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5 Ideas to Come Up with Blog Content from Your Daily Life

Posted By Darren Rowse 25th of April 2008 Writing Content 0 Comments

capture-repurpose.jpgMany bloggers suffer from the daily grind of having to find new posts for their blog – but what if there was an easier way? What if your next post was right before you in the activities that you do each day?

One great way to find new content for your blog is to capture things that you do in your daily routine that relate to your topic and then to present them as a blog post.

This won’t relate to every blog topic but many of us are living lives that are a gold mine of content – we just need to learn to capture and repurpose it.

Let me give you five examples of how to capture and repurpose daily activities for blog content:

1. Use your answer to a reader question as a post – one of the most obvious ways to capture content is to use the email (or even instant messaging) interactions that you have as the basis for posts.

Most bloggers get questions from readers at least on a semi regular basis (whether via email or in comments on their posts). Replying to these questions via email is a great thing to do as it gives a reader some personal attention – but it can sometimes feel like wasted time to write an email with advice that only one person will ever read. Why not ask the reader if they mind you answering their question publicly? If one reader has the question then others are sure to be thinking it so you’ll be helping others, plus you’ve just racked up another blog post. Here’s a recent example of this.

Alternatively simply take a question of a reader that they want you to answer and make it an open discussion post on your blog – with permission of course (see this recent example).

2. Use someone’s email answer to you as a post – how about flipping the last idea on it’s head and repurposing an email that someone else sent you as a guest post on your blog? I’m regularly asking others how they do things, picking their brains for advice on different topics etc – what if instead of getting an answer like this and then simply saying thanks you asked them if they’d mind you using it as the basis for a post? They might prefer you didn’t or it may be that you only use a short quote from their email as part of a larger post – but I’d bet that most of us have emails in our inboxes that would benefit our readers.

3. Document how you complete a task – if you write a blog with a ‘how to’ type component to it one of the simplest ways to create content is to simply keep a record of how you do something and then to write it up as a post. I did this recently in a post telling readers how I cleared my email inbox.

These types of posts tend to go down very well with readers because it takes your blog from being a theoretical blog and makes it much more bedded down in reality. It’s also much more personal and inspiring to not only read how to do something but to read how someone else did it.

4. Video yourself doing something – extending upon this idea, why not video (or even photograph) you doing something? Instead of just a textual report of how you do something to visually show it can be very powerful.

There are a number of approaches to take with this:

  • Pure Video – just simply a video of you completing your task
  • Video/Stills – using a combination of video and still iamges – as I did in my post yesterday on talking readers through how I take an idea for a post through to hitting publish on it in terms of workflow.
  • Screen Casting – if your task is computer related actually capture that as a video and talk your readers through the process.

5. Record a conversation as a podcast or videocast – we all have conversations all day and every day and some of these conversations are relevant to the topics that we blog about. So why not capture some of them? Buying a recording device isn’t that expensive these days and editing a conversation down into a few bite sized but helpful snippets isn’t that difficult. Of course you’ll want to get permission from the people you talk to!

Again this approach not only captures something that can be repurposed into content but adds variety and personality to your blog.

The Key to Capturing Daily Life and Repurposing for Content

The main advice I’d give with each of these strategies is to keep it relevant to your blog. While the occasional blogger seems to get away with posting pictures of their latest meal, video of what their cat did to their new couch etc – this is probably not going to go down too well on most of our niche focused blogs.

The key is to find daily activities that you can draw on that also relate to what your blog is about and that will be useful to your readers.

What examples can you give of when you’ve captured things from your daily life and repurposed them as blog content?

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. Selling my Nokia N95 focused blog was a process that I documented in a blog post.

    I wanted to explain how and why I sold the blog to the new readers (I posted a small post on the sold blog with reference to the big post on my own blog), as well that I wanted to share the experience what one could encounter (withdrawing buyers etc.) with others.

    On the side, with this construction I leveraged a few feed readers from one blog to the other, which is convenient too… ;)

  2. Thanks for the insightful post Darren. Goes to show how simple ideas, implemented with a little creativity, can go a long way toward providing interesting, useful content for your blog.


  3. I am in the process of getting ready for a military move. We just ran into another roadblock today…so, not only did I blog about how to get your household junk and yourself ready to move…even before the movers come…I’ve recently talked about the obstacles we have run into and what we did to fix each one. I’ve already had folks email and post with similar issues. I’m hoping if I can write about it now, it’ll make it that much easier for the next person who has to go through it…no surprises for them makes for a smooth and stress-free (as much as it can be) move…especially if they are moving such a long distance as we are (overseas).

    Thanks for all your great tips. I really enjoy your blog.

  4. Thanks, Darren – using reader’s questions is a good one – as you said, if one person is thinking it, there are usually others with a similar question.

  5. I find alot of my ideas by reading the newspaper each morning, my favorite one to read is the Toronto Sun.

  6. If you know how and where to look, you can find ideas for your posts in almost everything around you. Of course you need to extrapolate sometimes, but that’s just an imagination and creativity exercise. Good post, Darren.

  7. Actually the first posts on my blog we all inspired by things happening in my daily life. I had a few ideas what to write about but something interesting happened every day so I didn’t have to come up with new ideas, it was just like capturing the events of the day.

    This doesn’t happen all the time though, so your tips are very welcome, thanks!

  8. I often use lateral instead of linear thinking when I come up with post ideas, Part of this involves comparing two things that aren’t — at first look — similar. It is the world of extreme metaphor. For example, maybe that “photo of my latest meal” has an odd color or texture to it that reminds me that my writing has become bland and that I could “flavor” it with using lists one day, full essays the next, use better photos, etc. Also, the video of the cat and the new couch (How can cats not be relevant! says the cat lover) can be turned into a post about how new tech things that we are trying may not be as practical right out of the box as we thought.

