Blog It! Writing Ideas Checklist

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Although my blogging schedule is publishing posts twice weekly,  I clearly go through periods where I blog more or less,  depending on what’s happening in my working life,  my home life, and with my health.

From time to time I experience a day when I wonder what to blog about, and sometimes I experience  “dry  spells”,  and when  I do, then I’m blogging through writer’s block.

On any day when I can’t determine what to blog  about I begin by reading  my blog description, because when I do sometimes an idea leaps out at me.  At times when nothing is “leaping”  I consult my “Blog It Ideas Checklist

Blog Description

onecoolsite: A growing collection of Tips and Tutorials on How to Become a Better Blogger, How to Build a Better Blog and where to find free Blogging Tools and Resources.

Blogging Goal: To provide free instructional material and resources to bloggers, who are intent on improving their writing and blogging skills, and making their blogs more reader and search engine friendly (basic SEO).
Directory listings: Blogging, Blog Resources
Tags: SEO, blogging tips, blogging resources, blogging tools, blogging guides, blogging tutorials

Blog It Ideas Checklist

(1) A record of search terms readers used to locate your blog is an excellent resource and that’s why I keep one so it’s the first place I look for new ideas.

(2) Reader feedback in comments made on posts, and responding to reader questions is also a means of inspiration for new posts.

(3) News in my niche as well as news in social networks, and by subscribing to the RSS feeds of the blogs of several leading bloggers in any niche may provide inspiration for new posts. Reading the comments received on those posts frequently produces inspiring new material and new angles to explore on how to present older material.

(3) Checking my daily Google Alerts for key words, phrases and concepts is helpful too.

(4)  Topics being discussed in online groups and forums related to my blogs’ niche has also provided inspiration for a new post.

(5) Performing searches for related blogs and like-minded bloggers has also helped me turn up some ideas for new posts.

(6) Canvassing comments my readers have left on earlier your posts has also bring to light possible topics to blog on.

(7) Writing a “how – to” post is a solid idea as no matter which niche your blog is in there is bound to be something that you can provide a tutorial or instructional post for.

(8) Recording potential “blog fodder”  I experience in everyday life events in conversation, and by reading books, newsletters, ebooks, ezines is also a helpful way to find inspiration for creating new posts.

(9)   When I attend interesting local event or travel to attend one further afield my notes  provide all I need to blog it.  And  one day I’ll have a laptop so I can live blog events.

(10) Interviewing a fellow blogger is a terrific idea for writing a new post when I’m stumped, but as you can see, it’s at the bottom of my list and I have yet to do it.

Discussion question:

Readers, how do you decide on what topic to blog about?

28 thoughts on “Blog It! Writing Ideas Checklist

  1. I love this. I have found great information on many of your posts and for that I thank you. Have you ever done a Do’s and Don’ts on blogging etiquette? I have recently learned that adding a URL to a comment may be considered spam (only because a fellow respected blogger called me out on it) had I known the Do’s and Don’ts I never would have linked my name to my URL. I was also told that having pinterest post to twitter is bad. So what are the rules? LOL

    • Hi there,
      I haven’t published a post on this topic but I can point you to resources sites http://www.albion.com/netiquette/

      Linking your blog to your username is standard practice and not a violation of any netiquette I’m aware of. However, because that username to blog link exists, dropping an additional link to your blog at the end of every comment your leave is bad etiquette. That behavior is standard behavior on make money blogging forums but it goes over like a lead balloon in the WordPress.com support forums as it means Moderators or Staff have to waste time removing them.

      I don’t auto-post. I don’t have an opinion on auto-posting form Pinterest to Twitter except to say that spamming the same excerpt and links across social networks is an annoying and ineffectual behavior. It’s manually posting unique snippets on each social media site that is much more effective.

  2. I do a brainstorm session and then schedule the ideas on my editorial calendar. Whenever I feel like writing I can just choose a topic and start. I try to keep ahead by 10 to 20 blog posts in draft form so I never have to feel panicked that I don’t know what to write. But now I will add your tips to my brainstorm session. Great ideas, Time Thief.

  3. Pingback: Blogging Through Writer’s Block « one cool site

  4. Timethief

    I found this article to be very helpful. I struggle as a new blogger who has chosen a very difficult niche in finding topics to write about, that’s not to say I’m giving up, because the niche is difficult (to a novice like myself) it makes me that much more determined to succeed. I find myself searching well known blogging tips sites, including yours as a way of finding ideas. Sometimes in the course of my day doing something totally unrelated to blogging an idea will pop into my head. I’ll start making notes on whatever I can find, a napkin, a scrap pf paper or whatever. Because my blog is still in the infancy stage I’m always concerned about content, and getting more of it posted. Your outline here is very concise, and very valuable. Thank you for such insightful article. You never cease to me with your wealth of knowledge. If I knew one tenth of one percent of what you know I’d sleep better at night :)

  5. Pingback: Some Keys To Successful Blogging « Blogging Perspectives Daily

  6. @barryb64
    I’m happy to hear that my blog posts contain information that you find to be valuable.

