There are dozens – if not hundreds – of web sites that offer information about how to come up with ideas for blog posts. They list tips like “Use insights gathered from or related to a popular movie or TV show” or “Write a how-to post based on your expertise.”

 

I admit that I’ve been amassing a wealth of these types of tips. I’ve even checked out a few of the “random blog post idea generator” web sites that are out there. But I haven’t used any of them yet. I am not ruling out the possibility of ever using these resources for ideas, but let me share with you my personal sources.

 

Where do I get my blog post ideas?

 

My Clients

 

Some of my clients have similar problems to each other. Some have recurring problems. I’ve written blog posts based on some of the recurring problems my clients have experienced. For instance – my recent Get Your Bloggers on the Same Page with a Style Guide blog post was inspired by issues I saw my clients having as they collected posts from a variety of staff within their companies.

 

Recurring Problems I See on the Internet

 

Sometimes I see a problem with a business’ website. Sometimes I see the same problem happening on lots of websites and I think to myself “Why do businesses keep doing this?” Frequently, I turn my frustrations into a blog post. For example – my blog post Restaurant Websites – 5 Key Ingredients resulted from repeated frustrations I and my husband experienced when trying to look up information on restaurant websites in order to take out-of-town visitors to dinner.

 

When Something I Read Strongly Affects Me

 

Whether it’s something that surprises me, blows my mind, or outrages me, I often turn my strong reaction into a helpful blog post. One example is my blog post What is LinkedIn Telling Your Connections about You, which was inspired by me receiving a notification that one of my connections was quoted in an article that was actually quite negative about him.

 

Recurring Questions from Students

 

I lead online workshops for small businesses, freelancers, and creative writers. When I notice that students are asking the same questions in each workshop, I realize that it’s time to write a blog post on the topic. A good example of this is my blog post Scheduling Media Posts to Increase Your Reach, which resulted from students telling me they didn’t have time to keep logging onto their social media profiles to post at all hours of the day.

 

When I Just Can’t Find a Story About Topic X

 

Let’s say I’m curious about a subject and want to read more about it. Or, I’m leading one of my online workshops and would love to point to some published article about a subject. What happens if I can’t find a story on the topic? I write it myself as a blog post. For instance, my post on How Copy Editing and Branding Go Hand-in-Hand resulted from my search for information about ways copy editors contribute to establishing brand identity for businesses. When I couldn’t find any previously published articles linking the two, I realized I had to write it myself.

 

What are some of the sparks that have inspired your own blog posts? Do you eavesdrop on public conversations for ideas? Do you look at what your competitors are blogging about and then write about something they have not addressed yet? Let me know in the comments or share this on Twitter using the link below and tag me (@BernadetteGeyer) with your own tips.

 

Bernadette Geyer provides writing, copy editing, and translation services for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and writers. She also leads online workshops on a variety of topics for small businesses and writers. Geyer likes being a small fish in a big pond, and enjoys helping others move to bigger ponds themselves. Subscribe to her monthly news from the big pond if you’re interested in professional growth.

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Comment by Bernadette Geyer on January 6, 2017 at 12:05am

@Lisa - Yes! Forums and Facebook groups are great places to see what the "hot topics" are for a particular target audience.

Comment by Lisa Thomson on January 5, 2017 at 6:47pm

I've used some of these. Also, joining and interacting on forums where your target audience hangs out can lead to some great blog post ideas for solving their problems. Thanks for sharing this Bernadette!

Comment by Marta C. Weeks on January 5, 2017 at 10:36am

Thanks for sharing.

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