Writers of all genres talk about periods of being blocked, when ideas don’t come easily and the writing has stopped flowing. It shouldn’t be any surprise then that bloggers would experience times like that, too. Sometimes writers may need to find the right prompt or idea to get them moving again.
While I find many ideas for posts online after reading some of my favorite resources, I still have days when I’m doing more absorbing than writing. A few of those are okay but what happens when it starts to stretch on and you find that you haven’t updated your blog in over a week or more? That’s when I usually find a visit to a bookstore or the library as a cure for wayward writing. For me, I find inspiration when I’m surrounded by thousands of books.
Yesterday you could say I hit a gold mine when I stumbled upon the book, 100 Ways to find Ideas for Your Blog Posts by Steven Aitchinson. (By the way, the list of 100 ideas is also available online but is superb in a bound printed format!) I already do a good number of things mentioned in the book but there were many I hadn’t thought of before.
Here are five of my favorite new ideas for finding inspiration for blog posts:
1. Google Wonder Wheel. This one is just plain fun. The tool is wonderful for people who like to see things visually represented.
Here’s how Steven explains it: “The Google Wonder Wheel is an amazing tool which can spin ideas out of nothing. You can find the Wonder Wheel on the search at google.com, when you search on something there is a + box with ‘Show Options’ on it, you will find the Wonder Wheel on the list on the left hand side. Type in a phrase of your subject and Google Wheel will come up with similar phrases about your subject.”
UPDATE: Since this post was published, wonder wheel has since been discontinued.
2. Keyword Searches. Steven writes, “If you use tools such as wordtracker.com you can find out what people are searching for…type a word in your niche e.g. “dogs”, Wordtracker will list the top 100 searches in that niche, this is a great way for generating ideas and it gives you an idea of how hot your proposed topic is.“
3. Visit Ted.com. “Ted.com is an amazing site for keeping up to date with the latest trends in Technology, Entertainment and Design…Keeping up to date and listening to people who are popular and interesting in your niche is a great way to spend a few hours and learn more on your subject and give you some fantastic ideas for your blog posts.”
4. Use Press Releases for Inspiration. “Sites like PRWeb.com are great for finding ideas for your blog posts…Type in a search term and you can view the press releases for your search terms. There are literally thousands of press releases per day, take advantage of this number and get some inspiration.”
5. Old is Coming Back into Fashion. “Look at old books that have been made into eBook format, and use them in your posts…You can use a fantastic website called www.archive.org.“
100 Ways to Find Ideas for Your Blog Posts is a great asset for bloggers but needn’t be limited to people who write online copy. Writers of other genres who are feeling stuck may find a great number of ideas to jump-start their writing.
What do you do to help generate ideas? Share your comments in the box below.
Update: since the posting of this article, wonder wheel has been discontinued.