Where I Get Blog Post Ideas

When I talk to people about starting a blog, they often state they don’t have anything to write about. They ask how I come up with ideas, especially when I’ve been blogging so long. As I approach my ninth anniversary of starting this blog, I feel like I have more to write about than I did after one year. I get stuck on writing sometimes, just like everyone else, but I’ve figured out ways to work through those blocks.

Idea!I have a long list of blog topics to help me when I’m in a rut. My ideas for posts come from several sources.

  1. Reading: I write about things I’m reading and learning about. When you read an interesting article and want to share and comment, that can be a blog post. If you’re struggling with a problem and learning new skills along the way, that can be great blog fodder–even if you don’t come up with a perfect solution.
  2. Online Discussions: When someone asks a good question in a forum (LinkedIn group discussions, eLearning Heroes, etc.), that shows interest in a topic. If you see several people commenting on a topic, that’s a sign people are interested in learning more.
  3. Questions: I get a lot of questions via email from blog readers and clients. When you explain something to a client or another ID (especially if that question has come up repeatedly), that’s a potential topic to write about.

Sometimes I save time by recycling content. If I take 15 minutes to write a good response in a forum or email, I’m probably 30-40% done with a blog post, maybe more. I usually rework it and flesh it out more on my blog, but it’s still faster than writing from scratch. In fact, part of the content for this post came from a question someone asked me on LinkedIn.

It also helps to sit down sometimes and just brainstorm topic ideas or potential post titles. Not all of those will become posts, but it’s another place to start when I’m feeling stuck. Series of posts like my four-post series on voice over scripts also give me momentum and a direction for writing.

This year, I created a posting schedule and planned to post every two weeks. I have a tentative plan for topics which helps me stay on track. I didn’t completely hold myself to that posting schedule, but it’s easier to sit down and write when I have an inkling what I’m writing about than looking at a blank screen.

If you have thought about starting a blog but weren’t sure what you’d write about, I recommend you just start writing. Every lifelong learner has something interesting to share.

Image Credit: Idea! by Cristian Carrara

4 thoughts on “Where I Get Blog Post Ideas

  1. Christy,

    I love the information you are sharing here with novice bloggers such as me. I came across your blog through one of my classmates who felt that your blog was a great resource for instructional design students; I am currently enrolled in the Masters of Science in Instructional Design & Technology program at Walden University. As a requirement of the course, I had to create my own blog and complete assignments using my blog. This is the first time I ever created one and had to research some of the blog sites that allowed me to create a blog. I selected the WordPress site to create a blog because I felt that it was user friendly and easy to navigate through the site. As a first time blogger I was hesitant about posting information in which I felt that my blog would not be like individuals who have been blogging for many years, such as you. However, over the last couple of weeks I have become very comfortable with blogging and have been able to search the internet and find some great blogs that focus on instructional design. The first question I asked, like the question of people you have spoken with, was what will I write about. I was too worried about having information posted that would spark the interest of my possible readers. Even though we are given things to post about every week, I thought about continuing by blog after the course was completed. For the first couple of assignments, I used the tip you provided about brainstorming possible titles for posts. I thought this was a good idea because if a title is catchy enough readers may take the chance and click on the post and see what it is all about. Also, if I am able to come up with a good title, there is a possibility that I can come up with some information to go along with the title to share with readers. This is indeed a learning experience and I am ready to take on the challenge. Experienced bloggers such as yourself are viewed as mentors by novice bloggers like me. I really think that blogging has become one of my new hobbies and I continue to follow you and other experienced bloggers.

    1. You’re actually in a great position to blog about what you’re learning. Think about how useful it would be for you to read the blog of someone who was in grad school, talking about challenges and what they learned. In another year, the blog could talk about the job search process and the transition to a first job, explaining what they learned on the job, what from grad school was useful (and what wasn’t). Wouldn’t that be helpful for you to read if someone had written that blog? The thing is–you could write it for some future student to follow in your footsteps.

      Many people believe they need years of experience prior to writing anything valuable that could contribute to the conversation. I started this blog in late 2006, when I had only 2.5 years of experience. I was hardly an expert. I started my blog to reflect on my own learning, and that turned out to be valuable to others too. Write about what you know right now, what you’re learning, and what questions you have. Your voice is an important part of the conversation.

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