I Ran Out Of Blog Ideas What Should I Write About - Blog Article Idea Starters

Part of the Kenno's Blog series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, You Can Learn Series
April 10, 2008

Do you ever reach that point where you don't know what to blog about next? As long as it isn't fatal, meaning you are so sick of blogging you never want to see your blog ever again, then these tips may prove useful for you.

This is just a list of blogging article idea starters. Just review the list and usually by the time you get to point 10 your brain is beginning to churn. The list begins by asking you what's in the news and ends with a helpful commentary on if you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?

Somewhere in between those two starting points is your next article. Oh, it won't be a straight answer to the question presented. You will noodle it a little. You will add your personality and a little salt. You will identify the relevancy to your own blog and you will be back to blogging with great content. If you haven't come up with an idea for an article after reading through this list then feel free to write an article lambasting me for wasting your time. Be sure and get my name right and please add a link to this article.
  • Getting Current information - What's in the News?
  • What was the last web site you visited and what did you learn from it?
  • What is your opinion on the latest changes at Entrecard, FaceBook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, etc
  • What was a hot topic on the forums you visit?
  • What has occurred that has you really Pissed Off?
  • Can you tell me How to Do ... - Anything you know may help me.
  • Make a List - Why do I hate American Idol or 10 Reasons Why I Love Lost
  • Expand on the comment - "Did You Ever Have One of Those Days?"
  • Tell us what motivates you to write
  • Tell us what de-motivates you to write
  • What did your parents do that scarred you for life?
  • Tell me about one of your mentors and how that person changed your life.
  • Why do you write? For the money, for kicks, for self-improvement?
  • When do you know an article is complete?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What was the last great site you found on StumbleUpon?
  • What don't you like about my site, or any site?
  • What did you try recently that failed miserably?
  • Develop a list of article trends for each day of the week.
  • Thumb through a book
  • Develop a list of Idea Starters
  • What is a trend you have noticed that is important to your blog and industry
  • If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?

What's in the news?

Is there an article in the news that has you curious, mad, angry or just upset? Then tell us about it. Link to the original article and then tell us your opinion. Why do you agree or disagree with it? Why will it ruin or help your industry? Do you have information that disputes the facts presented? Do you respect or disrespect the person in the article or the person that wrote the article? Tell us about it and be sure to include you and your opinion.

What was the last web site you visited and what did you learn from it?

Sometimes we visit a web site or blog and we are amazed at what other people write. So give us a rebuttal. Argue for or against and give us more information from your own personal life. Do you have a personal story that goes along with this? Did you think about commenting on the article but realized that your comment was going to be longer than the article itself? Then write that response on your blog and link to the original article.

What is your opinion on the latest changes at Entrecard, FaceBook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, etc

This is normally a fairly easy topic to write about. You can just tell us what the change was. (boring) You can tell us how we can benefit from the change or what we have to do to now take advantage of the alteration. Why did they do it? Will it destroy the little guy. Will it finally level the playing field? What is your take on this big or little revision? Will it revolutionize the industry or just irritates people? Tell me what you think.

What is a hot topic on the forums you visit?

As you visit forums and comment on them, do you see articles that have more comments and visits than other articles? Do you have a different perspective than what is being related on the forum? Tell us your perspective. Maybe summarize the article and then off you go on your own thoughts and experience on that topic. Be sure and link back to the original forum if it is relevant to your discussion. Please don't copy what you read and see on the forum. I want to see your thoughts, your opinions and your experience.

What has occurred that has you really Pissed Off?

This is an easy one and kind of relates to all of the articles. This is a great opportunity for you to show us your passion. Why did that politician sell us out? How can that blogger be so stupid? Why did the neighbor kill my pet? Do you want a lot of comments on your blog articles? Then choose a topic that you can get passionate about and then show us your passion.

Can you tell me How to Do ...

Did you know that you know how to do something I don't know how to do? I can guarantee that in your reading audience, that something you take for granted today others have no idea about. Have you ever said, "I can't blog about that everybody knows that already." I can assure you that the most simple task that you know how to do, there are millions that don't have a clue. Take Martha Stewart for example. She has made millions telling people about things that millions already know how to do, but many millions have never seen that information before in their life. You just need to write about it and people will find it when they are ready.

