This week, I really didn’t know what to write about, which gave me an idea. Ironic, yes? I thought, many of you could be facing the same dilemma, so what would I tell you to do? This Tuesday, I’ll discuss how to find topics for blog post.
I wish it was as easy as having manatees select idea balls from different tanks and putting them together. Those of you who watch South Park will totally get this. Unfortunately, it takes a little more effort than that.
When fishing for ideas, sometimes it takes awhile to get a nibble. I typically run out of ideas about halfway through the month. I’ve been blogging about a year (anniversary in September), and I write an average of 11-15 post a month. Many of you I follow write even more than that, making me look lazy. So how can you keep wood on the fire? Where can you get ideas that are fresh.
Instead of counting on your brain to remember all those spontaneous (and hopefully genius) ideas, keep notes. For instance, I carry around a notebook to record ideas. I also have an app on my phone to record thoughts when I’m in public. Whenever I think of something to write about or discover something I want to research, I write it down. How many ideas have you lost to short-term memory?
Check out other blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook
To be clear, I’m not instructing you to steal someone’s idea, but to look for inspiration. Do not copy a post word for word, change the title and call it your own. Follow or find people in your niche. Chances are they will cover a topic you want to write about, a book you’d like to review, an author to interview, a trend you didn’t know about. You may even come up with a better idea than them or a different angle to tackle it from.
Google (old reliable) is my go to. If you blog about writing, check out Writer’s Digest, Goodreads, and other sites dedicated to the craft. Websites are usually up to date on the latest news and trends. You can also look into new search engines like Bottlenose, Quora, or Topsy. These real-time search engines follow what’s trending on social media sites, which helps you come up with fresh material.
Bounce ideas off of a friend
If your brain isn’t working, go borrow someone else’s.This is easy to do. Just tell your friend you need something to write about. Unless they are in the same rut, chances are they’ll give you some ideas or a starting point. I don’t know how many times my sister has asked me for an idea and vise versa. Usually we don’t know what we should write, but we know what our sister should.
Read a magazine or a book
Next time you’re at the doctor’s office, don’t ignore that old pile of magazines. My last post idea came from reading a magazine. The article was about weight loss, but I thought the information was pertinent to writers.
Find experts in your niche
If you don’t have something to say, find someone who does. Interviews make great blog post. If you blog about writing, talk to an editor, published writer, or publisher. Twitter is a great place to find professionals and experts in your niche.
Hopefully, that gave you a starting point if you’re still bashing your head against a wall. Leave a comment below. How do you get ideas?