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Unusual, Cheeky and Fun Ways To Get Inspiration For Your Blog Posts

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How I Get Inspiration and Ideas for Blog Posts

Today I am going to talk about Inspiration and in particular my strategies for getting Inspiration for Blog Post Ideas and overcoming Writers Block.

According to The Google Dictionary Inspiration is:

A feeling of enthusiasm you get from someone or something, which gives you new and creative ideas

I like looking up dictionary definitions. It is great way to actually focus on the core meaning of a word – and also it is one of my inspiration techniques, but not one of the one’s I want to focus on today.

In this post I have come up with nine of my best strategies for coming up with blog post ideas. My strategies for getting inspiration

But first, I am assuming you have already worked your NICHE and got the more obvious posts out of the way. (Done the interviews, created the lists, established yourself as an authority)

Unusual, creative and fun ways to come up with amazing blog post ideas on demand.

Assuming this and you have woke up one morning and are staring at a Blank Screen these TIPS should help:

1) Review Your Blog Comments

By far the best way I find for coming with with new ideas for blog posts is to review my blog comments or the emails I get so see what my readers are looking for, need help with. Every time you get a question – answering that question is a potential Blog Post.

But what if you don’t get many comments? – Then offer to do guest posts for other sites with more traffic or better still get interviewed by another site. Not only does it build your authority status – the feedback will give you inspiration.

Want a Cheeky Suggestion? Go to other bloggers in your niche and see the questions they are being asked and the comments they are getting with their blog posts, that will give you ideas.

Also review your previous posts – not just the comments. Is there an angle in the comments that you can explore? Has your views changed since you wrote that post? Write a “I Was Wrong About ……..” post

Or if the post was a LIST – does it need updating?

2) Forums

Forums have an almost everlasting supply of Blog Post ideas. What is more, if you pick the right topic and there is lots of comments you almost have the whole post written for you. OK, maybe a slight exaggeration as forums usually have even worse spelling and grammar that my dyslexic style, but with imagination and a good title you are of to a flying start.

Also, forums often focus on problems or issues – that you can blog about and answer.

Every blogger should have the top forums in their niche bookmarked and visited on a regular basis.

3) Talk About Your Mistakes

Every mistake is a learning opportunity – not only for you, but for your readers.

Also every time you admit a mistake you make yourself appear more authentic and personable and sincere. Come to think of it here is a great title for an A-List Blogger to blog about:

Blogging Mistakes I Made When I First Got Started

The important thing here is too relate what you learned, what you would do differently next time and to inspire your readers.

4) Go For A Walk

Or in my case, go for a bike ride….

OK, so you are struggling to come up with ideas and the more you THINK the more you are STUCK?

I am never about giving up but sometimes we just have to obey our bodies. If you are tired, have a nap. If you are Fed-up, go for a walk

Actually my father says he has never ever had a really GREAT IDEA in the office — plenty in the shower or while out walking, but no extraordinary ideas have ever came to him in the office

Anthony Robbins says that “motion puts the ‘e’ in emotion” and that by physically changing our state we can instantaneously change our frame of mind, mood or emotional state. Read more on this at: Change Your Physiology to Change Your Frame of Mind

Changing your environment, doing something different and having FUN is a great way to unleash the creative brain cells. I have met a writer who gets inspiration for writing by Dancing! Do whatever works for you!

5) Get Off The Computer

OK, sort of related to previous one – but let’s take it a step further..

If you are someone who is always on the computer – do something radical like staying on the PC for 24hrs. I think you will be quite amazed at the ideas which will pop into your head, just because you changed your environment.

Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. So often when we get started we write a post every day or several times per week – but just as in running a marathon, it is better to PACE ourselves. Set goals for number of posts you want to do, but make them realistic.

