7 ways to find inspirations for your next blog post!

by Janith

One of the most commonly set goals by bloggers is to “blog at least once a day.” Anyone who follows this goal knows how difficult it can get, but they are also aware of its bountiful benefits!

However, only a handful  of bloggers remain true to it, in the long run and they soon loose interest in the blog itself. It’s quite ironic that the task a blogger sets themselves, to ensure his/her blog’s success – can so easily backfire and bring about their downfall.

There’s nothing secretive about it, we all know it’s one of the many challenges you face as a blogger but producing quality content on a daily basis can be easier than you think!

Every writer, no matter what the content itself is; needs some inspiration. Sometimes, inspiration can be drawn out from obvious sources and other times we can subconsciously relate to things we have previously experienced. Then there are times when we are left with no inspiration, and we pretty much stop-dead in our tracks.

Whenever this happens to me (quite oftenly too), I try to follow a series of post inspiring methodologies. If you want to call it that. Hopefully, theses 7 simple ways to find post inspiration will serve the same purpose to you, as they have done to me; time and time again.

7 Ways to Find Post-Inspirations.

  1. Scout the ForumsThis is one of my favorite ways to get post-ideas because it’s a primary source to what the people want. Since, our blog here revolves around webmasters, you’ll always find my scouting the DigitalPoint, V7N and so on, to see which discussions seem to stir up the biggest storm. I love this method because, you can almost instantly spread the word about it. By writing your opinion on the issue/topic raised within the forum thread, you are helping the participants of the the thread itself, hence you are able to direct them to it.
  2. Brainstorming - Some time back, I wrote up a post on how important brainstorming is and how exactly to manipulate it. I use this method well beyond the blogging scene. Every time I have to write something, I would start off with a brainstorm. The beauty of this is, that you start off with a simple and logic idea (or even a single word for that matter) and it soon develops in to several key ideas, which you can even save up for later.
  3. Blogs are non-linearWhat do I mean by this? Well, if you take ANY niche; you can almost find a handful of blogs about it. This means that similar topics have already been most likely covered, therefore you draw on previously written ideas – then explore it in more depth or in your perspective. I’ve found myself doing this many times, and even make it so obvious as making the post title “RE: *reference to another blog’s posts” and sharing my perspective on the topic/issue. I haven’t done that here at Blogussion…yet ;)
  4. Google Your Post IdeaGoogle is one of the best ways to gather resources and it works just as well in helping you explore ideas. If you have a post topic, idea or even a phrase – just Google it and see what others have said about it.
  5. Stop by Yahoo!Answers - A lot like forums, Yahoo!Answers can be even easier to actually locate questions and answer them more directly. This social media network has always been one of my top referrers and are usually the most loyal, because they are extremely targeted. If you can “answer” a question, you are most likely to reach interested surfers.
  6. Digg - Social media has been such a success, simply because it brings news to internet surfers pretty much instantly. Things that people like to hear about, watch or listen to; quickly blast to the front pages and gets the exposure that it may/may not deserve. So, take the purpose of social media into consideration and read between the lines.. if you can see rising topics within the community, it’s a clear indication – that people want to read/listen/watch about it. I always love to browse through the “up-coming” posts on Digg, just to see which ones have been stirring up the community. Since these sites are category specific, you can really home in on your niche.
  7. Three useful readsBefore I write up any post, I always Google about the topic – just to see what others have said about it. Undoubtedly, I did the same before I started writing this post and came across some really interesting reads and I recommended you check it out;

What Say You?

These are just 7 ways you can find inspiration and there’s heaps more that can be explored. Stop by the comments and share with us on how do you find your post-inspiration? We’d love for you to share with us your opinion :)

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Simon | Teenius March 25, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Awesome post, great stuff :D

Personally I find the first one the most effective. Places like Digitalpoint have thousands of new posts being added everyday, so if you can capitalise on just some of these questions you’re giving the readers what they want. I find often just walking around gives me ideas for posts. One thought will lead to another and eventually I’ll have an idea for a post…

Simon | Teenius’s last blog post..Non Native English Writers… How Can You Get Jobs?!

