Generating Post Ideas When You’re Stuck – 21 Ways to Find Ideas!
Staring on your computer screen for long time and running out of ideas for the next piece of great content would be awkward moment for a lot of bloggers and online writers. Most are there who’ve a lot to cover, have a lot of ideas and they don’t have to face any difficulty in finding ideas for their next article or post. It really doesn’t matter how great a writer is, how great a problogger is, how genius you are. They’ve to go through writer’s block for sure. If not today, then tomorrow but that day is a must. We must know or have some ways to help us get ideas in those times so, time could be served effectively.
I also face problems when choosing the topic of my posts but deep thinking helps me get awesome ideas.
Writer’s block = Situation when you lack the ability to write or produce any more work regarding ‘writing’.
Causes of Writer’s Block
Before we dive in the “ways”, I’d like to list the causes and solutions of writer’s block. What makes it happen? Let’s go;
1. Writer’s block occurs when you have aren’t writing on your favorite niche
- Stop it. Write on topics that you are passionate about, that are easily to write for you.
2. When you’re out of ideas
- Go on reading this post entirely, hope you’ll find the answer “how to find ideas”.
3. When you write for days and nothing left to write
- Read, read and keep on reading to start writing again.
4. When you lack inspiration
- Read success stories, read interviews. Gain inspiration and you’re ready again.
5. Pressure of work
- I’ve a great deal of work every day. But because of load shedding here in Pakistan, I’m unable to finish that all. So pressure increases on a regular basis. I don’t worry about the completion of work, so pressure is less on my brain. Same you could and you should.
6. Tiredness can be a great cause
- A weary person cannot write well, never! I’ve been to this condition and it’s really harassing. Tired? Go for a break. Go and watch Television or start playing games and relax.
7. When don’t know about the topic well
- In such case, you need to research about the topic extensively before you start writing on it
Reasons that I’ve mentioned above can cause writer’s block easily, along the side I’ve also written their solutions. Hope they’ll get you right way. Starting hunting those causes (kill them, and eat them as your breakfast daily) and writer’s block is overcome. Right? Isn’t it?
Well, the topic here is ‘ways to find ideas for new content’. So, I’ll have to stop right now so that could put together those ways that work.
Ways to find ideas
#1 Collecting your knowledge together
See what have you written in your old blog posts. Of course, that would be the knowledge that you had acquired not the information that you haven’t earned yet. Undoubtedly, you would have written that very easily (if you know writing). Got me?
In case, you know how to write it’ll be even easier for you to write. What I want to convey right here?
“Writing on things that you are well known about will let you feel like you are a great writer even if you are not, but don’t worry it’ll motivate you truly to continue writing nicely. Try to know, how much knowledge you’ve left still to be written. Start writing it one by one till you touch the end of your brain. Write as much as you have.”
#2 Gather information, then write
When you have written and published things you had, what’s next? Go observe your brain entirely in search of things you have but didn’t write them yet. If found anything, write it. Once you have gathered all your knowledge in a journal (I mean your blog). It’s the time when you need to read and then share!
This process is not complicated, as we just have to study the topic on which we have to write and next to this, start putting together things you studied. Article is ready now! But, here’s a trouble that is faced by most folks that they lack the time to read and thus they are not growing because their knowledge have been stuck. Am I wrong?
#3 Going opposite
Always try to present completely new ideas and interesting facts within your blog posts. Avoid writing on topics that are covered already by your fellow-bloggers or experts in your niche, like Problogger.net is Master in my niche. You may criticize that I’m wrong, how can you find unique (= completely new) ideas? That’s quite hard. Yes, It is. Then how other bloggers in your niche bring always new ideas? Doesn’t this happen?
Other ways are out there to find new ideas but I think most effective should be added here; Simply see what your fellow-bloggers write. If they are writing ’10 Ways to Find Ideas for New Posts’, go in oppose to it like “10 Wrong Ways to Find Ideas for New Posts”. However, I’m writing this post not by going in opposite direction, rather than trying to present ways that are not covered and those as well which are covered across the web. I believe, in order to be stand out uniqueness is only the thing helps us.
Therefore, I love reading unique posts rather than those duplicate topics. Also there are topics, sometimes are needed to be covered even if they are not unique.
