I’ll admit I’ve been on a bit of a blogging streak with this blog. On my other blog, I haven’t been as great about coming up with posts for it. I think perhaps because that one feels much more serious than this one which I do more for fun.
But since I have had such good success coming up with posts lately (currently have over a 100 blog post ideas in the works), I thought I would talk about how I brainstorm posts. A lot of these methods will work regardless of your blog niche and can be used for brainstorming vlogs or podcasts as well.
Come up with a series
Coming up with Themes for Series
I think a great way to brainstorm posts quickly is to pick a theme for a series of posts. These can be Wordy Wednesdays, or Book Review Thursdays. Something centered around a topic or idea that can be repurposed fairly often.
A themed post for this blog might be the What I Wrote or Writing Tips or Book Theme Thursdays.
Weekly or Monthly Updates
A series that can be updated weekly is always a great post to have in your back pocket. This can be a review of what you read this week, any goals you accomplished, your weekly stats, etc.
This can also be applied to monthly posts. For example, I enjoy created a monthly review where I look back at what I wrote the last month and what I want to write for the upcoming month.
Review A Thing
This blog as a focus on book reviews, but really your medium can review just about anything else. You can review music or movies or chocolate truffles, etc.
You can also review monthly magazines or a subscription box. I enjoy reviewing the Book Page magazine for a monthly review post.
Link or Post Round Ups
Link Round Ups are always a great post to have planned. It’s something that doesn’t take a lot of time to put together (other than finding things to read for that post). It is also great because people really appreciate it when you highlight their work.
If you write good or interesting or useful posts, it’s possible that you might get featured in someone else’s link round up. Generally, people do them for free, but other times if you’re looking for backlinks, you can also ask to be featured in someone’s post. However, don’t offer to pay for this or give anyone money for this, that is considered bad practice by Google and can get you blacklisted.
Join a Book Tag
Tags aren’t related to just books, they can be given for any other kind of blog. However these are great for blog hopping and gives you something to write about. Other people love following tags and seeing the different ways people interpret these tags.
I myself need to be better about tags this year, but I plan on joining a few and participating more in them.
Focus on seo
Use Google Search or Your Analytics
If you run a blog or any other content format, most sites will allow you to hook up to Google Analytics or provide their own less robust version. Being able to look up what other people are searching in relation to your niche is a great way to generate topic ideas. This is also a key way to build SEO for your site.
You can also look up to see what someone searched prior to finding your blog. This gives you a better idea of how people are finding your blog and how you can attract more of that audience.
Generate Ideas around a Keyword
Another key component of SEO is keyword building. However you don’t want to stuff your posts full of keywords. That’s bad practice. You want your blogs to sound as natural as possible.
You can figure out what keywords people are searching for by using sites like MOZ, Hubspot, Aherfs, and other SEO sites. If you can capture a keyword or phrase that gets a good number of views but also isn’t super common, that will get you ranking higher in search results. If you can capture longtail keyword phrases, that also will give you an SEO boost.
Answer the public
This is a great site used by journalists and bloggers alike. This site shows you what people are searching about and related keywords. It’s a way to generate content around those autocomplete answers from Google at once and figure out what people are actively looking for.
using social media and other blogs
Look on forums like Reddit or Goodreads
If you know of a forum where people are talking about your topic or in my case, books, that’s a great place to find ideas. Reddit has an active book community and Goodreads forums are always a great place to look for book and writing related ideas. Wattpad can be another place with forums to look at.
Answer questions from Quora
One of my favorite ways to build SEO and to find blog ideas is by looking what people are asking on Quora. A strategy I like to do is find a question that would make a great blog post and write out a reply on Quora. There I can build some backlinks but also link to a longer more indepth answer on my own blog.
If you’re trying to become a thought leader, this is a great way to build some credence that you know what you’re talking about.
Twitter and Tweet Deck
I love Twitter personally because the book and writing communities on there are so strong and there is a lot of great people there. It’s really easy to find out what’s trending and see breaking news on it. If you find a discussion happening that would make a great blog post, you can hop on that bandwagon and hopefully get something out within the time frame of becoming trendy.
