Coming Up With Fresh Ideas
Coming Up With Fresh Ideas: ProBlogger podcast about content writing and publishing. Get some ideas through the podcast essence.
- I have no ideas to write about
- have too many ideas to write about
- be constantly distracted
- Start posts but never end them.
This post is about conquering the first one: not having any ideas to write about. I’ll show you how to find new writing ideas and keep your blog exciting and useful for your readers.
Solve a common problem
Lack of ideas is a common problem for bloggers. When you start your blog, you may have dozens or even hundreds of ideas in reserve. But sooner or later this reserve of ideas will run out and you will start to think that you have nothing left to write. Any idea you come up with has already been handled by you or someone else.
And the ideas you once had are replaced by questions.
“What can I write about that is fresh?”
“Which topics will have a lasting impact on my readers?”
“How can I stand out from everyone else?”
Some bloggers found the fight so difficult that they gave up blogging altogether. But the truth is that there is always something new to talk about, even if it means talking about an old idea in a new way.
Change a person’s life
Which topics will have a lasting impact on your readers? Everything that will change your life.
I am sure that you have all read at least one blog post that has changed your life in some way. And that’s probably why you read their blog more often. So it’s almost always a good choice to write a post that changes other people’s lives.
Not sure how to change your life? Listen to Episode 11 of the ProBlogger podcast where I’m talking about identifying the change you want to make and planning the trip you want your readers to take.
Solve a problem
Another great way to develop ideas is to think about your readers’ problems and learn how to solve them.
Both ProBlogger and Digital Photography School focused on the idea of educating people and trying to solve their problems. And when I look at my most successful posts, almost everyone does just that.
But not all problems are solved through education and knowledge exchange.
Some people may feel alone or no one else is going through what they are going through. So if you write a post that you admit you’re dealing with the same or a similar problem and encourage them (and others) to share their story, it can help solve their problem.
Others may just be bored. In this case, an entertaining blog post can be exactly what you need.
When you think about people’s problems (and write posts that help solve them), not only do you get a lot of ideas, they also leave a lasting impression. Solve the problem once and there is a possibility that they will come back the next time they have a problem.
But how do you find out what problems you should solve?
Start with your own problems
If you’ve managed to solve a problem you once had, a blog post about what it was and how you solved it can help your readers solve it too.
Even if you Not I still solved it, write a contribution about it. You could help others solve the same problems by making them feel less alone. And who knows? One of your readers may have the perfect solution.
frequently asked Questions
If someone asks a question in a comment, email, or conversation, write it down. Over time, you may find that some questions keep being asked by different people. Writing blog posts that answer them does not help the people who asked the question, but also the people who asked them Not ask the question (but still wants to know the answer).
How do people find you
Look at the recommendation information that your analytics program (e.g. Google Analytics) collects for you. Did someone ask a question when they entered their search term? If so, could you answer it (or at least talk about it) in a blog post?
(Unfortunately, Google no longer offers all of the search terms that were entered to find your blog. But what is it? does can still be very useful.)
What are people looking for on your blog?
Do you have a search bar on your blog? If so, what are people looking for? Again, your analysis program should collect this information for you.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to find out what your blog is looking for. But instead of explaining how to do it here, I suggest you read A post I wrote about Google AnalyticsHere you will find information on how to identify these types of searches.
Questions don’t hurt
The best way to find out what questions and problems people have is to ask them directly.
You can do this by taking a survey, creating a survey, running small focus groups, and even calling some of your readers via email or phone. Just keep the questions open so people can talk about their problems or problem in their own words.
Check out other websites in your niche
You probably know of other blogs, groups, and forums related to your niche. Spend some time in them and see what people are talking about. You may come across a comment that you have at least one idea to write about.
And don’t be afraid to use others’ blog posts as a springboard for your own. If some wrote a post with seven tips for something, it’s not wrong to link to it and say, “I found these great tips in another post and thought I would give you a few more.”
Don’t forget social media
Social media is a gold mine when it comes to finding questions that you can answer in a blog post. People always ask for advice and you can easily find the questions they are asking simply by looking for keywords related to your niche.
Some final tips
As much as we all want these ideas to appear only in our heads, the truth is that you often have to take the trouble (and time) to find them. So my first tip is that you don’t have to do it every time you write a blog post. Take about half an hour and try to develop as many ideas as possible.
A blogger I know has ideas for blog posts worth a year each year in January. (She writes two blog posts a week, so that’s 104 ideas she has to come up with.) She even writes data on everyone to set their deadlines.
That brings me to my second tip. Make sure you have a system in place to capture all of the ideas you come up with. It could be as simple as a notebook to carry around, or something like Evernote or Dropbox. Just make sure you capture these ideas as soon as you get them, as these ideas can be volatile.
And these ideas often come to mind when you write your posts. You might be thinking of a tangent that you could take, or something that you wrote could lead to a question that you could answer in a future post. Or you suddenly think of a completely different perspective that you could take on the same topic or material.