Someone asked me (actually he asked members of a private blogger group on Facebook) how I generate ideas for blogging. In about 2 minutes I came up with 8 ways to generate blog or podcast topics. Though this list is specifically geared towards blogging the ideas still work for podcasting too.
You may have already read similar lists from other bloggers and podcasters about how they do this. Here’s my take on the material.
1. Comment on another online article or blog post.
In this instance, most of the work is already done for you. Read the article (thoroughly) and write an article in response to the one you just read. It’s like an extended comment.
2. Copy another blogger just be sure to add your own spin.
Honestly, I see the same types of articles all over the blogosphere. Most bloggers are just out there copying each other. That’s OK. You have a unique opinion. Write a similar article and share your unique opinion on the same topic.
3. Poll your audience and write about the results.
If you have a large enough audience and they respond well to polling this is a very easy way to get content. Create a poll and send it out via various social media platforms. After you get responses. Write about them. What surprised you? What didn’t?
4. Start dictating into your smartphone for 10 minutes and see what comes to mind.
This is also known as brainstorming. Just start talking about something you read, a song you heard, or a toy you used to play with as a kid. Our smartphones do a great job at speech-to-text conversions so you can write a blog post while driving to or from work.
5. Review something. Anything.
Even if you don’t normally review things on your site this is still something you can keep in your back pocket. It doesn’t have to be serious. It could be completely tongue in cheek.
6. Read. Writers read.
Read anything. You’ll get ideas. Reading stimulates your brain. Even if you have a financial blog reading a novel or poetry can help you focus your thoughts. Maybe you’ll get an idea while reading. It certainly helps to read blogs from like-minded individuals.
7. Make a list (like this one).
It could be a list post like this one or just a list of article ideas. Sometimes I write a list of blog ideas into a draft post and let it stew for a few weeks. Other times I’ll make a quick list of five or seven things and let that stew until I have time to flesh out the points. People like lists and our brains can process them much easier than long-form articles.
8. Respond to an unanswered question.
Some bloggers get a lot of comments and questions when they publish an article. Often, questions from readers can go unanswered. That’s a perfect opportunity for you to write a response. You could leave a link to your response in the comments or reach out to the person via social media.
What kind of tricks do you have up your sleeve to generate topic ideas? Share them below!