Are you struggling to come up with ideas about what to write next? Are you wondering what you should tell your content writer to blog about? Coming up with ideas can be difficult at first, but there are a number of ways that I do this and a handful of tools I use as well. If you learn these idea creation techniques, you won’t be stuck anymore.
1. In Order to Create, You Must Learn
I don’t think that I would be able to create consistent content that helps readers like you if I didn’t spend time learning every day. Here’s what my learning schedule looks like each week:
- I listen to a new audiobook each week. This means that I usually spend 20 minutes to an hour listening each day. Personally I like listening to things on 2X or 3X speeds, but it’s not necessary for idea creation. All you need to do is keep learning. com is the best audiobook source I can recommend and you can try it out for free!
- I batch read the bloggers I follow. Using Gmail’s filters smart inbox, I train my inbox to sort all newsletters into the “Forums” tab.
This lets me ignore all those emails until I am ready to read them. Then, in my Gmail, I search for things like this: from:paul ryan is:unread and it returns only the emails I haven’t read from that sender:
I select the oldest message, read it, click through if I want to read the article, and then when I am done I press the “K” key on my keyboard to use Gmail’s keyboard shortcuts to go to the next message. This process lets me read more articles on one specific topic much faster.
I’ve found that after reading a few of my favorite writers’ articles, I have plenty of ideas to fuel my own writing. That’s what I did today to get started writing because I was feeling stuck!
2. Get Outside and Do Something New
If you’re feeling stagnant, maybe it’s because you are stagnant! Getting outside and taking a walk, going down to the coffee shop to people watch, or going out to get a drink with friends can help you clear your head and find new ideas.
Getting life experience and traveling will also help you come up with more ideas. I recently wrote about the homeless people I saw in Las Vegas. If you get out, travel and do something new, you’ll find that there are examples and lessons that you can share with your audience. Make sure that you have something to write down or record your ideas on so that when you sit back down to write, you haven’t lost the inspiration!
3. Use a List Post
List post style content has been popular on the Internet for years and it’s popular because it’s easy to use. I wrote this post about how to come up with blog post ideas and it is consistently the most read post on our site now. Search for “post ideas”, take your favorite ideas and write about them.
4. Answer Frequently Asked Questions
I mention this anytime that people ask me for post ideas. When someone gets online, they are often looking for a solution to a problem. Your readers, customers and friends have probably asked you the same handful of questions over and over about what you do, or how to do something. Make a list of those questions and answer them in detail with screenshots, videos and step-by-step guides.
When you invest time in answering a question thoroughly, you will have a resource that you can use over and over. This means that more people will find your site through organic search. Be sure to answer really important questions in as valuable a way as possible. When someone comes to your site they are investing time that they will never get back, so make sure your answer deserves their time!
5. Solve Your Own Problems
The reason I am writing this post today is because I woke up wanting to write, but I was feeling very stuck on what to write about. Then, I took my own advice and used the techniques I am sharing with you here. I know that sounds simple, but writing about and solving your own problems are important steps.
Two of my three businesses were created to solve my own problems. When you identify and work on your own pain points, you will often find that there are other people out there who have the same pain and need your solution!
To come up with great blog ideas you need to learn more, do something new, experience different things, answer questions and solve your own problems. If you focus on those steps consistently, you’ll find that you always have new ideas to work with. Then, you just have to have do the hardest part – start writing!