How To Develop Ideas For Blog Posts

blog-post-ideas

One of the most common writing tips, especially for individuals just starting out, is to “write what you know”. So here is what I knew this week – I was completely stumped coming up with a topic for my latest blog post. I had a few ideas floating around but they all just felt incredibly dull and uninspired to me. And that led me to think about other people who are likely in the same current predicament, which led to my realizing a good blog post topic is probably tips on coming up with awesome blog post topics and ideas. And so, here we are.

  1. Read…a lot – Seems obvious but you would be surprised how many people are not avid readers. And it is especially shocking in the communications field. I still meet people who tell me they haven’t read one book in months. As a book-lover my whole life, this is just baffling to me. Because it really cannot be overstated, that to be a good writer, you have to be an avid reader. And reading (which by the way, I include everything from research studies, books, magazines, white papers, newspaper articles, blog posts, etc.) will open your world up to new and different ideas, which will provide a wealth of topics for your next blog post.

 

  1. Keep Up With Current Events – One of the most important elements of a successful blog is to be timely and current with your articles. The best way to do this is to know what is going on in the world. Everything from politics, industry news, social issues, and human interest stories, pop culture, etc. are all important to be aware of and current about, as they can all provide for interesting and compelling blog posts.

 

  1. Keep An Idea File – Whether or not you were a Harry Potter fan, you’ve probably heard or read the story of J.K. Rowling writing her first ideas for the series on a napkin, as inspiration struck her on a train. The reality is, inspiration can strike at any time and it helps to document ideas as they come. It’s possible you may never use some of them but it can definitely come in handy when inspiration is low and the ideas are not coming easily. An idea file also helps decrease the possibility of your blog becoming inactive, due to a lack of fresh ideas.

 

  1. Research The Competition – It never hurts to see what is out there and what other bloggers are writing about. You should never copy or try to mimic others but you may find something that is missing, a hole in the blogosphere that you can fill or see a topic in a new way that gives you a unique idea of how to approach it. Basically, researching your competition cannot hurt.

 

  1. Do A Keyword Search – An easy way to get ideas for a blog post, especially if you already have a topic in mind, is to do a basic keyword search. There are a number of search tools that can quickly generate hundreds of topics and ideas for possible blog posts.

 

  1. Think Outside The Box – Sometimes, the most daunting aspect of writing a blog post is not so much coming up with an idea but well, having to write it. However, blog posts do not always have to be 1000 plus word articles. It is more than acceptable to make a post featuring pictures, videos, infographics, etc. People often respond positively to visual elements and it is no different for a blog post.

 

  1. Talk To Others – It’s always a good idea to pick other people’s brains when mulling over an issue, topic, idea, etc. Talking to family, friends, co-workers, etc. might give you an idea for a topic you otherwise may have never considered. Or it may make you see a topic in a new light that will give you an idea for a new blog post on a topic you’ve previously written about.

 

  1. Consider Your Hobbies – As I stated above, one of the easiest ways to start writing is to simply write what you know. So if you’re stumped for ideas, it can be very helpful to consider the things you are interested in. For example, I love tennis and a simple communications blog post on that topic that is current and relevant, is the suspension of Maria Sharapova and how I believe that may tarnish her brand, which is worth millions in endorsements (and yes I am well aware that I have yet to actually write said post and really should).

 

  1. Know Your Industry – Whatever your focus, be it public relations like this blog or sports, fashion, entertainment, politics, etc. one way to consistently develop blog post ideas and topics, is to know the industry very, very well. Follow popular industry blogs, organizations, read the latest research findings, e-books, and white papers, watch the latest TED Talks, participate in seminars, webinars, etc. Being consistently up to date and aware of what is going in the industry one is writing about is one of the most important parts of maintaining a successful blog.

 

  1. Re-Purpose Your Content – If all else fails, revisit articles and posts you’ve previously written. Building on previous writing and content is one of the most common elements in academic research. Individuals are constantly doing studies that answer a question a previous study did not or fill in a gap that was left unfinished in a previous study. And your blog posts are no different. Perhaps there is a topic you wrote about that has since had new developments, renewed interest or maybe there is something you previously wrote but have since changed your mind about. Any of these are great reasons to revisit your previous posts.
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