If you’re a problogger for clients, odds are you do need hundreds of blog post ideas. Because typically one blog won’t provide a livable income, you’re likely writing for many clients, which means multiple blogs and multiple topics, which in turn means you really need to churn out those blog post ideas. Example, I write, on average a minimum of 14-20 posts a day for clients (not counting all the forum topics I need to come up with for my community management gig) – that’s a minimum of 100 topics and issues I need to come up with each week. Yikes! However, while coming up with a large number of post ideas may seem overwhelming, it’s really not that tough. Some tips…
First of all – Write what you know whenever possible!!! Really. If I was only writing on topics I needed to research, I’d be in some serious trouble. Because I tend to blog topics I not only know, but enjoy, it’s way easier to come up with ideas. I just write about what’s on my mind. Still, even if you can’t write about topics you love, there are other ways to gain ideas.
Browse the news daily: I have basic news feeds set up on both Yahoo and Google that I browse daily for topics. This is one of the best ways to gain ideas that are current in your topic.
Use your annual blogging calendar: If you don’t have a blogging calendar set up you’re missing a good opportunity for ideas. When I’m hard up for a post idea I go to my calendar and see which upcoming events or holidays might make a good blog post.
Love your PR people: PR folks are an outstanding resource for blog post topics. Not all the ideas you get from PR people will make the cut, but many will. If you need help with PR issue check out the posts below…
- How to create a ProfNet opportunity for blog news, products, and tips
- How to build or break relationships with PR contacts
- Managing Your Blog PR Contacts
Other blogs and online magazines: Don’t steal whole ideas and you should always quote sources but reading other blogs will give you ideas for your own posts. For example if someone blogs about how to recycle your cell phone you can look into another part of the topic like which parts of the phones can actually be recycled or which cell phone companies have the best recycling rates.
Real offline life: A major downside of working at home is that you have fewer interactions with the outside world. When I worked outside the home it gave me all sorts of ideas like rants about co-workers, how to manage commutes, and how to fit in exercise when on the clock. Try to think outside your little home office box. Get out and have lunch with friends, try new activities, and make sure you continue to live outside the home.
Public events: Whenever there’s an eco-fair or parenting expo in town I try to attend. I get business cards from new companies, make connections with experts, and learn about upcoming and current trends.
Products in your world: Chances are you eat food, use products, and read the occasional book. Plenty of these products likely apply to your blog topics so why not write a blog product review? It’s also smart to sign up for email newsletters from companies who carry products that apply to your topic. You’ll be the first to hear about new goodies.
Ask: Use social networking both online and off to get ideas about topics people are actually interested in. I use people I know for topic ideas all the time. For example I’ll ask my sister, “What’s hard about green living for you?” I see stuff on Twitter and think, hey, that might be something decent to blog about. Social networking can be a great way to get countless ideas.
Try mind mapping: Mind mapping is where you take one large topic – i.e. cookie baking, and break it down into tons of smaller ideas such as types of sugar, types of cookies, frosting supplies, baking utensils, great baking books, etc. Almost all topics can be further broken down into many small topics.
Also see 16 different types of blog posts – a great place to gain ideas about the sort of posts you can write.
Where do you come up with ideas for blog posts?