Make a List

We all like lists. Tell me "ten ways to leave your lover". That is an old Paul Simon song from the early seventies. But, seriously, we all love reading lists. This can be a short list of 4 ways to prepare your garden for summer or 101 ways to improve your blog. What are ten things you like about American Idol? What are five reasons you watch the tv show Lost each week. These can be simple lists that are just opinions or more structured list detailing insider industry information. Some of these lists become very popular and are linked to by many other industry insiders.

You can choose to make this as simple as producing the list with no commentary or providing us with more detailed information about each specific item on the list. You can even give us the list on Monday and then make a blog article about each of the items on the list the rest of the week.

Expand on the comment - "Did You Ever Have One of Those Days?"

Tell us about the horrible disasters that befell you today. I think it is human nature to read these types of articles. Then we think, well my day wasn't so bad I guess. Or we feel compassion for you and offer to help. If the article comes from your heart and you add some humanity to it, you will be surprised at the response from your readers.

Tell us what motivates you to write

Why do you write? Is it passion for writing? Do you write to let off steam or stress? Do you have information that you feel passionate about and other people need to be made aware of this injustice? Do you write for fun? Do you write for money? What is your motivation? Is your blog one week old or 5 years old? Why do you continue to write regularly? What drives you to sit at a computer for 1 to 5 hours each day to write, write, write, week after week? Tell us about it and show us your passion. Why do you write? For the money, for kicks, for self-improvement?

Tell us what de-motivates you to write

You might be de-motivated right now about your next blog article. What happened? You were doing so well. You were consistent and giving us great articles. What discouraged you? Why did you stop? Was it something I said? Did you run out of ideas? Did you try to extend yourself in too many directions? Can you say anything that might help me?

What did your parents do that scarred you for life?

This is an opportunity for your readers to get to know you better. This is a great time to show humor in your writing. You can list ten things that we all can relate too and then follow up with some truism in the humor. Make it fun, make it real, but not so real that it scares your daily visitors.

Tell me about one of your mentors and how that person changed your life.

Many of us have people in our lives that we credit with bringing us to the place we are today. They inspired us, educated us, and even stretched us to be better than we thought we were. Who is that person in your life? Have you ever been a mentor to someone else? Can you give us the right way and the wrong way to be a mentor? I was watching Jay Leno the other night and he was talking about a teacher he had in school. The teacher recognized his ability to write humor. And the teacher instead of telling him to stop, actually encouraged him in this direction in life. Who was your mentor?

When do you know an article is complete?

If you have surfed the internet reading blogs for any length of time you see that many bloggers don't know how to write. What writing advice can you give me? Are my articles too long? Are they too short? Can you help me with my sentence structure? Have you ever seen so many grammatical errors? When do you say your article is complete? Do you go by number of words? Does it just feel right? Do you outline your articles? What is your writing style? I think this type of article can be written by any blogger in any industry. No matter if you are giving us recipes, computer tips or make money blogging tips, people want to know the insider look at their favorite writer. Personalize the article and we will eat it up.

What are you passionate about?

I think all the previous items on the list relate to this title. What are you passionate about? Why did you get into blogging in the first place? Do you still have the same passion that you did when you began? What is it that makes you write late into the night or get up an hour or two before the rest of the family each day just so you can write? What is your driving force? Was it a personal experience? Did you get fired? Was a family member injured or killed? Do you do it for love, experience or personal fame?

What was the last great site you found on StumbleUpon?

I am subscribed to an RSS Feed for Million Dollar Challenge. He has come up with a wonderful idea to blog about the fifth web site he StumblesUpon each friday. Isn't that a great idea? You know every friday you have the perfect article nearly written before you get out of bed in the morning. I am sure this will challenge you on some occasions, but if you are consistent with it, you will have some great fodder for articles and a consistent format for your long term readers.

What don't you like about my site, or any site?

