The Blog Monster
I’ve been asked by a whole bunch of bloggers who heard me present at Nuffnang Blogopolis last Saturday if I’d share the content of my presentation in a blog post, so here is part one!
Top 7 Ways to find Blog Post Content Ideas.
1. Blog Comments and FAQs – the comments I receive are blog fodder gold. Frequently a blog post idea will come from a comment that someone has left here, or sometimes even one I’ve read on someone else’s blog. I also get many reader questions emailed to me and will turn relevant ones into blog posts and also write about the most frequently asked questions I hear from my clients, blog readers or friends.
2. Keywords – I have both Google Analytics and Statcounter installed here on Inside Out Style and find that when I trawl through keywords people have used to find my blog there are plenty of ideas in there that make for great blog posts.
3. The Media – Magazines, TV, Newspapers, Radio, Books – these are all sources of ideas.
- Magazines – from the headlines on the cover to the story headlines and content, magazines are a fabulous way to find content ideas.
- Newspapers – can you write a blog post that relates to the top news story of the day? Topical issues can be a great source of traffic.
- Radio – I wake up listening to the news, and often a recent piece of research has been done that I can use in a blog post. I’ll then go online an find the source, but it can be a fabulous way to spark ideas, as can listening to interviews and chat on radio shows.
- TV – from what certain characters wear on your favorite show to news items call all help you discover blog content ideas.
- Books – the old paper kind are great (particularly non-fiction on a relevant topic). Sometimes when I’m really stuck I’ll pick up an image book from my selection, randomly open at a page and put my finger there, find the topic and shut the book and write my own ideas and post based on that topic.
4. The Calendar – what’s happening in your world? From the major holidays such as Christmas or New Year to Valentine’s Day or Halloween, the calandar can be a great source of inspiriation.
- What’s the season?
- What’s happening in your part of the world – spring racing, office parties, thanksgiving, 4th of July, back to school, school holidays
- What’s happening in the part of the world that is opposite to yours, but you still have blog readers? Winter in Australia is Summer in the US, Europe and most of the rest of the world.
5. Social Media – what are the trending topics on Twitter? Ask your Facebook friends and fans what they’d like you to write about. Has there been a Pin or two that inspire you? Are there topics on the LinkedIn groups you subscribe to that would make great blog post content?
6. Guest Posts – sometimes we don’t want to have to do all the work and write it all. Why not create a guest post series (like I have with my Stylish Thoughts series). To keep control of the style of the guest post I’ve created a list of 20 questions which I email to my guest posters and they choose to answer 5-10 of them, the ones that they relate most to, and then they supply me with images to go with the post plus some bio introduction. If you don’t want to do this kind of guest post but are open to people approaching you with their own ideas, you can create a page listing the format you’d like the post in and any other information you want about the editorial control you will have over the post (here is Problogger’s guide to guest posting).
7. Create Your Own Research – there are heaps of polls and tools you can use to survey your readers and find information out. Sure these statistics may not be completely reliable in a double blind study kind of way, but they can be used as a basis for a blog post or two. From the free polls on Facebook to Polldaddy and survey tools like Survey Monkey, there are many ways you can get inside the minds of your readers and then use this information to create content.
And don’t forget that you may have an idea at any time, so keep tools handy to jot them down straight away as otherwise they will most likely be lost. I use the notepad on my smart phone, Evernote on my phone or tablet (as it syncs with my computer across all platforms), and sometimes even pen and paper (I have a little notebook that I keep in my handbag at all times to jot down thoughts or ideas.
Do you have any tools or techniques you use to come up with blog post content? Please share!
Keep your eyes peeled for Part two: Blog Post Types and How to Write Headines