10 Ways to Generate Great Ideas for Your Blog
One of the best ways to practice your-web writing skills ― and to position yourself as an expert in the field ― is to create and write your own blog.
But what on earth do you write about?
I’m about to give you 10 ideas. But first, I want to share some words of wisdom from a recent Wealthy Web Writer webinar.
Heather Robson, Managing Editor of Wealthy Web Writer, says her favorite way to generate content for blogs is “The Rule of Three.”
- Read – a lot
- Take notes, ask questions
- Keep a notebook
As you begin to learn about web writing, you’re likely to start reading a lot. Heather says that as you read, jot down three ideas for posts that the original post, newsletter, book, or article inspires.
Did it raise a question that wasn’t answered? You can answer it.
Did it touch on a small point that deserves more attention? Expand it into a full post.
Did you experience an “A-ha!” moment while reading it? Share your insight with your readers.
If you keep track of these ideas in a notebook, a Word document, or a spreadsheet, you’ll always have a go-to source for inspiration.
Heather does this and she always has a huge list of ideas just waiting for her.
Here are 10 more ways you can come up with content for your blog:
1. Visit and participate in forums.
Do a Google search for forums that interest you and pertain to your specialty. (Wealthy Web Writer has a great one.)
Once you find several of them, bookmark them, and visit often. You’ll probably see ideas for topics all over the place. Pay attention to what people are asking and searching for. The answers to their questions will make a great article.
And, if the forum allows it, you can reply with a link to your blog post answer.
2. Be observant.
Next time you’re out and about look for real-life examples in your niche.
Let’s say you’re a web writer specializing in the pet industry. A short visit to the dog park could give you a dozen ideas for blog post topics. For example, you could write about all the products you see the dog owners using, like leashes, water bowls, and dog strollers.
Keep your eyes and ears open and take note of what comes to you.
3. Read or watch the news.
Another place you can find almost limitless ideas is the news from your local paper, TV, radio shows, and online newspapers. The tricky part is deciding how current events relate to your specialty.
One way to transition from the news story to your lesson is to say, “So what does this have to do with web writing?” and then continue with the post. But you can’t do that every time, of course. That’s why it’s important to find news that really ties in to your niche.
4. Go where your readers are.
In most niches, there are certain places people hang out. These are great places to find article ideas. You could write about workshops; review businesses, products, or services; or even feature countdowns to events.
For example, I’m a web writer for the self-help industry. I could attend a conference about creating the life you desire and have dozens of article ideas. Plus, I’d meet people in my niche that might need a web writer.
Be creative and research the places your target market hangs out, or the events they attend — then provide useful information. When readers find unique and interesting things to do in your niche on your blog, you’ll be able to get more web-writing jobs in your market by showing how well you understand the audience.
5. Answer your reader’s questions.
Once you have some blog posts under your belt, a great way to find article ideas is to answer the questions your clients or readers ask most often.
Chances are, you’ll know what these questions are because they’ll ask you in private messages or in the comments section. Also, you might consider encouraging your readers to submit questions to you so you’ll have a steady stream of questions to answer. Plus, you’ll increase reader involvement.
6. Review products.
If there are popular products in your niche, your readers will likely be searching for reviews.
Product reviews are a great idea for articles and you can re-purpose them as samples of your web writing.
Review products that are popular and useful and you’ll be seen as the truthful, go-to person in your niche. Plus, you’ll increase your traffic and get your name out there.
7. Write a list.
A great article format to try is the “list post.” It’s an article just like the one you’re reading now. It’s usually titled “Top 10 …” or “Best of …” or “8 Ways to …”
These articles are easy to read and don’t have a lot of fluff. They’re useful and to the point.
As a web writer, an example article you might write is “7 Ways to Get Your Reader’s Attention” or “3 Ways to Get More Website Visitors to Click ‘Buy Now.’”
8. Break your list down.
If you write articles using the “list post” format, you can break each point into additional articles.
For example, let’s say you write the article “7 Ways to Get Your Reader’s Attention.” The main article would briefly discuss each way, but each of the seven ways can also be expanded into their own article. You could explain how you tried each way, what the results were, and how they can follow your advice.
9. Take a side.
If you want to stir things up a bit, you could write about a controversial topic in your industry and give your opinion. A benefit of writing articles like this is people who agree with you will become some of your biggest fans and loyal readers.
As a web writer, maybe you could write about your opinion of direct mail … is it dead or not? Is email ruining direct mail?
You’re likely to get a lot of mixed feedback in the comments, but if you can handle it, you’ll have the benefit of getting your readers involved.
10. Answer your own questions.
As you begin to learn and study web writing, you’ll likely have questions …
“How can Twitter help me?” “Is there a way to get the benefits from social media in less time?” Answer those questions in your blog posts.
If you have those questions, chances are, so do a lot of other people. Use what you’re learning to educate those learning from you.
As you go about your day, keep your eyes open for new article ideas. The more you practice getting ideas from your everyday life, the more ideas you’ll have.
Use your notebook, Word document, or spreadsheet to track your ideas and, like Heather, you’ll always have a huge list of ideas just waiting for you.
What about you? How do you get ideas for blog posts? Let me know in the comments.