Sometimes, you sit down and you have so much to write that you don’t even care to eat or sleep. Then, there are these other times, when you want to write but all you can think is a big blank nothing. Today is one of these days, right?
I know the feeling. I’ve been there more often than I’d like to admit and here are my tips on how to get out of it. I’ll tell you first how to find ideas to blog about and then I’ll give you some ideas myself.
1. Use Question Words
This is one of my favourite methods because it can give you 5-10 topic ideas easily.
Take a piece of paper and write some question words (who, what, when, where, why, how).
Make the template:
Who What Why When Where How
Let’s say that your niche is mystery books. Start completing the phrases with the first thing that comes to mind.
Who are mystery books for? What are mystery books? Why would someone want to read mystery books? When can you read mystery books? Where can you read mystery books? How can you know if a book is a mystery book?
Let’s do it again. Let’s say your niche is travelling.
Who is the best companion for travelling? What do you earn from travelling? Why would someone like to travel? When is the best time to travel? Where should you travel next? How to travel without spending money?
Don’t try to overanalyse it. You’re brainstorming now. After using the technique a few times, you’ll have enough topics to choose from. Choose one to use now and make a list with the rest for the next time you don’t know what to write.
You can also use this technique inside a post. Not only it gives you a lot to write about the topic, but it also covers different aspects of it.
2. Read Old Articles
Writing a post always gives me ideas for new content. Ideas I can’t talk about in the article because I have too much to say about them or it’d be off-topic to talk about them or both.
So I have a little notebook with me at all times and I write the ideas on it. Then, at the end of the day – or when I have the time, anyway – I go through them and I decide which ones are good enough to become a full article. So I usually have a few ideas on the side for when I need them.
If you need new ideas, go back to your previous posts and reread them. I guarantee that you’ll find at least one good idea to write about.
3. Read Comments
Another way you can use your past articles to get new ideas is going through the comments section. If you’ve been doing this for a while, you’ll probably have a few comments with questions in them.
Check out what your readers ask you and what they’re commenting on. What did they find important?
Use this to make a full article. If they liked it enough to comment about it, they’d probably want to read a full article on it.
When the article is ready, leave the link in the post you found the comment, so that people who are interested in it can find it easily. Leave the link as an answer to the person who asked you the question, as well, so that they can read it. After all, they gave you the idea!
If you don’t have enough comments, start asking your readers for their thoughts and topics they’d like to read. They can give you ideas you’d have never thought by yourself.
4. Ask On Social Media
If you use social media to share your content, maybe you’d like to ask your readers about things they’d like you to write about. Not only will you get topics to write about, but you’ll also get closer to the people who read your blog consistently.
If you decide to do a post based on their recommendation, thank them on your post for their help. Use only their first name. If you want to be more specific, ask for their permission first.
5. Find The Title First
When I write a new article, I usually find the topic first, and then decide the title. Well, it works the other way around too.
I noticed this the first time I checked out title generators to find a title for a blog post. I saw at least ten other titles that would make great posts.
If you have used title generators before, you probably know what I mean. Since most of them give you random titles based on the words you put in, the results are interesting. Some titles are goofy and silly, others don’t even make sense, but there are some of them that are really great. Not only for the post you’re writing but for future posts as well.
So check out a few title generators and write down the titles that are interesting enough to make a post out of them. One I like a lot is on TweakYourBiz.
6. Check Out Search Engines
We usually use search engines to find answers, but have you thought that they’re a great way to find questions, too? Or in this case, topics?
Here are some ways to use search engines to your advantage:
Autocomplete is one of these things I haven’t decided if I love or hate. When it comes to my phone. Because when it comes to search engines, it’s incredibly useful. Not only for spending less time typing, but also for finding what people search the most.
You may have noticed that when you type something on a search engine, you get some options that change while you’re typing. This is the search engine trying to guess what you search for.
And what are these guesses based on? They’re based on what you write and what people usually search for. Well, you can find some interesting things to write about by looking at these guesses. And the most important, things that a lot of people actually search for.
People Also Ask
A lot of times, when you search for a question on Google, after the few results you get a People Also Ask section with tons of questions that people ask.
Check it out to see what people are interested in, so you can give them answers.
At the bottom of the search engine results, there are some keywords related to the keyword you used. So if you like a topic (maybe one you’ve already written an article about?):
- Search for it online.
- Take a look at what people have searched that is related to this.
- See if you can make a new article out of this.
What else do people search around this topic? What else would your readers like to read about? Get inspired by these and find something new to write about. After all, the related searches are based on actual searches from people who were probably interested in the first topic.
7. Quora Questions
If you had asked me 3 months ago what Quora is, I’d have no idea how to answer. All I knew about Quora is that I’ve seen it a lot on search engine results and it was some kind of Q&A forum.
