If you’re anything like me, there might be times when you don't feel like you have anything left to say—or at least anything “worthwhile."
A couple of weeks ago writer friend Sandra Heska King said, “I keep waiting for you to run out of ideas. And you keep coming up with such helpful stuff.” Her comment gave me a chuckle, but it also got me thinking.
I tried to analyze how it is that I come up with blog ideas. What gives me inspiration for my posts? What is it that inspires any of us? Are there particular blogging topics writers should or shouldn’t address?
As I’ve labored through the answers to these questions, here are just a few of my thoughts on how to find blogging ideas:
1. Write posts on topics we’re passionate about.
Our posts, like any other form of writing, should be about things that stir our passion and come from the well-spring of our life experiences. When we dig deep into ourselves our voice may begin to come through our posts, and certainly our passion will, no matter the topic. When I’m deciding what to blog about, I usually look for things that really interest me—and then I try to present it in a fresh and thought-provoking way.
2. Read blog posts of others, and when one resonates write a post in response.
Occasionally other bloggers will notify me that something I said sparked a reaction in them, and then they’ll turn their emotional response into a blog post. I love when my words can stir others to reflect or think more deeply about an issue. And I enjoy finding articles that make me think (like Qualman's Social Media Revolution post). It's common courtesy, however, that we reference and link back to the post that inspired us.
3. Find a niche topic that can draw future readers.
Lately I’ve heard the idea that authors should try to find a particular niche for blogging--a topic or theme that can begin to draw future readers who may be interested in learning more. For example, author Sarah Sundin writes historicals about World WarII and she centers her blog posts around interesting facts from WWII. I think this idea can work for some writers, if done creatively. But I'm curious to know how well this method really works in drawing readers. I'd love to hear your thoughts on niche blogging and whether you think it can help.
4. Keep a “Blog Ideas” file and toss potential post ideas into it as you come across them.
We often keep an “Ideas” file for all the notes we scribble during those odd times inspiration strikes us. I do the same thing for blogging ideas. I have a running list of topics that interest me. When I read a post that sparks a thought, I bookmark it. When someone asks a question in the comments, I jot it down. When I experience something new, I make a note. My "Blog Ideas" file is usually full of possibilities. I don’t use them all, but it’s a springboard that helps me plan out posts.
5. Interview other writers who share your niche or passion.
I don’t imagine there are too many published (or unpublished) authors who will turn down the chance for a blog interview. It’s a great way for them to get exposure and also a way for them to connect with others they may not normally see in their cyberspace social circles. Such an interview may generate future post topics, and it's a great way to start forming important relationships.
For more tips on finding blog ideas here are a few other recent posts that might help:
- What Should Fiction Writers Blog About? by Writer's Digest Jane Friedman
- 7 Ways To Spice Up Your Blog Content by Free Blog Help
- How to Find Your Blogging Voice--8 Tips For Writers by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
Do you ever have trouble coming up with things to talk about in your blog posts? How do you dig deeper and find ideas? (And be sure to add your two cents about what you think of niche blogging!)