19 Blog Post Ideas to Spark Your Creativity and Inspire Your Writing

Bored blogger

Need inspiration for your next blog post?

You’re staring at a blank sheet, unsure what to write about next.

Haven’t you written everything already?

What more is there to say?

What else can you write?

Hang on.

That might be the wrong question.

Don’t think: What should I write next? Instead, consider: How can I help my readers?

Let’s start with 7 blog post ideas to re-focus on your readers and write posts your readers crave to read.

Sneak into the head of your ideal reader

  1. Check your blog comments for questions your readers have asked and answer them in your blog post. If you don’t get many comments, check a popular blog that’s read by your ideal readers or ask a question in your e-newsletter. Derek Halpern recommends asking your readers what they’re struggling with as soon as they sign up to your newsletter.

  2. Picture the business or personal objectives of your ideal reader and consider how you can help her reach her aims. How can you make her happier, healthier, richer, or more popular? Write a list post or a how-to post.

  3. Consider what your ideal reader struggles with and share your most useful tips.

  4. Provide a buying guide with genuine advice. If you’re a virtual assistant, you can write about how to select and interview a new virtual assistant. If you’re a life coach, you can be honest about what a coach can and can’t help people with.

  5. Provide guidance to help your ideal reader make choices. If you’re an IT company, you could write about choosing the right IT company or how to decide between outsourcing and managing IT in house.

    Don’t be sneaky. Don’t use your blog post to promote your services. Most blog readers are allergic to sales talk, so provide honest advice.

  6. Help your ideal reader avoid mistakes. Everyone is nervous about making mistakes or looking silly. A post outlining a number of mistakes is a sure-fire hit. As a copywriter you could write 13 Warning Signs Your Web Copy Stinks or as a web designer you could write Do These 7 Design Mistakes Hurt Conversions on Your Website?

  7. Write about your own weaknesses or failures to help your readers overcome their problems. Remember: Your purpose shouldn’t be to tell your life story, but to use your stories to help your readers.

Write more authoritative blog posts

You might think you’ve covered everything there’s to say about your industry, but this is hardly ever true.

Have you lost your curiosity?

Below follow 9 ideas to re-kindle your interest …

  1. Consider what’s being discussed in your industry and share an authoritative opinion. Strong opinions can spark a debate. You can also explain why you disagree with an authority’s opinion.

  2. Comment on the latest trends or predict what’s going to happen next year. You can also ask experts to share their thoughts.

  3. Create an epic guide. Consider reducing your blog schedule for a few weeks to have time to write your most detailed post ever.

  4. Publish an ultimate list of resources. Share the best resources you know that can help your readers succeed.

  5. Record a podcast with an expert. Ask insightful questions to show your own authority and create an interesting debate.

  6. Ask an authority to contribute a guest post or see whether you can co-write a post.

  7. Explode a myth. Do your readers have a certain idea that you think is completely wrong? Argue a strong case in your next blog post.

  8. Have a rant. Occasionally, it’s okay to vent your anger and write about something that upsets you. To avoid regrets, edit and polish your post when you’ve cooled down.

  9. Find a quote to inspire your next blog post. Create a swipe file with fascinating quotes. But don’t steal your inspiration – credit your sources.

Re-visit old topics with new metaphors

Metaphors or analogies can breathe new life into regurgitated topics.

To exercise your metaphoric muscles, start with your end goal: how will your readers benefit from reading your post? Then think about a new way to explain it.

Most people are more creative when they get away from their computer. So drag yourself away from your desk, get on your bicycle for a short ride, hoover your house, or do the dishes while thinking about connections between your advice and other topics.

Giving your mind too much freedom, can make you less creative. Set yourself a constraint by coming up with a metaphor from a specific area. Below follow 3 ideas:

  1. Use your favorite sports to explain what’s happening in your industry. Sports give you lots of opportunities for analogies – there are rules, successes, and failures. There are teams that play well together or can’t play together, the referee who keeps order or not, the coach with his tactics, and the fans who adore their heroes and despise the “enemy”.

  2. Compare cooking with running your business. Think about cooking techniques, recipes, ingredients, utensils, or the difference between a bland and a tasty sandwich. And if you don’t like cooking, can you talk about your cooking disasters?

