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
Every 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 –
- What Eminem Knows About Being Confident That You Don’t
- Star Trek Blogging: The Klingon Way (This was a series – there is a Vulcan way and a Borg way also, for those of you that are interested – just brilliant!)
- 3 Business Lessons, Courtesy of American Idol
How do you get inspiration for your blog posts?