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15 Ways To Find Ideas For Blog Posts

15 Ways To Find Ideas For Blog Posts

I’m of the belief that one can never know too many methods for finding ideas for blog posts. Just as it’s good to have a plethora of topics to write about, it’s good to have a number of methods you can use to find them. And I find that no matter how existing methods I may know, I have the urge to discover more. Whilst well-used methods rarely become stale, the very act of learning new ones can boost idea formation by a significant amount.

If it hasn’t been obvious already, I have a ‘thing’ for blogs that focus on blogging. Whilst a lot of it doesn’t appeal or relate to me, I find the blogs fascinating nonetheless and have learned a great deal.

Here is what I’ve learned. Much of it is well-known enough I doubt anyone remembers the source, but for those I know I’ve given credit. Whilst I’ve written this post myself, paraphrasing when appropriate, I put my comments in italics so I could add extra thoughts.

  1. Write down every idea you have. Every one, even those you think bad.
  2. Keep up to date with news outlets and other blogs, especially ones in your niche. This often leaves you with timely ideas but mostly importantly being able to write about a subject requires you to be in constant ‘contact’ with it.
  3. Look up what’s featured on StumbleUpon and other sites that are driven by trends.
  4. Browse sites that accept user questions.
  5. Think about who you’re writing for – who, in general terms, are they?
  6. Make use of surveys and questions.
  7. Read the comments you receive and take note of your own responses.
  8. You know those times you’re writing a post and want to expand on a point that’s only worth one sentence in the context of that post? Do it – in a new post.
  9. Look at the search terms people use to find your site. Look also at the terms people type into your blog’s search bar.
  10. Search terms from search engines may be dwindling, but you can find ideas simply by looking at what people have been reading on your blog.
  11. Start typing a phrase into the Google search bar but don’t click enter. See what suggestions you’re given for adding more words. If you have an idea for a subject but not the post itself, for example, you know you want to write about Jane Austen, you could type in ‘was Jane Austen’ and see how the search engine suggests you complete the sentence. (You will of course sometimes run into inappropriate suggestions, so be careful.) The initial idea of Googling a term was popularised by Wil Reynolds.
  12. ProBlogger: Use photographs for inspiration.
  13. ProBlogger: Take your last 5 posts, write the topics down and brainstorm anything you can think of that could spin off from them. This I discovered earlier this week; it’s a good visual alternative to thinking about how to expand on topics.
  14. ProBlogger: Have you changed your opinion on something you’ve previously written?
  15. Mark Traphagen: Learn to see ideas everywhere. Relate things you read to your subject, look for things others might miss. As an example, every time I see a nice scene I wonder if I could capture it in a photograph. Going out comes under this method too – there are only so many ideas you’re going to think up whilst at your computer.

To find ideas you have to look, you have to be open-minded, you need to be present, and you have to remember to live life.

Have you any methods to share?


Belle Wong

January 30, 2015, 3:41 am

Some great ideas here! What I’ve been doing most is jotting down my ideas as they come, always. I use the Drafts app on my iPhone mainly, and have my “blog posts” idea file set up on Dropbox so I can access it from my computer. Another thing I’ve been finding: when I’m not tired or overwhelmed or stress, the ideas just flow. But when I have too much on my plate, nothing interests me much! Until I embarked on my 365 days of blogging self-challenge, I hadn’t realized this about myself!


January 30, 2015, 7:51 pm

These are great points! I am useless at planning ahead, I think of ideas week by week.


February 16, 2015, 12:16 pm

Belle: That’s important; it’s good to have a list you can fall back on. Good idea to sync them.

That sounds ‘correct’, for want of a better word. If you’ve too much to think about you’re not going to notice much else, though it’s interesting to hear that ideas flow when you’re not tired, because for me I still find it hard.

Alice: Apart from last week (which was very handy as it meant I could still post despite having the flu) I’ve been week-to-week for a long while. I used to be able to go two weeks in advance; I think it’s another side effect of having blogged for so long.



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