With the alarming number of bloggers out there today, the only way you’re going to stand out from the crowd is by constantly engaging your readers with blog articles that are relevant to their needs. But to do this, you must first understand what kind of people your readers are — Who are they? What do they want? What problems are they facing? What questions are they asking? And most importantly, how can you add value to their lives?
It’s after you answer all these questions that you will know the right topics to write about. Even after deciding what kind of topics to write about, another problem you must overcome is running out of topics to write about. Inevitably, this is one problem every blogger faces once in a while.
These days though, I hardly ever run out of topics to write about because I’ve found so many places to draw my inspiration from. Today, I’m going to share some of these places with you, with the hope that after you read this article, you’ll never run out of topics to write about again for the rest of your blogging life.
1. Use a writing prompt.
A writing prompt is anything that was specially designed to inspire you to write. It could be a word, a sentence, a famous quote, or even an image. The writers who rely heavily on this source of inspiration are mostly the ones who write stories, plays and poems; although other writers who major on the nonfiction aspect of writing can always give it a try.
One thing I love about writing prompts is how universal and unlimited they are. For instance, ten writers could decide to write about one writing prompt, and yet each article that they write would be remarkably different from the other nine articles. This goes to show that you can get ten or even more topics to write about from one writing prompt if you’re feeling very creative.
2. Read other people’s blog posts (and your previous blog posts, too).
I’ll bet you this week’s serving of Hollandia yoghurt that you can’t search for a topic on Google and get only one search result. Our individual experiences, the unique way we think, and the unique perspective from which we view things, make it difficult and nearly impossible for any two people to write the exact same thing when they’re writing about the same topic. (I said ‘nearly impossible’ because I suddenly remembered that plagiarism is still a thing).
This is why you would always learn something new with each article that you read on a particular topic. Aside from writing your own version of the topic, I can think of three other ways to draw inspiration from other people’s blog posts.
- You could talk about something that they said or did in their blog post. Did they pass a claim off as fact without backing it up with statistical data? Well, you could write a blog post teaching your readers simple blogging etiquettes and the dangers of misinforming the public.
- Or . . . you may choose to contribute to their blog post — this is much easier to do when the blog post is a list, in which case you could either add to their list, or instead, you could pick an item from their list to explain in thorough detail.
- Finally, you could critique their blog post — but do this only if you’re certain your judgement is fair and unbiased.
3. Read Quora.
If one of your blogging goals is to offer solutions to your readers’ problems, and to answer all the mind-boggling questions that they’re asking, then you might want to add ‘Read Quora’ to your daily routine. And if that isn’t one of your blogging goals, I still suggest you incorporate Quora into your daily routine.
Quora is an online platform that keeps you informed of the questions people in your industry are asking. With this valuable information that Quora freely provides, you can easily write blog posts that would tackle the problems your readers are facing; blog posts that answer all those puzzling questions they keep asking — blog posts that are truly relevant to the needs of your readers.
In the years since, Quora has become a motherlode of inspiration and information for bloggers who are running out of topics to write about and, well, bloggers who have finally run out of topics to write about. So if you happen to fall into either one of these categories, I suggest you head over to Quora right now and bask in all that inspiration.
4. Ask your readers for ideas.
There’s no shame in asking your readers for topics to blog about when you yourself are struggling to come up with ideas. Although the trick is to not seem so desperate for ideas — even if you are desperate — and to ask questions that are rather specific, and not too generic.
Instead of asking your readers questions like ‘What should I write about?’, ask questions that are more likely to elicit response from them. Questions like: What are your biggest writing challenges? What do you do when you’re having a writer’s block? What’s your blog promotion strategy like? — or similarly specific questions that suit your niche.
Specific questions like these ones always promise to provoke lots of answers from your readers, all of which can then be turned into individual blog posts.
5. Go outside and experience life!
The hunt for inspiration doesn’t always have to be an awfully boring and mentally taxing activity. You can actually find inspiration by intentionally looking for it while doing the things that you love doing during your leisure.
Things like watching your favourite TV series, hanging out with friends and family, reading a novel, playing video games . . . dancing buck naked in the rain, and so on. My leisure activities, particularly the blog posts I read and the conversations I frequently have with fellow writers and bloggers, have largely inspired the bulk of my blog posts. Your leisure activities can do the same for you. In fact, they should.
Try to wind down more often. Listen to good music, watch riveting movies, play entertaining games, meet with people (friends, family, colleagues, fellow bloggers and writers, etc) and have interesting conversations with them. Do all this while intentionally looking for blogging inspiration, and you’ll be surprised at how much of it you’ll find.
How do you find topics to write about?