How to Find Your Inner Blog Muse
Coming up with topics for blog posts can be toughest thing about blogging. Sometimes you might just be sitting around relaxing when an idea pops into your head, while at other times, you may sit in front of your computer staring at blinking cursor for hours, waiting for an idea – any idea. When the muse just isn’t finding you and you have to get a post up, here are a few things to try:
1. Read Other Blogs
Sure, wandering around the internet while you’re under a deadline may not be the best thing to do, but if you’ve found yourself without inspiration, it may just be the right cure for your writer’s block. It helps to always have a list of your favorite blogs handy, in case you need them in a pinch. They can be blogs run by a friend or acquaintance, a fellow blog network member (more on them in a second) or just ones that you’ve found while browsing the internet.
The blogs don’t even have to be in your same blogging niche – they can be about anything. As you read the latest posts, take mental notes on what the blog authors wrote about, and then see if you can adapt their topic or a similar one to your blog. Don’t copy their material outright; just use it as inspiration.
Technorati is one of the most well-known blog directory sites. If you’re looking for good blogs in your niche to follow, start there.
2. Check the News
There’s bound to be something in the news that you can write about. Whether it’s a local uplifting story or a national headline that ticks you off, as long as it makes you feel something and you can make it work for a blog post, do it. Not only will writing about a newsworthy topic help bring in traffic (this is where blog post tags come in handy), but you’ll have broken free of your writer’s block.
Some of the best places to find news on the web are on CNN.com, Yahoo news, and on the websites for your local hometown newspapers and television news shows. There are also handy cell phone apps that deliver the news to your Android or iPhone, so you can come up with topics while on the go.
If you have an iPad, check out apps like Flipboard, NewsMix and Pulse. All three are great ways to browse through the latest headlines from various sources.
3. Follow the Prompts From Your Blogging Network
Most blog networks post weekly or daily prompts for their members. By writing something on the prompt and linking to the network as such, “This post inspired by such-and-such on the insert-blog-network-here.” Submitting the link to the blog network once you’re finished will earn you recognition in the form of link sharing, and will bring in traffic from the rest of your network.
But, above all else, it will give you something to write about when you’re having trouble coming up with an idea.
4. Look at the World Around You
While this can go hand-in-hand with using trending news topics for blog posts, it also goes one step deeper and more personal. Yes, look at your life. Did you run into horrendous traffic on your way into work for the third day in a row this week? Did you significant other do something funny or annoying – again? Or did one of your pets do something completely unexpected yet hilarious?
The world around you can be as large or as small as you make it, as long as you use it as a source of inspiration. Find a way to post about your life without getting overly personal, and you’ll have solved your writer’s block and avoided irritating your loved ones.
If you need more inspiration, here are another 2 great posts – 37 Ways to Find Inspiration for Blog Posts, and 50 Can’t-Fail Techniques for Finding Great Blog Topics.
Yes, coming up with a good topic for a blog post can be difficult, but with the above ideas, you’ll find that it’s not impossible. Just keep in mind that the same source of inspiration may not work each time, so you may have to different ones on different days.
Josh Liu from MinuteBox, contributed to this story!