No matter how long you’ve been blogging, coming up with new post ideas can be very stressful. I struggled with this for a while when I first started a blog a few years ago and ended up settling for ideas that weren’t that interesting or new. Having experimented with what works best, I’ve come up with a foolproof way of generating new ideas consistently, and I now have too many to choose from!
Below is my guide on how to keep your ideas flowing.
This, quite clearly, is the most important part of generating post ideas. My first tip, is that you read everything and anything – and not just when you need your next idea. Make this a habit and you’ll soon have a wealth of information that will consistently inspire you to create more content.
I find interesting stories in magazines, newspapers, online and other blogs. If I find a website that I particularly enjoy, I note it down so that I can refer back to it when I need some fresh material.
However, don’t just stick to the same avenues as you never know what you may find when you look elsewhere. If I see a magazine lying around, no matter how boring it may look, I’ll pick it up and have a quick look through it. I may not have time or want to read it cover to cover but if an article catches my eye, I tear it out and keep it for later.
I collect articles this way and bookmark pages on websites that I set aside time for on the weekends. If I’m not interested in the content, sometimes it’s good to look at things for other ideas too such as design and layout.
You should also try to get into the habit of being more aware of what’s around you and you’ll start to spot little things that could spark an idea. If you get excited about something in your everyday life, it’s likely to be something others would also enjoy. So if you try a particularly delicious recipe or read an interesting article or see a great film, think about how you could turn it into a post and share your great find with other people.
If you’re well attuned to your surroundings, you may even start to notice an emerging trend or style that you could either report on or create a guide about. With this method, you’ll be researching by just living your normal life – easy!
Ideas are often fleeting so I feel that it is essential to carry a notebook. Or, if by some terrible accident you don’t happen to have it on you, at the very least write it down on your phone to add to your notebook later.
Keeping my ideas together in one book is so useful. When I need my next post idea, I simply go through my book and choose from the ones I’ve gathered so far. Then I make sure to tick it off so I know which ones can still be used.
I try to make sure I reference where I got my idea from as well, for example, a particular blog post or chapter in a book. Often, an idea will be revisited long after I initially had it so it saves me from trying to remember what I was talking about.
I also have a big folder where I keep all the tear sheets and a list of websites and blogs that I enjoy reading. I have a section for inspiring articles, a section for style and layout ideas, and a section for emerging trends where I group together things I’ve found to mention together in one post. It’s important to highlight key ideas within the article and jot down notes on the page as you read through them. Again, it saves you having to remember what ideas it sparked in you the first time you read it.
Types Of Post Ideas
The last step is to choose how best to present your post. If you’re writing about your opinion on an important issue then a long article will work well, but if you’re giving out advice or creating a guide it’d be clearer to read in list form. Make sure you give some thought to how you put your posts together for the reader.
Here are some post ideas to get you started:
- How To/Tutorial
- Cheat Sheet
- Check List
- Favourites/Round Up
- Weekly/Monthly Series
- Personal Story
- Style Guide
- Mistakes To Avoid
- Challenge To Take
- Your Working Day
- Behind The Scenes
Above all, remember not to simply copy post ideas that are already out there. What would be the point? Find ways to add your own spin on them, bring a new element to them or use them to inspire your own original ideas. Now get practising!
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