6) Go To Events

Attend events related to your industry / niche. As many of you know, I regularly attend seminars, mastermind meetings etc. Everyone of them gives you things to blog about – from simply reviewing the event or listing for example “10 Things I Learned at The ‘Your Niche” Seminar”

Also go with digital camera and Flip Cameras in hand. Record a video with a speaker – even if it is only a couple of minutes it makes great content and being associated with the speaker builds your authority. With my RetireAt21.com website I regularly ask speakers and other business people for their Top Tips for Young Entrepreneurs. Most videos are less than 3 mins – but valuable content that your readers will love. (I am also in the habit of transcribing videos — the search engines love the content)

The other great thing about seminars etc is that they give you inspiration – every-time I go to one I come back with pages and pages of new ideas.

7) Use Twitter / Social Media To Get Trending Topics

What are your followers Tweeting about? What are the individuals you are following tweeting about?

Anything HOT on Trending Topics that you can jump on with an angle for your niche?

Digg.com and Google Trends are other great places to find inspiration. I am not saying copy other articles or posts, but if it is something related to your niche then you can blog about it with authority. You can even link to the original article and give your take on it, what you agree with, what you don’t agree with etc.

8 ) TV, Books, Magazines, Movies, Other Blogs

All of the above have no end of inspiration and ideas. As you read, think, would this be of interest to my readers? Or how can I put a slant on this that make this more interesting to my readers? Magazines in particular are always publishing lists – I am not saying you copy those lists, but chances are you can find an ‘angle’ that allows you to produce something original and unique.

9) Keep a Swipe File of Titles and Headlines

See a Title you like – then save it in a swipe file. Sometimes a Title alone is enough to spark of an idea for a unique blog post of your own.

You will not copy the Title exactly – but rather adapt it to reflect your niche.

Further Help

Chris Brogan has produced an awesome list of 100 Blog Topics – that will hopefully inspire you.

Titles that got my attention are:

1) My Mother is On Facebook
2) What I Spend Money On
3) How I Went From Very Shy to Less Shy

As you review Chris’s list, use his list to brainstorm your own ideas or variations of his list (or my list or anyone’s list)

For example (and this is just quick thinking on my part) — I could rework the above 3 Titles as:

1) My Grand Mother is On Facebook
2) Things I Should Not Have Bought!
3) Why Shy People Succeed Online

This is something you can do with any Blog post on any site – not just Chris’s list – so really you should never be out of inspiration for Blog Posts.

Finally: With Blog Post Ideas – Always Go for Quality, not Quantity

I have a lot going on in my life and my blogging business has opened up so many opportunities for me – but one thing I try to always remain diligent on is to go for QUALITY Blog posts over QUANTITY.

It is actually quite easy to slap up some post or re-hashed article that takes all of a few minutes to produce but DON”T do that. To keep your visitors coming back, linking to you and recommending you, you need to be creative. So put the effort in to come up with something somewhat original and beneficial to your readership.

Even a short post takes a couple of hours for me but longer posts can be in my Drafts for days as I come back to them, tweak them or change them.

Actually here is one final tip – even when you think you are satisfied with the post, do not publish it. Leave it overnight or for a few hours and come back to it. You will be surprised how often that so called ‘finished draft’ gets further improved or inspired as you re-read it or had some more tweaks occur to you in the mean time.

Happy Blogging – let me know your thoughts and your ideas for blog posts and what inspires you in the comments below.

Best wishes

Michael

PS: Looking for List Inspiration? Check out Forbes.com and the Forbes Lists

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Comments

  1. Tom | Build That List says:

    Great post Michael! You always seem to have such creative posts, so it is nice to see where the initial seed comes from.

    I definitely need to take note of your last point of focusing less on quantity and more on quality. It is hard to push our an article a day when you are trying to add real value.

  2. Excellent post Michael, forums can really provide alot of inspiration when building a niche blog.

  3. Aaron Darko says:

    Another brilliant blog entry. You give solid advice on what one should do to generate ideas constantly.

    Personally I love these ideas amd do some of them myself. I could always do more as I’m sure everybody else can.

    The big one that I really resonate with is going to events. You will get the most ideas there more than anything else i think. Also like you said you get to video record people for powerful content. I love it and its so easy!