  9. Hi Darren,

    Great post! Personally, I use my day-to-day experiences as a source of inspiration when writing a new post in my blog (a web developing / design blog). However, I believe that most people don’t use this technique either because they don’t know about it or haven’t realized of it’s huge potential yet.

    Recently, I posted an article about Successful Blogging that’s somewhat related to what you wrote here so I believe it could be a great addittion to your post.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this! I’ll keep an eye on your blog ;)

  10. I agree with you that daily life can be used in posting and it gives readers an inside look into who you are. If you love your subject, as I do, it’s the easiest way to provide new material.

    A video of me! I couldn’t put my readers through such torture.

  11. pretty sweet tips! I was planning on recording myself completing a task and using it in a post on my site. I will use more video and audio in many of my sites.

    BTW, the post on clearing your inbox of amazing, I only check my e-mail several times a day.

    Another tip: Carry a camera with you as you go about your day. Plenty of opportunities are waiting to be captured!

  12. I always get ideas for posts when I’m out and about shopping or in the grocery store. Many of my best posts came from conversations I overhear while waiting in line at the post office or on a train or bus ride ;)

  13. yep I’ve been doing this for a while on both of my blogs. Most of my content for blog.dmbcllc.com comes from all but 5.

  14. LOL, I do post pics of my meals, but it’s focused to my topic. :)

    I like using reader questions, I do this a lot with questions I get in my comments. One thing I haven’t gotten into is video – I’ve had ideas of what I could video, keeping it on topic for my blog, haven’t done it yet.

  15. Hey great post. I was just scraping my brain for blogging contents. Something is on the tip of my tongue….not quite there yet. I’m going print out your article and reference it. Thanks buddy.

  16. Your post about social media toddler is a good example of taking daily life as post ideas.

  17. Great post. This gave me some excellent ideas for future posts on my own blog. Keep up the great work.

  18. This is a great post. Theories and ideas are important but in this game it is all about taking action. How do you implement your theories and ideas into making you money? This is what I’ve been working on at my blog.

    I reminds me of sitting in business classes in college and listening to the professor talk about marketing, finance, advertising and than watching them walk out to the 89 Honda Accord. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but if you have all this business knowledge why are you making money.

    Again, great post

    Commenting and interaction make blogging unique. Thanks to call who have commented above me, I’ve stumbled your sites.

  19. Very appriopriate and useful advice! I’ve written several posts as responses to comments left by my readers on previous posts. The usual reader reponse is “Wow, I’m sort of famous now!”

  20. @ Maria Palma, That is very true! Yesterday, I’ve got an idea for a post about salaries and net pay from overhearing a conversation between 2 guys on the bus.

  21. I agree 100%. I keep telling my friends who blog to write about what your doing in your life otherwise your faking it. And yes.. video, video… I just got myself a Gorilla Pod (coolest camera stand google it!).

  22. Sometimes the best articles come from the simple things in life. Nice article.


  23. I get most of my writing ideas from clinical experience I’ve had with client situations, and working with people in general. In other words, I never go empty! I also pull subjects from my own book, and do mini-series. The everyday experiences are important, and especially when bloggers use their unique voices in portraying them.

  24. I blog about my life all of the time. I am always thinking that there is nothing left to blog about for me.

    The secret is paying attention. I mean really paying attention to what goes on during the course of “your day.”

    Believe me if you do this you will never run out of things to blog about.

    Live From Las Vegas
    The Masked Millionaire

  25. I am a christian and I read my bible everyday (well I try to read my bible everyday) and it is amazing the content I get for my blog from things I read in the bible. It helps me find content for my financial blog heaps

  26. Sometimes I don’t get a good idea for a blog for a few days and begin to panic. But something always comes along and gives me an idea in the end.

    I guess the trick is being able to identify these little sparks of inspiration and not to worry about those ‘dry’ days.

  27. I often get a post idea from my morning beach walks, always take camera as often that will spark an idea. I am looking at recording my thoughts too for podcasting

  28. I really enjoyed your post. I found it very informative and insightful, thank you.
    I teach meditation, so most of my posts come from student questions and from my own personal practice of meditation and are written in article form. I love the idea of adding video and photos to the blog and making the blog more personal, perhaps including more about my personal practice of meditation and mindfulness.
    Again, great tips!

  29. Man, Its true , to be honest my life is one big movies with ups and downs. I could def get ideas from this. Thanks for breaking it down with simplicity as usual .

  30. i think, tetting idea what to post is not very hard..yes it can come up from anywhere..Its just you who didnt take iniciative to select it, collaborate and make a post about it.

  31. I run a Japanese language and entertainment based site, and I recently came up with a new idea for content – keeping a blog of my life in Japanese. This is great for me as it forces me to actively use my Japanese and people more knowledgeable than me can either correct mistakes or even converse with me. It is also good for the readers who are learning Japanese themselves as my Japanese isn’t very advanced they will be able to read it and ask questions of me if they can’t. – compared to real Japanese websites where the Japanese is too advanced for us.

  32. It never fails, you always leave me thinking “why didn’t I think of that?” I’m sure you receive plenty of e-mails how do you structure your time to answer back all of therm, or do you?

  33. Oh Darren(and btw belated Happy Birthday),

    You never seize to amaze me-just keep giving more and more good content. If I may suggest-now teach in real life the ‘how to’ of capturing scenes-with camera, etc.

    The field is so wide-right now I’m trying to figure out how to use seesmic for my own recording and for people leaving comments. You are really a fabulous teacher.

  34. Here is an example of the seesmic video comments and I didn’t mean seize(oh my) in the last comment, of course you know I meant cease-you never cease to amaze me :)

    http://snurl.com/263dc it’s from http://twitter.com/banannie

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