Old Fashioned Ways to Generate Brilliant Ideas for Your Next Blog Post Part 1

You know many different ways to find ideas for your next blog post … the comments on your previous blog posts; mining social media sites like twitter, Facebook, Digg and delicious; searching through related forums and question/answer sites; other blogs in your niche and their comments – the list could just go on.

But some days, you just feel a little blah, and none of these usual sources of ideas seem to cut it. No amount of caffeine seems to help improve the situation.

No matter how many times you wrack your brain, or how many times you’ve sat in front of your computer screen and prayed for inspiration, you just cannot seem to come up with a blog topic that will keep your readers interested. You need something new, something unconventional, something that will crush it. Maybe it’s time to go back in time and do what Shakespeare probably did when he needed some ideas.

 

Take a Walk

The world is full of people and places that can truly inspire the written epic. Most of the world’s famous works of literature were inspired by real life events, people, home towns, and other places. Take a walk to the park, through the mall, to the corner coffee shop, the local bus station, or grocery store. People watching is fun and if you really watch what people are doing, you can easily find more fodder for your blog that you have the time to publish. If it helps Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, one of the most popular blogs of our times, with his writing, it can help you too!

 

Live in the Moment

Money Making Ideas: Blog Ideas the Old Fashioned WayEvery day experiences can provide tons of blog ideas, but we are so busy these days trying to “do” things, that we forget to “be” and learn from these experiences. Make a conscious effort to live in the moment. Every little experience can teach you something and provide you with much needed ideas to crank out a stellar post, even if the experience is not a pleasant one. Check out Pat Flynn’s article Why Some Procrastinators Succeed and What We Can Learn From Them to see how he turned annoyance into a valuable post.

Family can be a great source of blog content too. So can your friends. Spend some time visiting family or an old friend. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting together for a holiday, Sunday lunch, a quick visit or a long stay–family and friends say, do, and live the most interesting things. Ask your 3 year old nephew about his day at the zoo or leaf through some old photographs with you Nana. You can find life lessons, metaphors, opening sentences, inspiration or just an interesting anecdote that you can share with the world. A word of warning- be sensitive about what you share–not everyone will appreciate your candor or all out blabbing. By far, the best, the most moving article I have read about blogging (or anything for that matter) is On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas.

Vacations are another great way to find blogging ideas. A change of scene, the vibes of a new place, the quirks of the new people and just the sense of getting away can inspire a good number of ideas. If you cannot afford to fly to an exotic place, then take a road trip to a quaint little town near you, or head out to the city. Take a train ride by the rolling country side or a metro ride through the bustling city. No matter what you niche is, you are bound to find some ideas to write about. Leo Babauta wrote a great article about fitness after a trip to Japan Why You (Almost) Never See a Fat Japanese.

 

Watch TV or a Movie

There, I said it. But instead of just losing yourself to what’s playing on the screen, use it as your own personal muse. Hollywood and the TV studios spew out blog worthy ideas 24/7/365. The producers are basically handing you interesting blog content with every movie, tv series, celebrity gossip show and documentary they release. It doesn’t matter if the show has millions of viewers or got canned after the pilot episode, the movie made millions on opening day or wasn’t worth the price of the piece of paper the ticket was printed on, whether the actor died before post-production and ended up with an Oscar or was lost in the crowd as a drunk failure–if you have the right mindset, they can be a bottomless pit of money making ideas. Just take a look at some of these posts that were hugely popular for examples of how you can use pretty much any movie or pop culture reference to write about any topic –

 

How do you get inspiration for your blog posts?

Want to Provide More Engaging Content on Your Blog? Hone those Teaching Skills

Great bloggers are those who are able to provide informative and engaging content that keeps us coming back again and again. They teach us new things and give us the tools needed to seek out more information on our own or to form our own opinions. In short, the best bloggers are also the best teachers.

Think about it.

When you write a post discussing loans and telling your users how to divide their monthly payments to avoid overpaying on interest, you are teaching them how to do so. You are actively helping them solve a problem through proper education. A teacher in a classroom would do the same thing. He or she would give the class the equations needed to solve a math problem, or the right procedures to correctly complete a chemistry experiment.

When you host a webinar showing your audience how to correctly knit a scarf, you are being a teacher. Even when you take a stance on a specific issue, you are teaching. You are showing your audience that there is another side and perspective attached to each story.

If you consider yourself a teacher every time you sit down to blog, you may find yourself being able to more quickly connect with your readers. You will be more inclined to write engaging content as it will prompt them to think for themselves or to try something new to better their lives. You will be more inspired, and actually feel as though your blogging is rewarding – like you are releasing something good into the world, not just another half-baked article to just stick to a schedule.

