It’s the same procedure every year: Bloggers decide next year they will write more. But is writing really what is causing the trouble?
It’s 2014 (almost 2015) and running a blog just when you feel like it will not get you far. At least not when you want to reach an audience. Less than an article a week and you can stop right away – actually you should plan releasing at least 3 per week. Can you come up with enough content?
If you are like me writing is easy. Once I have an idea about what I want to write about, most of the time it’s just about having enough time to write the actual article. And modern day technology allows me to do this almost anywhere I am: In a subway or train or even in the park. Not having enough time is almost the worst possible excuse for not writing on your blog.
So, How Do You Get The Ideas?
Having the time is only one part of the job for me though. What I really need is ideas: What will I write about today? What are my readers interested in? What am I currently interested in? Do I know enough about the topic to write a complete article?
When you are starting out writing your own blog, this is really tough. For me, the easiest part of writing is actually writing itself. The hardest part? Finding stuff to write about. This is what I really had to learn and to this day I still discover new ways of tackling this problem.
But one thing I learned is that ideas are everywhere. The problem is not generating them, it is uncovering them. So, let me give you an incomplete list of ways to uncover ideas for your next blog post:
1. Tracing Your Thoughts Backwards
No idea what to write about today? That is because you are trying to think about what to write about – so think about how your thoughts wandered around today. You are having millions of different lines of thoughts every day, there’s almost definitely a good topic among the thoughts you had in the past couple of hours. The key is not to think about your next blog post, but your last interesting thoughts.
2. Keep a List of Blogs That You Enjoy Reading and Follow Them
Blogs that you enjoy reading (when they cover the same line of topics of course) are really a great way of uncovering ideas. Don’t fear that you are copying them as that is not what this is about. All you need is simply one single aspect that you can add to their articles and you already have something to write about. Or maybe you even disagree completely? Great! Write an answer to their post. Maybe you can combine the ideas of two different posts into a new one? The possibilities are endless.
3. What Happened to You Lately
Your life can’t be as boring as you sometimes think it is. Something always happens. And you can and should write about it. And this works even if your topic is something else. A few days ago I wrote an article where I derived a sales lesson from when my mobile was stolen.
4. Write From the Perspective of Someone Else
Susanna once wrote an article with marketing lessons from our dog. Giving a topic a new and unconventional perspective is almost a sure fire way to create something interesting and fun to read. Think about the people you know – how would they view a certain topic? If you don’t know – why don’t you ask them?
5. Do Something Else – Then Write About It
When you’re starting out your job is probably not writing on your blog. You almost definitely have other things in your life – so whenever you feel that writer’s block is knocking on your door, do something else first. As a blogger that is a major advantage you have over (other) professional writers: You don’t have to come up with something for a living, on the contrary – what you do in your life can enrich what you write.
6. Write Follow Up Posts to Old Posts
Just because you wrote about a topic once doesn’t mean that you can’t write about it again. You learn new things, you get new ideas and you can write a follow-up to the original post. This also drives new traffic to your original post – so this is beneficial in more than one way.
7. Watch What’s Trending in Social Media
What is trending in your niche, what’s discussed a lot and what do people think about your topics of interest. You do have an opinion of your own and sometimes it is worth writing an article about it.
8. Don’t Plan Ahead – Let Ideas Lead to Ideas
Often I believe that I will write an article from an idea that has a certain direction – only to find out that while writing new ideas come to me. Most of the time it is far more rewarding to follow the flow of ideas than to stick to the original plan. It creates original articles that are truly worth reading – and writing them is a lot more fun.
9. Write About Something Else
Writing just about one topic can lead to writing fatigue. But you are not writing a book – you are writing a blog. If you bring in other topics you are interested in from time to time you are not breaking any rules. On the contrary: You give your blog more personality, you keep your writing fresh and you keep your ideas coming. So allow yourself to venture to other areas. At least sometimes.
There are many myths and bad social media advice floating around. But it is not a myth that you can use social media to get a ton of traffic to your blog or website (for free, no advertising). You “just” have to know what you need to do. And we can teach you!
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10. Just Go with the Flow
This is somewhat undefined but maybe the most important tip I can give you: Just take the ideas as they come. Take this post for example – I had no idea what to write so I wrote a post about how to get ideas. Ideas are everywhere so just start writing.
Many bloggers plan to write more in the coming years – and it’s the same new year’s resolution every year. I don’t believe that writing more is the actual problem they have. The real problem is having a topic to write about at the moment when you are ready to write. If the above list can help you even a little then this post has achieved what I wanted it to achieve.
But this post is not complete in any way: there are many more ways to get ideas to write about. Every blogger needs to find his own way. How do you find your ideas?
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