Find most popular blogs in your niche, read their best articles or posts and go oppose to them, do not oppose their post but find the opposite direction of the same topic that is popular there.
For example: suppose you found “How to grab 1500 readers without guest blogging”, go in opposite direction like “How to lose your loyal readers?”. Believe me, unpleasant titles really have a great rate of attraction and because of horror title it could be the most popular article at your blog, only if it contains something “worth”.
You might have noticed a widget that shows most popular posts on a particular blog, use it now to get rich with ideas.
#4 What’s trending?
If someone asks me, what’s the best way to get more traffic? I’d suggest him/her to write on “trends”.
In reality, all the trends have already been covered by big blogs which are extremely faster and active here in the online world because of big staff that they have. However, if you find any trend you can write on it. It really doesn’t matter if it is covered. But what matters is that probably, your audience don’t know about that particular trend. Problems let us learn a lot, that’s why they are always here with us in our lives like here. It’s now, where can you find trending topics? I’ve few techniques can be used to overcome your problem.
Yahoo! Trending Now (doesn’t work for my blogger friends)
Google+ Trending Now
1. Yahoo! Trending Now: As we know, Yahoo! is counted as one of the biggest internet companies in the world and have been performing pretty well with the provision of services like Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports etc. ‘Trending Now’ is one of those but unhappily it doesn’t provide in-depth data like Google Trends does. Though, it wouldn’t be wrong if we say that it could find you topics for next posts.
2. Google+ Trending Now: As Google+ is the fastest growing social network just after getting launched, over 170M users have been active and using this new but quite resplendent social network as of April, 11 2012. But have you ever noticed that Google+ shows Trending now topics on right sidebar (more useful when you search for anything).
Trends shown there are updated after a short regular interval and you could choose your topic for the next post right from here creatively. Trends are awesome for traffic because they’re topics that interest people.
Certainly, you’ll find them helpful in finding topics going on. By the way, you might be thinking where Google Trends intro is? Sorry, but it’s listed in list of “tools that work (below)” because it works either here in finding trends and also is a tool. Therefore, writing two paragraphs about the same thing wouldn’t be a good idea.
#5 Google related Search Queries
Unlike Google Keyword tool, we get related queries with monthly global searches count. But here’s a bit different. You don’t get monthly global searches count but it’s really a great way to discover ideas for new posts. Search for anything you want to write on Google and rest you’ll understand having a look at the screenshot here;
#6 Find out, what your readers want
Best way to get readers stick to your blog and support it regularly is to present things people are looking for in your niche. If you think people want to earn money and are finding ways to earn. Write ‘ways to earn money online’, if it’s in your niche. Surely people will be attracted even it’s just another article about the same topic. Once you benefited your blog visitor through your post that they want to read about. That’s it! Again they’ll be on your next blog post.
Find out, things that readers are interested in. Various things can be done to know your readers mind. Though, I’m partially against posts that aren’t unique. Partially! Because there are topics that our readers want but are not unique. So, sometimes we should ignore uniqueness. Shouldn’t we?
Anyway, here are few ways to find your readers’ needs;
i) Facebook poll: You could run facebook poll asking your next post or anything other facebookers want. Most times, it hardly works if you have interactions with your friends or have high EdgeRank score. If one does good at his/her social profiles, then it’ll be effective in such case. Be sure to research a lot before writing on things that you don’t know much about.
ii) Run a survey: Collecting data, information or answers of different questions can be done by running a survey on your blog. SurveyMonkey is a free as well as a premium survey service. It takes few steps to run survey using it i.e. sign up, create, run, analyze results and ideas are there now based on your readers’ answers. But, you should include different questions that could help you going through readers’ mind (e.g. which blogging platform do they use) like this could help me choosing platform to write about. Try to maximize your benefits through surveys.
iii) Ask them: Ask your readers, subscribers, fans on facebook , followers on various social networks ‘what your next post should be?’ If you’ve emailing list, use it to ask. I’ve been using social profiles effectively to ask, to share, and to get traffic etc. There are lots of benefits that I’m not going to jot down here.
#7 People use forums for help!