So how do you go about honing your teaching skills? It’s much easier than you think,and many of these things you may be already doing. You don’t have to invest in a degree in education, you simply have to do some introspection – and maybe some reading.

Overcome Fear

As soon as I stated, “you are a teacher,” many readers were probably put into a panic. Not everyone is a teacher and that is okay. Some of us are born with a knack for it and others aren’t. However, remaining fearful of being a teacher will only hurt your writing. Simply accept the fact and then move on. You’ve been educating for awhile, now you are simply accepting that fact.

Create a Safe and Inviting Environment

Money Making Ideas: Engaging Blog ContentCreating a safe environment simply means creating a level of comfort for your target audience. You want them to be able to come to your site and find all the information needed to better understand your specific topic in a relaxed, unhindered setting. Write articles that inspire action instead of guilt. Make sure your tone is not condescending or accusatory. Set some blogging ground rules for yourself, and stick with them. Post book reviews that may be helpful, include webinars you created or videos you found on YouTube that you liked, anything that may be useful to a reader.

Treat Every Question with Respect

If you are writing content that helps people, whether it be personal finance or plumbing, take every question into consideration – even those you may seem as dumb. Remember, your goal is to create a safe place for learning. If you start treating your readers like they are idiots, they will abandon you in a heart beat. Remember that horrid teacher who made awful retorts every time someone raised their hand? Yeah, you don’t want to be that person.

When someone posts a question that has an obvious answer or one that seems irrelevant, don’t scoff. Find a new and interesting way to both answer their question and further engage your other readers. Not only will it give you ideas for further content, but it will help establish a stronger community amongst your readership.

Be Real with Yourself

One of the most enticing aspects about a blog is that you get to be you. What you discuss are your opinions, stances, and what is of interest to you. Don’t ever lose sight of that, or your readership will dwindle quickly. Do you remember your favorite teacher in high school or college? They probably were your favorite and stood out because they had a personality and different perspective than your other teachers. Your readers will like you for the same reasons.

Treat Blogging as Your Own Learning Experience

When you choose a specific blog topic, you are often looked to as an authority on the topic. However, even teachers have to expand their knowledge and learn a few new things from time to time, and they often get their students involved when doing so. Treat your blog in the same fashion. Find new topics or new tools, blog about them, and invite others to take the journey through the learning process with you. Your readers will feel as though they are more connected to you, and that heightened level of engagement will keep them loyal to your blog.

Your blog is your classroom. That may sound a little eerie but it will make you actually feel responsible for the content in which you post. By keeping that in mind, you will be able to create more thought-provoking and engaging content that will keep your readers returning. They will be eager to hear what you have to say, and wonder what journey you will take them on today.

About the Author: This is a post by Jessica Wagner, who recently moved to San Diego.

6 Questions To Determine What You Should Blog About (And Make Tons of Money From It)

It’s no secret that blogging, when done correctly can be a very lucrative past time. In fact, many people now work full time in the comfort of their own home, with their blog as their main source of income.

New “Bloggers” often have some very important questions about where to start, but the one that comes up the most regularly is about niche selection. What subjects are the best to build a blog around, and more importantly which will make you the most money?

There are several schools of thought in relation to niche selection, and here are some of the best tips for “Bloggers” looking for their piece of the pie.

How Popular Is Your Topic?

There are two things you cannot do without if you are to run a successful blog. Content and readers, and you need plenty of both!

You need to choose a subject where there is plenty of commercial interest. Blogs about making money, dating, and weight loss will always be more popular than blogs about plastic bottle tops, and famous historical figures that played musical instruments.

Now whilst there is a mass of interest in the dating niche for example, there is also a ton of competition. Try narrowing your focus slightly and pick a sub-topic of dating. For example, dating for the over 40’s. You will still have plenty of interest in your subject, but there is much less competition.

You also need to make sure your sub-topic will provide you with enough content to maintain the blog long term. To keep a blog fresh you need to update it with lots of new and engaging content, which would be very hard with a plastic bottle top blog!

Is It An Evolving Niche?

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10 Linkbuilding Strategies to Get Some Momentum Started

Once you’ve found a potentially profitable niche, identified your keywords, and come up with quality content, you need to generate traffic. Wait, you say–isn’t that what all that agonizing over niches and keywords was for? Well, yes, but you need a little more to get your site to the top of Google. The hard truth is, only the first page matters. With every results page a potential customer needs to skim to get to your site, the less likely they’ll ever see your brilliant money making ideas. To move you up, the search engine spiders need to see that your site is worthwhile enough to garner consistent attention.

What you need, specifically, are backlinks–a link to your site from another. These are important to Google’s PageRank system, as they’re considered votes of confidence. If quality sites are backlinking to yours, your site must be quality as well. Remember, Google didn’t get to be today’s preeminent search engine by throwing out random, useless results to its users.

