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Find Topics to Write About Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

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Find Topics to Write About Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Writing productivity 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.

Read: 4 Ways to find Blogging topics when you are tapped 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 (Do not quote meJ).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.

Failure.

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?

This is a guest post by Yeremi Akpan of ProBloggerTips. If you would like to write for ShoutMeLoud, check our guest post guidelines.

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Yeremi

    Hey Eapen,
    I am glad you found these ideas invigorating. But ideas will remain just that – ideas – if we fail to put them to use.

    Look for ways to put these to use and your blog will be happier for it!

    Reply
  • yash sehgal

    Another good way to find new ideas for post is to follow current trends on twitter.Checkout quora,yahoo answers and forums for more ideas.

    Reply
  • Eapen

    These are absolutely incredible ideas that can invigorate our ideas to help us spring back into action. Thanks a lot Harsh! Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  • george

    Hi, I have read on one of your posts that your spellings are passed through three spell checkers and you take of grammar. There are few mistakes which you often repeat. See the first para:” a point come (it should be comes) in our life when we…”. Please take care of that. Usually none of my comments are published, maybe because of my site. So I didn’t include it this time. The rest of the writing is marvellous.

    Reply
  • Zenil Shroff

    It happens every now and then, best thing is to do some research and follow topic that interests you.

    Reply
  • Koundeenya

    I came across this thing Yeremi! Writers’ block, I try to write something and finally end up writing something. Anyways, usually when I dont have a topic to write; I read my previous posts and find something related to them and link both of them. It’s quite helpful

    Reply
  • david

    These are great ideas to keep the creative juices flowing. I particularly like the concept of building up material for future use. That way if you decide you do want to guest post somewhere, you have something ready.

    As you mentioned before, the best ideas sometimes come when you do not ‘have to’ write.

    Reply
    • Yeremi Akpan

      Thank you for your kind words. Having a cache of ready to go blog posts is a smarter way to blogging. I keep a running total of at least 10 ready to go guests posts, and five ‘rainy day’ posts for my blog. That way, I am never short of good content.

      Having that number of content ready protects me from writing mediocre blog posts just to fill space on my blog.

      Reply
  • Amit Shaw

    Hey Yeremi, Thanks for the suggestion. I don’t think Stealing the Ideas of Others is easy job.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Yeremi Akpan

      True, it takes hard work to steal (read learn) from successful blog posts. You need to understand why the post worked, to really benefit long term from swiping the structure.

      But as Jon Morrow himself said, “The best writers are the best thieves.”

      If you study the works of the masters, you may not stop at stealing their ideas. You may end up stealing their success.

      Reply
  • Danny

    Hey Yeremi, it’s good to see you here. These are all great suggestions, and I appreciate your mentioning us here as well! :)

    Reply
    • Yeremi Akpan

      Danny, great to have you here too. I learnt much from that case study, and could not resist referencing it here. Keep churning out the good stuff…

      Reply

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