How I Find Blogging Ideas

 

What’s your next blog post going to be?

Not sure? That seems to be the story whenever I sit down to write up a new post, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

How can you build a post that will provide constructive information and resonate with readers, while remaining true to your own artistic goals and ambitions?

It’s a tough task and that is why I wanted to share how I find ideas for all of my blog topics. Enjoy.

Ask the readers

My most “commented-on” posts are ALWAYS the ones where I took a question, concern or simply just a subtle remark from a reader and turned it into an article. The most comments I ever received was on a post called Crushing Writer’s Anxiety, where I responded to a frustrated reader, who commented on one of my previous articles. That article talked about being free with your writing life and simply embracing the chaos that comes with it.

However, this particular reader wanted more. She found it hard to believe that I could simply just talk about being stress free, when the realities of being a writer are quite the opposite. So, I went into detail on how I actually cope with the stress of being a writer, and it turns out a decent amount of other people wanted to hear about that as well. Comments are always the first place I look when trying to come up with a new blog post, as the readers are the ones that know best and if one of them expresses their concern, there is a good chance that others have the concerns as well.

The same goes for surveys. I haven’t done a survey in a while (shame on me), but they allow for honest (often anonymous) feedback on what you are doing right and wrong. Not to mention most survey sites like Survey Monkey do all the statistical work for you, showing you what the majority of your readers are thinking.

Copying

No great artist created their own style out of nothing. It’s rare (if not impossible) and will typically lead to a style that falls flat. Why not learn from the greats that have preceded you and take a page out of their book? One of my favorite authors, Michael Chabon, blatantly stated that he simply copied off of the likes of Philip Roth and F. Scott Fitzgerald (among others) and eventually developed his own style. He stated that it is clearly the best way to learn.

Frank Lloyd Wright was known to copy directly from his mentors and early architects until his style evolved into something new. Quentin Tarantino uses scenes directly out of movies he saw as a kid, using his own twists to make them different. Everyone does it. It’s not cheating. It’s learning. You don’t learn science by proving a theory, you learn from scientists from the past, and then maybe one day you can prove your own theory. So copy one of your favorite bloggers and put a new spin on an article they have already written.

Pictures

Whether you take pictures or simply browse some pictures on internet, photos are my go to resource when I don’t seem to have any ideas sprouting from my comments section. It takes just a few minutes to examine the intricacies of a picture to create a story out of it. For example, my post 5 Things To Do While Your Young came to me while I was looking at some rock climbing photos, and my post We Are All Children’s Writers popped into my head when I saw a picture of a heart shaped balloon. It reminded me of a kid holding a balloon and I thought that many kids have a certain flair that is often forgotten when people grow older.

Personal Life

Many of my blog topic ideas come when I stop thinking like a writer and just absorb my surroundings. Whether it be personal frustrations about differences with my girlfriend (Collectors vs. Seekers), getting in touch with my passion for movies (Can Your Writing Learn Something From The Film Industry?) or simply my beef with today’s societal obsession with monetary success (To Those Who Don’t Fear The Dream), I try to sit back and realize that every interaction, past, present or future has a story in itself, and these stories are often perfect for a blog post.

I dreamed a dream

Think about what your wildest dreams are. Blogging can often be intimidating since people are reading your work. However, the most personal posts (as opposed to professional sounding posts) often elicit the most powerful response. After all, once you connect with others on a personal level, they are more likely to see you as human. Using your blog as a diary is often the breath of fresh air your readers need.

The beloved schedule

This source of blogging material comes from my experience in the business world. It’s not the most creative way of finding inspiration, but it produces results. For a few weeks I did a Writing Myth Monday series and a Writing Tool Wednesday series. These highlighted various myths that I wanted to bust about writing and technological tools that have helped me in my writing endeavors.

However, the greatest thing about these scheduled posts was that whenever that day rolled around, I sat down, thought up a myth or a tool and always completed the post. If you are looking for a reliable way to make sure you post at least once or twice a week, make up your own series. This creates anticipation for your readers, a sense of responsibility to deliver and a foot in the door when deciding on a new topic.

