However much experience a writer has, it’s always a challenge to come up with new ideas for articles and blog posts. This means that if you’re under pressure to have a constant stream of new ideas, then you’re far from alone. This article gives you five easy ways to come up with new article ideas. Even if they seem obvious, reflect a bit on how much you actually use them for yourself and you’ll probably realize that you could be making a lot more use out of the method than you previously have been!
Keep A List
Some people are compulsive note takers and list makers. However, most of us don’t often stop to think about how valuable keeping a list can be. You can bring a notepad with you wherever you go or, alternatively, simply use your mobile phone as a notepad for making lists.
The basic idea is to list anything at all that interests you during your day at the very moment you find out about it – whether that’s a new band you should listen to, and interesting conversation you overheard, something you read in the newspaper or a new café that you might like to visit. Don’t wait to note it down later and don’t think it’s not worth making a note of. You can figure out whether it really is useful or not at a later point.
Once you’ve been keeping a list this way for a while, you’ll be able to consult it when you are struggling to come up with ideas. A continually updated list is an absolute goldmine for these situations!
Read A Lot
Don’t limit yourself to writing only. Good writers feed off each other, and reading a lot can help you come up with loads of ideas. Read widely, and you’ll probably find it’s even better. Best of all, read something that challenges your ideas about something and it’ll be sure to generate loads of great article ideas for you.
Keep your eyes and ears open wide at all times. Pay attention to everything, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Keeping alert to possible ideas whenever and wherever you are can help immeasurably with inspiration. Almost every day will turn up something of interest.
Ask Lots Of Questions
Don’t take things for granted. Get into the habit of asking questions about anything and everything. Why isn’t that abandoned old building being used for something? How did this banana get all the way to the supermarket? How is this computer made? What kinds of bacteria live in the fridge? The more questions you ask, the better. Every question asked is a potential article idea!
If you’re really stumped for ideas, then ask other people what’s on their mind. Better still, just flat out ask them if they’ve got any good suggestions for something you could write about. Most people will be happy to offer up ideas, and you can have a chat while you’re at it!
If you only have room in your head to remember one of these ideas though, make it to keep lists! No matter how many ideas you come up with, if you don’t keep track of those ideas you’ll end up losing them. Keep your ideas written down, and you’ll be able to turn to them whenever you find the need!
Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA @ Cerebrations.biz says
I guess that’s why I am never short of blog ideas…just the time to put them into “print”!
I think I am in your club already, Roy! If only I had more time… 😉 Thanks!
Alecia @ Chicken Scratch NY says
I’m a craft/garden/DIY blogger and I’m a big list maker. I’ve got holiday project ideas from 3 Christmases ago I’m still working through! I get my inspiration from books, magazines, catalogs and store displays. Sometimes the strangest thing will spark a new idea.
Thanks for sharing, Alecia! I agree – when ideas pop into my head, I write them down. Another thing I started to do was to take pictures of everyday things and incorporate them into a post. For example, I was in the supermarket when I strolled down the detergent aisle. OMG! There are sooo many choices! How do you decide which one to get?!? That make me think of all the plugins that are available for WordPress… How do you decide which ones to use?!? Look for that blog post in the near future!
I love the list suggestion! I have a combination of hand written notes, voice dictated notes on my phone and typed notes on my computer compiling my ideas. I eventually reconcile these lists on my blog as draft blog posts and consult them when I’m lacking content ideas.
It is nice to have things all consolidated in one area 🙂 Don’t worry, I have a bunch of scribbled notes as well! Sometimes, I even email myself when i get an idea, Jessica. Thanks for stopping by!
Kristen Robinson says
Great post Paul! I definitely write my ideas in Evernote. It’s a great place to stash it and create the outline and the blog post later. Right now, I’m trying to get in the habit of writing in batches and scheduling. The key is listening and I like that. I don’t think I do as much as I should! 🙂
Awesome, Kristen! Scheduling is always helpful (or so I have seen), however, it is one of those things that I cannot always follow! There are many times I will just sit down and see what comes to me! Thanks for stopping by!