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I read this article recently that explained beautifully what an idea is. Briefly, and in the context of this post, an idea is a thought of something new, a “novel concept” and it’s really rather exciting! But how do you consistently find new ideas for your blog posts regularly? I understand, all too well, the thought that being creative all the time is hard. So, here are my suggestions on how to collect ideas for your blog posts, ready for when you need them!
#1: Be always on the lookout
Read blog posts
I have a blog feed reader set up on Google Chrome, where I can go to find all the blogs I follow. I check in a couple of times a month and scan through titles to see what’s worth a read. Everything else gets deleted. Of the posts that look interesting, I review them and decide if they’re useful. I save them to a folder within ClickUp (I have folders for blogs worth sharing, ones for research, ones to generate ideas from).
I find so many juicy tidbits in various emails I’m signed up to. Anything from a mailing list automatically gets stored in a folder in my emails and then, once a week, I go through them in the same way I do the blog posts.
Facebook makes it easy to save posts to a set folder, but it’s easy to forget about it! My saved folder is usually a treasure trove of interesting posts and information though – not just the posts themselves, but the comments too!
Take photos of favourite passages or quotes (or manually tap them into a space where you store them). If you’re a digital reader, highlight inspiring lines and paragraphs and save them to a folder.
#2: Ask questions
Be direct and ask your audience
- Your clients, past and present
- Your followers on social media
- Ask questions in your blog posts and read each comment to see if there are any good questions you can answer in new posts
- Ask people in your industry
- Send an email out to your mailing list and ask them
Use search engines and online tools
Start by typing a keyword and see what questions Google starts to show up. Look at the related searches section at the bottom of the results page. Tap a search query into Pinterest and see what suggestions come up there. Use Google images as well as the main search page. And Answerthepublic.com is also a great resource.
#3: Look at your own work
Your older blog posts are a great place to collect ideas. The aim is to see if there are new ideas you can pull from the old content. Where you’ve covered more than one idea in a post, consider taking a single idea and going more in-depth with it, writing a detailed post on that point. You can also link back to the original post, something Google loves!
#4: Collect ideas together
Build a ‘swipe’ file (or multiple files)
You can create a list on a spreadsheet, a Word or Google document, your business management software (I LOVE ClickUp’s functionality for something like this), or go old school with a file on your desk.
However you choose to do it, keep your thoughts and ideas all in one place, so when the time comes and you need an idea, you know where to access it.
Got a ton of ideas but don’t know how to write about them? Why don’t we have a chat and see how I can help you bring those ideas to life?