There are times when blogging can be tough and it feels like we have just run out of ideas for our blog posts or as a freelancer we sometimes think there’s nothing else to write about. Where does the muse go when we are feeling like this, and how can we get it back?
The muse doesn’t go anywhere, we just have to find the spark that will ignite the muse back into action and keep us writing. There is no need to ever run out of ideas for articles or blog posts, you could write 100 posts per day and still never run out of ideas. However, if you ever feel like your head has been emptied and you have no more ideas left, just take a look at some of these tips and you will be sure to connect with your muse again.
100 Ways to Find Ideas for Your Blog Posts
1. Read Within Your Niche
Pretty obvious one that, but one you might have forgotten. Get Google Reader and subscribe to blogs and websites within your niche. Scan the headlines every day and this will generate your own ideas. Some great ideas have come from sites like zenhabits.net dumblittleman.com lifehack.org or 4hourworkweek.com
2. Your Local Newsagent
Scan the magazines in your local newsagent, not just in your niche but in similar niches. Often ideas will come from reading an article from outside your niche.
3. Ask Your Readers
If you have a popular blog why not ask the readers what they want to read about on your blog. Darren Rowse of Problogger.net does this a lot and it’s a great way to get social feedback before your article is written.
4. Look For Questions
Great articles come from great questions. Search the net for questions in your niche. Sites such as wikianswers.com answers.yahoo.com and ask.com are a great way to look for article ideas, but don’t get stuck on the sites you could be there for hours. You can literally find hundreds of questions on forums in your niche, or use your readers for their questions and find out what they want to know.
5. Imagine Having Written A Great Article
This might sound a little strange. I sometimes imagine I have written a fantastic article and it’s gone viral, I try and hone in, in my minds eye, and see what the article was and what everyone is talking about. You’ll be surprised what comes up.
6. Visit Forums
This is a great way to find out what people are talking about and what’s hot. It’s also good for finding out what people need to know. If they need to know it you need to write it. Great forums in the personal development niche are stevepavlina.com zenhabits.net and shamoublog.com and one of my favorites at the moment is a blogging forum over at www.problogger.com
7. Visit Article Directories
Another great tool. Visiting sites such as ezinearticle.com finding articles in your niche and getting ideas. Sometimes the article will already be written you just have to expand upon it.
8. Use Your Search Time
Whenever you search something on the internet you can be pretty sure that someone else has searched for the same thing as you. Use this search data to write an article. A look at what others have written, or the potential related searches on some Google searches can be a goldmine for spinning out new ideas.
9. Use Keyword Searches
If you use tools such as wordtracker.com you can find out what people are searching for. The free version is great for those on a budget. Type a word in your niche e.g. “dogs”, wordtracker will list the top 100 searches in that niche, this is a great way for generating ideas and it gives you an idea of how hot your proposed topic is.
10. Read The News
Reading the news is a great way to generate ideas for your articles. Having a topical person in your headline will do your search engine rankings a power of good e.g. right now the www.google.com/trends/hottrends is Jesse Eisenberg so having a headline like ‘How To Succeed Like Jesse Eisenberg’ would help your search engine rankings and bring in traffic.
11. Look At Your Stats
If you have a stats package such as www.mybloglog.com or awastats.com or google.com/analytics on your site/blog you will see what readers are clicking on the most, or what they are searching for the most. Use this information to expand on previous articles.
12. Revamp Your Old Posts
Remember when you first started your blog, you were full of enthusiasm and you just wrote to get stuff out there, and weren’t too bothered about the quality. Well revamping your old posts gives you ready made posts which just need a tidy up or expanded upon.
13. Revamp Old Posts From Other Blogs
A lot of bloggers don’t go back to their old posts, which is a shame. However, if there is a blog that has a lot of traffic and subscribers, chances are their old blog posts will not have been revamped, you therefore have a plethora of ideas just waiting for you. Never plagiarize, just take the idea and make it your own.
14. Interview Someone
Readers love to listen to interviews. Why not use a site like BlogTalkRadio.com to host your own interviews with celebrities from your niche.