  3. Use your personal experiences as a metaphor to enlighten your readers. Personal life lessons can almost always be applied to your professional life, too. Think about the topics you’re happy to talk about like your first job, your holiday adventures, or moving house.

Avoid vapid clichés and drab analogies by making your post as specific as possible. For instance, if you’d like to write a post about the practice required to become a better writer, tell a specific story how you’ve learned to play basketball or explain how you coached a kid to become a star football player, or share how you learned to cook. And then apply that specific experience to advice how your readers can become better writers.

Generic analogies bore your readers to tears. Specific stories make dull topics enchanting.

How to Generate an Endless Stream of Blog Post Ideas

The truth about generating blog post ideas is simply this:

Remain curious.

Listen to your readers and you hear them hinting at new blog post topics. Continue to learn and explore, and you’ll find more ideas and more tips to share. Dig deeper, and you’ll write more insightful posts.

Curiosity sparks your creativity and fuels your writing.

This blog post is part of a free tutorial about business blogging.

Image credit (adapted): Shutterstock
Enjoyed this article? Get updates (it's free):

Comments

  1. Thanks Henneke! Great resource for me to go through when I’m stuck. To add nr. 20: follow what’s hot on Google Trend as an inspiration to write something related in your own area of expertise.

    Greetz, Harry
    Harry Heijligers recently posted…Nieuwe trend? Het belang van goede Customer ServiceMy Profile

    • Henneke says:

      Has that worked for you? I understand the principle, but it has never really worked for me. Maybe I need to try harder!

      Thank you for stopping by again, Harry. I appreciate it :)

      • Okay, I must admit that I didn’t use this yet. That’s because a while ago I did an exhaustive brainstorm myself (via a huge mindmap) and I now still have 30 or so blogtitles to write. Unfortunately I don’t have the time lately to write them,but that’s another story.

        About Google Trend: you can use this as an creative inspiration. Like other ways to come up with creative ideas such as flip through magazines etc. Most of the time this works for me. If I have a question this helps me most of the time as a “spark in the dark” and then suddenly the light goes on in my head.

        • Henneke says:

          The magazine trick does work for me. Reading headlines in magazines (on a totally different topic) can spark ideas for blog posts.

  2. Great tips, thanks!

    I have 2 additional tips that might be helpful:

    1) write down all of your blog ideas and keep them in a file (include ideas for titles & headlines). I have a file filled with dozens of ideas, so all I have to do to get an idea is read those ideas & it immediately sparks my creativity, and
    2) write down all questions your clients ask you – the answer to each question provides enough material for at least 1 blog (plus it’ll keep you aware of the biggest struggles & problems your clients experience)
    Brigitte van Tuijl recently posted…Yes, you can have it all!My Profile

  3. Zsuzsi Szabo says:

    “Most people are more creative when they get away from their computer. ” You are right! I just came back from washing dishes :)

    • Henneke says:

      When I get stuck with something, I often do household chores. And I get my best ideas while out riding my bicycle!

      The key seems to be to do something that’s relatively routine and gives your mind the space to wander around. I’m not sure what the science behind it is, but it works.

      I hope washing your dishes inspired you, too! :)

  4. Nydia says:

    “Use your personal experiences as a metaphor to enlighten your readers.” This is powerful because it builds emotional connection with your audience.

  5. Hello, Henneke.

    Fantastic Post! that one of the problem we face in the blog every day.

    I usually write notes in a notebook that always goes with me. Sometimes when I don’t find the inspiration I take a look to the notes and suddenly my mind is full of ideas.

    It is a good travel friend in your day life.

    Thank you for your post. You inspire my, like my notebook.
    Greeting from Spain.

    • Henneke says:

      Hola Javier!

      Yes, that’s a good idea. I’m not so disciplined, so I have different scraps of paper or sometimes I email myself an idea. I probably need to get better organized some time …

      Thank you for stopping by and adding your thoughts :)

  6. Paul Keep says:

    I loved this point you made…

    “You might think you’ve covered everything there’s to say about your industry, but this is hardly ever true.”

