Blog Post Inspiration Is All Around You – Open Your Mind
Blog post inspiration is everywhere – Don’t ever be stuck for blog post ideas again!
My 6 Steps To Blog Post Inspiration Every time!
When I was in grade school, I used to complain about my classes a lot. I’d come home with some unfinished homework or some mediocre test score I’d have to explain away and my defense was always the same, “the class is just too boring!”
And my mom would sigh, look me straight in the eye and tell me “there are no boring subjects, just boring people.” What a devastating burn. Of course, I was nine, so I’d just huff and say “yeah, but what about MATH?”
Too often I see bloggers complaining the exact same way as they struggle for blog post inspiration!
Please don’t blame the subject matter!
Often, when bloggers have trouble coming up with new topics or ideas for their blogs, they blame the subject matter. They don’t think there are anymore good topics to blog about in their field. They complain that their subject is too dull to make for compelling blog posts, or too overly saturated with posts to come up with a decent angle.
Apologies to my fellow bloggers, but my mom was right (of course).
There are very few things in this world that are truly boring, that are so dull there is just nothing to say about them. Complaining that your niche is “too dull” to come up with many ideas is a cop out. It didn’t pass muster when I was nine years old, and it won’t pass now.
Follow these tips, and you should never find yourself scratching the bottom of the barrel for blog post inspiration again…
For blog post inspiration, always remember:
1) If you want to be interesting, you have to be interested!
Austin Kleon said it best in his creativity guide Steal Like an Artist, if you want to be interesting, you have to be interested.
You have to be able to get into what you’re writing about. To find what makes it exciting, cool, scary, impressive, or profound to you, and share that with others. If you’re not interested in what you’re writing about, why would anyone care about what you have to say?
For those of us who are writing for our own blogs, this shouldn’t be an issue. Presumably, you started your blog specifically because you care about the topic you cover. Even so, sometimes it’s worth stepping back and making sure you’re as tuned in to your topic as you can be .
Be an enthusiast yourself.
Stay up to date on your industry or niche, be a regular reader of other blogs dealing with the same ideas. Join conversations on social media and forums related to your topic and see what other people have to say.
But what about the hired guns out there? The copywriters and bloggers for hire that keep the web nice and full of content? You don’t always have the luxury of choosing the topics you get to write about, so how can you become an enthusiast?
Be open to what you’re writing about and take the time to discover what the topic, SPEAKS to you. As an ‘outsider’ you will often be the one to come up with unique and interesting ideas!
As a freelance blogger, I’ve written for everything from dream publications in the entertainment industry on topics I love, to incredibly specific niche interests I knew almost NOTHING about.
What To Do When You Know Nothing About The Subject?
One of my first jobs was writing content for a business that sells greenhouses. Now, I’ve had a legendary black-thumb since I was a boy and I’ve killed every single plant, bush, and cactus someone ever made the mistake of giving me. I’m not the kind of guy to be interested in agriculture, plants, or farms in the slightest.
There is no such thing as a boring subject.
The more I read about greenhouses preparing for the job, the more interested in them I got. It turns out there is a rich history to greenhouses that dates back to the Romans (there’s a topic right there), huge differences in what kind of greenhouse you’ll want depending on your crop (another topic), and endless arguments to be made about what kind of bench system a garden center greenhouse should use (yup, that’s a topic too).
I let myself get into it. I read about cold frames and DIY greenhouses until eventually I got so curious I made one of my own. All of this fed into easy to write posts about home gardening, seasonal forecasts, and common mistakes rookies should watch out for.
Find the thing about your subject that speaks to you and share it with your readers.
Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm – the more you explore what interests you about the subject, the more questions, topics, and ideas are going to pop into your head.
2) When seeking Blog Post Inspiration – Look for the things people want to know about
While your reading about your subject, always keep an eye on the kinds of questions people are asking, what they want to know about. One of the easiest ways to formulate blogs posts is to simply think of them as an answer to a question. Figure out what your audience is curious about, and you’ll never go hungry.
Now, you could do this the old fashion way and keep your eagle eye ready to spot opportunities and a big old word document on your PC full of notes – or, you could take advantage of some of the new tools available to writers.
Answer The Questions People Are Asking
Answer The Public for example is an easy way to pinpoint the most popular conversation points about a topic. Simply place your topic or keyword in the search bar, click, and you’ll be treated to a full list of the most frequently searched Google phrases related to that search.