But then I read a post about it and I checked it out. And I loved it. It is mostly a Q&A forum, but there are much more to it.
People can ask any question they want and others see these questions and answer them. You can select the topics you’re interested in, so you’ll see questions about them on your homepage.
You can also promote your own blog. If you see a question about something you’ve already written about, then leave a short answer and tell them that you’ve written an article about it if they’d be interested in it. Just don’t overdo it with link sharing. First, it will be annoying and second, you’ll be banned.
Something unexpected that I found out is that there are some really great stories that you can read there. One-of-a-kind stories that you’d think there are only in books or movies, but you’d be wrong.
So when you’re out of ideas, check out some questions about your niche and get inspired by the questions or even the answers you read. Or just add a new question and ask about topics on your niche. A lot of people will start giving you ideas.
8. Scribble Away
Take a notepad and have it only for writing down ideas that come to you throughout the day. Have it with you all the time. It doesn’t have to be a big one. There are even notepads small enough to hang on your keychain.
Every time you get an idea about your blog, write it on the notepad. Any idea. I’m not talking only about potential topics. You can use it for new projects you want to start on your blog, new features you want to add, goals you want to succeed, questions you want to ask your readers… well, you get the idea; pretty much, anything.
Since I started doing this, my list with articles-to-do has never been empty. On the contrary, it gets longer and longer. So from personal experience, I can tell you that it works.
And now’s the time for me to give you some ideas:
Write About Personal Experience
Everyone loves reading or hearing stories. Tell us yours! There are a lot of people who are in a similar situation to yours. Telling them what your decisions were and what did you have to deal with will help them make a decision.
- How and why you started getting involved in this niche
Your niche is something you and your readers have in common. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be on your blog. Talk about how you started and what made you start.
- Write a short post about something strange/important that happened to you these days
Did something weird happen to you lately? Make a post and share it with your readers.
- Celebrate your birthday as a blogger/your real birthday/your blog’s birthday with a post and (maybe) a small gift
Write about this special day, how you feel, what your plans are for the next year and why this day is important to you.
If you’d like, you could give your readers a small gift. A giveaway if you have something tangible or a small e-book you can create with some tips and your favourite posts.
- What keeps you creative
Write about how you get inspired and what keeps you going on. How do you find these great ideas of yours? Do you have any secret recipe?
Beginners guide to your niche
No matter what your niche is, there will be people who are beginners to it. Write a small guide to help them avoid the mistakes most beginners do.
Run a contest
Running a contest is a great way to motivate your readers to do something on your niche. Depending on the niche, choose a small challenge for them to do.
If you have a blog about photography, you could tell them to send you a photo they’re proud of. If your blog is about cooking, they could send you a picture of their favourite recipe. If it’s about writing, maybe they could send you a story they wrote or an interesting character background.
Choose the challenge and give them enough time to do it without having to rush through it, but not too much so that they forget about it. Tell them when the deadline is, when the results will be up and what the reward is. If you want to publish all the entries, ask them to tell you if you want to upload their effort on your site, too.
If you see that the contest is well-received, you could do it as an annual or seasonal event.
Tips on your niche
You’ve probably been engaged in your niche for a while now. Write about the tips you’ve learned or thought so far. For example, I have a post on tips to start blogging that come from my own experience and what I’ve read about blogging.
Answer comments in one big post
Gather some comments you like and answer them or talk about them in a post. If you don’t think you have enough, announce to your readers that you’ll make a Q&A post and ask them to tell you the questions they want to be answered.
Make a handwritten post
Write a post by hand and publish it by taking a photo. I read this idea somewhere a few months ago and I still want to try it. I think it’s interesting, but your handwriting should be really good and clean. Otherwise, your readers won’t be able to read the post easily.
Share jokes and/or inside jokes about your niche
Every niche has its own inside jokes. Find the best ones, share them with your readers and laugh together at the pros and cons your niche has.
List of books/songs/movies on your niche
Make a list of books, movies and even songs you’d recommend to someone on your niche and share it with your readers. Don’t forget to ask them what else they’d add to this list. You probably missed a lot being, you know…, human.
Write a post about gifts for someone interested in your niche. For example, I’ve made a post about gift ideas for bloggers.
Write about people you admire
Tell your readers about people you admire. Leaders on your niche or people you admire in general. People you want to meet someday.
Who knows? Maybe one of your readers knows them!
Do a post series
It helps you have a post to write each week and if you have a standard series that your readers like, they’ll come back each week to read the next one. Plus, it gives a sense of continuity in the posts of the series.
… I just persuaded myself to start one. 😛
Today, I’ll leave you with a small task. Use one of these ways and find a new topic. Only one. It’s not difficult, is it?
Let me know what you think about this and, if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer! Any suggestions are always welcome, so tell me about topics you’d like me to write.
And if you liked this, check out more tips for your blog.
See you next time!