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10 + 9 Ways to Find Great Post Ideas for Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 3rd of November 2006 Writing Content 0 Comments

Randfish has a useful post over at SEOmoz with 10 Web Tools to Help Generate Blog Content Ideas. In it he lists a variety of tools including Google Groups, Technorati, Craigslist, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Google/Yahoo News, Keyword Tools, Wikipedia, Digg/Reddit and Yahoo! Answers.

I’d add to the list Topix.net (which offers some similar tools to the above) as well as Bloglines ‘search’ feature which lets you set keywords that will show blogs talking about those words in a folder.

Having said that – the majority of posts that I write these days come from other sources. Here are 9 more idea sources to add to randfish’s 10:

  1. Conversations – it’s amazing how many ideas come from the chats I have with other bloggers, co-workers, readers, friends and family both in real life and via IM or email.
  2. Reader Questions – related to this is responding to questions asked by readers
  3. Reader Comments – similarly, the comments left on your blog can be a treasure trove of ideas for future posts
  4. Other Blogs – like this post, I find the writing of others often stimulates posts that build on, extend or bounce off their ideas. Don’t forget to dig around in other people’s archives also as it isn’t only current posts that are places where you’ll get ideas. Of course always give credit to the source of your ideas.
  5. Books, Newspapers, Magazines – I’m increasingly finding inspiration in offline sources of information
  6. Mad Ideas – ever been laying in bed at night and get a crazy idea! I don’t just chuckle to myself when they come – I get up and write them down. It’s amazing how many of them end up being key posts for me later.
  7. Experience – a fairly large proportion of my post ideas come directly out of an experience that I’m having on the topic. Problems, achievements, challenges and mistakes are often the best source of useful posts as you’ll find readers relate well to them.
  8. Brainstorming – I take time out each week to specifically come up with ideas to post about. While most of my posts ‘just come to me’ through my day to day rhythm – I’m a big believer in working hard on story ideas also and have a folder permanently on my desktop filled with text documents that have little else in them except for a topic idea and perhaps a few jotted down notes – all to work on later.
  9. Archives – dig around in your own blog’s archives and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that you’ll find. Look for half finished ideas, opportunities to update your ideas or even topics that your newer readers wouldn’t have seen before.

Where do your ideas for posts come from?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. These days, for me, it’s not the topics that are few, it’s time to write about them.

  2. I do a lot of research on my chosen “pet subjects”

    I agree with brem above, it’s not a lack of things to write about, it’s a time thing. I could happily give up any job to blog full-time but don’t want to go the way of ads on my blog. So I’m stuck! Oh well, I am hoping one day I will write the book that I know I have tucked away inside me…

  3. From walking the dog. I’m kidding, but only partially.

    I think I use many of the ones listed here, but they really gel when I’m out walking – what I call my meditation in motion. The random snippets of ideas begin to form together and rise to the top. I write most of my posts in my head, then come back and get them on paper or in my text editor.

    It also works well when I’m stuck. Getting out, moving, and clearing the head does wonders for getting thing written.

  4. Here’s one of my favorite fonts of inspiration:

    *What would I want to read about?*

    That usually gets the brainstorm activity moving!

  5. I hear you. I will have trouble coming up with good ideas and I’ll have trouble finding the time to write about them when I do.

    I have recently created a blog that is specifically set up to let me write about things I don’t necessarily know anything about… which greatly expands the topics available! ;)

  6. I agree with Brem, finding the time to write is where my stress comes into play. I have a notebook that I keep handy and fill it with ideas on a day to day basis. I currently own 22 blogs, and also help write for at least 10 of my clients for their blogs and that leaves very little time at the end of the day. I think it falls under organizing.
    I do get a lot of ideas though from the alerts I receive from google.

  7. Deb: I have about 100 drafts in my wordpress admin panel. Of which, maybe 10 are worthy. Sometimes, I just paste a link, thinking about something I could write on the topic, then time goes by…. ;)

  8. Brem, you hit the nail right on the head with your comment on Time.

    Actually, that would be a great question for your readers Darren. I mean when do they find the time to right. Since most of us have day jobs that may or may not be related to our blogs, when do we tend to write our posts; early in the day, before heading to work, at work, in the evening?

    I for once, have split my time in two: I come up with an idea or subject to write about, put my thoughts down in a draft during the day (breaks) or late in the evening, and then I’ll publish them early in the next morning. The only problem I find with this schedule is that by the end of the day, I’m too exhausted to do so and end up never publishing that piece.

