Have you ever sat staring at your monitor (or notebook with pen in hand) ready to gush all your knowledge but instead drew a blank?
Of course you have, it happens to everyone.
When I first started ghost-writing for a few select clients, the blog ideas came relatively quickly and easily. The site owners fed me a lot of the core material so it was just a matter of sprinkling in a story, driving home a useful point or lesson, and including a call to action.
Then I started a personal pet project that required me to come up with all new material. That’s when I locked up at the keyboard thinking, “Yikes, I got nothin.”
Luckily, I already knew where to find blog ideas because I researched what other writers and business owners were having success doing.
The main thing is you can’t work in a vacuum. Get out of your own head. Write for your readers by researching what’s “out there” and see which topics are trending.
Here is your list of 10 hot spots to yank you out of the confines of your own head and help you crank out your next blog post:
The Google Adwords Keyword Tool is designed to help you research the keywords and phrases people type into Google search.
For example, if you use the tool to search for, “ideas for a blog post,” your first few results are shown below:
From that list you could be inspired to write a blogging software review which is a topic that receives solid monthly search volume. Granted, the picture above shows the “broad” search phrase not the exact phrase. The phrase “blog software” truly only receives 8,100 exact searches per month as of this writing.
This is a great tool to use to find out what people are saying on Twitter. It’s a search tool that you could, for example, type in “new golf club” and you’ll find people tweeting about golf clubs. You’ll scroll through tweets about new golf clubs, golf clubs people just bought, ones they want to buy or where online they found a sale on golf clubs.
You pick the search term and let Twitter get your creative juices flowing. Oh and here’s a quick video tip on how to use Twitter search to market a product; enjoy.
Here in item #3 you get two-for-one, CNN and Cosmo. At CNN you can find current events to use for creating connections to your topics people wouldn’t ordinarily make.
Cosmo has the allure of gossip and the types of headlines that make you look over your shoulder before reading them aloud. Cosmo-inspired blog ideas are great for curiosity clicks and certainly useful for turning the ol’ gears.
This site is a gem. It’s an enormous ecommerce site and not only will you discover plenty of blog ideas but you may also benefit by:
- Writing about specific products and try to rank for product keywords and phrases (can be less competitive)
- Becoming an affiliate and earning cash if people buy something based on your recommendation
Everybody wins with Amazon.
This approach is a bit different but it forces you to think like your reader. When you visit Yahoo answers you’ll be able to type in a question and click the Search Y! Answers box. You don’t have to sign in and formally ask the Yahoo Answers community, just use the Search function below the main area.
Use the language of your audience when entering your question. You’ll see results of similar questions and then BAM! An instant Q&A or How-To blog post.
Any photo-sharing site will probably do but since I use Flickr for my blog posts I’m recommending it. If you have an email account with Yahoo, you can log into Flickr and start browsing photos. You can search for something generic like, “colors,” and watch the random photos that pop up.
Remember that you can also get images for your blog here and get inspired for a post while you’re at it.
This isn’t an all day event so just browse a few images and I’ll bet after a few minutes you’ll find one or two that get your thoughts flowing.
Personal Development for Smart People is a treasure trove of ideas for a blog post. A great place to start with this site is by browsing the Archives page.
8. Write a “Best Of” List
If you use this “best of” approach you can link out to each resource you cover in your post. Think of your top 10 tech sites, top 5 copywriting websites, or your favorite personal development sites and write a short blurb about each one.
Your readers will appreciate seeing numerous quality resources all in one article and you increase your chances of having them bookmark it for future reference.
9. Take a Contrarian View
Simply choose a popular topic and play Devil’s Advocate. Try to put a contrarian spin on a given set of beliefs about product xyz. One caveat: don’t over-use this technique. Unless you’re always cynical you’re going to wear out the magic of taking the opposing view if you do this too often.
10. Personal Anecdote
You have plenty of unique stories so share one with the world! Inject some drama, paint vivid word pictures, and drive home an important lesson. Make it storytelling time and have FUN or crack a joke; your readers may be craving some comedy.
Your Blog Inspiration
Blog ideas can come from anywhere. Every time you step outdoors just look around you. Breathe in your environment and challenge yourself to view life through a new lens.
So how about it? Did I forget to mention your favorite blog-inspiring hot spot? Feel free to share yours in the comments.