One of the most painful aspects of blogging is the unfortunate necessity to come up with interesting things to write about. Some days, new post ideas seem to come naturally, flying at you the second you sit down.
Other days however, it can seem more like pulling teeth. Sitting down at your desk on such days, you can be as ambitious and as fired up as you want to be. No ideas equals no new posts; and unfortunately, no new posts does not make a popular blog.
Should you find yourself searching for inspiration, or you’re just mindlessly procrastinating, here are eight sources of new post ideas that have helped me in the past.
One of the many reasons to be an avid follower of your competitors is that their blogs can often be excellent sources of inspiration. Take a look through their most popular posts and try to find one that you can put a unique spin on. Keep in mind however that there’s a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism.
Take a look at your blog’s traffic statistics and try to determine which posts have proven the most popular in the past. Writing follow ups to popular posts is not only a great way to handle a distinct lack of inspiration, but also a great way to give your readers more of what they love. A link to the original post should ensure that it gets some extra attentions too.
All clever bloggers know how important it is to write with their readers in mind. And what could be a better example than mining your comment sections for post ideas. What questions have your readers asked? What issues have they been dealing with? The comment sections on high quality blogs tend to be full of excellent post ideas.
Google trends can be a little hit or miss but it’s always worth a few minutes of your time when you’re stuck for an idea. The reason for this is simple: when you do find something on there that’s relevant to your niche, you are virtually guaranteed a big spike in traffic.
By now you should know the most popular forums that discuss matters related to your niche. Such forums can be excellent sources of inspiration. Browse through the most popular threads and try to find topics that you’ve yet to cover in your blog. For extra points, leave a backlink to your new post in the thread that inspired it.
Q and A Sites
Q and A sites are another excellent source of inspiration. While Yahoo Answers is certainly the biggest in terms of traffic, quite a few of the questions and answers are poorly thought out to say the least. For some really inspiring discussions, head to Quora. You might be surprised by how just many post ideas are lurking there just waiting to be discovered.
If you don’t already subscribe to RSS feeds relevant to your niche, it’s time that you started doing so. The right feeds can lead to excellent post ideas being delivered to your screen automatically on a daily basis.
The Outside World
Finally, if the above sources of inspiration don’t seem to be helping, perhaps it’s time to go for a walk. Sometimes, the simple act of standing up and leaving your computer can help to reset your mind. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve come up with a killer post idea simply by being outside and communicating with something other than a computer.
Eric Parker is an enthusiast blogger and a lead writer in a web agency. He writes about seo web design, blogging, social media and internet marketing essential tips.