Read blogs and write your own take on them
I love reading blogs on Medium, Dev.to, Linkedin, and other interesting places besides WordPress. Pinterest is another great way of finding new blogs to read. It is okay to take inspiration from another blog post as long as you don’t steal their content. If you want to credit them for your inspiration, that’s fine.
My rule of thumb is not to read the blog while I’m writing my own post. That way I know I won’t copy anything I just read and my thoughts won’t be influenced while I’m writing my own.
Join some groups
I’m a big fan of joining groups on Facebook and Linkedin. I think it’s a lot of fun to interact in them and they always give me some good ideas of what to write posts about.
Sometimes you can find people who have topics they think would be good to write about but it’s not their niche or specialty. It’s kinda like swapping a plot bunny but for blog posts.
have some opinions
Create a Discussion
If you have a hot take or an opinion, I think discussion posts are a lot of fun. I think being an ally is great and I would personally love seeing more representation in books. That’s a topic I could write a lot of blog posts around if I sat down and did it.
Asking the Audience
Polls are a great way to get insight really quickly into what people think. You can then use these polls to write a blog post around the result. Or you can ask your audience what they would like to see more of from you.
Read and Engage the Comments
If you are already creating a link round up, a great way to generate an SEO presence and drive curious traffic back to your blog is via comments. If you’re on WordPress, it makes this easy by already linking your profile back to your blog. But if not, there is usually a tactful way of doing this.
You never want to go onto someone’s comment section and start shamelessly self promoting your blog there, that’s a bad idea. However engaging in their content and writing a great comment beneath will get you a lot further.
I enjoy commenting on other people’s blogs and I also enjoy seeing the discussions already happening on a post. By reading over these discussions, I can usually pick up on blog ideas that would be great for me to address on my blog.
Write a Response
I love finding other opinion pieces or other blogs and writing my own response to them. In high school, I actually won a speech content I did based off a blog response to an article I found about “adults shouldn’t read kids books”.
Stay up to date
Use Right Revelence
I really love this site for how you can search any topic and see what other people have written about it, see who is an influencer in that area, narrow it down by location, looks at current events related to it, and see similar topics. It’s a really handy tool.
I love this handy feature from Google because I can get weekly or daily or monthly updates around what’s trending on Google. I can search specifically for things like a book that’s getting a lot of press, or what’s happening around book publishing.
Current Events and the News
One of the things I really love to do is to see what current events and news are happening and write a blog post about that. For example, I enjoyed writing about the new Big Five Publishing merger when that story broke here on my blog.
You can write more opinionated posts about these topics, but I really enjoy writing my own news story about them. I studied journalism in college and although I don’t do it now for a living, I still miss the thrill of chasing a newstory and writing about it.
your blog is your friend
Focus on a topic and cross relate them
Another way to generate blog posts is to think of a topic that isn’t related or related to your niche and then find ways to connect them. I also studied graphic design in college and I love designing book covers in my free time. So reviewing and talking about book covers is a way I can connect those ideas.
Lately I’ve been trying to find intersections between being more sustainable and minimalism with loving books and writing.
Repost old posts
One of the things I’ve been doing recently is reposting old content from my old blog that I no longer use. This is a great way to get fresh eyes on my old work and update it for the new decade.
Repurpose other content
Running another kinda of content can be a great way to come up with blog posts. A great strategy is to turn parts of blog posts into podcasts or videos or infographics and vise versa. You can also turn these other mediums into blogposts as well.
Give an update
If you have a blog post that could be updated into the new year with fresh content, you can always go back and do that. Or you can be like, “here’s what happened two years after I posted XYZ”.
Invite guest posts
Guest posts are a great way to gain more exposure to your blog and to help someone else gain exposure to their stuff. I’m currently open to blog posts as long as they fit the theme of my blog.
I think a lot of authors and other bloggers are happy to give interviews these days. They’re a great way to come up with easy content for your blog while helping give a spotlight to other people as well. Since I studied journalism in school, I actually really enjoy doing interviews.
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