Someone said to be quite wise once wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Those of us who search for blog ideas can (painfully) relate to that.
Are you running out of ideas for your blog? Wondering what the hell you’re going to post tomorrow? Hey, it comes with the territory, so just do what everyone else does – STEAL ideas!
Seriously. You can take them from newspaper or magazine articles. News you can use, right?
You can get virtually unlimited blog ideas just by looking at magazine or newspaper headlines. That’s because the editors of those publications know just how to create catchy headlines that will motivate you to read further, and you don’t need to re-invent the wheel.
Bonus: With this technique, you can even be productive while standing in the 12-item line while someone with 17 items checks out.
Let me also suggest a trip to the library. Nashville, where I live, has a great public library system and the branch nearest my home offers comfortable work spaces. For two months straight I had to write four articles a day on home decorating and furniture.
I soon started to come up empty by trolling for blog ideas on the Interweb, so I moved my “office” to the library. I discovered something very revealing: Books develop ideas more deeply than Internet content. I was able to get the inspiration I needed to crank out the articles.
I was quite relieved…
Here are some more tactics to try.
Find a post about something that interests you. If you’re blogging about entertainment, for instance, you might find an article that purports to tell you “What Madonna Thinks About Rap Music.” Obviously, you’re not going to copy it. But maybe you could find out “What CHER Thinks About Rap Music.”
Borrow an idea
Say you’ve seen a heading in a magazine that says, “The Secret to a Great Garden.” Okay, you’re not interested in gardening and neither are your readers. But what if you took “The Secret To…” and thought about it? You might end up with “The Secret to Great Slow Cooker Recipes,” or “The Secret to the Best Kid’s Birthday Party.” You don’t have to re-invent the wheel, just tweak it a bit!
Now, go totally outside the box for blog ideas. “What Madonna Thinks About Kid’s Birthday Parties.” Get inventive, and find something that will engage your readers. The key to effective blogging is to keep in mind that you don’t always have to be 100 percent original. You can look for interesting ways into a topic, and find other ways to approach it. Sometimes it’s going to work, but other times it’s going to need a little editing. If you’re of a creative mindset, though, you can usually find interesting ways to approach blog topics, even if they’ve been done umpteen before.
Cash in on a trend
Head over to Twitter and see what’s trending. Do the same with Google Trends. Find a trending topic that you can steal for your article. I swear that when a big movie starts to trend, any article built around it – like“5 Lessons Finding Dory Can Teach Us About Marketing” – will get more than its deserved number of social shares.
That’s just how shallow we are. Sorry to be the one to tell you, if you didn’t already know it.
[bctt tweet=”“5 Lessons Finding Dory Can Teach Us About Marketing” – will get too many social shares. Ugh.” username=”rbmanley”]
Never feel you have to be creative
Most new blog ideas are just old ideas that have been recycled. Don’t feel that you have to always come up with new ideas for your articles. You can always find something that someone has talked about before, and put a new spin on it. As long as you’re creative and you can keep it interesting, old ideas can become new and refreshing. It’s all in how you present them and how creative you can be.
One common strategy in this case is to take a completely contrary position. We love rebels, so if you take a strong stand and start hacking away at some piece of conventional wisdom, you’re going to find some readers who will (at least) admire your courage…and perhaps be humored by your stupidity.
Get kicked in the pants
I also like to use some of the free online headline creation tools to inspire blog ideas. They tend to push me way outside my comfort zone, which is a good thing to do from time to time. I also like to see how well their headlines perform.
Currently, I’m using The Best Title Generator. It pumps out a lot of titles that make no sense, but among those pieces of coal, you can usually find a few gems.
If you’re working hard to establish your voice, copying the work of others shouldn’t be a problem. But just in case, you might check out this free online plagiarism checker to make sure that you’re not skating too close to the line.
And for sure don’t make any of the big blogging mistakes that tell your readers you’re faking the whole deal.
DISCLAIMER: Note that I’m not advocating stealing articles. I’m advocating inspiration from the approaches others have taken to topics. I’m reminded of an old joke: Steal from one person and they call it plagiarism. Steal from a lot of people and they all it research!