There are times when I run out of ideas for my next blog post. There may be different reasons for the writers block, but I will list 5 situations when I have no idea for the next blog post I am going to write in my blog:
- After returning from a vacation: When I come back from a vacation, I have no idea what I am going to write the next day. I sit in front of the laptop and try to regain the lost rhythm. I read, read and continue reading till I get the inner urge to write something useful or informative. This lasts for a day or two till new ideas come and start mingling in my head.
- When I have overworked: When I have overworked and written a couple of long articles, newer ideas tend to take a backseat.The best way to overcome this is to take some rest or go outdoors with friends.
- When there are distractions: When guests arrive at my house or there is a festival, I find it hard to generate unique ideas for my blog posts. These are the times when I open my RSS reader and start writing filler articles which will fill the gaps in the upcoming weeks.
- When Working on new projects: When I am working on a project or a video tutorial, new ideas do not come until I have finished the work at hand. This is because, whenever I try to hit the keyboard – my concentration seems to break. My subconcious mind is still thinking about the project at hand, and words deny to come out.
Every blogger faces this situation in some point of their blogging career, and you are no exception. There are no guaranteed ways to fight the blogers block; however here is a nice presentation which details 30 ways to generate article ideas for your next blog post.
Here is the transcript of the above presentation:
1. Set realistic goals and adjust your pace of posting: Before you start to write anything, it’s important to set up realistic goals. Setting up a goal will ensure that you are headed in the right direction and you will be clear in your mind what are the things you have to do and what are the things you have to ignore.
2. Establish a blogging schedule: You don’t have to blog everyday, but it’s important to set up a schedule for writing posts of your blog. You can update your blog once a week or multiple times a week, but stick to the schedule if you do not want to disappoint your regular readers.
3. Create a habit – find 30 minutes every day to write: Write everyday, write often. Create a daily habit of writing, this will improve your performance overtime. Not only you will get the job done in small segments, you will also enjoy blogging without having to sit all day in front of the computer on weekends.
4. Get the post up fast, not perfect: No article is perfect. When you revise an older article, you will find a lot of mistakes. There are ways to improve your blog post and fine tune it but it’s important to stop worrying about the perfection because we are human beings, and mistakes are quite natural.
5. Write in advance and date for later publishing: Schedule your articles, don’t keep everything in drafts and worry in the last minutes.
6. Have a pen and paper at all times: Always carry a pen and paper. You may be traveling, having your lunch or cooking something; you never know when the next idea is going to hit.
7. Check your RSS reader, Alltop.com, Digg, Delicious: Have a look on the top sources – what other readers are reading and bookmarking on Digg and Delicious. By scanning these websites, you will have a rough idea on the type of content which common users love to read.
8. Answer questions: Open your blog and start reading the comments section. You will find many questions that were unanswered, because either you didn’t had the resource or time. Start researching the reader’s question and create a new blog post focusing on the question and writing the answer.
9. Ask the readers – create a survey: Creating a survey is a great way to communicate directly with your blog visitors and you can also get new ideas for your upcoming blog posts. Example – Create a new survey and ask “Which Chrome extensions do you use for Proofreading”.
Read the answers and create a new blog post highlighting the survey results with your recommendations.
10. Ask a question on Twitter or LinkedIn and blog the answers: Similarly, you can ask questions on Twitter and Linkedin and post the feedback of your question as a blog post.
11. Take pictures or find useful and interesting ones: An image is a great way to attract the reader and say a lot more than words. Find useful images on Flickr and photoblogs, create a new article and publish it on your website.
12. Take interviews: This is one of my favorite jobs which I have done earlier in this blog. Taking interviews of fellow bloggers is another great way to know the inner secrets of bloggers from the same niche and sharing the information with your fellow readers.
13. Accept guest posts: If you are not able to manage time for writing blog posts, offer guest blogging on your blog. Guest blogging is a win win situation for both you and the guest blogger and it’s a nice way to showcase a new flair of content to your blog readers.
14. Consider group blogging: This is a bit difficult but certainly not impossible. You can invite 2-3 fellow bloggers from the same niche and start writing a group post. The group post can be conducted on Google Docs or any other collaborative blogging software.
15. Start a contest: You can organize contests to gain the attention of your readers and give away something for free. This is a great way to attract new readers to your blog and convert one time visitors to regular readers.
16. Create a list post: I do not write list posts that much, but it is a great way to create a small or big resource around a particular subject. List posts also have the tendency to go viral on social media, so this is again good for your blog’s reach and gaining new readers.
17. Read stuff outside your scope: Expand the appetite for your content. Read blogs on other niche and learn what they are doing. This is very good for motivation as well as getting a new taste of content which is completely unknown to you.
18. Read the comments: Brainstorm the comments section of your blog. Find ideas, answers and questions. Then create a new blog post highlighting the idea and adding more resource to it.
19. Read real books: Old media is still a good way to get newer ideas for your blog posts. Buy magazines that relates to your niche and read what professional journalists are writing.
20. Add a podcast or video: Adding a podcast or video tutorial to your blog takes it to a new level. This is because the reader can grasp the idea more quickly and it’s a more powerful way to showcase your skills as a blogger.
21. Review or add to an old post: Open your Analytics program and find the poorly performing pages of your website. Can you add more content to those pages which will eventually help the reader ?
22. Mix things up: Start researching content on Google Blog search, Google News and other reputed sources. You will find a lot of new blogs and resources which others are ignoring.
23. Break long topics into series of posts: Creating a series of posts is another nice way to get new ideas for blog posts. When you publish the first post in the series, you may get some comments or feedback on it. Depending upon the feedback and the performance, you can plan the next post in the same series.
24. Write your speeches.
25. Point out people doing good stuff: Create a new blog post and recommend readers to read other blogs in the same niche who post outstanding content. This is a good way to leverage useful content to your readers and at the same time, you can take a break from your normal blogging schedule.
26. Use Google Alerts: Google Alerts is a good source for finding breaking or unique content. Set up Google Alerts revolving around topics of your interest and regularly read these alerts from an RSS reader or your email to get an idea about what other bloggers are writing on the same subject.
27. Pick a newspaper or magazine and check the headlines.
28. Research keywords: Get new ideas for topics which you have missed earlier. Use Google Adword keyword tool, Google Wonder wheel, Wordtracker and so on.
29. Check stats – which articles are read most often on your blog? Can you come up with a follow up post? Can you write another great resource which can be linked from the earlier article?
30. Get away from the computer, go on trip, talk with friends: Sometimes, all you need is to recharge your batteries. Take a break and breathe some fresh air.
What’s your opinion? How do you generate article ideas? Share your tips in the comments section.
Presentation courtesy: Margarita Evtimova