You could probably blog every single day… if only you could find the ideas, right? There are times, especially when you’re just starting out as a blogger when you are scrambling for blog post ideas. You wrack your brain. You hope the Muse will alight on your shoulder and bestow ideas upon you. When the Must doesn’t do your bidding, what do you do? Do you give up? Do you walk away from the keyboard and walk away from your dream of being a blogger?
I’m here to tell you that coming up with ideas is simple, especially if you’re constantly on the lookout for ideas. When you’re a fledgling blogger, you need to either keep an idea journal with you where you can write down your ideas or use a program like Evernote or another app in your smart phone to capture ideas. Don’t rely on your memory to hold onto that wisp of an idea — write it down before you lose it. Jot down everything, “the importance of wheat flour” — what?! Who knows, that phrase might eventually turn into a blog post on, “The importance of using wheat flour to make dog biscuits.” Hey, it could happen.
My background as a journalist and my natural inclination toward nosiness always has me eavesdropping. I eavesdrop when I’m waiting in line, when I am in a restaurant, at the veterinarian’s office, no matter where I am, my antennae are always on full alert. I also keep my Evernote open when I am watching television. I could hear an intriguing quote or see an interesting commercial or witness something on the news that tweaks me or piques my interest and into the notebook labeled IDEAS it goes.
Blogging 101: How to find blog post ideas should be part of your blogging toolbox. Consider this list your go-to when you’re stumped on what to blog about or what to use to fill out your editorial calendar.
A the Qs you receive.
Regardless of your area of expertise, chances are you get asked questions all the time, right? Even if it’s not all the time, the occasional question can be answered in a blog post. If there are things you wish your clients or potential clients would ask, kickstart your own question and answer blog post.
Give the people what they want.
If you have a target market (and you certainly should) offer them tips. For BlogPaws my target market is “people who want to learn to blog” for example and as such I am “giving tips on how to get blog ideas.” See how that works?
Show them how-to.
Do-it-yourself and how-to posts are popular. Make a video showing a how-to. Post your DIY on Pinterest. What is your area of expertise and how can you put together a how-to post?
Talk to an expert.
Interview a colleague or business professional. Find someone you admire and who you want to get to know better. Chances are, they will be flattered to be contacted for an interview. Hopefully, they will help promote the blog post on their social media outlets once it goes live –that’s an additional win for you!
A new take on an old idea.
They say there is nothing new under the sun, but if you’re one of those people who can always find a new way to do an “old thing.” Share that in a blog post. If you found a unique way to groom your dog, or bake a dog biscuit or write a blog post, share that information – you’ll be a hero!
Infographics and videos rule.
If you have a blog post that has a numbered or bulleted list, that could be easily turned into an infographic. Use a program link Canva or Picmonkey to make it happen. If you have a blog post that is a bulleted or numbered list, take each of those points and turn it into a helpful, brief video. Viola – you have reworked old material and now have a new blog post.
Write a list post. (Note, that’s what this is!) Take a topic, add a number to it and write about it. Five ways to housebreak your puppy; Seven ways to travel with your cat; Eleven ways to write a blog post. Readers and Google love numbers.
Round ‘em up.
If you have posts that are in the same general topic niche, do a blog post round up. “My top ten posts on how to write a blog post,” for example.
Do a review.
Is there a product you love that you can’t live without? Did you read a book that you can’t stop raving about? Did you have fantastic service at a local business? Write a review post. Share the love.
Are you newsworthy?
Is your business celebrating an anniversary? Did you win an award? Did you join a local business group? Are you volunteering for a local agency? Write a press release, send it to the local press and put it on your blog.
Blog about holidays.
If you’re a pet blogger, look for pet holidays. A site like Brownielocks is a good starting point for traditional and off-the-wall holidays.
What I wish I knew then…
If you’ve learned a lot during your time as a blogger, write a “what I wish I’d known then” post. Share your experiences with other newbies.
Jump on a trend.
Look at trending topics on Twitter or Yahoo News or other news source. Blog about that. For example, The Westminster Dog Show was this week. There are myriad topics you could blog about before, during and after the event.
What are your best idea-finding tips? How do you keep your editorial calendar filled? I’d love to hear!
Robbi Hess is the former BlogPaws blog manager and will be speaking on Time Management Tips For The Blogger at the BlogPaws 2016 Conference. She blogs at All Words Matter and is the Media Manager for Big Barker, maker of premium beds for big dogs.