If you’re a blogger, or thinking about starting a blog, one of the biggest hurdles is to just keep it going. Sure, you’ve got subject matter for the first couple of weeks, but then what? Coming up with additional interesting and relevant ideas to write about can really be a challenge.
Now that I’ve hit about 50 posts on this blog, I thought that I would share some of the best places that I use to get my ideas, along with a few other suggested places that I think could be great.
Here’s where to look to get that idea for your next blog post:
- General interest news sites, often the business or lifestyle sections, which often carry trend stories, as well as opinion sections, especially since op-ed pieces were the original blog posts and columnists the original bloggers.
- Trade publications, including email newsletters, for whatever industry your clients care about; if you’re a lawyer, this could also include advance sheets and other sources recently released court opinions and government regulations.
- LinkedIn, including your Pulse feed but also industry and interest groups’ discussion summary emails.
- Twitter, with lists created to help filter people you follow into specific areas if you have a lot of followers and/or don’t check it as often as you probably should.
- Your own tweets and retweets, if only as a good reminder for what has been interesting you lately or in the recent past.
- Facebook, usually from articles that your friends have shared, but sometimes from groups or random posts and pictures.
- Other social media that you like to use, including Reddit, Pinterest or Instagram (especially those last two if you are inspired by images and not just words).
- Other blogs, but you may want to set up an aggregator to help keep track of updates, like RSS Notifier, Bloglovin or one of many others.
- Comments on those blogs, which may be a better source than the blog entries themselves (HT to Gini Dietrich for this).
- Your sent mail, similar to reading your Twitter posts, to see who you’ve been engaging with and what you’ve been talking to them about (another HT to Gini for this, too).
- Your notes or live tweet streams from conferences, webinars, podcasts or some other kind of continuing education session.
- Your own daily life, whether it’s talking to your kids, your parents, your friends or your work colleagues, or whether it’s watching TV or an old movie, or reading a magazine or book. The best blog posts incorporate authentic storytelling, and there aren’t any better stories to tell in a blog than the ones that come from your own experiences.
Once you start gathering ideas from these sources, use whatever way you keep track of any other ideas, whether to do lists, Word docs or something else. You can even email yourself links from just about every online resource listed here to harvest and then keep track of those ideas in your Outlook tasks or notes.
With all these sources for great ideas to write about, why aren’t you blogging already? What are your sources of ideas for blog posts? Share with us in the comments below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Blog on!