Blogging is like a spat chewing gum where lots of flies stick to it. Same in blogging countless bloggers stick to blogosphere working hard to see some success from their work. Unluckily, most doesn’t know the right strategy of blogging. So, they don’t go well. Others does make use online forums to get help from experts. Professionals have been moderating and operating such online forums to get fame and their ultimate reason is making money from it like most folks have here. They receive a big deal of questions each and every day, so most questions are unable to get an answer.
I don’t ask you to answer them! But, steal their question. Start writing an answer on question in the form of a blog post like I did here. A lot of people use this way to find ideas for new posts and still it works best. When you’ve done writing blog post answering question found from a forum, you can post a reply on the original question with the link where you have answered (i.e. your post). Thus you get idea for new post + post ready + little traffic from that forum. But most forums don’t allow links just after you set up an account but you have to be active and cross a post limit they’ve set to enable you adding links.
#8 Don’t forget comments
Of course, many questions are born every time whenever something new arrives in the industry. Right?
Find them out, research a lot, write their answer in your new post. Post is ready. I know how easy it is. But, how to find questions? More you read from your niche, the better you know what you audience is looking for? Just want to say, that never miss reading comments on any article from your niche or queries from comments on your blog.
Comments= audience opinions and questions (that most times are unanswered).
Go through comments always, whenever you’re looking for ideas. But make sure, commentators are your audience. For this, simply go and read big blogs in your OWN niche. Never forget to read comments left by other readers after reading an article, read what are their opinions about the topic and whether they’ve un-resolved questions.
#9 Perform Experiments and Share results
In blogging, experiments are common for those who’re serious about it like experimenting tips if they work for better SEO. I know, such things are not that well usual too, since already guides, lots of techniques tried and shared. So unfortunately, most experiments are done already. Bring something NEW, by experimenting something… obviously new!
#10 Your readers questions
When you’ve some influence on people or fame in your niche. Beginner bloggers and other folks will be interested in asking like how you got a good Alexa ranking? how you learned writing? how you get traffic? how… etc. via comments or contact form (happens to me). It’s the time, when you always have something new to write, something that others need. Do answer queries through comments, also for in-depth answer I’d suggest you to write answer readers through a blog posts. This technique works indeed and people will be even more interested and happy with your blog.
Do try once by going through any contact form query you received or old comments in search of questions. Start writing, go deeply in the topic by researching more about it.
#11 Deep thinking
In my opinion, deep thinking is something cannot take place without wandering your mind around. It happens, when you don’t willing to make it happen. However, it can happen anytime even you would be unaware about it that it’s happening. It could make you busy enough and once it gets you deep, it could feel you different (=completely different). In order to think deep, you must be alone else it’s really very hard.
Even, I do think deep daily for new ideas for upcoming posts for this blog. We (my cousin and me) go for workouts often, it gets me most ideas for new blog posts. I’m sure, once you learn thinking deep it’ll make you fall in it’s love.
#12 Examine other blogs thoroughly
When things are not covered nicely and comprehensively in any article written by any other blogger. Don’t forget pick it out as your blog post idea. You know, it doesn’t cover things completely and needs to add other points. Right? Even, if you don’t know other needed points, don’t worry it’s really a beneficial chance for you to find out those things which are needed, your own views about it and that’s it. In fact, I’m writing this post coming across this technique.
#13. Question Answer Communities
There are many alternatives of Yahoo! Answers and they are called Question Answer sites or communities where you can arise any type of question rolling out in your mind even it’s related to anything, different answerers perform their jobs by answering. By getting stray in any of those communities, you may came up with new ideas and thoughts ‘what people are looking for?’.
For example, if you’re looking for blogging related questions like me. Go, get stray in ‘blogging’ category. Simple! I’d like to admire few effective sites in this case here, that could help you reach your target;
i) Yahoo! Answers: You might already know about it. Who else don’t? Go, start exploring questions being asked by others. Examine their needs (writing based on others’ needs is the best way for more readers), research about the topic sufficiently, write now. Answer the question with your post link, once it is live. Begin collecting traffic, fame (if you do same continuously) and more from your post.
ii) Ask.com: ‘Ask’ is an active and responsive community, where knowledge is shared answering questions asked by lots of people. And also a great place where ideas for content is awesome gift for bloggers as well as writers.
iii) Web Answers: Unlike others above, it’s also a way to earn by sharing your knowledge at the community. I’d call it as a powerful competitor of Yahoo! Answers. Try it out.
