Sunday, April 9, 2017

I is for Ideas - Four Ways to Generate Great Ideas for Blog Posts

Now that we are on the ninth day of the A to Z Blog Challenge and settling into the daily grind, coming up with good ideas for blog posts may already seem a bit trying.  Whereas the first few days ideas were plentiful as was the energy and excitement about the challenge, now that the novelty has worn off coming up with good ideas, emphasis on the “good,” may seem like a chore.  Here are a few ideas to help with the challenge and coming up with ideas for blog posts or other content on a regular basis.

Search Question and Answer Sites 

Search sites like Allexperts  or Quora  and see what people are asking currently about your topic area and which questions are generating the most interest.  You can also view recent answers about your topic to see what types of answers get the most views and comments. 

Take Notes

Keep a notebook with you to jot down ideas throughout your day.  Focus on questions people ask and topics that seem to be talked about a lot such as current controversies or politics.  Think how these areas can apply to your topic and jot down that as well.  Many writers also like to keep a notebook by their bed to record ideas they have in the middle of the night or dreams that can suggest some interesting topics.  When you’re feel blocked on ideas, flip through your notebook until something grabs you.

Use Social Media Sites to Get Feedback

Most people today belong to at least one social media site and many people belong to several such site.  On these sites we have personal and professional networks and groups we join based on common interests, needs or hobbies.  Each of these groups or networks gives us access to numerous opinions and suggestions.  Similar to using Questions and Answer Sites, skimming over the topics discussed in each group can provide ideas for posts.  Better yet though, you can ask the other in the group for any questions they might have about your topic.  I have thrown out really general queries saying I am looking for new topics that people really want to hear about and wanting it to be timely wanted to ask what questions about psychology or mental health do people have?  I have also asked what topics on mental health or psychology seem to be trending or hot right now and what parts of those topic don’t seem to be answered yet?  The responses I got provided enough topics for at least a year of articles or blog posts. 

Use other Blogs Most Popular Topics

When I say this I do not mean stealing ideas from other bloggers.  But you can see what resonates with people and then put your personal spin on it.  The way I do this is by first going to Blogrank  which lets you enter a topic and the gives you the most popular and highly ranked blogs in that area.  I choose a blog that seems to have content that is relevant to my blog and see what posts were most highly ranked.  To do this, I enter the blog URL into Buzzsumo which gives you the most popular posts on a particular site.  You can also enter a topic or keyword to find the highest rated posts and articles from all the ranked content on the web. I skim the titles until an idea for my own post forms either by triggering an idea related to something I see, mixing two or more topics that are listed, or by leading to some kind of personal story or example that I can use to build on.  

Try these techniques to keep the ideas flowing.  If you have other ideas for generating blog post topics please be sure to leave them in the comments.

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