Trying to create fresh content around the same topic and in one specific industry can be really hard.
There are no easy answers.
The only way to consistently come up with new ideas, and have more ideas on hand than you’ll ever need is to make a habit of looking for them – and recording them there and then.
Even if when you don’t need to. ESPECIALLY when you don’t need to.
Record new ideas whenever they come to you. Drop everything and jot them down somewhere. You don’t have a choice, really.
Every time you come across a great blog post that is fodder for some great future material, save it in Evernote. Be aware though, you could end up with thousands of links and notes. It is an addiction, that’s what it is.
Whenever you are reading a book, take notes. Some of that material will make great posts. Develop your own personal ‘insights from books’ collection that will be worth its weight in gold.
But what if you are relatively new to the blogging scene? And your list of references is ..umm … growing.
Or, you have your usual sources, you own collection of bookmarks, feeds, book notes, yet, you are looking for something you haven’t read already. What else can you do?
This is what I recommend.
Say something new about something old
Everything has been pretty much said, right?
Probably. But who is stopping you from taking an old topic, and offer a new perspective on it? Isn’t that why people read blogs in the first place?
To get a fresh perspective.
One way to do that is to look at the words of somebody famous, and then do your own take on it. Simply, take a famous quote and write your post based on that.
For example, let’s say you want to write about motivation. Do a search on motivation to come up with famous quotes. Here is one I like
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” ― Thomas Jefferson
Does this give you some inspiration to kick things off?
Or, perhaps a humorous one might get you going.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing–that’s why we recommend it daily.” ― Zig Ziglar
James Chartrand of Men with Pens did an amazing post on Copyblogger titled One Foolproof Trick to Blast Writer’s Block. I can hardly do it justice so it might be better if you go read it there.
Do a Dear Abby
Go through your comments and email, and look for questions people are asking. Instead of answering on one-on-one, do a post instead.
Are you a member of any LinkedIn Groups? If not, it is a good idea to join one. You will see lots of people asking questions on your topic. People sometimes reply to them in great detail.
You can do something even better. Run with the idea and develop it into a well-researched post. When finished, link to it in the discussion.
Nobody will mind your offer to help and you might get a few extra set of eyeballs on your content.
Same goes for Slideshare, Yahoo Answers, Gmail Alerts, Quora, Alltop recommendations, YouTube, StumbleUpon. Here you can potentially discover hidden gems, just waiting to be fleshed out in a blog post. Go on, take as many as you like. There is no limit to filling up your idea file.
For detail on how to do a key word search and how to look for questions people are asking check out 3 Ways to Create Highly Valuable Blog Content published on Social Media Examiner. (Thank you, Evernote.)
Lurk in the most popular posts of others
I used to do this before I started my own collection of favourite blog posts.
Just scroll through the most popular posts of your favourite blogger for ideas and inspiration. If something catches your eye, click your little heart out.
A particular headline catches your fancy, see if you can use the basic template to do a totally different post.
Let’s go take a sneak peek at Carol Tice’s Make a Living Writing most popular posts displayed on her sidebar.
How I Became a More Productive Writer by Doing this One Simple Thing
I could do”
How I Became a More Consistent blogger by Doing this One Simple Thing
How I Became a More Authentic Writer by Doing this One Simple Thing
How about another one:
How to Get Noticed on Twitter – 15 Tips for Writers
I might change it to LinkedIn if I was doing a post for a freelancing blog. Or do a how to get noticed on Facebook – 15 Tips for Small Business Owners for a small business or a social media blog.
You get the idea.
Ali Luke has written a post on Daily Blog Tips highlighting the same trick One Very Simple Way to Come Up With More Blog Post Ideas Than You’ll Ever Need. Worth a read.
There are undoubtedly many other ways to search for ideas but these are my top three favourites. They are quick, easy and fairly painless ways to come up with ideas fast.
I just dive right in, whenever I feel a case of writing blues – and it works every single time.
What is your best tip to generate ideas quickly and painlessly?
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