15. Use Amazon As Your Source
Amazon.com is a great way to research what kind of books people are reading, and what is popular just now.
16. Visit Ted.com
Ted.com is an amazing site for keeping up to date with the latest trends in Technology, Entertainment and Design.
17. Free Association Thinking
Get a piece of paper, have your subject heading in the middle e.g. ‘Ideas for Article’ and then let your unconscious mind take over and think of every possible article heading you can think of without stopping to think about it, just write like a demon. There will come a point after a few minutes when you just cannot thinking of any more. Stop for a few moments, let it go and another idea will come to you which will spark of the train again. keep doing this until nothing else comes out.
18. Use PLR Articles
PLR stands for Private Label Rights which means you buy a set of articles in your niche for a few dollars and then change that article to suit you writing style. A good place to start is master-resale-rights.com or theplrstore.com
19. Listening To Music
If you are a lyrics listener, when listening to music, a lot of good lyrics can inspire good ideas for your articles.
20. Free Thinking
Take your mind for a wander and let it go where it wants to go, you’ll be surprised where free thinking can take you and the ideas it can throw up. Simply take a piece of paper and a pen and write down whatever comes to mind whenever you are thinking about new articles.
21. Visit A Quote Site
22. Ask Friends And Family
You’ll be surprised what your friends and family come up with if you ask the question ‘If I was to write an article what question would you love to have answered?’, yes you’ll get some funny answers but you’ll also get some gems.
23. Letting Go
Sometimes writers try too hard to come up with ideas, and nothing will come to mind. I don’t believe in writers block however I do believe in mind blockages. When we let go of an outcome to something we will often find the answers we are seeking. For example when we are trying desperately to remember someone’s name or the name of a film and we give up, almost immediately the answer comes to us. Letting go of finding ideas can often bring up ideas.
This might sound a strange one, but mediating can help clear the mind of unwanted distractions. The less distractions you have the more you will be able to concentrate on your work when required. Meditation is a mental shower for both mind and body. There is no special technique for meditation. You can sit with your eyes closed and concentrate on your breathing, that’s how simple it can be.
25. Use Google Wonder Wheel
The Google Wonder Wheel is an amazing tool which can spin ideas out of nothing. Simply go to to www.googlewonderwheel.com/, type in a phrase of your subject and google wheel will come up with similar phrases of your subject.
26. Check Out The Trending Hash Tags And Topics On Twitter
Twitter is one of the true phenomenon’s of the decade and there are thousands of uses for it. Gaining ideas by looking at the trending hashtags on the homepage is a great way to look for blog post ideas. You can also use another site such as HashTags.org for a more detailed look at hashtags.
27. Do Something You Wouldn’t Normally Do
A lot of us are stuck in a comfort zone that we haven’t even thought about expanding. Bloggers need to expand their comfort zone in order to keep the muse fresh and find something interesting to write about.
28. Read A Book
Another great way to get hundreds of ideas is to read books inside and outside your niche. My niche is self help and I read a lot of books on the subject. A lot of the time I get fantastic ideas from little snippets of information the author provides in the book. It might not necessarily be on the topic of the book, it’s just a phrase that sometimes triggers off an article idea. reading is also a great way to hone your writing skills, the more you read the more you learn.
29. Play A Game
Playing games, any type of game, can often throw up unusual, but interesting, blog post ideas. e.g. Jenny Fenig wrote a post on her blog at ZenJenny about how her video games obsession taught her about life
30. Talk To Children
“Out of the mouths of babes” is so relevant when it comes to bloggers who are looking for inspiration. Children speak the truth without fear and it’s great looking at the world from a child’s perspective again, it throws up some strange and wonderful ideas. Speak to your own children, nephews and nieces, god children etc.
31. Go For A Walk Or Exercise
Any type of exercise is good for the brain and a good way to keep your brain active in order to keep it working for you when you need the inspiration the most. Bloggers have to exercise to you know, sitting on your two lumps will not inspire you to think of new article ideas. When we exercise, in any way, we are pumping more oxygenated blood through the brain which keeps it working to it’s optimal performance.
