How do YOU get inspiration for blog posts?

(This blog post was originally written in 2011 so some of the information is out of date, but the principles are still valid)

wordpress-premiumthemesIt’s interesting to see the reactions when I tell people that I write upwards of 20 blogs per day – not for myself, but for clients.

Some think it’s not possible, some think it’s crazy, and others think ‘ghost blogging’ is wrong.

Now I’m not going to go into the rights and wrongs of ghost blogging, because it’s a whole other post, but I’m going to tell you how I manage to write so many blogs, and where I get my inspiration from.

Firstly, let me tell you the kind of people I write blogs for – it’s pretty varied:

  • a handbag website
  • a kiddie’s clothes website
  • a cosmetic surgeon
  • a hotel
  • an accountant
  • a company specialising in interactive voting
  • 3 web designers
  • an SEO and Adwords company
  • a wedding organiser
  • a fireworks company
  • a security marking company

This is not counting writing for my own blog, for Birds on the Blog and for guest slots in other places. It all adds up to a lot of blogs!

So how do I do it?

Firstly it helps that I’m a pretty fast typist – and the words come out of my head and onto the keyboard pretty quickly, so most blog posts take very little time to write, once I have the idea.

How do I get the ideas?

Inspiration strikes in the strangest of places – for example I thought of this blog post while sitting on the pation drinking a cup of tea and watching my chickens :)

I get blog ideas all the time, from things I chat about with friends and family, from watching the TV, from reading and more. Whenever I get an idea I jot it down either in a notepad file on my PC, or a ‘real life’ notepad in my office. If i’m out and about I’ll put it into my iPhone.

If I’m actively looking for blog ideas then I’ll start by reading the online newspapers:

Yep, even the tabloids – always great fodder for lifestyle type blogs.

I’ll look through the papers and see if anything takes my fancy, or if a news story is related to an industry one of my clients is in.

Then I’ll look through industry type sites, depending on which industry I’m writing for.

Then I’ll do a Google search for the keyphrases my client is focusing on to see if I can pick anything up from there.

Usually by now I have 2 or 3 ideas.

Write the headline

Once I have the idea for the post I start thinking about headlines. Is it going to be a ‘top tips’ kind of post? Or maybe a ‘answer the question’ type? Or just a simple opinion piece on the latest related news item?

Once the headline is written then the blog pretty much writes itself – thankfully!

400 words later and either the post is posted, or scheduled in WordPress, or it’s winging its way to my client for approval. All that’s left for me to do is source pictures, and promote the post if necessary.

I’m lucky that I enjoy writing blogs, and can write in different styles, to suit each client – and I’m lucky that I find writing 20+ blog posts a day a pretty fun task :)

How do you decide what to write about?

Like this post? Don’t forget to check out the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, and kickstart your blogging in just 30 days!

 

Stuck for blogging ideas?

blogging

 

Like this post? Don’t forget to check out the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, and kickstart your Blogging in just 30 days!

Stuck for blog post ideas? Write an FAQ!

Question mark

Image via Wikipedia

This post is extracted from the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, a £5 ebook or 30 Day email course aimed at kickstarting your blogging success

Today let’s set up a mini FAQ. We’ve already spoken about how people often search with questions, so let’s put 4 or 5 of the questions you get asked and drop them into a blog post.

For example, I could write ‘Top 5 Social Media Questions’

They could be:

  • Does Facebook really work for business (yes)
  • Is ghost blogging wrong? (no)
  • Isn’t Twitter all about what people had for lunch? (no)
  • Isn’t blogging a waste of time? (no)
  • How do I set up a WordPress blog?

The answers could be a few lines, or a few paragraphs, but they’ll make up the bulk of the post.

What are the questions your client and customers ask you the most? Answer them in today’s blog for a ready made mini FAQ.

Eager to see the rest of the challenges? Get the 30 Day Blogging Challenge ebook for just £5 now

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5 blog headlines from today's newspapers

News Paper Origami Dragon MonsterOne of the issues that a lot of people have when writing blogs is that they can't think of anything to write about. One way to stimulate the creative juices and come up with ideas is to scan through the news. Just reading a few news stories can give you something to write about, so let's see what headlines we can find for blog posts today, and what sort of blogs could be written:

 

  1. The Telegraph has: Gender disappointment – coping with the 'wrong' baby. If you run a children's type website, this would be great to write about and generate discussion. Similarly if you run a life coach or counselling blog, it's a controversial subject sure to get the comments flowing. Obviously it would be a good subject for a blog on a pregnancy website. Blog titles? How about: "Is there such a thing as the wrong baby?" Or "Did you wish your boy was a girl?" Or "How to cope with Gender Disappointment guilt'? Something about the biological reasons people want a certain sex child. Or maybe tie it into the Chinese situation where baby girls are often dumped because boys carry on the line.
     
  2. I'm too fat for fashion says size 8 Gemma Atherton is a headline on the Daily Mail website today. Again, a controversial subject that it's easy to write about. A women's site, food blog, weight loss site, life coach, and many more spring to mind when I think of this one. Blog titles such as "When the perfect 10 is weigh too big", "No wonder our kids are anorexic" or "Does size matter"? Something about how clothes sizes have changed in the last X years. How about something comparing men's sample sizes with women's sample sizes?
     
  3. The Sun and other papers are leading with the news that David Cameron has slashed Cabinet Ministers' pay by 5 percent. Again, great fodder for a number of blogs – recrutiment and jobs, accountancy, political, even just general business. How about "How cutting salaries can increase performance"? Or "Why 5% off your salary could mean X% more marketing"? Or "Why you don't have to be a government minister to make difficult financial decisions"? Maybe something about how to present a pay cut to your staff?
     
  4. The Guardian has an article about Wall Street banks being investigated over links to rating agencies. Perfect for a number of industries to write about – financial, property, investment, to name a few. Apart from writing about the story, think about other angles to it – how about a blog about whether the rating agencies are a good way to 'value' sub prime mortgages these days? Or an FAQ on sub prime mortgages? Or "What is a sub prime mortgage and what's all the fuss about ratings?" "Why you need a sub prime mortgage" I could go on forever on this one!
     
  5. For something a little different, the Times is reporting that lobsters should be worth more than £3. While this is obviously great blog fodder for a foodie or recipe site, it could lend itself to many other blogs too. Most bsuiness blogs could write about why spending a little more is often a good thing. "When the lowest price doesn't mean the best value". "You really do get what you pay for" "Don't be like the lobsters; cheap as chips' and many more headlines spring to mind. I write blogs for (among others) a building company, a telemarketing company, a kiddie's clothes company and a greetings card company – that one story allowed me to think of a blog for each of them – and many more!

So there you have it, off the top of my head, 5 stories that could lead to blog posts. So when you're short of ideas, grab a cup of coffee and trawl through the newspapers – you're sure to find soemthing that you can write about.

I can guarantee that whatever your industry, one of the papers has something in it today that you could turn into blog fodder. In fact, I'm so sure that if you post your blog address in the comments below, I'll find you a news story and give you a headline – how's that for being sure of myself?

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Creative Commons License photo credit: epSos.de

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