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Alex March 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Webmaster forums bring in a lot of traffic to Blogussion, and DigitalPoint has probably been the most beneficial.

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Janith March 27, 2009 at 7:29 pm

They do help indeed, I gather most of my post ideas from forums such as DigitalPoint. It’s easy ’cause many members come around asking simple questions that have some really complex answers – and you can’t explain it in a thread-reply..
..therefore, works great for a post! :)

Besides, once you’ve written it up, you can always go back to that thread – and post a reference link. I’m sure the OP and a few other members would fancy reading it ;)

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Stuart Conover March 25, 2009 at 6:40 pm

While I used most of these ideas on and off I try to use #2 at least once a week and writeup 7-10 topics for each of the blogs that I work on as well as future ones I have planned. Even knowing that I usually won’t use all of them it’s good to have an idea for each day of the week and backups.

You never know when you’ll be short on an idea down the road or one doesn’t pan out. If you make sure to have a weekly set of backups they will just continue to grow as you get new ideas on non-brainstorming days as well. At least, that helps work for me!

Stuart Conover’s last blog post..iList Micro – Classified Ads on Twitter

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Simon | Teenius March 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Same here. Whenever I think of an idea I’ll write it down. Luckily enough (sort of) I’m a bit of a day dreamer so I’m constantly thinking up ideas for new posts. I’ve got a notebook full of ideas for posts, must have about 20 titles that need posts to go with them now :D

Simon | Teenius’s last blog post..The Importance Of A Good Logo

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Alex March 26, 2009 at 6:03 pm

I always keep a notepad on my desk, and whenever I come up with something noteworthy, I write it down without moving anywhere. It’s great to have it right next to you, or else you won’t want to go across the room to get it. :p

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Alex March 26, 2009 at 6:01 pm

I try to brainstorm for posts every day. Usually I just come up with 1-5 posts a day, depending on how creative I’m feeling. Brainstorming is something that needs to be done every day I feel, as blogging is a thing that changes all of the time.

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Janith March 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm

That’s good planning, at it’s best.
Many times, I’ve found myself without any post ideas and unable to even think of any; to even begin brainstorming. When this happens, I usually resort to scouting the forums – and it works best for me :)

I think every blogger, in their own right, should adapt your idea of planning ahead Stuart – I know I will definitely will try my best to.

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Nicolas Prudhon March 25, 2009 at 6:48 pm

I found my inspiration mostly through forums when I actively participate to help people. So when I got “stuck”, I just try to think about what kind of problems people bring up the most often and then I go on to write about it

I like to give substance to most of my articles and they are usually about 700-900 words. Also the recommended minimum should be only 500 words, the funny part is that I get often stuck a bit after 100 words or so and then inspiration flows and I found myself having to “stop” being way over that 500 minimum!

Nicolas Prudhon’s last blog post..Inbound Link Juice or Inbound Link Traffic

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Alex March 26, 2009 at 6:05 pm

That’s how one of the popular articles here came to be. I think it was the “45 Link Building Tips To Help You Promote Your Blog” that was inspired from people asking about that topic on DigitalPoint. It’s amazing what you can find on a forum.

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Janith March 27, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Alex is right on the money with one of our most popular articles.

The only reason I even thought of writing that post up was because so, so many people on DigitalPoint were asking on ways to building links. Naturally, members would repeatedly reply with the same old information – instead I did a bit of research and came up with so many more creative ways of doing so and wrote it up in a post.

Posted one thread on DigitalPoint and the thread itself received in excess of 2,000 views and many replies :)

I’m not so sure about there being a limit on blogs because it all depends on what you write. I know some personal blogs that update once or twice a month tend to write almost “stories” that are in excess of 5,000 words? Yet, they have seen their fair share of success.