32. Build Something
If you have started a project which invloves you building something, why not write about it and give your blog readers progress reports. e.g. if you are building an extension on to your house, blog about it and give preogress reports once per week, readers might love this.
33. Go To School
Going back to school is a great way for coming up with ideas for blog posts. You are not only getting an education but you are meeting with others who can potentially provide you with hundreds of blog posts. Remember everything you see and hear is a potential blog post, so school is a perfect place to get ideas.
34. Join A Mastermind Group
Many bloggers are joining mastermind groups for lots of different reasons. It’s a great way to come up with ideas for your blog posts and to improve your blog in general. You will get to see the types of posts that work for others in your niche, you will also be able to network and use the collective group effect to bring in more traffic for your posts.
35. Visit Some Educational Sites
36. Reflect On Your Own Life
Our lives are filled with meaning, and an event which has importance to you might be of interest to other readers. You will see it in posts life: What my children taught me, How a Robin Redbreast taught me the meaning of life, you get the picture.
37. Use Mind Mapping
Mind Mapping is an excellent way to generate ideas for blog posts. If you haven’t heard of mind mapping you can check out a great post at problogger.com
38. Always Keep A Notebook Close By
Any writer worth their salt, and let’s face it, you are a writer and you will need a decent notebook to carry around with them. You’ll get used to carrying a notebook around with you if you are serious about blogging and writing. I carry a small notebook in my pocket and transfer my ideas into a moleskin notebook later on. Try and collate all your ideas in one place so you are not searching for that piece of paper with the brilliant idea you had earlier on in the day.
If you attend seminars of any kind, writing about it can be a few weeks worth of content for your blog. You can also write a review of the seminar.
40. Get Off Your Backside
You might find lots of great ideas on the internet for articles however it’s good to get off your backside once in a while and take a walk about your local town. There always something interesting to spark an idea for an article.
41. Your Life Is A Series Of Articles
You already have some great articles within you, simply because you have life experience. Are you a parent? some great articles there; Are you a woman? some brilliant article material there; Are you a writer? you get the picture here. Readers don’t want to hear your life story but they want to hear your experiences.
42. Seasonal Writing
There are lots of different holidays that readers celebrate throughout the year. Use this to your advantage and write an article based around the holiday coming up e.g. I wrote an article 3 years ago called 10 Tips to Stay Sane This Christmas, it was my first year of blogging and the article is not great but sure enough around the end of November that post regularly pulls in thousands of visitors.
43. Do Case Studies
Look at areas in your blogging where you can help people and pick areas you get a lot of questions on, then develop a case study to share with you other readers. Show them how you helped solve a problem in a particular area with a client or a reader. You could even make it viral by packaging it up as an ebook and audio and allow others to share it and contact others in your niche.
44. Do A Regular Feature
Regular features on your blog are a good way to get readers to come to your blog every week. For example Yaro Starak of entrepreneurs-journey.com has a series of interviews he does via telephone, and more recently via video on Skype This is one of the reasons I keep going back to his blog, to listen to and to watch his interviews.
45. List The Influential Bloggers In Your Niche
Doing a ‘Top 50′ post on the influential bloggers in your niche will not only be another blog post idea for you however it will get you noticed by 50 bloggers in your niche. Bloggers love to check their stats and find out where their traffic is coming from, if they see a link from you they will come over and briefly check out your site and may even leave a comment on your blog post.
46. Make A Gallery
You can start you own gallery of images pertaining to your niche using images from Flickr under the creative commons license. Not only will your gallery grow in size it will attract readers. Stumbleupon readers love gallery images as they are quick and easy to stumble and comment on. This way you get lots of traffic.
47. Digg Your Way Into A Post
Digg.com is a great place to look for inspiration for blog posts. You can even try your hand at getting on the front page of Digg, which is very difficult nowadays. The good thing about Digg is that it lets you know what type of posts readers are making popular.
