One of the biggest challenges for many bloggers is thinking of topics to write about. Many people start blogs with lots of enthusiasm but after a few posts, they run out of steam. There can be several reasons for this, such as picking the wrong niche.
Another issue is that people don’t know where to come up with ideas for writing articles day after day, week after week. If any of this sounds familiar, the following tips will help you come up with great ideas for blog posts.
1. Pick The Right Niche
This is something to consider before you start your blog, but it’s very relevant to this discussion. If you started a blog on a topic that you know nothing about or have no interest in learning about, it’s inevitable that you will find it a chore to stay active with it.
Many people start blogs because they think the topic will be popular or profitable. These are good characteristics to look for when choosing a niche, but it’s also essential that you have some interest and/or knowledge of the topic -preferably both!
If you’re sufficiently interested in something, you can always educate yourself about it. However, no one likes to write about a topic that bores them. The only way this might be viable is if you can afford to outsource all of the writing, but that’s another topic altogether.
If you already have a blog and now realize that it’s not the right topic for you, it’s best to recognize this now. If the site has any significant traffic or income, you might consider selling it. Either way, you’d be better off starting over with a topic that excites you.
2. Public Domain Books
Most bloggers know about article directories like Ezinearticles.com, GoArticles.com and ArticlesBase.com. There are also more mainstream sites like Wikipedia and About.com that contain lots of information. These are all good sources to draw from, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to these. One problem is that so many bloggers, writers and product creators use these sources and nothing else.
So where can you go to find information that’s not quite as widely read? One place is the public domain. These are books that are copyright free so they can be freely distributed. Many of these books are old, but for many topics the information is still valid. If you’re writing on a topic that requires up to the minute information this may not be ideal, but it’s worth taking a look at.
3. Amazon Kindle
Kindle has revolutionized book publishing. There are now millions of e-books available at very low prices and in some cases even free. This can be a great place to do research.
Many Kindle books are only 99 cents. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow many Kindle books for free. Before ordering a book, it’s a good idea to check for reviews and to read the first chapter (which is usually available for free).
Another way to use Amazon is to simply look at the bestseller lists in many categories. You can do this for their print books as well as Kindle. This will give you an idea of what topics are currently popular. You may get some ideas for topics to write about.
4. Do Offline Research
One problem with the internet is that too many people are getting their information from the same places. You can often find valuable information offline that can give you lots of original ideas for blog posts.
Print books and magazines often have more reliable and better written content than the average online article or website. Go to bookstores.
Also, make sure you have a library card as your public library can be a great asset too. If you’re anywhere near a college or university, it can be even better. These libraries are full of academic journals that are chock full of information.
5. Ask Your Readers For Ideas
Your readers can be one of the best sources for ideas. Who better than them to tell you what they’d like to read about? You might simply ask them for suggestions. Whenever you write a post, you should encourage your readers to leave comments. Ask questions such as, “What other topics would you like to learn more about?”
6. Answer Sites
Sites like Yahoo! Answers can also be good places to come up with good blogging ideas. Type in keywords relevant to your blog and see what questions have been asked and answered. This helps you come up with topics that people are actually curious about.
I’ve only managed to scratch the surface for finding ideas for blog topics. Other possibilities include videos, social bookmarking sites (Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc.) and discussion forums.
If you have a genuine interest in your topic, there are always new ideas to blog about. Remember also that not every post has to be a groundbreaking new idea. Even putting a new twist on a familiar idea can be very valuable and enjoyable to readers.
Image Credit: Meichagas