    I used Google search. I typed “Christian social networks” into the search bar and got these results http://tinyurl.com/ygbgrl6

    Then I used “Christian RSS feeds” and these are the results http://tinyurl.com/yhsutst

    Then I used Google blog search and “Christian blogs” and these were the results http://tinyurl.com/yf7gu4p

    Lastly, I used Google search for “Vineyard churches” and these were the results http://tinyurl.com/y8ggu3o

  7. timethief,

    Thanks for the post. It is true that writers can get inspirations from a variety of places. Some would be amazed at where they can come from.

    As it is, I was getting an idea for a story for my own blog. It came from two sources: [religious reference removed by timethief] For some reason a story about two bloggers kept coming to mind. One wise and one foolish.

    I will look up some RSS feeds for my particular niche.

  8. Hi TT,

    I use my journal as a great resource for those “empty” moments. I am always surprised at how much material is in there that I have completely forgotten about.

    I have been writing a newsletter for the last 3 years where I publish 5 days a week. Amazingly I never seem to run out of material but I did use quotes to prime the pump.

    When I am really stuck, then surfing through my favorite blogs will usually spark an idea.

    Thanks for the great article and very useful ideas.

    Nick

  9. I write 7 days a week so coming up with original ideas it hard! I can really appreciate the op 10 list you compiled here! I will definitely be referring to this article now and then. I would also like to try an interview! I never did one outside of blogengage and think it would be a great idea!

    Many bloggers I follow always do a top posts of the week type of thing. They compile a list of their favorite blog article s and that’s an article in it’s self.

    Blogging is getting difficult like I said writing 7 days a week is hard!

  10. Great suggestions, in your usually comprehensive style. Personally, I’ve never really suffered from writer’s block. If anything, I tend to write too much. That’s why I like aphorisms. It’s easy to stand up and walk away from them. You scribble a few sentences and you’re done for the day. I could never sit at a computer all day banging out a novel. I’d go stir crazy. Most of my thoughts come to me through observation, when I’m walking around outside or eavesdropping on someone else’s conversation. The sight of a worm on the sidewalk or a child riding a bicycle will conjure up some thought or reflection. At first it’s pretty amorphous but after a while a sentence or statement starts to take shape.

  11. I think each and every one of these tips are excellent. I often blog when I have something I need to learn. By posting what I learned it reinforces the information.
    Also, if someone has asked me a question online or in a class I am challenged to provide a post that will clearly explain the answer.
    Thanks again, pure genius.

  12. I think visiting blogs of friends on my list inspires me what to write about. Sometimes it is just a feeling, then I pick up a thread from that. My problem is being organize. I don’t keep notes, I don’t have rules and I just write from instinct. I do see why it can have its problems. Your instructional guide is very helpful in making me realize what my goal is for today and the next. Happy blogging and cheers.

  13. When I was blogging for fun I would blog when the blog-fairy waved her ‘inspire’ wand. Now I am blogging to support a commercial enterprise so we keep a schedule of posts we plan to write and when we intend to publish them.

    The schedule may be just the outline or the ideas, and they may change as we go on, but the schedule gives us focus.

  14. I’m happy to say I use almost all of these techniques. Idea #1 is really good, I wrote a whole series of blog posts like that :)

  15. I think these are all wonderful ideas. I think it would be very interesting to see posts with interviews with fellow bloggers.

    I find personally that inspiration, thoughts, and ideas come at the most random moments in my life, and so I try to keep a very small notebook with me to write them down. Then, when I am sitting in front of the computer, I am able to go back to my notebook to expand upon any ideas I may have had at inopportune times.

  16. First thing I keep in mind when deciding the topic is that it should answer some question. Be it reader’s question or some popular topic that others have just touched, a detailed post always helps.

    Writing about news is good thing but only if it is not done often. No noe wants to see another news blog. Covering big news(like FeedBurner starting dynamic headlines 2 week ago) can be good.

  17. Pingback: Blog It! Writing Ideas Checklist « one cool site: blogging tips | Pinoy SEO

  18. This is such a refreshing and timely post for me. I have been languishing lately in online discussions, partly because I’m very busy and exhausted from work these days, and partly because some online discussions remind me of thumbing through a cheap magazine or watching TV. Ah….an epiphany! When time is tight or one is mentally exhausted, seek out places to go that provide meaning and engagement, and that can be found in the blog posts of good writers and good people like you. Thanks, TT. I’ll be better soon… ;-)

  19. Keeping a record of search terms readers used to locate your blog should be a no-brainer. Well, apparently, I have no brain because it never even occurred to me to do that. So far, all I’ve done is laugh at the funny one’s.

    D’oh!

    Thanks, TT!

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