48. Start A Weekly Roundup
If you use Google reader, as mentioned before, you could subscribe to all the top blogs in your niche and every few days pick out some great posts. At the end of the week have a weekly roundup of great blog posts in your niche. This will get you noticed by other bloggers and you will always have at least one post idea for the week.
49. Write A Controversial Post
This has been done many times in the past. Basically you can write a not so good review of a top bloggers site and tell your readers why you are not impressed. It’s an idea for a blog post but I wouldn’t write too many reviews like this. You can also write something that goes against the grain and give your opinions as to why you think a particular way. It is your blog so find your own voice and don’t be afraid to do something different.
50. Write About What Improvement Could Be Made
Depending on your niche you could write posts about what improvement could be made in your area. There are lots of things that can be improved in any niche, why not use the faults as blog post ideas.
51. Give Progress Reports To You Readers.
I remember when Caroline Middlebrook was first starting her blog she caught everyone’s attention by showing all her readers her stats for the month. She also got attention as she quit her job to blog full time with very little experience. She still shows readers her monthly stats and I believe her last earnings were $3000 for the month.
52. Write A Top 10 List
This is always a great idea for a blog post, however be careful that you don’t write too many of these. I would say concentrate on quality and use a list as filler content for your blog.
53. Help Your Readers
You would be surprised at just how much knowledge you have inside you within your niche.You can always teach what you have learned so far. Do this by posting articles for newbies.
54. Review A Book
There are thousands of books within any niche. Pick some of your favorites and review them. This way you can also make money by selling as an affiliate.
55. Pay Attention To Your Emails
A lot of readers write to bloggers with lots of different questions. When you start to get a few subscribers you will get the same. Start thinking about every email you get from readers and how you can help them and possibly use their questions and advice in your blog posts. When you become really popular you might not be able to handle all the emails but they are a goldmine of ideas and it’s something you should be using.
56. Browse Your Bookmarks
We save lots of different sites to our bookmarks and sites like Delicious.Go through your old bookmarks for inspiration to write new posts.
57. Write About Myths In Your Niche
Every niche has a lot of myths within in it, why not use these as posts. You could look at a few myths and debunk them. this makes you look more like an expert in your field and you have yet another post on your blog.
58. Get Some Guest Bloggers In
Why do all the work yourself. Look for other bloggers in your niche and write to them asking if they would like to write for your blog, giving them exposure. Better yet doa post exchange, you write for their blog and they write for yours. This is a great way to get you noticed by readers who might not have known you otherwise.
59. Highlight Female Bloggers In Your Niche
I hate to say it but it’s still a man’s world and we men think we dominate the online world. There are some fantastic female bloggers out there and highlighting them can be a traffic puller in itself.
60. Visit A Blog Carnival
When you are starting out as a blogger these are essential to get your name know, however, they can be a great way to get some ideas for your own blog. Check out the biggest at blogcarnival.com
61. Announce A Challenge
Many bloggers like to challenge themselves and blog about it to get some extra encouragement from their readers. So you can announce a challenge and get readers to join in, then a few weeks or months later you could report the results of your challenge. Leo Babuata has a monthly challenge on his forums and some personal challenges he announces.
62. Use Content From Around The Net
You don’t have to be thinking up brand new posts every day of the week. Leverage the power of the internet by linking to other sites. Using videos from youtube is a great idea for your blog, it get’s readers talking and you have minimal work to do.
63. Make Your Own Video
Readers like to see the bloggers they are reading so making a video is another post idea and it let’s you interact with readers in a new way
64. Take A Break
When I first sat down to write this post I thought 1 full day would be enough to finish it. However it has taken two weeks to complete this with the help of the editor David Peralty Some posts are meant as back burners and can take a while to write, so don’t try and write a ‘pillar post’ in one sitting, take regular breaks and even leave it for a few weeks and ideas will come to you at unexpected times.
65. Niche Events
Most niches will have events which highlights speakers and new information within that niche. Going along to events such as BlogWorldExpo an be a great way to network and to get ideas for your blog.