On the other hand, many “news” blogs, with constant updates tend to have many, many posts with less than 500 words; I’ve managed one similar in the past and I’ve had many posts less than 500 words, and it’s been par with my expectations (success-wise)

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Ali Hussain March 26, 2009 at 12:23 am

Thankyou, I may enter some of these points in my posts on how to cure the bloggers block

Ali Hussain’s last blog post..6 Habits of Highly Annoying Bloggers

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Alex March 26, 2009 at 6:06 pm

That’s cool Ali. Let us know when you publish that article!

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Janith March 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm

No worries, and I’m definitely looking forward to this post Ali!
It’s like the incurable illness of blogging :(

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Miami web design March 26, 2009 at 9:12 am

Good post Janith ,

I usually read similar blogs and try to provide the uncovered information . also yahoo answers is good resource to know about trends in any niche

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Simon | Teenius March 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I find reading other blogs is a great way of getting new posts. Even if you’re just going over what they have put, as long as you put your own twist on it, it’s fine in my opinion. Also, if you’re going to quote them or totally rip off their article, remember to give them a linkback. :D

Simon | Teenius’s last blog post..The Importance Of A Good Logo

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Janith March 27, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Haha, “if you’re going to quote them or totally rip off their article, remember to give them a linkback.” Oh, Simon you funny one :P

Responding to other people’s posts are great, it creates discussions over blogs instead of just over comments – it can really help both blogs and their respective contributors :)

Good thinking!

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Alex March 26, 2009 at 6:07 pm

It sounds like cheating, but it’s actually very effective to write about missed information in other people’s articles.

How often do you do that, and how has it been working for you?

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Janith March 27, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Filling out on missed information is great because you can some debate to build up and this can be beneficial to both blogs – and discussion between the two writers and the readers of the two parties can engage in a friendly debate. This is great for both blogs to get noticed by each others readership – and everyone can come to a commonly agreed decision and actually learn something too :)

Then again, things can get too heated and have negative effects; but then again – it’s the diversity of blogging ;)

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Dennis Edell March 26, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Although I’ve never subscribed to the “once per day” theory, you give some great pointers for it.

One thing I must do is leave space for individual post promotion/comments. One reason for this is, the comments themselves are AWESOME places to find further post ideas or even followup posts.

Dennis Edell’s last blog post..Seeking April Comment Contest Sponsors!

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Evan March 26, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Comments are great for inpspiration. Controversy in comments can always give ideas for a new post!

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Janith March 27, 2009 at 10:58 pm

You’d be surprised to know how many of Blogussion’s posts root from our comments ;)
One way or another, I can honestly say many of my posts have been influenced by a previous post’s comment(s).

I was going to include this as one of the ways to find inspirations, but Alex already covered it in an earlier post.

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Kai Lo March 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I rate both scouting the forums and Yahoo Answers to be the best choices. It takes me about 10 minutes of browsing to say “ah ha!” Also, when you don’t have time to post, atleast write down the idea somewhere (PDA, word doc., pen & paper, etc.) because you tend to forget it later.

Kai Lo’s last blog post..Increase Traffic and Backlinks With Blog Comments

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Janith March 27, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Notepad for the win!
As a writer, I do exactly what you’ve mentioned Kai.
I tend to loose track of my notepad files more than the actual post ideas – so I’ll need to find a way of remembering the actual notepad file..

It’s great to see your techniques been used by others – makes you feel like your doing the right thing :D

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Keith March 27, 2009 at 9:02 pm

I am a voracious reader ( I mean books) and I have dozens of books that deal with my niche and some closely related. I have found they are a valuable resource for inspiration when I am preparing an article for my blog. You have listed some great ideas here! I have now, thanks to you, picked up a couple more ways to get inspired. Thanks!

Keith’s last blog post..16 Symptoms Of A Successful Person

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Janith March 27, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Thank you for dropping by Keith and appreciate your kind words :)
I’m glad you’ve found it so useful – but you’ve inspired me in a way too.

I’ve always wanted to draw ideas from printed books because they seem to carry a slighter higher sense of authority than just a blog. I mean, they do go through publication and what not – whereas blogs are posted by anyone and everyone.

So, I’m going to pay a visit to the local library this weekend and hopefully find some good books :)

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