    Great to remember when I genuinely feel stuck. Thanks for this post. A lot of great tips like always :)
    Paul Keep recently posted…The Copywriter’s DictionaryMy Profile

  7. #1 is the most popular with me – I find just reading comments inspires me and sometimes, as I start to comment, I realize I’m writing blog material, not a comment, so I copy and then expand on the idea in a blog. Just slight adjustments in perspective open whole new blog worlds! Thanks for continually inspiring the rest of us Henneke.
    Marie Youngblood-Krebs recently posted…Network Leveraging for Increased Profits All AroundMy Profile

  8. Bill Honnold says:

    I do my best creative thinking when I go for a walk.
    I always take my iPhone with me so that I can capture ideas using the voice memo. Then, when I get back to my office, I write a shitty first draft so that I don’t forget what I was thinking about.
    I come back later and polish the final article.
    Great ideas (as usual) Henneke!

  9. Rants would have to be my favorite – they pretty much write themselves!

  10. This is definitely going into my to-be-pulled-out-later file!

    I like #18. Very creative. Putting together a book is like putting together a main course. Follow step #1, then #2. A little dash of this, and a dash of that. Hmm….I think you just gave me my next blog post.

    Thanks, Henneke! ;)
    Penelope Silvers recently posted…Break Out of that Writing Rut: Tell–Don’t Show–Write More of What You Love!My Profile

  11. And of course, I need to spell my own name correctly! ha!
    Penelope Silvers recently posted…Break Out of that Writing Rut: Tell–Don’t Show–Write More of What You Love!My Profile

  12. Avadhut says:

    Hi Henneke,

    That was a good list.

    I’m reading about keyword research and struggling with blog post ideas. I do a keyword research and check whether a particular keyword has good volume or not. I use Keyword Planner for this.

    Any method you can suggest for selecting keywords? I would like to generate good post ideas.

    Thanks.

    i\

    • Henneke says:

      Hi Avadhut

      Good to see you again! I used to select keyword phrases based on Google’s keyword tool. I’d go for slightly longer phrases – three to five words – rather than short, more competitive ones. Some of the best keyword phrases compared two options. For instance: “pension vs savings account” or “pension vs annuity”.

      However, I don’t focus on keyword research anymore. I write a post based on what I think will be useful for my readers – either because someone has posted a comment, emailed a question, or something came up during a coaching session. When you write about specific issues that your readers are struggling with, then you start to generate organic traffic because people will also search for these phrases.

      After I’ve written a post, I sometimes realize that a post may be able to rank well for a certain phrase. In that case I might ensure the key phrase is repeated in a subheading and/or opening paragraph. I did that with this post for instance and added “blog post ideas” in the last subheading plus at the end of the opening paragraph.

      I find it difficult to write an engaging blog post when I focus too much on keywords. So I write a post first, and then if I see an opportunity, I might add a keyphrase or two, but it’s not my starting point. I hope this helps!

  13. Henneke,
    I can’t get enough of your writing. I received your free ebook from Amazon a week ago and can’t stop reading. Your sage advice is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I am an academic, writing for peer reviewed journals now branching out with a new business. The blog stuff has had me stymied and scared. After reading your ebook and many of your bogs over the past few days I am ready to soar, or at least have fun honing the craft of blog writing. I can’t thank you enough! (I know you don’t like exclamation points but I couldn’t help myself.)
    Kelly Beischel recently posted…A Tribute to Teresa: Life LessonsMy Profile

    • Henneke says:

      Hi Kelly – yes moving from academic writing to blog writing is a big change. I’m so glad you find my blog posts and book useful, and even more delighted if you’re having fun honing your blog writing skills.

      Thank you for stopping by, Kelly.

      PS The occasional exclamation mark is allowed (!).

  14. Well interesting topics to blog about Henneke; Its my first time here and looks like i was late to come in because i was troubling to get some ideas to blog about in my company blog.

    Readers feedback have helped me to find new topics one or two time, other thing i did was researching what other people in the same industry in other countries are blogging about. That information was my major source of topics.

    now let me use at least couple of your tips at the earliest….
    Cedar Webdesign cochin recently posted…Social media optimization strategies that workedMy Profile

    • Henneke says:

      Yes, you’re late to the party, but that doesn’t matter – at least you found your way.

      You can ask your clients how you can help them or offer a few free coaching sessions to them.

  15. Hema says:

    I was on the look out for my next blog when I stumbled upon this post of yours. I need to thank you. You have given me a lot of creative ways to blog. Since I have recently entered the blogging world I am finding my way through it. But I am happy to have started and thanks to experienced bloggers like you, newbies like me get heaps of encouragement.

    Thank you a lot

Add your comment

*

CommentLuv badge