When I was starting my first blog almost 4 years ago, my boyfriend asked me, “Are you sure you wanna do this? Where will you get blog post ideas? Will you still have what to write about in a few months?”
I smiled at that question – obviously, he hadn’t run a blog. Although I had not done it myself either, it was absolutely clear to me there was no way I could ever run out of topics. Read on to learn why 😀
I decide what to write about from experience.
Being a freelancer is hard – I think we established that. 😀
Literally every day I learn something new “on the job”. Maybe marketing related, maybe freelance related – but’s it’s there and it’s new. I also have a lot of questions – especially about the freelance part.
Luckily, I’ve been a freelancer for long enough to have not only questions but plenty of answers, too! So, my first starting point when I decide what to write about is that – the questions I have asked once.
If I ask a question, chances are there are tens and why not hundreds of other people out there asking the same question. So once I know the answer, I blog about it.
The best ideas for blog posts come from my readers though.
It is somewhat a follow up to my earlier point. I get a lot of questions from readers in the comments, on social media and via email – especially from freelancers.
I also get a lot of questions from clients! If you remember, my ebook which I give as a freebie to my newsletter subscribers, was born exactly as a result of repeat requests from clients to help them make their blog posts attractive to readers and search engines alike 😉
So long story short – I listen, and I listen a lot. I always read and reply to comments on my blog, on social media, and via emails. Sometimes it takes me more time (if I am busy or on the road) but I always reply. So far, the best posts have come as a result of readers’ feedback and questions!
Blog posts ideas are all around us – learn from other bloggers.
The next source of inspiration for blog posts ideas (at least for me) is fellow bloggers. I read a lot. And I see many posts which I agree with or disagree with. But one single common denominator for all blogs I regularly read is that they make me think.
They provoke something in me. I either learn and put into practice (which improves my work), or I get some food for thought and blog about something which will help my readers become better at their work. How cool is that?! 😉
Although the quality blogs are not as many as we might think, they are still enough to always have material to read, learn and source blog post topics from.
There are also some blog post ideas generator tools.
I admit – I have not used these tools much but that is mainly because I have a very large list of topics which are waiting for me to write them. I found the tools super useful “in theory” – if I ever get stuck.
The first one I’d like to mention is the Content Strategy Generator Tool – V2. It’s an excel sheet with preset columns and formulas in it. You can save it to your Google drive and it goes online and search the net for you.
And by the way, it’s good not only for topics sourcing but also for news monitoring and identifying opportunities to network with like-minded people. Read the post on SEO Gadget by Daniel Butler about the content strategy generator tool.
If you want something very simple and quick (no instructions and master mind thinking needed), check out the HubSpot blog topics generator.
Sometimes they are accurate, sometimes they are not. I think they just mash together some words you give them but nevertheless – they occasionally give good food for thought (if not an exact topic to write about :D)
And one last bit of advice – write down every idea you have and stay organized with an editorial calendar…
To tell you a secret, I make my blog topics ideas sourcing easy by doing 2 things:
- I have a file where I write down every single question or blog post idea that comes to mind… I don’t worry about quality, structure, details or when I will blog about it. I just write it down with a few notes to remind me how I got that idea and why it’s good.
- I have a blog editorial calendar for at least a quarter ahead, sometimes more (right now, my calendar is planned for 6 months to come!)
Thanks for sharing those tools. I have used hubspot and going to test the other content generator tool.
Running out of ideas is a phase every blogger faces sometimes in life! but i think with some R&D one can easily figure out directions. Blog comments are usually interesting way to get an idea but not just on your blog. In fact, you can find out similar blogs in your niche and see what people are commenting on other similar blogs. You can even turn your attentions to your competitor’s blog and see what their audience is talking about in comments section. This is really a good way to get ideas and I have personally used this method to get writing ideas for my blog.
Nice post Diana. Stay Blessed 🙂
Thanks for adding to the conversation, Nabeel – i agree bloggers can source topics from other blogs comments as well – quite fruitful idea. This way you can even anticipate questions which your readers have not yet even thought of asking you 😉
Lorraine Marie Reguly says
I get inspiration from readers’ questions and comments, too!
Plus, I’ve been known to inspire others. 😉 (Yes, you!) LOL
I think you and I are a lot alike, as I write from experience. It adds the personal quality that a lot of people love.
Good post, Di!
true that, Lorraine 😉 Being useful and giving actionable tips is something else i find appealing in a blog. But it doesn’t have to do much with the topic sourcing process, i guess… keep on inspiring me and others 😉
Bhavesh Patel says
I have been writing for a while now and have not given enough attention to “getting out there” and promoting. So, these are ideas I need to use. Thank you. I like writing and building relationships, but I have to try some of these new paths.
Thanks for your comment, Bhavesh, but what exactly does this have to do with the blog post you are commenting on? 😀
Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) says
I always have way more ideas than I have post slots to write them. My issue has been finding focus, but I get closer all the time. I do pencil tentative topics in on my desk calendar. Surprisingly, I still like to do that type of planning on paper.
Finding focus can be tough, i know 😀 Actually, Jeri, that’s exactly why i moved away from planning on paper to recording all ideas online – it was easier for me to rearrange my editorial calendar and not to miss any cool topics i have thought of, only because i don’t feel like writing about something “now”… It’s amazing how different methods work equally well for different people 😀
Susan Cooper/findingourwaynow.com says
Thanks for the post and the helpful tips . While I write from my personal experiences, I too find it helpful to write down all the ideas that come to mind. I then go back to this list later and generate my blog posts from these ideas.