Posted on January 1, 2012
Consistently coming up with great blog post ideas can be tricky.
For posts to be successful, they need to provide value for readers, but it's not easy to constantly come up with topics that do.
To help with this, here are five sources to help you find useful and valuable content ideas:
One of the best sources for blog posts are concepts in your realm of expertise that you find yourself explaining to other people, i.e. things that you explain in real-life conversation.
The other day I found myself telling a car full of people how creating a sense of urgency is a basic marketing principle. Companies run special promotions that make customers think that if they don't buy now, they'll miss out on an incredible deal. This one of the easiest ways to increase sales.
Since I find myself explaining this principle often, it would make for a great blog post. If something is good enough for conversation it's good enough for a blog.
This is true for any industry. A real estate agent probably finds himself explaining the same subjects over and over again. Since these subjects are valuable to clients, they'll be valuable to people reading a real estate blog.
Using topics that you discuss in every day conversation is an easy way to come up with new blog posts. The next time you find yourself explaining something, remember, you may be discussing a potential blog post.
Writing about topics your readers want to know more about is also a good idea.
If your blog is about blogging, then you need to write about topics that blog writers want to know more about, such as how to improve SEO and how to get more traffic.
Even if this isn't something you're dying to write about, it's important to write posts that readers are interested in.
So what is it that your readers want to know more about? Do they want to know about inexpensive do-it-yourself home projects that they can make themselves? Or do they want to know how to get more traffic for their blog?
Answering these questions will help with identifying great blog post ideas.
A friend of mine named Carol Tice writes a blog titled Make a Living Writing. That's a straightforward name. Her blog is about how you can make a living writing, and if that's something you're interested in doing, then you'll be interested in her posts. The good news for her is that a lot of people do.
No matter what your blog is about, it's good to write about topics that your readers want to know more about.
Articles you read are another great source for blog posts.
As you read magazines, books, newspapers, and blogs, pay attention to ideas you find interesting and think would be helpful for other people.
In a recent post titled 5 Tips for Writing Significantly Better Blog Posts, I wrote about how important it is to re-write and to write conversationally. Both of those tips came from my favorite writing book, Writing with Style by John R Trimble. (If you haven't read it yet, it's a must read for any blogger or writer.)
I've found those tips to be incredibly helpful for my writing, and I figured the same would be true for my blog readers.
Anytime you read something that may be of value to readers, make a note and see if you can't use it in an upcoming post.
Questions people ask are one of the best sources for blog post ideas.
They're great because it's proven that at least one person is interested in the subject, and if one person has that question, there's a good chance that other people do to.
Recently a new subscriber asked me about how to get a good blog design without wasting hours finding the perfect free theme (which I'm convinced doesn't exist) or paying thousands of dollars for a custom design.
I explained that the best solution is to buy a premium theme for around $80. Premium themes look great right out of the box so you don't need to worry about design ever again.
I recommended picking a Studiopress theme because they look great, have excellent SEO capabilities, and have clean code. I also have a developer's license for Studiopress and can install any of their premium themes for only $99.95. (If you see one that you like, let me know.)
After answering her question, I realized that other people probably have the same question. Since that's the case, this would make for a great blog post.
By answering questions in a blog post, all of your readers benefit from the answer.
This may seem like cheating, but sometimes recycling a good post is a great idea.
I'm actually doing that with this post. I originally wrote about "5 Sources for Great Blog Post Ideas" on my personal blog. After deleting it there, I re-wrote it for this post.
Why would I do that?
I did it because it's a great post and it makes more sense here. This blog is about blogging, and my personal blog is not. Instead of letting it languish there, I'm putting it to good use here.
This is one way to recycle an idea.
Another way is to re-write a post from a different angle. I've been wanting to write a post for awhile about how it's a bad idea to offer customers too many choices. The ideal location for this would be a marketing site, but it could also be recycled for other blogs.
For example, I could write a similar post here called "Are You Giving Your Blog Readers Too Many Choices?" It wouldn't be exactly the same as the original post, but the idea can be recycled to fit different sites.
If you don't have a second blog, you may consider re-writing a popular post as a guest post for another blog. This will give you more mileage from a good idea.