#14 Inspire readers telling stories
Still, I didn’t gathered my knowledge in this blog completely, so that I could go with inspiring people with my writing in right way. Readers will be having more interest in your writing once they’re inspired while reading your written words. I’ve been trying to put some efforts in my previous blog posts and I think I made it happen (=inspire). I’ll be putting more efforts in inspiring. Start your blog posts telling readers inspirational stories. You could also use quotes to inspire and that works.
“the more you inspire, the better readers will be likely to come to your blog because they feel differently when reading your content.”
Go, get inspired reading stories available across the web. Certainly, you’ll find any inspirational story, not only one but more than you expect. Share writing the most inspirational story at your blog in your own words with your readers. Inspire readers and see the magic.
#15 Speak whatever you want!
Little similar to #1 way, but it’s not about your knowledge. It’s about what comes to your mind. Faced a problem? Know the solution? Write and tell others how to… for example, If you site has any SEO issue, research about it. Find a solution, share it. Write why you are upset, write your daily routine, share your time management tips, share why you’ve taken a particular decision, share… etc. You got me? Blogging has no rules, you’ve access to write anything that interests you. Think, decide, research, write, publish, inspire and cheer. Isn’t this simple?
Go for a walk, wander and discover what you want to speak.
#16 Tired? Go for a break
I spend most of my day reading, writing, socializing and exploring on the web. And get weary after each interval. But I’m enormously passionate about blogging and things that I do here. So, in such times I go for breaks like having rest, watching television, going for a walk. Fortunately, those breaks are more beneficial for me than spending time on writing, as those times I do think deeply only about what’s more better topic? Really, there’s no time that I don’t think about this blog. Having breaks gives more and more awesome ideas for content as it’s makes you relax and brainstorming for ideas when you’re relax is that works awesomely.
Tools that work
I noticed that in every article on “Ways to Find Ideas for New Post” only one or more tools exist, but couldn’t find even a single article referring a bunch of all those tools together. So, thought categorizing ‘tools’ separately would make it more easier to navigate or understand for readers. Tools that I know, can help us finding ideas for new posts are going be listed right a bit after this;
#17 Google Keyword Tool
Using Google Keyword tool can help you to select keywords to focus on when writing content, but that’s not least thing you could do with this tool. But, using it more intelligently can get you some ideas for new blog posts. Go and try out Google Keyword tool to find ideas for new posts right this way;
- Search for anything you’re interested in writing on like social media, wordpress, poetry and history etc. with a question relates to it (e.g. how to get more edgerank score on facebook).
- Assuredly, you’ll get some related queries like ‘why to improve edgerank score?’ with monthly global searches and competition level
- So, Ideas are arrived in this way!
#18 Google Analytics
Doubtlessly, keywords for posts or pages are not received by sites that are not SEO-Optimized. Right? Well, Google Analytics cannot be used by Un-Optimized SEO or zero keyword received sites in case to find ideas for next posts. There are times, when your search term on Google gets results completely different results (i.e. you search for ‘how to edit a photo in Photoshop’, but result was entirely unexpected). Now, the visits that were gained by unexpected results (= sites) through the keyword used, is detected by Google Analytics. Am I wrong?
Those keywords now can be used by sites, which earned some visitors. Next post idea is found, based on visitors’ choice i.e. how to edit a photo in Photoshop. I hope, that you got things that I write.
#19 Google Insights
Google Insights is a little similar to Google Trends, but it provides regional interest in the form of country’s map. With Google Insights you’ve the access to see the up and down interest of peoples’ favorite topic for a particular search term over a period of time, as of September, 08 2012 (today) it offers you to see people’ of 2004, up and down interest in a topic right sitting at your chair, you could know what people are interested in of 2004. Surprised?
#20 Google Trends
With this awesome tool by Google, you can compare peoples’ interest in favorite topics over a period based on true studies and data is extracted from Google Search Engine itself. Comparison of various search terms and websites can be done within seconds. Thus, we can know what were the trends even in months of 2005. Different types of filters can be used to get the exact report that you want like regions and years etc. Also, there’s a Hot Trends section which contains all the hot trends of right now, with # of searches done. And in this way, you could choose your next post idea from Hot Trends.