Seasonal stuff

I have only done one seasonal post: A Blogger’s Valentine. There are some upsides to seasonal posts and some downsides. The upsides are that it makes thinking of a topic easy and you have lots of people searching those particular keywords before the season, holiday or event. On the other hand, I try to stray away from seasonal content unless I really can’t think of anything else.

Why? Because it is gets outdated. Creating something more timeless, where people can come back to find relevant content ten years from now (during anytime of the year) is ideal. However, this can be helpful when looking for a quick topic that could potential receive many views.

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About Joe Warnimont

I am a writer, marketing expert and adventure seeker. I help people write, market their writing, live truthfully and embrace their lives through creativity. You can find me riding my bike around the streets of Chicago. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Comments

  1. I’m relatively new to the blogging world (five months), but have learned to incorporate many of these ideas already. So far, I’ve not had much difficulty coming up with ideas (I’ve always been an idea generator)…finding time among all the other demands is my struggle. And following.

    I like the look of your site and am gleaning, gleaning, gleaning.

    Thanks, Joe.

  2. Thanks, Joe. Very helpful. I never used any structure to my writing ideas generation but that makes my writing unscheduled and random which is something a professional writer cannot afford. I am not a professional writer but I do write a blog.

    • Hi Ula,

      Well hopefully some of these tips can help you a little bit, even if you don’t need all the schedules that professional writers need. πŸ™‚

  3. Interesting stuff Joe, I like the balance between creativity and structure. I’ve only been blogging for a while, and it’s as much for honing certain skills (quick effective writing, articulation of arguements/thoughts) as it is for making contact and starting a dialogue/discussion. But, you make some useful points. In particular, I like the schedule idea – I work well under pressure and the idea of a little self-inflicted seems like a good driver for productivity. I shall go forth and schedule!

    • Haven’t been blogging very long myself, but I can attest to the way blogging helps you not only connect but also hone skills. It’s great for feedback too. I forget at times that not everyone thinks like I do and it comes out in the comments sections that people perceive my writing differently. It’s great for learning! Good luck blogging, Mobewan=)

      • Absolutely. I initially get frustrated or scared whenever someone disagrees with a post, but then you just have to realize that it is probably a great way to fix something or come up with something new to share with everyone.

  4. All great ideas. And I’ve used them all in my blog. Nice post. Thanks! I’ve hit the Twitter button – hope you’ll get other writers to find you.

  5. Tatum Hart says:

    This is a great blog. Very practical yet inspiring. I’ll tuck this one in my writer’s tool belt and look forward to more posts.

  6. Hi Joe, it’s a pleasure to meet you here, and thank you for your resounding advice on writing to make a difference in the world. I look forward to following you! Thanks too for stopping by my blog and liking me πŸ™‚ WordPress is a wonderful place. Have a great day. Michele

  7. Janice Sakata-Schultze says:

    Hi Joe – Great topic here! I looked at your site and you’ve got some great info, so I’ll be following you. BTW, thanks for the follow on my blog.

  8. Cynthia Richardson says:

    Good thoughts in this post and a good blog! I find walking arouses good ideas, sometimes whole poems (which I record as I go) or paragraphs, even novel outlines. Walking must jog the brain’s neurological activity! Also, taking photos always gives me a story as well as an inkling of what is on my mind. I do write for others, but honestly, writing what I need to write works the best for me. Thanks for liking my poem this week!

  9. Great insights. One of the toughest things for me is finding topics to write about. I think of them and forget to write them down. I’m going to keep a journal just for this now. Thanks for the jumpstart. And thanks for checking out my blog and leading me back here. I’m looking forward reading more.

  10. hi Joe; first of all thx for coming by. I just started blogging, more or less by accident, so these good ideas here are more than welcome. Normally i don’t write in such a methodical way (not being a professional writer) , but of course it’s good to have these things kept in mind.
    It will take some time before i can judge whether i’m gonna use them or not … whether i still blog or not. Time will learn. Anyhow, thx for this instructive article!

