When I have left a blog for a few days I usually find it more difficult to come back. Once I get really involved in a blog, ideas usually come forward quicker than I can write. It might seem strange, but the more you blog, the more ideas you generate. Today I was struggling to think of topics for this blog and it wasn’t coming easily; so in rather disingenuous fashion I have written an article: “Finding topics to write about”
1. What is the Core Theme of your Blog?
You may have already written about the topics, but that doesn’t mean you can’t write more articles, or better articles. Often after writing several articles you have more idea about your topic. This is a good time to write a pillar article which combines the best of what you have written in various places.
2. Look at Your Core themes from a different Angle.
I always recommend stepping out of the blogosphere. Try to look at your topic from a different angle. For example, in this post “What blogging taught me about Economics” I combined my perspective as an Economist with blogging.
3. Respond to Other Posts.
In your reading of RSS feeds, you will be likely to come across new topics and interesting ideas. These can often be a springboard for a new post; however, I think it is important to offer something new and innovative and not just regurgitate the gist of someone else’s posts.
4. Invite Questions.
For my economics blog, before the exam period, I had perhaps 60 questions in a couple of weeks. This created one of my most productive blogging periods ever. I was posting upto 10 items a day; I didn’t have to think of titles, I just responded to questions which were appropriate to the blog. Without the questions I would never have thought about blogging on these topics. You are welcome to ask questions on blogging and writing here.
5. Step outside of the Blogosphere.
Could you relate your blog niche to traditional media? For example, this is a blog on writing. Are the skills of writing a novel applicable to blogging?
News is always a good way to find new topics. However, if you are in a very competitive niche you may find the same news items gets covered to death. Try to offer a unique perspective on breaking news. Give it a personal angle or make it relate to other topics in your blog.
7. Guest bloggers
Inviting guest bloggers is always an option to generate newness and freshness into your blog. Whilst it can be very beneficial, you also need to make sure they fit into the ethos of the blog.
8. Statistics Page.
Have a look at your statistics page and find out how people come to your blog. For example, if you see people coming through search terms like “good emails” work on related variations of these keywords. “Why writing good emails is an essential skill.” This can also be a very powerful way of increasing your search engine traffic.
9. Top 10.
The ubiquitous top tens dominate the Internet. You can always do another top ten writing tips, or top ten posts of all time. However, you may argue “top ten” is not actually a topic, just a way to make posts more attractive, but it is a way to create a new angle on a blog.
10. Writing Series of posts
I often advise writing a series of posts on a related theme. This provides the opportunity to get several related but distinct topics to write about. For example, you could do a series “essentials of blog writing” and then cover everything such as; titles, grammar and tone of writing.
Generally, I try to be receptive to ideas for blogging throughout the day. Often ideas may come and I make a mental note of them. This gives you time to formulate a few ideas before you actually start writing. Another thing I find is that sometimes inspiration for writing comes in waves. At one time I may be very inspired, at other times the inspiration is less. I think at these times there is no harm in reducing posting frequency.