#21 Google Suggest
It isn’t any tool. But, is simply a feature of Google that it uses to perform better, faster results and for better user experience. I’d like to attach an screenshot to understand Google Suggest more better. I’m sure, that you’ve gone through this already even before you don’t know. Go and try out Google itself, to find ideas. Start writing on Google, anything that you’re interested in writing or what you want to write on your blog like “how to start a blog… and don’t complete your sentence, suggestions will be there in your eyes.
You’re one like others
What do you think, how other bloggers came up with new ideas always? Is there any secret strategy? Are they genius? Let me tell you, that probloggers are humans (you know this). They’re not ones blessed with awesome abilities that we don’t have. There’s no difference between a pro and a new with the exception that Pro = expert in a particular niche, highly knowledgeable whereas New = Those who don’t know much, who’re not experts and are quite new to this all online world.
What makes difference here?
Blog! Knowledge! Nothing more. Isn’t it?
Yes, It’s true. Knowledge makes you pro, knowledge makes you aware. Also we all new here are mostly unaware of the fact ‘what makes us stand out in the blogosphere?’ Without knowing it, you’re one counted as ‘just another blogger’. You’ve to show, who you are? Yes! That’s what being lacked in newbies. They quit blogging because they’re not confident. Let’s stop here now and move on.
The “more” you read, the more you have
Read and learn more, more and more. Don’t stop doing it. Don’t afraid you’re wasting your precious time. Know WHY of things. Never be the one with deficient knowledge on a particular topic. Read as much as you’ve the capacity to digest. Avoid reading just to read, but also try to maximize benefits. There will be my next blog post about READING . I’m sure, you’ll love that and have the capacity to understand why I ask you reading. Read magazines, books, blogs, eBooks and never (ever) try to read less, blaming useless reasons.
You got me?
Reading helps you find ideas for content too.
“The more you read, the more you have ideas and content to write.”
Make reading blogs as your habit, add it to your to-do list if you’ve.
What your next post could be?
A post deeply discussed (= fully different from previous ones)
Story to inspire
Motivate, motivate and try to motivate blog readers to take action by adding powerful quotes. A collection of quotes
List post i.e. 10 Qualities to Learn from Probloggers. Easy to write, takes less time to finish and they are loved by audience
Anything comes to your mind, speak whatever you want
Use Google Suggest, I’m sure you’ll never run out of new ideas ever
An update from social media sites like facebook start hunting fake like, if it social media exists in your niche
WHY topics? Go and discuss why something is? why something… etc. use Google Suggest entering Why facebook… stop. Ideas will be there and those are ones which are searched most
An interview with a renowned person
A review about a product that you think is worth using.This could be a great help in generating affiliate income
A list of posts that you think are useful for your readers called “Best of the Web”.
Answer a question gotten from a forum or question & answer community etc.
Write a trending update or news
Ask your friends and write
Don’t afraid sharing your opinions
An infographic post
A post with videos about the topic
Test different. If you write long posts, try out short one now
Noticed anything new in your niche? Write about it. For example, in social media Google+ Integration with youtube was noticed and posts were written about it
Share things that benefit you and your readers could benefit from it too
Faced a problem? Solved it? Write it
Write a big post like this one mine
Jot it Down!
There’s no particular time of ideas to get touched by your mind! But, they can be found any time (any!). We know, our minds are mistakable and don’t have the ability to avoid themselves making mistakes. That’s why, it is not possible most times to make ideas rememberable. We have to note them anywhere preferably on a notebook so, that it could be easy for us to remind them when we sit for writing content. You could use following things to jot ideas that come to your mind;
A pocket notebook
Cell phone or any other gadget
Well, I prefer being different and working differently. For that, I’ve to do things that are opposite most times. It’s the end of my blog post which is written with the sole purpose of covering each and every way to find ideas for content or posts. This article is bit lengthy unlike others and contains 4500+ words, took me more than 4 days to complete and cover everything. I don’t think, there’s any other ‘way’ left or missed to generate ideas with the exception of reading magazines, watching television and few others that are are not enlisted by me because of some solid reasons. But because I want to go in depth, so I don’t worry of length.
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