  11. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the “like” on my article “Agrophobic. My page gets very little traffic (my fault), but it’s nice when people stop by to have a look at my ever-evolving efforts.

    I plan to do a little reading around here, as I think I might just be able to learn a thing or two.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to throw a hack a little positive light. It made my day.

    Dave.

  12. Oops..ARGOphobic…LOL. Typo.

  13. Thanks for your wonderful video series on “Building Your Platform.” I am just getting started setting up a blog to promote my eBooks. Your input was great. I intend to link to your site often because you offer the same approach as I do in my eBooks, information without hype. Helping people get started without confusing or overwhelming them is an art that you have perfected.

    Now, how about a hint on the name for my new blog banner? Since my eBooks cover various topics I am stumped on the overview. How do I encompass all the subject matter in a short catchy title?

  14. Very Helpful article. I am struggling to deal with regular writing schedule and I realize one of the main reasons is getting the right idea. Will bookmark this everytime I need to think where to look for writing topics.

  15. Serenity says:

    Hi. Thanks for following my blog. Your blog is awesome. I especially like this post. Lately my blog has been nothing but reblogs and that wasn’t the original intention of it. This post has given me some good ideas to freshen my perspective. What I have a hard time with is getting feedback from my readers. I get more likes on my posts then I do comments and when I do call specifically for what my topics my readers would like me to blog about, I get nothing. Do you have any suggestions? My blog is really just practice for I hope to be a writer someday ツ Thanks!

  16. Hey Joe! Sure do appreciate the follow…I followed your blog too and I’m already getting some helpful ideas from it :). Just to add to your list, I’ve found that blog articles I’m most interested in (and that seem to generate more interest among readers in general) are opinion pieces–opinions on writing, the writing industry, what makes good writing and what doesn’t, etc. Anyway, I’m looking forward to more of your posts, and thanks again!

  17. Great post! Great looking blog … thanks!
    Jenn

  18. Hi Joe,

    I am new to blogging. Just one month. So I am learning a lot. I came to your page, as I noticed a click from your page to mine, on my stats. I am trying to learn what this all means?

    This week has been busy for me 201.41% growth from last week so far (now averaging around 350 views a day, between 120 – 160 users). One thing that I did notice changed things was the use of theme. One theme generates more likes and comments than the other? The other is followers, in that I get a lot of likes on the page, but not very many followers?

    If i do get comments, they are usually quite lengthy in depth comments, which require thought in answering. Do you know is this a sign that my blog is growing well? Am wondering how was there a click from your blog to mine? I have so much to learn! ….. πŸ™‚

  19. Hey Joe! Your blog looks to have a lot of great ideas. One thing that’s imporant for me is having a way to write my ideas down on the spot throughout the day, so I use notebooks or, when I’m out, the memo function on my phone, to record ideas. Otherwise, I probably won’t remember them. Also, making a note of information you google can be a source for subjects. If you wonder about a topic, chances are so do a pot of other people, especially if it’s within your scope.

  20. Nice article. Good suggestions. I’m new to blogging myself and at first I wondered what I would blog about. Since I love writing and reading, I knew many of my posts would be about those things. What I’m writing, the writing process, etc., and I knew I could create blogs about books and articles I’ve read and share information.

    But then I decided that I don’t want to just write about those things, regardless that they might include personal opinion or experience. So I started looking around and came up with ideas to share my life on a personal level without sounding self centered or revealing too much about my personal life. I used many of the avenues you mentioned to come up with ideas for future blogs. I hope your article here inspires newbie bloggers with… dare I say it?…writer’s block.

  21. Hi Joe! What a great post! As many in here, IΒ΄m also (new) on blogging lol. Just exactly the topic IΒ΄m facing when writing for my next post!

  22. Great suggestions! I’ve been on the fence with writing. I just enjoy writing reviews (some arn’t really reviews). I’ve been thinking about doing some creative writing, but I’m not sure.

  23. The topic of your blogs are quite interesting dude. I really find them very good and informative. I would like you to advice me reagarding my blogs. What changes are required in my blogs? Thank you. Have a great day.