Whatever your blogging niche, idea generation weighs constantly on your mind as you have to crank out that next blog post. The real problem is that you want the blog post to be great, reach readers, go viral, and make you famous.
But, you are realistic and would be satisfied with a solid post that enhances your brand and attracts visitors. When you have written for a few years, sometimes the well lacks a bit of water. It's hard to come up with new, valuable blog posts everyday.
As a university writing instructor, I face this wall with 60 students each semester. Imagine your problem of finding a topic multiplied by 60 to a 100 students, more worried about plans for Friday night than your little assignment to write a personal essay.
"Mr. Hammond, I don't know what to write about" I am thinking to myself that this individual has lived for 18 to 20 years and must have all kinds of stories to tell. However, that isn't the problem.
The real snag is that the student doesn't see her stories and her knowledge as important. This often happens with bloggers as well. We are so busy hunting for the next viral topic that we neglect stories all around us.
One of the most powerful features of writing is the discovery of meaning. If you start with a blank page and no ideas, that's no problem. You need to rethink your task. Your job as a writer is to discover ideas and stories and make them meaningful for your audience.
This means that you have to have your eyes and mind open at all times. Here are some items that will help you always be on the lookout for stories:
With your writing tools in hand and reminders-a-plenty, ideas will come to you, and you must write them down instantly. Blog post ideas are like dreams you try to remember in the morning. They vanish just as quickly as you try to remember them. When something interesting happens, write it down, in shorthand, just enough notes so that you will remember the story.
Sometimes a more concerted effort is needed to locate a topic. I'll share with you some of my favorite spaces and places for finding rich ideas:
In all of your activities, it's best to search for the unusual and uncommon. You want your ideas to be novel and meaningful. I hope you find these strategies useful.
Here's an activity you can try right now. Do a free write for ten minutes on this picture. Let your mind wander and see where it goes. Be creative, and good luck.
You might enjoy these articles on writing:
Before you go, what ideas work for you in generating blog topics?
By Darin L. Hammond
Writer for ZipMinis and owns ZipMinis Freelance Writing.
Darin Publishes across the web on sites like Technorati
BC Blog, Blog Critics, Broowaha, and Social Media Today.