Whether you are still choosing a niche for your blog, or you have already chosen one; you need to come up with ideas for blog posts. The key to a good blog is consistent content. So coming up with ideas for posts is key to a good blog. The term “brainstorm” gets thrown around a lot. Here are a few different ways to brainstorm ideas for your blog.
If you are more visually oriented and think better in pictures, the mind mapping may be a good method of brainstorming.. Essentially, a mind map starts with writing down a keyword in the middle of a piece of paper, then drawing branches out to other words, and more branches from those words. It starts looking a bit like a map. Do this for about 15 minutes without judgment.
- How to Use Mind Maps to Unleash Your Brain’s Creativity and Potential – A good article explaining mind mapping.
- Xmind – Free mind mapping software for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.
If you are more analytical than visual, you might find free writing a better option. Just start writing. No editing, no stopping, no restrictions. No matter what ideas come to mind, write them down, even if they seem unrelated. Give yourself a time limit of 15 minutes to just write whatever topics come to mind.
- Freewriting, Prompts, and Feedback – A comprehensive article on The Internet TESL Journal about freewriting, including some great ideas for prompts.
Look at All Sides
Looking at a list of ideas or topics from all sides can be useful. This idea is called cubing. A cube has six sides, so you need to look at each topic from six different points of view. The six sides of the cube can stand for: Describing, comparing, associating, analyzing, applying and arguing (for or against).
- Cubing-Prewriting – A simple slideshow to go over the six sides in a little more depth.
Once you have a list of topics, you should organize them. Put them into groups and see how they go together. Play around with different ideas of organizing them. You may get more ideas when you organize them a different way.
- Evernote – a great cloud based tool for organizing your thoughts, notes, and to do lists with apps for PC, Mac, Android, and iPhone, so you can access your notes anywhere.
Remember the 5 W’s
An easy way to get more ideas on a topic is to use the 5 W’s from journalism. Write about the Who, What, When, Where and Why of the topic. These are a great way to supplement any How To type article..
- Remembering the 5 W’s – A great article on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s website.
Researching keyword on your topic or niche is another good way to come up with idea. Keyword research will give you ideas based on common search terms around the topic. Seeing what information people are searching for will give you great material to blog about.
- Übersuggest – a site I use to come up with keyword variants when researching.
The one imperative is to focus on your audience. They are the reason you are doing this. Don’t write for yourself; write so your audience gets something of value. And this means you need to have a clear idea about who your audience is. If you don’t have that, your articles will likely go unread.
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