11 Tips to Find Ideas and Inspiration

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2008/04/11-tips-to-find-ideas-and-inspiration/

idea lightbulb

It’s not always easy to talk about the same topic day in and day out. You don’t want to seem redundant and you don’t want to bore your readers. Still, there are days when the ideas don’t come easy. When this happens, there are a few things you can do to find inspiration.

  1. Read comments - Some of the best ideas come from comments. Your readers offer their own insight, ask question and provide interesting fodder for discussion. Don’t overlook this goldmine of ideas. I take another look at the comments once a week on my "administrative day" to help plan topics for the week.
  2. Visit forums in your niche – What are people talking about? What are the topics discussed most often? What subjects  are most controversial? Niche-related forums are one of the best ways to stay on top of what those in your demographic most want to learn about.
  3. Visit other blogs – Other bloggers’ posts often trigger ideas of your own. If you are expanding on another bloggers’ idea – do give credit where it’s due.
  4. Plan your topics ahead using an editorial calendar - If you’re stuck for ideas, look at your calendar for the day’s topic. See what I use for an editorial calendar here.
  5. Go for a walk – Often a good head-clearing walk is just the thing for finding inspiration. I learned to keep a small pad and pen in my jacket pocket as I often come up with ideas during my morning dog walk. The problem is, I’d forget half of them by the time I got home!
  6. Give a Tweet – Ask a niche-related question on Twitter and plan posts around the responses. Don’t forget to give hat tips where they’re due.
  7. Brainstorm with others in your network – Most networks offer forums and channel-wide chats. Fellow bloggers are always so helpful, they’ll help you brainstorm.
  8. Make a list – You may not have enough ideas for a long post, but why not combine several ideas into a list?
  9. Let a guest blogger take over – Often times you just need to step away for a few hours or a day. Guest bloggers bring a fresh perspective and give you some time to regroup.
  10. Read back through your archives – Often times a post needs updating or a look back. Information becomes obsolete or you learn more about a certain topic. Offer a blog post upgrade.
  11. Look through your rejected posts – You know you have them. Go back in your files to all those ideas your rejected. After some time away, these may seem like good ideas again.

 

 

Image: MorgueFile

Comments

  1. I enjoyed the twitter reference :) Addictive, no?

    I also look through the search terms that led to my blog. Sometimes, they make it really easy on me and search in the form of a question. Then, my inspiration just as simple as answering!

    Number 2 is SO helpful for me, if only for a perspective check. If I’m wondering about today’s quality of black belts, you can bet that someone more opinionated is talking about it on a forum! Then again, there may be no discussion and I realize that it’s a “just me” thing :)

  2. One of the biggest problems for when I blog is getting writers block and not knowing what to write about. These tips are so simple but so helpful. Thanks!
    Zero Passive Income´s last blog post ..March 2011 Wealth Reports

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