66. Use Your Dreams
It’s amazing how many dreams have helped shape the world as we know it today. Use you dreamtime to look for article ideas. I practice something called Lucid Dreaming and I have found a good few articles from talking to my dream characters.
67. Check Out Affiliate Sites
68. Check Out The Dummies Guide
Dummies.com has over 1400 titles in its stable and they are some of the biggest selling books on the market. Check out their titles and see what you could use.
69. Check Out eBay.com
Ebay.com have some great tools to let you know the hottest selling items and what the most searched for items. This can give you some great ideas for articles and if they are a hot topic chances are you could get a lot of organic traffic if you write your article the correct way.
70. Editorial Calendars
Magazines have calendars giving freelancers a rough idea of what topic they want written about and their deadline. This can be a goldmine for bloggers. You can ask the magazine for a media kit or an advertisers pack which should give you all the info.
71. Old Is Coming Back Into Fashion
Looking at old written material from the past is fast becoming mainstream again. I am thinking of books like ‘Think and Grow Rich’ and ‘As a man Thinketh’ These books are old classics in the field of personal development but they have been dping the rounds on the internet for the last few years. Look at old books like this that have been made into eBook and use them in your posts.
72. Watch Oprah
One of the biggest influencers of our world has got to be the media and one of the biggest celebrities in the media is Oprah Winfrey. Watching shows like Oprah and Dr Phil is a great way to get ideas for your posts, you can be sure that a book recommended by Oprah will be a bestseller within a few weeks, take advantage of what she speaks about and write about it.
73. What Are Your Fears?
I have seen some great posts where bloggers write about their fears and how they overcame them. A notable ones : Kate Freiling overcoming fear of public speaking
74. Have You Taken A Course
If you have taken a course recently, wither online or at college or university why not write about your experience. This could be on ongoing series if it becomes popular.
75. Look At Statistics
Looking at statistics the government and other official bodies produce can inspire some great articles for your blog. Look up your countries Office of Statistics, here are some to get you going (In no particular order):
76. Fill In The Blanks
Here are some great headlines from Chris Garret which he has given me permission to use for LifeSnips readers:
1. 10 Money/Time Saving Tips for ______
2. The Secret of Getting the Best Price for Your _______
3. How to Find the Best _____ Deals on the Web
4. Top Gadgets for _____
5. Are _____ Worth the Money?
6. Everything You Need to Know About Getting Cheaper _____
7. Top 10 Tips For Hassle Free ______
8. Best ____ For Under [Price]
9. Unusual but Achievable ____
10. 5 Ways to Boost Your ____ Without Spending More _____
77. The TV Guide To ___________
You can write an article from the perspective of popular TV shows, even better, upcoming shows that you think will be popular. I recently wrote a piece entitled ‘What was Your FlashForward’ as I knew the show was going to be huge and people were already starting to talk about it. So you could write a piece like ‘The Nip/Tuck Guide To Plastic Surgery’ , ‘The Numbers Guide to Using Your Brain’, ‘The Gossip Girl Guide To Fashion’
78. What Are The Celebrities Talking About
If the celebrities are talking about it then it will be a hot topic soon. Anybody remember the viral video by Sarah Silverman the one about Matt Damon, well that was all over the net and celebrities were twittering about it and the follow up by Jimmy Kimmel was brilliant. Pay attention to what the celebrities are talking about on twitter and you might just get a scoop.
79. Sign Up For Your A Newsletter
Look for top bloggers in your niche and sign up for their newsletter. They are not the top bloggers in your niche without reason so find out what they are writing about, it will give you some great ideas as well as teaching you something at the same time.
80. Look Into The Future
Depending on your niche you can predict what might happen in the future. For example if you run a blog about share dealing you can predict what might happen in the markets in 3 months time.
81. Use Fables
This is a great way to freshen up your blog posts as well as give you, potentially, hundreds of post ideas. Look at old fables and relate them to your niche. A good example of this is two Bloggers Nik Karlil and Jonathan Wells in their fable related story, the Tortoise and the Hare, and related it to Self development.
