Most of the time, I have a backlog of post titles just sitting in my drafts. But sometimes I just get stuck. I’m out of opinions (surprise!), out of tips and out of motivation.
Ages ago I wrote a post about 9 different ways you can create new content, but over the years I’m constantly jotting down new ways I come up with posts. And what better way to spur your inspiration than share those ways with you? Here are a few tricks I’ve picked up along the way, along with suggestions from the Twitter community and further resources you HAVE to bookmark so you never run out of material.
12 Blogger’s Block Busters
(say that three times fast)
Go through old content. Has your opinion changed? Have there been updates on a lesson or tutorial you wrote about?
Advanced advice. You see “beginning guide to blogging/fashion/pet care” everywhere, but what about tips for more advanced users? Even thinking about it from that perspective can change your posting tune.
Daily tasks. What do you do every day that has an effect on your blog? For instance, I go through my Twitter email folder and either follow or delete new followers. And every day I get annoyed with people’s lack of bio or too many hashtags in their tweets. So I’ve written a number of Twitter rants that always do really well.
Ask your readers. A great way to do this is through your blog’s Facebook page as it’s easier for people’s ideas to feed off one another. Poll plugins also work, as does asking people to share what they want to learn in the comments.
And that said, pull from comments. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used a reader question or suggestion as an idea for a later post.
Check out the top conversations on relevant Facebook pages. Facebook is one of my biggest sources of inspiration: photos, polls, competitions – they can all be so clever sometimes and it’s great for sparking the ole creativity engine.
What’s on your mind? This is an easy one, but every time I find myself struggling with something (i.e. blogger’s block) I just write about it. Instead of constantly worrying about what I should write, I write what I want to write. And you know what? It means I never get sick of my blog.
Spread your wings. I rarely read social media blogs – mostly because I find they say the same things over and over, but also because I simply enjoy food, design and travel blogs more. And these are the guys I learn most from. Leaving your niche is often the best way to get new post topics. For example, I’m working on a behind-the-scenes post that’s inspired by a lot of design blogs I read.
What’s going on in your life? While I worry about turning this site into another travel blog, Nicole Antoinette said it best on a recent post of hers, “If you’re a personal blogger whose blog is an online chronicle of your daily life, I think it’s completely natural for the topics you write about to grow as you grow and change as you change. You won’t have the same audience forever, because you won’t be the same you forever, and that’s okay.”
What X taught me about Y. While I usually scoff in the face of metaphor posts, sometimes one completely unrelated thing in your life can help you better understand whatever-it-is-you-blog-about. So sort of as an extension of the idea above, take something that’s happening in your personal life (in my case, travel) and relate it back to your niche. For example, “What Travel Has Taught Me About Social Media.”
Friends. If you’re anything like me, your real-life friends don’t really understand what you blog about. But those conversations with my friends? The ones where I try and simplify, explain or analyze what my site is really about? Those are what really get my creative juices flowing.
Idea journals. Okay, okay, we all know this is a smart thing to do, but seriously… do it. My brilliant boss carries one with him at all times and his blog is constantly being updated with great posts. While I’m sort of crap at carrying anything with me, I’ve started using Evernote (at Ben’s suggestion) and I now have a massive notebook filled with spur of the moment ideas I get while running, on the road or in the air. I’ve written some of my favorite posts using this method because you never know when a great idea might strike!
Hot Shot Suggestions
If you thought this was going to be a post on specific ideas, sorry y’all. Check out these great epic list of blog post ideas. I might just steal a few myself:
100 Blog Topics I Hope YOU Write ~ Chris Brogan
20 Types of Blog Posts – Battling Bloggers Block ~ Problogger
101 Great Posting Ideas That Will Make Your Blog Sizzle ~ I Help You Blog
Are You Hoarding Ideas? ~ Men with Pens
When I asked my followers how they beat blogger’s block, here’s what two brilliant minds had to say:
Now it’s your turn. How do you come up with great ideas? Do you backlog like me or write by the seat of your pants?