This is a kind of catch all for those times when you feel in a bitchy mood. You have just visited five sites in a row that have a million banner ads and it takes forever to come up and you want to complain. Okay, write about it. Maybe one of those bloggers will see the light. If you think my site looks like it came from the 1990's then write about it. Tell us the designs you like and why you like them. This is just an opportunity to sound off about something that has been bothering you for awhile and today you can't take it any longer. Do you like bloggers that force their music on you or place annoying audio ads that shout to the people around you since you can't mute it fast enough? Tell us why you dislike that type of site.

What did you try recently that failed miserably?

Sometimes the things you did can be a learning opportunity for the rest of us. Is there an advertising site that treated you bad, didn't pay or kept showing porn ads on your site? Did you try something that was gutsy and you got shot down by the big boys? Write about it so we can grow from your experiences and don't make the same mistakes.

Develop a list of article trends for each day of the week.

This is where you develop a list for each blogging day of the week. For Sunday you write about industry news. Monday you write about new tech items. Tuesday your articles are about other websites in your industry. Wednesday is Wordless Wednesday and you just show a photo. I think you get the idea. This is one way to keep you from running out of ideas. You always know that today you write on this topic and tomorrow you will be writing something totally independent of today's. If you flesh out this strategy you can always stay on topic and still feel you are not just writing the same old crap everyday.

Thumb through a book

Pick up any book and thumb through it or even read it. It doesn't matter if it is an industry book, a novel or a biography. You will gain insights and you will find something to write about. It's amazing how the brain works. I don't understand it all, but as we expose our brains to other inputs; then all the while in the background it is working to solve a specific problem. Give it a goal, I need an idea starter. Then watch the brain work it's magic while you stimulate it with new ideas. Or, even old ideas can be expressed from today's point of view instead of how you saw the problem and solutions from a year or two ago.

Develop a list of Idea Starters

As you write each day, sometimes you think of a subject that you might want to write about. So, write it down somewhere handy. The subject wasn't right the day you first thought about it, but now might be. Pull out your list, look at the items and see if you can find something fun and interesting. If not, then put the list back for next time.

What is a trend you have noticed that is important to your blog and industry

Keep an eye on trends in your industry. Be the first to blog about an industry trend. Readers will begin to think your web site is the place to go for inside information on the industry. Try to be insightful about the trends you see. How will it effect the insiders? Is it industry wide or will it effect other industries as well? A good example is the housing crisis America is going through right now. It is affecting many industries as it reverberates throughout the country. Give us your spin on the trends you see occurring. That helps you stay on top of the industry and puts you in a position of authority.

If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?

Many of us look back at the start of our careers and say, "If I would have known that, then I wouldn't have made that mistake." Why not tell us, so we can avoid that mistake or maybe we will have the insight to interrogate the process a little better. Share your experiences with others. This is just an idea starter and can be applied in many different ways. Did you talk with a banker or lawyer? Did you not bring in your lawyer early enough? Did you have problems with the government? Write about it.

My List of Blog Article Ideas

So here are the challenges we face each day. We wake up and say, "What on earth am I going to blog about today?" I don't have a clue. Well bookmark this site and in times of trouble take a moment and peruse the list. I think you will have some great ideas before you reach this summary section.

This list isn't all inclusive. I know you have some other great ways to find article idea starters. These idea starters are like little matches that you just need to strike the match to make things happen. I know you have experienced those times when you didn't know what to write. Then you talked with someone, saw a tv show, heard a commercial, or saw a blog and then 15 things to blog about were now available to you.

Don't forget sometimes the mind needs a rest. Blog 6 days a week instead of 7 days. Or write 7 articles and auto submit the 7th article while you are sleeping, golfing, playing with the children or taking a vacation. The act of resting the mind refreshes the creativity and motivation. Sometimes, we all need more motivation to write. We need a kick in the butt or something to get us excited again.

I hope this list of blog article ideas proves useful to you. I know I will go back to it when I need help because I can't think of anything to write about. Good luck and happy blogging.

Success is Achieved by doing the fundamentals - Are you happy with the results. Did we get the number of visitors we wished for? Did our visitors click on revenue producing links and ads? Were our page views up for the year or down? Did users visit more than one page? Did they make it to the order form and then abandon or did they continue and purchase our products?

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