How can you acquire good backlinks (also known as inbound links)? There are dozens, if not hundreds, of methods out there, some reputable, some dicey, and some foolhardy. However, you’ll find that certain strategies are suggested repeatedly. Here’s a list of the ten most popular, along with a couple which you should avoid at all costs.

#1 Feature Good, Solid Content (aka Linkbaiting)

This is the way that Google prefers that you acquire inbound links. The idea is that, if you provide valuable information, presented in a unique and even entertaining format, webmasters of related sites will want to link to you. So keep providing excellent service; it will happen. In the meantime…

#2 Try Article Marketing

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Five Basic Mistakes Most People Make While Picking Keywords (and End Up Crippling Their Income Significantly)

So you’ve picked out your niche based on fantastic money making ideas. You’re sure it will attract swarms of traffic and catapult you to the top of Google in no time. All you need to do is throw in some content, put up some ads and wait for the cash to roll in, right?

Well, not quite. How are people going to find this terrific site of yours?

They just type in Google what they’re looking for and my site will pop up, right?

Not quite.

The thing is, you can’t take the risk that someone searching for something in your niche will find your site, informative as it is, “magically”. You need to pave the way for this to happen by making sure you have used the right keywords to attract the right kind of traffic. Keywords (or keyword phrases) are the terms people type into Google and other search engines when they need information. How can you be sure that your content contains the right ones?  The key is to do a little bit of keyword research before your build your site.

Here are some of the mistakes most people make when they build a website. Avoid them, and you will increase your earning potential significantly.

Mistake #1: Building a site around a keyword or phrase that you think is “obvious” or “great”

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A Few Things You Need to Know About PayPal

If you use any of the money making ideas that require online transactions e.g., eBay selling, freelancing, blogging, etc., then you need to have a means to accept payment online. And you need to be able to do this in a secure and easy-to-use fashion. Before you run off to invent your secure payment system, stop. That wheel has already been invented. And it has become a household name for people who buy or sell online. Yes, we are talking about Paypal.

PayPal has taken international business money exchange by storm. If you’ve purchased anything online in the past few years, chances are that you were offered the option to pay for your purchase using your PayPal account. If you want to make money online, you should consider creating a PayPal account so you can offer your customers the option to buy your products or services without ever touching a check or credit card.

Here are a few things you should know about this online payment juggernaut –

Accounts

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Put The Simplicity And Power Of An RSS Feed To Work For You

In this installment in the money making ideas- blogging series, we will take a look at the beauty and simplicity of the RSS feed. What may sound more like a US military flag ship is actually an acronym for Really Simple Syndication. Yes, this will probably need a bit more explanation. According to the completely infallible online encyclopedia of the god’s – Wikipedia, an RSS feed…

is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document….includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They (RSS Feeds) benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an “RSS reader”, “feed reader”, or “aggregator”, which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based.

Let’s simplify again.

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8 Must Know Blogging Ground Rules

So blogging looks like one of the money making ideas that was invented with just you in mind and you are ready to join the party. Great! Welcome aboard! If you play your cards right, you could win big. Just as any party though, before you jump in, you should know what the basic ground rules are. You should be aware of what generally is considered a no-no and what will make you an instant hit. Here is a list of some of the “informal” blog ground rules –

#1 No Plagiarism

Nobody likes a cheater. When you want to create blog content, the first and most important cardinal rule of blog content creation is to be original. That means that you absolutely cannot copy and paste already published content to your blog. Plagiarism is wrong on so many levels. For one, you violate the digital copyright of the person you copied from, and so it is technically illegal. Second, the Google gods frowns on plagiarism big time. If you are caught, your blog could get black listed and you’ll have a tough time trying to get your blog higher in the search ranks ever again. [Read more…]

Is Blogging (for Money) the Right Option for You?

When it comes to online money making ideas you have to ask yourself what actually has the potential to make money, and what is a big fat waste of time. Everywhere you look, there are obnoxious flashing advertisements claiming that you can make money online while you sleep with little or no effort. Unfortunately, trying to make money through these get-rich-quick methods can be super risky and more likely to take your money than make you any.

Fortunately, there are a few money making ideas that can really make you some money. They require some effort, but in the long run, they really pay off. In this article we provide you the basics of one of the most tried, tested and verified means to make some money – blogging!

So, What is Blogging?

Before we get to the juicy bits, a short explanation is required. The word ‘blog’ is a slang term for two different words, ‘web’ and ‘log’. A web log is an online journal meant to keep a person’s thoughts, ideas, rants, and opinions in a place where everyone who’s interested can read and enjoy. Blogging has been around for years, and with the growing popularity it doesn’t look to be going anywhere but up.
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