Being a Blogger, Getting into Writer’s block situation is something not new. We all need to write something on a regular basis and a point come into our life, where we feel we are running out of topic and ideas.
As professional writers, it may at times not even be optional. Sadly, from time to time it just seems so difficult to come up with ideas. This is not as a result of a lack of creativity on our part, for the pile of epic pieces we have written in the past validates our writership. The truth is, most writers, even Seth Godin who has managed to write 3000 blog posts, have days when they feel they are not up for it.
What happens then?
Close the lid of your laptop and give yourself a break? Sadly, that is what most writers do. But it does not have to be so. Here I’m sharing tips on how you can generate topics to write about , when you are completely bowled out.
Ways to Find Blog topics to write about when you are trapped
1. Steal the Ideas of Others
Trying to reinvent the wheel can be painful, especially on days you forgot your ‘Einstein hat’ at home. Instead of insisting on forcing yourself to write an original piece in those circumstances, why not simply steal content from others? (Do not quote meJ). By recommending stealing, do not mistake me to mean blatantly copying the works of others. That will surely get you into trouble. What I am suggesting is that you should run over to the top blogs and check out their best stuff, and using the same structure, write your own post on a different topic. If you are writing in the same niche as the post you are stealing from, you even get more accolades for linking to your source.
For Instance, see how the post On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas by Copyblogger’s Jonathan Morrows inspired the post How to Stop Telling your Sad, Sad Story.
You get it?
2. Steal an Idea from Yourself
If you have been writing for a while, you have definitely had some high points in the past. Go back and see which of your posts were most successful, and create a new post modelling that. This is by far one of the easiest way to find new topic for writing articles, as it will be easier for you to come up with a follow-up article idea and you will be covering an interesting topic, which your readers might be interested to know about.
Why is this idea a smart one?
If that structure worked before, it will work again. I will still use Jonathan Morrows’ post to illustrate how this can be achieved. Notice how he stole the headline and content structure of On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas in writing another insanely successful post How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World.
He used a format that worked for him before and wrote another great post that worked for him again.
3. Do a Case Study
Case studies are an amazing way to build traction, traffic and buzz to your website. On your low idea days, why not consider doing a case study on any aspect of your business?
What is a case study?
A case study, simply put, is a case in point. It refers to using real-life cases to demonstrate why you arrived where you are. For an example, see Viper Chill’s How I Built a Blog with 6500 Subscribers.
What if you have not had that kind of success? : If you have not had any significant personal success, you may want to do case study to demonstrate something you have.
Amazingly, people are so attracted to failure. People want to know why you failed, so they don’t end up making the same mistakes as you did. The honest story of your failure and why you think you failed can get more links and shares than you could possibly get from a the story of your success.
To get this right, you must go in-depth into what you did, and show an understanding of why in spite of your efforts, you failed. There should be a sequence here that your reader can follow or avoid. See a good example here Case Study: I Listened to Google and I Failed.
What if you have not yet failed at something?(Lucky you J). Then do a case study on the success or failure of someone else. See how Danny Iny handled his case study on Old Spice. Old Spice, New Market: Surviving the Death of a Customer Base
If you do not do anything, watch the video on that post. It may make your day.
4. Let Your Audience Decide
Asking your audience for post ideas may sound lame. But believe me, it is not. Who is most qualified to tell you what to write about than your audience?
Think about it.
So when you hit a blank and the ideas just won’t come, try your audience out. You may just see a trend in the requests they make, which may even reveal a whole new focus for your blog. Sometimes you may not feel like asking directly. That’s okay. Just check out your comments areas.
- What are they saying over there?
- What questions have your readers asked that you may focus on for a full length post?
- When you blog on topics that answers the direct questions of your readers, they will reward you with more loyalty.
What to Take from this Post
When you are out of ideas, these Writing productivity tips are the smart guy’s way of coming up with topics ideas. But it is even smarter if you write when you are at your creative best. There is nothing wrong in writing ahead of schedule, and building up a portfolio of great posts you can use on your blog and as guest posts. They benefit of having such a cache of content is that it frees you from the pressure of thinking you have to write to beat a deadline. It is amazing that you feel most creative when you do not have to write.
Another quick tip for newbie: When you are starting, use a mindmapping software and start creating a list like 50-100 topics to write about and divide them into sub topics. Select the topics/Subject which are comfortable with and it will help you in long run. Do share with us, your method of generating new topic ideas?