So maybe you're thinking that this is exactly the type of post a blogger writes when they have actually run out of ideas.
Aha, not this time.
It is something I think about a lot though. I even wrote a poem about it like 4 months ago. It amazes me - both as someone who writes blog posts and as someone who witnesses the content that is constantly churned out on other platforms.
It can be difficult to constantly find topics to talk about. I mean, the thought that I'll be publishing a new post every week (ish) for the rest of the year and beyond can be frightening at times. But there are many, many people who are doing an awesome job of this content creation craziness.
Think of it - there are some bloggers (The Anna Edit is one that instantly comes to mind - but trust, there's lots more) that have been producing awesome content:
That's pretty cool.
And you know what? When you want to be consistent with blogging, it's so essential that your creativity continues to flow. Whether that's creativity with generating content ideas or even creativity when it comes to finding new ways to promote your blog. And when monetisation comes into the picture. BOOM. That can involve some creativity too.
I wonder how many writers can relate to this: You brainstorm a lot of topics and ideas in advance. You get them all written down and everything looks just peachy. However, when it comes the day to actually write about them, those topics and ideas just don't seem that attractive anymore.
But... you've got a content schedule or maybe even just that nagging feeling in your gut that compels you to get writing because you've not published anything in a while. You've got to find something to write about. And it's gotta be good, because you know, we don't just post for the sake of posting.
The struggle is real.
Yet, despite these difficulties I do believe that I'll never completely run out of blog post ideas.
Because there's always stuff going on in life, and each new season or phase brings:
It's almost like thinking about how we always have things to talk to our friends about. Every time we see them. Maybe something big like a vacation or massive life event happens and that gives you conversation starters for weeks.
But most times nothing spectacular will have happened. You're just living the same normal routine. Yet you still find topics and conversations that are interesting and engaging. Isn't it a mystery? Sometimes we'll have huge news and others times we'll just be interchanging thoughts, perspectives, hopes, dreams etc. But the conversations always go on...
That's what writing this blog feels like. I always wanted to create a website where I could write as freely as I desired. I write what I feel like writing that particular day, whether I'm sharing my experience trying green smoothies for the first time, or reflecting on why revenge is pointless.
Some posts will lean more to the personal development side, and others will be more of lifestyle discoveries. For me, having a broad niche has its advantages.
So if I was to really break it down, I would say that there are two main ways that I always have content ideas flowing through my mind. Planning and reading. Let me explain:
By planning, I'm talking about giving yourself time to generate ideas. Though I sometimes come up with blog post ideas on the same day I write, I often try to start brainstorming weeks before I start a single post.
Yes, I make all that idea generation stuff its own process. Because, to be honest, brainstorming post ideas is as much of a task and writing them.
When you allow yourself some time to just think and imagine the sort of content you'd like to include on your blog, it relieves you of some pressure. You breathe a sigh of relief that you've now got some ideas to at least work with in the future, and you don't have to commit the time and energy to plan and write in one go.
I plan a schedule, but if I'm blessed with a new exciting idea on writing day, I'm more than happy to use that and save the original idea for another day.
Let's talk about reading...
Reading always helps one's writing, whether we're talking book writing or blog writing. When you're a blogger, reading other blogs can help you to get a sense of what kind of content people find interesting, especially when you search within your niche. Sometimes you'll read a post and then be motivated to write your own post in response to the topic that was discussed, putting your own slight twist, or completely re-writing the topic from your own perspective.
Not only does reading strong content help you with ideas, it can inspire you to get on and put pen to paper. Watching others create great content on a regular basis always reminds me to get back to creating my own.
I never worry about writing about the same topic twice.
In fact, I get excited when I can link two or more posts together, because they're related or similar. When I read other blogs, I actually love seeing bloggers write multiple posts on a subjected I'm interested in. I mean - I don't even care if two posts have nearly the same title. It's nice to see people going back to past topics, after having spent more time reflecting or when they've gained more experience and new insights to share.
For instance, I don't get disappointed when I see two "Blogging tips" pages on someone's website. One might have been written 5 years ago while the other was written 5 weeks ago. I like updates and even the opportunity to compare the two posts to see how the blogger's thoughts have changed. Or what has stayed the same.
Each post has something valuable to offer.
Also, if we want to get technical and consider this from a blogger's point of view - writing many posts on the same topic is actually good for your website traffic because you're giving visitors who were pleased with one post (and will be interested in a related post) a reason to stay on your site longer.
Blog post ideas can come from the strangest, most unexpected places and situations.
Let me give you an example:
An while ago I had to have my appendix taken out. After surgery I decided to write a post with some tips on dealing with pain after an appendectomy. At this point in time, that post is one of the most read articles on my website.
The thing that makes it even weirder/funnier, is that when I went into the hospital, I kept thinking about how I would probably fall behind on blogging for a while. But on the day I got back from hospital, I wrote that post. And then strange things began to happen as people apparently began to read this random post, and to save it on their Pinterest boards.
I could not have pre-planned or scheduled that one.
A lot of posts on my site could actually be considered random. But I write what I find interesting or educational or motivational, and that seems to work for the most part.
The takeaway - Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and share the real lessons you learn from your real life. I'm sure that'll give you lots of content if you're like me and have a lot of things to learn still.
You might not have to look as far as you think. Look in and around yourself and share that. That's living content.
When you've got a mix of researched, structured content as well as spontaneous/personal reflections, you might find it to be a system that works really, really well.
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