It’s Bloggiesta time again, and here’s my challenge to you: Create your own treasure trove of blog post ideas!
Why create a stash of blog post ideas?
Back in December, I embarked on 365 Days of Blogging, and to help prepare myself for a year of daily blogging, I spent some time in November creating a blog post ideas stash.
Since then, I’ve dipped into my stash occasionally, and I also spend some time every week adding new blog post ideas to it. Now that I’m into the daily blogging habit, I do find it’s not as much of a problem coming up with a blog post idea as it used to be when I was blogging more sporadically, but there have definitely been some days when the idea well has run dry and I’m so glad I have my ideas stash to dive into!
“But I can barely think of one idea, let alone a whole treasure trove of them!”
You can trust me on this one: once you get your idea wheels turning, it becomes easier and easier. You start looking at everything with new eyes—and you’ll find blog post ideas lurking in all corners of your life. Really, you will!
But getting started is probably the hardest part. So here are a few idea jumpstarting methods to get you started.
Sit down with a blank piece of paper and jot down every single blog post idea that comes to your mind. The important thing is not to judge any of it. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I like oranges … maybe I could write a post about how much I like oranges …” put it on the list! With the brainstorming method, the point isn’t to have every idea you come up with be a really really good blog post idea. What you want is to generate a creative flow of ideas, and the way to get that is through quantity.
Once you’ve got a good list going, you can put your judgment cap back on. Sort through the ideas, and transfer the good ideas to your blog post ideas stash (this can be an electronic document or a notebook—digital or analog, use whatever works for you.)
Here are some of the ideas from my blog post ideas stash that I came up with while brainstorming:
Yet Another Time Suck (about the Facebook groups app. Which I spend way too much time on!)
The Benefit of Having Book Goals (about how having a book goal has reduced the number of books I DNF)
One important tip: Be sure to include a description of what your idea means to you. I have this jotted down in my notebook: Road to productivity: the envelope. And I have NO clue what I meant by this!
Other Headlines and Post Titles
Do you keep track of your favourite blogs on Feedly or Bloglovin or something similar? Open up your feed reader of choice and start scanning all the post titles. Or pop onto Twitter or Facebook and see what headlines and post titles catch your eye. It doesn’t even have to be an article you want to read—you’re mainly looking for interesting words or topics, or interesting types of posts. And, for you book bloggers out there, it doesn’t have to be a book-related article or post. In fact, this works really well with headlines and post titles that aren’t book-related.
Now for the fun part! Go through each headline or title on your list, and try to rework it into a post you’d like to write. Use each headline or title as a starting point, and see where it takes you. The goal with this exercise isn’t to come up with a similar idea—it’s about using an existing headline or title as a jumping off point to come up with your own idea.
Here’s an example. Opening up my Feedly just now, I came across this post from Brit & Co: Disney Princess Weddings IRL: 14 Cinderella-Inspired Ideas. Now, I’m not a particularly romantic kind of person, but I have a soft spot for Cinderella stories. So working off this title, I might add the following ideas to my blog posts notebook:
7 Books I Love That Have a Cinderella Theme
It’s About the Underdog! Why I Love Cinderella Stories So Much
If I was a romance reader, I might jot down 5 Great Wedding Scenes I’ve Read, or something like that. These are just off the top of my head, but you get the idea.
Write About/Respond to Another Article or Post
I use this method to add to my blog posts ideas stash all the time. I’ll come across an article or post about a subject that I’d like to write about or respond to, and I’ll add it to my ideas stash. In some cases, I’ll accumulate a set of links about one particular topic, and I’ll use those as the basis for a blog post.
For example, I had jotted down these two links in my ideas stash:
On marginalia http://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2015/01/marginalia/
More on marginalia http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/dec/03/weapon-for-readers/?insrc=rel
I ended up using these links, plus a few more I found once I started writing, to write this post on marginalia.
Use a Blog Topics Generator
Here’s a fun one! Try out this blog topic generator at Hubspot. I entered “books”, “Cinderella” and “oranges” and got this:
One winner will receive his or her choice of any one 5X7 Art Card from my friend Judy Clement Wall’s Etsy store. Here are some samples of Judy’s Art Cards:
Another two winners will receive prize packages of five books/reading-related postcards, selected randomly from my postcard collection.
So, Are YOU Ready to Take This Challenge?
Here’s what you need to do. Come up with at last twelve new blog post ideas to start off your ideas stash. Once you’ve done this, write a post about your idea-generating experiences—talk about anything you like, such as how you came up with your ideas, what you’re using to keep track of your ideas, if you think this is something you’re going to keep doing. Maybe even share some of the ideas you’ve come up with, if you’d like! To be entered into the draw for the prizes, come back to this post and comment with a link to your post.
I will put the names of all participants into a hat and draw the three winners
on March 30 on April 2 so you have until April 1 to post your links to enter the giveaway (I’m extending the time to compensate for my site being down for much of Saturday evening) – I’ll contact winners for their addresses via the email address they use in the comment form.
Have fun, everyone!