Friday, February 05, 2010

Ten Sources for Blog Post Ideas

Ever face blogger's writing block? Here are ten places to go for an idea when you're against a wall. All ten as listed may not be appropriate for your blog, but you can tweak each one into a version that fits your site.

1. Teach something. For me that something is the craft of writing. I've gathered those posts under "Craft and Industry" in the archives here. What knowledge do you have that would help others?

2. Tell a story. Perhaps a story with a take-away value. Or maybe something purely entertaining from your own life. People like to be entertained. They like to laugh. I took over 60 posts telling the story of my 10-year journey to publication in fiction. I've told the story of jogging by a house one day and seeing a huge gray gorilla watching TV. I've talked about my escapades with the dentist (I'm the world's worst dental patient), and the time my husband got the bright idea of throwing hundreds of mothballs beneath the deck to chase away skunks. I could go on. (Some of the stories are listed in the archives under Popular Posts.)

3. Run a favorite quote or a line from a book. Talk about why you like it, what it means to you. What the world might look like if that quote were always true.

4. Talk about news/a hot topic in your field. For Forensics & Faith, that would be news in the publishing industry. What about your field or your hobbies? What's new and exciting? What are your prognostications for the future?

5. Write about a problem you're facing. If you're facing it, someone else is too.

6. Use a guest poster. These have to be set up in advance. So keep an eye on your colleagues. Who has something new and interesting to share?

7. Tell news about you· We talk a lot in social media about how blogs should help others, give readers information they need. I agree with that. At the same time if someone reads your blog regularly they're interested to a certain extent in you. Let them know what you're up to from time to time.

8. Make people laugh. Have you seen a really funny video lately? Read a humorous news story? Especially if it pertains to the subject of your blog. Use the link as a springboard to conversation.

9. Do a giveaway/contest· People love the word free. I choose to give away books.

10. Impart an insight. Have you read a passage in the Bible or some other book that spoke to you? Your readers may find it helpful as well.

And one extra idea: Establish monthly posts that fit your blog. I do three here on F&F. First, the monthly CBA bestseller lists--with my own comparison of one list vs. another. Second, Photo Friday. This is a contest giveaway, in which people write clever captions for a crazy picture. The best caption wins a book. Third, the list of all the words in Today's Word run the previous month. A lot of people read Today's Word on Twitter and Facebook. These monthly lists give them a place to come when they just can't remember that word they really wanted to remember ...

Do you have other sources for blog posts? Tell us about them.


Jessie said...

I like your variety Brandilyn. Thanks for the tips.

My ideas...
1. recipes or links to..(obviously for a select few blogs or only done seasonally)
2. I love the occasional picture on blogs of the author's fam or house or pets etc.
3.random question thrown out to start a conversation. Ie. What's the one book you would take to a deserted island?

Happy Blog Birthday BTW! :)

Tina Pinson said...

I draw and post cartoons

MommaMindy said...

I love to share the wisdom older women have shared with me. I might share a portion of an old letter I've saved or relate an incident where their advice helped me. I love the Titus 2 aspect of older women teaching younger women, and I want to share what others have blessed me with.

Looking forward to meeting you in May at NCWA conference!

tonya said...

Great list! Thanks for sharing it. :)

Mark Young said...

I like to interview people with interesting stories to tell. Just started blogging ... but there are a lot of interesting people if you just look for them.

Peggy Blann Phifer said...

Great list, Brandilyn. I admit I do often come up blank when it's time to blog. Thanks for sharing.