Do you ever find yourself completely stuck when it comes to your blog? Do you ever sit there with no inspiration? Do you ever run out of ideas? You’re not the only one, friend. When I changed the direction of ABOH last August, I had a really tough time staying inspired and coming up with new ideas that I felt good about were rare. But at some point, something happened. Now, I’ve got enough blog posts to last me for a long time. I’ve found ways to stay inspired and not go out of my way to find more ideas – but to notice them.
Your content is the foundation of your blog. You need ideas all the time. So what happens if you run out of them?
If you’ve been following along with ABOH since the start of the New Year you’ll have seen that we did the Blogging Breakthrough challenge. A big part of this was about keeping up with your blog content and having inspiration sessions. But over the past few months, I keep getting questions about how I actually come up with so many ideas. Today is the day I answer that question. Today is the day that I tell you everything you need to know, so you never run out of blog post ideas again.
Share What You Know
Sharing things from your own experiences is always so valuable. It’s probably the easiest way to come up with blog post ideas, but we usually overthink it. This post? This is based on sharing what I know. I know how to come up with great blog post ideas, so I'm writing it into a post for you. Yesterday’s post about my career journey? That’s come from my personal experiences too. Plus, they’re one of the easiest posts to write because you already know what you’re going to say.
You might think to yourself, “Well, I don’t know anything.” But I know for a fact that’s not true. Think about what you do in your day-to-day life. Think about how you’ve got to where you are today. Think about the experiences you’ve had in your career and your personal life. What could you help other people with?
Talking to someone, whether it be your parents, your best friend or your other half, can really clear your mind. You can talk to them about your ideas and find out which ones they think are amazing. Or you can talk to them about something completely unrelated, which usually really helps too.
Sometimes when you take a step away and talk about things completely unrelated to what you’re doing, you’ll get even more ideas.
I was helping a friend plan for an interview earlier this week and it was only afterwards that I thought how brilliant it would be to write some blog posts about it. You’ll be surprised how much you can come up with based on what you talk about.
What Do You Want to Write About?
Is there something you really want to share with your readers? Are there some topics you’re really passionate about that you want to start writing content for? Do it! I'm incorporating more lifestyle posts at the moment, but I also want to start spreading more awareness about Alzheimer’s, so I want to write about that too. Don’t be afraid of writing from your heart. There can be various topics linked to your blog – don’t feel like you have to restrain yourself.
You've also got to enjoy what you’re writing about. There’s no point in thinking, “They’re writing about this so I will too”, when you’re not even interested in the topic. Write about what you enjoy and what you’re passionate about. At the end of each day, think of one thing that’s made you really happy or something you’ve achieved. Can you turn that into a post idea?
Look at Your Old Content
Your most popular posts are golden for finding new blog post ideas. Maybe you received loads of comments or maybe it was shared a load of times – this is what you need. You’re not just repeating yourself, either. Here’s what you do.
You go through your most popular posts with a fine tooth comb. Go through each point, each subheading and think, how can I turn this into a blog post?
Take my most popular post, “15 Reasons Why You Aren't Getting More Followers on Social Media” – each subheading in that acts as something I could turn into a blog post. Or, I could even write a new post called “15 More Reasons Why You Aren't Getting More Followers On Social Media”. See how it works?
It’s easy to find your most popular posts too. Head to Google Analytics, then on your dashboard, go down to Behaviour > Site Content and All Pages. Set the date right back to when you first installed Google Analytics and that will show you your most popular posts over time.
Read All the Comments
When you scroll to the bottom of a blog post, what do you do? Either leave a comment or close the tab. But do you read any of the comments?
I get so many ideas from reading the comments of other people’s blog posts. Readers ask questions. And if that question is on a topic you write about, then you go ahead and put that in your blog post ideas list!
You can also get ideas from readers who leave comments on your own blog, too. Take this post – so many people have asked me how I come up with blog post ideas. Now I'm turning it into a feature on my blog.
So next time you’re reading blog posts, go through and read through the comments too. Then keep your ideas to yourself ;)
What Are Your Favourite Bloggers Doing?
We all know the rule with copying – don’t do it. But there’s no harm taking inspiration.
It’s always worth keeping an eye on what other bloggers are doing. If you like a certain topic idea, think about how you can add your own twist to it. How can you write about it from your experiences?
I get a lot of ideas from reading blog posts. It could be from a sentence or a sub-heading, but they all act as sources of inspiration. When you’re reading something, try and get into the habit of asking yourself, “What can I do to make this better?”
I will always read magazines as long as they’re printed. Fact. Some people forget just how valuable magazine content can be. Bloggers now are saying how they want their content to be more like editorials that we see in magazines. You can use magazines as a source of inspiration to make that happen.
Just like with blogs, flick through and think about how you can turn these into relevant posts for your readers. How can you write about this from your own experiences? Then, I rip out all the cuttings I want to keep for ideas and keep them all in folder.
Go Through Your Emails
I subscribe to a lot of newsletters from my favourite bloggers. Each day, that inbox gets filled with motivational advice, blogging tips and loads of other interesting things. As I read all these emails, I'm always looking out for blog post ideas too. The amount of inspiration you can get is amazing! So if you’re not subscribed to any, go do it right now.
Spend Time on Social Media
I don’t need to tell you (again) about my love for social media. It’s my day job, and the single biggest driver of traffic to my blog.
People talk on social media. We interact with each other and ask questions. If you keep your eyes open enough, you’ll get ideas for so many blog post ideas. Plus, if you’ve got some of your favourite bloggers, readers and friends in Twitter lists, you can easily see what questions they want answering and what they’re struggling with.
You've got to keep involved. You can do this by finding out what people what to know. Then put that into a blog post for them and keep your other ideas somewhere safe.
Like reading blog posts and looking around on social media, Pinterest can be as big of a source of inspiration. You can start by looking through your feed. A lot of bloggers have cottoned onto the fact that Pinterest can work wonders for you blog. There are so many blog posts pinned daily that you’ll always find something new.
Failing that, you can search for “blog post ideas” and click through to each article, which will give you endless topics to work with.
Don’t Forget Google
And I don’t mean in the way you’re currently using Google. There are two other really useful ways that you can use Google to come up with content ideas.
When you put something into Google, at the bottom, you’ll see that it brings up other suggested searches based on what you’ve searched for.
Every idea you come up with, you can put into Google to get even more ideas.
The other way is with your search at the top.
When you type “how to start a blog”, you can write the letter a after it and see what comes up.
You can do this with every single letter of the alphabet. Just think of how many ideas you’ll be able to come up with this way!
Coming up with new ideas is a fundamental part of running our blog. We are content creators – and we need the ideas to be able to create this content. I hope this list starts to get you thinking about new ways you can come up with ideas for your blog posts. And if you want me to dig even deeper into any of these points, just let me know – I’d love to do more posts about this type of thing!
What are your methods for coming up with new blog post ideas? Do you think you'll try out some of the things from this list?