82. The Best Of
If you are truly stuck, and there’s no reason you should be, but if you are you can make a top 10 list of your best posts. You could also make a practice to do this every six months, which will help with deep linking and is good for Google juice.
83. Definitive Resource List
Every niche could benefit from a top resource list. You could write a post giving a huge resource list. You might think this is pointing people in the direction of your competitors however, you become someone who helps others and a place for readers to come to get great information. Check out this post from Freelance Switch The Monster List Of Freelancing Websites You could also make the list into an ebook and let readers download it for free and have your links in the ebook.
84.Respond To Criticism
If a reporter has criticized your niche why not use your blog to respond to that.
85. The Best Of Your Competition
As before in number 82 you can make a ‘best of’ post, but this time make it ‘the best of’ and write the top 10 or 20 posts from a top blogger in your niche. This way you get your name known to the top blogger and you have another post for you blog without too much work. Don’t do this too often as you will look like you don’t have too many quality posts to write yourself, however, everynow and agin is okay.
86. Look At The Advice Columns
Most niche magazines have a feature in them where readers write in with their problems and the editor answers them. reading these features can produce lots of article ideas.
87. Keep Up To Date With Microtrends
88. People Watch
There is nothing better than grabbing a coffee and a giant cookie at Borders and just sitting back and watching the world go by. Let your imagination run wild and see what ideas come up for articles.
89. Write About Something Outside Your Niche
The phrase ‘write about what you know’ is not always best. Sometimes you want to write about what you would like to know. Pick a subject you’d like to know about and treat it like an homework assignment, and you have to research and write an essay on something you don’t know a lot about.
90. Brainstorm Your Way To New Articles
Getting together with a group of people and brainstorming with some mind maps can throw up some interesting post ideas. To find out more about brainstorming read this article from USnews and to get some free mind mapping tools from Bubble.us and Mindmesiter.com
91. Compile A List Of Definitions
Every niche has it’s own jargon that is used. Why not compile a list of words and phrases in your niche and give their definition.
92. Use Press Releases For Inspiration
Sites like PRWeb.com are great for finding ideas for your blog posts. If you visit the site you will find a search box. Type in a search term and you can view the press releases for your search term.
93. Recommend A Product
Recommend a product in your niche and make some money along the way. This should not be done too often as you will come across as a money grabber. Only recommend products you really liked and give an unbiased opinion on it.
94. Write A How To… Post
Readers want to know how things work, why not be that person to show them. The beauty of this type of post is that you can go outside your niche to an area that a lot of your readers will know about, for example the lifehacker post Top 10 Obscure Google Search Tricks
95. Take A Look At Greeting Cards
A trip down to your local Hallmark can often inspire ideas for articles. You’d be surprised what people celebrate and commiserate.
96. Open Up The Encyclopedia
Start reading your encyclopedia with a writers hat on and you will find some gems in there. You can also use the online encyclopedia such as Enclyclopedia.com which collates all the online encyclopedias.
97. Set Up A Google Alert
Google alerts is a fantastic way to get ideas delivered directly to your inbox. Go to Google.com/Alerts and type in your keywords and Google will deliver anybody writing about that topic to your email.
98. Stop Thinking About What To Write About
As strange as this may sound, we sometimes try too hard to look for something and can block out the idea making process. Take time away from writing and enjoy another activity. when you do this you will find your creative juices flowing in the background and you will come back to writing refreshed and have a plethora of topics to write about.
99. Write About Upcoming Changes
If you have been blogging for some time chances are you will have gone through many changes and have had many facelifts. Write a few posts about it; how to do it, where to get the tools from, what the results of the changes have been etc.
100. Write A List Of 100
It might seem like a mammoth task to do this, and it is, however if you write a list of 100 article ideas in one sitting or spread over a few days it means you have 100 articles ready to be written and they posts will take you through to next year depending on your blogging schedule.
Do you have any ideas to add to this list?
What about you, do you have any ideas to add to this list? if so why not leave a comment and add your ideas or just leave a comment to say what your favorite tips were.