    With our line of work its easy to stay on the computer and ‘surf’ the net! Its really important that you get out there because often your best ideas hit you when you’re not at the computer.

    Im gonna start keeping swipe files of titles and headlines, thats a real good tip Michael thanks! They all are.

    Another way I look for blog posts is when something happens in my life (positive or negative) and i always think ‘how can I apply this to a blog post?’

    Let me know your thoughts on this Michael.

    Thanks

  4. Jerry Gillies says:

    You continue to astonish and amaze, Michael. This is the kind of article written by someone who has been a master in his field for 21 years, passing down his wisdom–not a 21 year old. You have the seed of a great book on creative blogging here.

  5. Michael,

    Very insightful as always. I do not have the time to write content for all of my websites and have found one reliable writer who I have worked with for the last 4 years.

    Caroyln (theargot@gmail.com) is not only creative but takes the time to research and come up with topics and content – so that is ONE OPTION I would add to your list – a great freelance writer who can THINK FOR YOU when you have a writer’s block or have no time..

  6. Maren Kate says:

    I like this one a lot, especially that it told me to get off my butt and get moving and the point about leaving a post overnight to sit – I never do this and really should!

    Cheers!

  7. Luke Etheridge says:

    Once again Michael…great post!

    Similar to what Maren said above – leaving a blog post overnight is one of the best things you can do.

    I have thought something was finished and that I couldn’t possibly come up with any more content and then…as the evening goes on….you find your brain working away in the background coming up with more and more tips and ideas for things that you can add to your post – which is why I always make sure I have a pen and paper handy 🙂

    Thanks again bud,

    Luke

  8. David Walker says:

    Hi Michael,

    One of the biggest problems my readers told me they had was they did not know what to write/talk about on their own blogs.

    Your list here just goes to prove there is never NOTHING to blog about and you could be here in 20 years with no end in sight to the content you could produce!

    Funnily enough, I was reading Chris Brogan’s 100 blog post idea list a few days ago, it’s a great resource!

    David

  9. Matthew Needham says:

    Some great tips here Michael. A great source of inspiration. I’m personally not into video posts, but I really like your idea of transcribing and I can see the merit in that.

    Just discovered your site. I’ll definitely be back.

    Matthew

  10. Christian says:

    I agree the best way I get ideas on blogs is to ask my email list what kind of topics that they would like for me to talk about or what kinds of problems my clients have. This gives me a lot of content to go off of for tons of ideas for my fitness business.

  11. Really good post mike. I use some of these ideas myself and they really help.

  12. another creative post …. this really helps when someone is all the time thinking about how to make money!

  13. Michael Montgomery says:

    Great post, just what I was looking for. I do a blog around the hobby of yo-yoing (hella niche) and often am at a loss for things to talk about. Lately I’ve found that I’m better at talking about a topic then writing so I mostly record videos of my blogs. I’ve also found they get more hits and comments.

    The forum suggestion is gold, 1) you get free topics to write about 2) you become recognized as an expert and 3) if gives you a place to spread your post around. I get 90% of my traffic from yo-yo forums (about 1000-1500 of my monthly views are from forums.

    Additionally I’ve found that building a newsletter mailing list can help a lot. I’ve polled them a couple of times in the last few months for blog topics. Now I have a list of 32 topics to write or Video blog about 🙂 Thanks for this list!

  14. Great tips. You may also want to write about how to promote sites through backlinking and how to do it effectively. Thanks in advance!

  15. David Stillwagon says:

    Using comments that I receive has also been the best way for me to find ideas to write about, and forums too.

  16. Ariole K. Alei says:

    Thank you, Michael. You miraculously appeared in my email Inbox earlier this week – just as I’ve come through several months getting to ‘Yes’ on writing a Blog. This seems like a decision akin to marriage! As it will be close to my heart and call for deep dedication.

    I’ve joyously spent today ‘learning’ – reading and watching and listening to your posts.

    Thank you so much for this. A hyper-focused opportunity to immerse myself and gain tremendous confidence and clarity of how to proceed!

    Enormous gratitude to you 🙂