Coming up with exciting blog post ideas is often easier said than done. Every blogger will likely struggle with this at some stage in their blogging journey–it’s a completely normal experience, but frustrating all the same.
For this reason, I find it useful to have a few contingency plans for those days when I just can’t get inspired. Even after blogging for four years, this still happens to me more frequently than I care to admit.
And especially if you want to build a successful, money-making blog, it’s important to produce a constant stream of new content (Google, and your readers, will appreciate the consistency).
In this post, you’ll find some of my favorite ways to come up with new blog post ideas in a pinch. I hope you’ll find it useful the next time you encounter that dreaded writer’s block!
How to Come Up With New Blog Post Ideas When You Have None
1. Head to Pinterest for inspiration
I like using Pinterest for blog post inspiration for a couple of reasons. For one, it lets me see quickly and easily what’s popular and what people are reading on Pinterest (a major traffic driver for most bloggers). Moreover, you can often find actual lists of blog post ideas/titles/writing prompts that are extremely useful in their own right.
Because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to come up with killer content. Even if an idea has been done hundreds of times before, it’s never been done in your unique voice. So, these lists and popular posts can often provide the inspiration you need.
You’ll know which posts are most popular on Pinterest because they’ll appear at the top of a page when performing a Pinterest search. The lists of blog post ideas will pop up if you search for those words (blog post ideas) or some variation of them (blog post topics, blog post titles, etc).
Once I know what’s popular on Pinterest and have some sample blog post titles to work with, I can use a combination of these ideas to craft my own unique content. I already know it’s something Pinterest users are interested in, and I can put my personal spin on it to fit my voice and the needs of my readers.
But, I won’t know what my readers want if I don’t ask them directly! Which brings me to my next suggestion…
2. Poll your audience
To come up with excellent blog posts that you know your audience will love, it’s best to go straight to the source. Find out what their questions are, what they’re struggling with, or what they want to learn. Ask them which blog posts of yours they’ve loved in the past to give you an idea of the style, tone, and topics they enjoy.
There are a number of ways to poll your audience to find out what posts they most want to read. I created a Facebook poll in just a few minutes using an online poll maker called Typeform, and by sharing it with my followers, I received instant feedback. It was like magic! And this was just one of the many Typeform templates you can choose from.
You can also poll your audience on Instagram thanks to the new polling feature in Instagram Stories. For now, you can only ask questions with two possible answers, but you can also ask a question and prompt people to write you a direct reply to your story. People will love the chance to play a role in your process of content creation!
I also like to ask my audience questions when I write my weekly email newsletters. I can simply end the email by asking them to hit reply and answer a specific question. My email subscribers tend to be my most loyal readers, and I love being able to serve them by finding out what they need the most.
3. Freewrite in a journal
Many of my recent blog post ideas have come to me by writing in a journal. ‘Morning pages’ is a mindfulness practice that I use often, and it’s quite simple—I sit down first thing in the morning, sometimes even before having coffee, and put whatever’s in my head on paper.
The primary purpose of this is to free up my mental capacity for the type of creative writing that blogging for a living requires by getting rid of the pesky thoughts and worries that don’t serve me. However, this often leads to the unintended outcome of producing blog post ideas as well.
Because if I write long enough, eventually good ideas start to surface. And it may not take the form of a working blog post title per se, but rather the seed of an idea—a topic that I could easily expand on, and most importantly, one that comes from the heart. I always find that the topics that come to me most easily are usually the best received by my audience.
To put this into practice, simply sit down with your journal (and a cup of coffee) first thing after getting out of bed, and get that pen moving. A good place to start is filling up three full pages, but you don’t have to stop there. And it doesn’t matter if what comes out makes sense, or if you make spelling mistakes, or if you even write in full sentences. Just get those ideas on paper and watch the blog post ideas roll in!
4. Read other blog posts, and then write a response
Reading other blog posts is always a great way to get inspiration for new posts. You can elaborate on an idea that inspired you or even write a direct response to an article you read.
Response articles tend to be particularly popular posts, because when you state an opinion on a topic (any topic!) people are naturally going to want to chime in with their own opinion. Whether they agree with you or not, posts that take a stance are almost guaranteed to get people reading.
5. Review a favorite book or product
If you’re really stuck for new blog post ideas, why not review products you already use and love that might be of interest to your audience?
Before diving headfirst into a product or book review, though, you should make sure that it fits into your niche or will be useful to your audience in some way. In the past, I’ve reviewed books on travel, the travel products I use and love, clothes that are great for travelers, and anything else relevant to the travel niche.
But since I also write about things like blogging, making money online, and the location independent lifestyle, I’ll also review educational resources or apps from time to time. E-books, e-courses, and photography apps are among my favorite things to review.
So take stock of the things you’ve got at your disposal that are waiting to be reviewed and start writing a list of what your audience might love. Review posts are also a fantastic way to generate affiliate income if you’re hoping to monetize your blog. Product comparison posts are also super popular—for example, I could discuss editing photos with Photoshop versus Lightroom—so think about it from this perspective as well.
As you head into 2018, use these tips to ensure sure you’re always armed with new and exciting blog post ideas–keep your editorial calendar full to keep your blog growing and thriving!
How do you come up with blog post idea when you have none?