloggers have the “idea generating” problem. It’s hard to keep coming up with ideas for topics and to stretch that idea into a full-blown blog post. It’s not impossible either. It’s just hard work and there are ways to come up ideas in advance.
Here are some great ways to come up with inspiration and ideas for your blog posts:
Mention popular bloggers
As long as the human ego exists, this approach to finding blog post ideas will never go out of fashion. Find popular bloggers – with at least one unique aspect to their business, blogging, writing, style, or approach – and mention them. Obviously, you’ll find groups of bloggers with something in common between them. Some ideas could be:
- 6 Top SEO Consultants Who Blog Incessantly
- 7 Accountants that beat the “Accountant” Stereotype
- 11 Stylish Backpackers With Million-Dollar Potential
Seek and feature upcoming bloggers
Mentioning popular bloggers is good but these are usually shots in the dark as most of them don’t respond, link back, or even acknowledge your efforts to mention them in your blog post. Yet, the effort is worth it.
If you want some traction, exposure, and instant love mention the not-so-popular bloggers – the kinds who aren’t Darren Rowse, Chris Brogan, or Seth Godin. They have the potential to make an impact. They also do everything that successful bloggers do: they post regularly, they are active on social media, they provide you precious backlinks, and they are highly receptive to mentions.
A few ideas for blog posts to target upcoming bloggers could be:
- 8 Bloggers You Never Heard of, But You Should
- Blogging Underdogs: 6 Bloggers Who Are Unknown But They Still Make an Impact
- 8 Charitable Bloggers Who Blog With Passion
- 10 Bloggers, Each With 10 Respective Reasons To Blog
Forget word limits. Produce lists: Really Long Ones
The web is awash with advice on the proper length of posts.
Here’s the final word on it: the length of blog posts should be proportionate to the intent, depth, and the actual message you’d like to communicate. You can’t possibly limit your blogging to word limits.
Passion knows no limits. As long as you message has intent, purpose, and charm, it can be as lengthy or short as it can get.
As for lists, you can’t create a list of 50 Greatest Books Published in 2013 in 350-600 words. Either you won’t be able to cram in 50 books into the list or you won’t be able to explain what makes each entry great and worth mentioning.
Do set overall guidelines for word limits such as 600, 1200, 1800, and never more than 2000 words for a single blog post. Craft your blog post within this generous word limit, if you have to.
If you have to create a list, produce a long one. Short ones are not as inspiring as long ones. Further, it’s not about the number really. It’s about how you justify each entry into the list. You need to do the balancing act.
Step on toes; but justify your stand
Blogging is popular because it gives you the freedom to express devoid of any bias, editorial restrictions, and fear.
Literally, what that means is that you can take on anyone on the blogosphere. Link to a blog post you don’t agree with and write out another post about why you don’t agree. Pick up 11 tips (or choose your number) – each from a different person while on the same topic and come with justifiable responses to disagree with each of those tips. Here are some example topic ideas:
- 8 Tips From Reputed Social Media Gurus That Just Don’t Cut It
- 7 Blogging Tips From Veteran Bloggers You Should Unlearn Today
- Be On Guard: 8 Sleazy Tactics Internet Marketers Deploy
Keep on top of trends
For most people, keeping up with the trends is just to read up on the news; it’s just to know. Catching up with the trends, absorbing information, and reading news takes a different meaning for bloggers: they do need ideas and they need news, books, trends, articles, posts, and features published elsewhere on the web. Yet, bloggers have their tasks cut out for them. It’s not just about reading; it’s about reading with a purpose.
For bloggers, it’s always about trying to put all that they read together in groups.
For instance, let’s assume that you blog about mobile apps. TechCrunch publishes a post on a new app. Readwrite.com has a list of apps every entrepreneur should use. You’d get similar updates from four other different sources on apps, of course. Your job isn’t to read and move on.Instead, you’ll collect the names of each of these apps and collect them in a single document. Once you get a sizable number of apps, you can publish that as a post.
Depending on your niche, blogging topics can be created just by curating content or using research from various sources that publish new trends, news, etc.
In the chaos that publishing can be, we usually forget the basics. One of the best ways to come up with topic ideas is to “ask” your readers. Plenty of widgets are available that help you to capture what your readers would like you to write about. You can also ask questions directly on websites such as Yahoo Answers, Quora, and other Q & A sites or forums.
Collaborate and Brainstorm
Some blogs grow up to a stage where there are usually a team of writers who collaborate and work together with a supervising editor or content manager. While individual bloggers don’t have the luxury of brainstorming (except with themselves), small and large teams have an advantage: make blogging a collaborative exercise.
Why take the trouble to come up with blog topic ideas on your own? Why not let a few members of staff – with a penchant to write and express their opinions – write up blog posts on anything relevant to the blog? Perhaps you can even plan for growth – complete with a team of writers — even before you plan to have a website?
Using any of the online collaboration tools or Google Docs, you can collect great ideas for future blog posts. Of course, you might have to choose, select, discard, and rework the actual titles but the idea is to collaborate with teams.
No matter which idea or approach you take, here are some fundamentals that didn’t change: Publish regularly, post great content, promote your content, and respond to any comments or questions.
How do you find your ideas?