    What are your thoughts guys (and gals)? Do you post whenever you have an idea, or are you on some sort of schedule?

  9. Today an idea sprung on me for my career/job search blog from an email I received from Blockbuster regarding what I thought was a great service change, believe it or not.
    Ads from unrelated areas can give you ideas. Read outside of your industry and think, “How could I use this in my industry, in my blog?”
    Application of seemingly unrelated areas can provide great material.
    Then again, my blog is still only two weeks old, so ask me how the fountain is working 6 months from now.

  10. I get serveral of my ideas of that Darren had already listed in his rundown on his posting. Like many, I’ll search Google News for ideas, read other blogs, I hang around in and even those middle of the night crazy idea pops, get written down on a notepad next to my nightstand or a 20 foot walk into my office across the hall and jot them down on the computer desk.

    I blog and write full time nowadays. Finding hte time to write takes practice and patience, but, you can set an hour a day to write if you write partime, you’ll actually set a routine each day or night, before bed or work and something is done and published to your blog, either way, its good timing!

  11. In addition to the ones above I find newsletters often give me material for posts as well as postings on topic related forums. In some instances they lead to a full posting, other times (especially if it’s news) I copy and paste the material with an appropriate credit (always give credit where it’s due).

    I would also have to echo the comments about time as there never seems to be enough of it! For myself I’m just now getting the blog juices rolling again after taking a couple months of downtime to deal with off-line issues so getting back in the rhythm is the hardest part.

  12. Sometimes I seem to get my best post ideas while driving. I’m not sure if it’s the relaxing or meditative quality of driving, since I like driving to keep my head clear.

    I have been playing recently with simple meditation/visioning. Simply sit and clear your mind. If I have two topics that I’d like to somehow relate to each other, I ask my mind, “How can I write a blog post that ties these two ideas together?” Then I let the thoughts flow freely.


  13. Great ideas, especially the sudden crazy ideas that suddenly pops up when least expected. Since I don’t have a Macbook or laptop myself, my old pen and notebook has always come handy.

    The hardest part is actually putting it all in writing then to posting.

  14. I get my post ideas by venturing around the city. I see so many interesting things I never run out of ideas on what to post on. Seoul is a fascinating city!

  15. […] Last night I read the post over at Seomoz with his list of 10 Web tools to Help Generate Blog Content Ideas. Today Darren Rowse over at Problogger listed nine more ideas. So I thought I would help continue the list and see how far it can go. […]

  16. I usually try to carry a small pad notebook around. It comes handy when ideas suddenly just pop up and you wouldn’t want to miss it. I find that some really good ideas come when your mind is relax and not thinking of a specific subject matter in mind.

  17. Most of my inspiration comes from daily experiences. I just have to pause for a moment and see if there are any good lessons I can share from my daily interactions with businesses and people.

  18. It depends on the mood too

    sometimes you don’t have the mood to blog even if you have 100 sources of new ideas

    however, this post is useful – if i get 1 idea from every source – that’s 19 days of 1 post blogging – you have to think more to get to day 30 :D

  19. I find that looking at the search words that readers type in before they landed on my site is a good idea for me to figure out what people are interested in reading about. Then I go about writing about the topic. Great ideas as usual here.

  20. Hey May C,

    Then you might be interested in HitTail (http://www.hittail.com/) which lets you manage these keywords in an effective and very practical way.

    I use often to get new ideas for posts.

  21. […] 而ProBlogger 则在”10 + 9 Ways to Find Great Post Ideas for Your Blog “一文中为其增添了9种获取blog写作内容的方法。 […]

  22. […] Be prepared. When you have a few moments and you’re nowhere near feeling burned out, jot down ideas for future posts. Brainstorm a list of posts you’d really like to write for your blog. There are great ideas for getting ideas at Problogger, Successful Blog (and here) and SEOMoz. […]

  23. Of course you can purchase posts, or hire a writer. Places like Constant-Content allow you to buy post and requests articles. Guru and elance allow you to bid out writers for hire as well.

  24. […] It’s a revolving web trend where bloggers now get their ideas from other people’s blogs.  Darren Rowse even had this tip in his list for developing topics or ideas for conversation.  In a blog he authored at problogger.net, Rowse further discussed the idea of snooping around for ideas not only through current posts but, also from blog archives. […]

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