Coming up with new ideas couldn’t be simpler.
There is no excuse for being stuck when a simple search query can provide you with over 100 questions your audience is dying to know about.
3) For Blog Post Inspiration – Look for the things people don’t know they want to know about
Using analytics about keywords and search terms is a nice shortcut that I absolutely recommend you use to keep up a steady stream of blog ideas. However, there is also value in asking new questions, in looking for the gaps that other people seem to be missing.
These kinds of blogs, by their very nature, take longer to write and are more of a gamble. But, if you’re committed to a topic for the long-term, it can be extremely valuable to contribute a completely fresh idea to the conversation.
Looking at what other bloggers are writing, what the audience is searching for, and adding your own spin on those ideas can take you a long way.
Keep an eye open for any completely new ideas
If you want to make a real mark, you’ll want to keep an eye open for any completely new ideas you can introduce. That’s the way to build real evergreen content that other bloggers will be linking back to for years to come.
And remember, you don’t need all the answers yourself. While blogs are certainly meant to help project authority and knowledge about a topic, that doesn’t mean you have to act like the wise old man on the mountain who knows the answer to all of life’s riddles.
If you find an interesting gap or problem that isn’t being addressed in other blogs, THAT can be a topic itself, let alone the solution! Why aren’t people talking about it? Has anyone else noticed? What do YOU think about blank? Even if you don’t know the answers, you can still start the conversation!
4) For Blog Post Inspiration – Flip the script
Always try to see your topic from every possible angle. While working from the perspective of answering questions for your readers, and writing blogs like “5 ways to make small talk in an elevator” is a good start, try thinking of the opposite some time – “5 things you should NEVER say in a crowded elevator!”
That’s a cool trick isn’t it? Not only have we turned one topic into two topics, I think we found a way more interesting angle in the process! I know if I saw both of those articles side-by-side which one I’d click on first (I just can’t help but rubber-neck a disaster).
This idea can be applied in so many ways.
Did you write a blog a little while ago talking up a product or idea and why it is so much better than the other options out there? Revisit the idea later with a blog about why some people are still sticking with the competing Brand-X (and maybe why they’re wrong). Work from the opposite direction.
Brainstorming and idea generation is much less stressful when you become adept at taking one core idea and turning it into three separate post ideas.
5) Let your best ideas MULTIPLY!
Never let a good idea die.
When you write a post that does well or you found particularly interesting, that shouldn’t be the end, it should only be the beginning!
Learn to mine content you’ve already written for more ideas and better angles. This can be a simple as recasting the same idea as an update or a sequel, such as “5 MORE things you should never say in a crowded elevator.” Or, you can use the same content, but change the format (articles can turn into lists and vice versa so easily).
You can write something specifically as a companion piece. “Last month you all when crazy about my tips on what not to say in an elevator, so here are 5 things you should NEVER say at a funeral.” If you have a really hot idea, look for ways to turn it into a regular series.
Ever wrote a great post and gone back to it sometime later and thought, I could do a better post now?
You could even have changed your opinion or view in the meantime. This is the perfect opportunity to create a “I Was Wrong About…” post. [People like reading “I was wrong about..” posts!]
Never be too proud to learn from yourself, and never let a good idea rest.
6) For Blog Post Inspiration – Step away from your desk
(AKA – Get out of the office, go for a walk, go for a swim)
This may sound like some hippy-dippy thinking, but take time to stretch your legs occasionally and explore the world around you, literally and metaphorically.
Like any other machine, the brain needs input if you expect output. Spend too much time staring at a word processor trying to punch out another quick blog all day, every day, and your sure to burn through your mental supply until all that’s left are a few singed neurons.
Get away from your desk from time to time, take some shore leave from the war of words and recharge your batteries.
A great way to do this is to try something new and different. Try a new type of food, play around with a new program or tool and see what you can do with it, meet some new people, try to hit a three-point hoop for the first time in 15 years. Do something different.
Getting outside of your comfort zone from time to time and expanding your horizons is how you keep your mind limber and lean. Inspiration can come from the oddest sources, and even something that doesn’t seem at all related to your blog topic can shake something loose or help you see an idea from a new angle.
If you find you’re having trouble coming up with new ideas, it might be time to stop digging and to come up for air. Stretch your legs, do something different, and come back in a better head space.
Remember, Isaac Newton didn’t come up with his theory of gravity in his study, reading what other people had already written. He took a walk in an orchard one day and made history.
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