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5 Ways to Never Run Out of Blog Post Ideas

This guest post is by Katy Farber of Non-Toxic Kids.

When I started Non-Toxic Kids four years ago, I had no idea I would never run out of things to write about. In all those four years of posting between three and seven times I week, I never struggled for more than a few minutes with a topic to post about.

Why?

Maybe it has to do with my tech-savvy mom who is constantly sending me interesting links to articles about current parenting and health issues.  Seriously, how lucky am I?

But I’d like to think it has to do with the fact that I need to know about these topics. They are common sense issues and concerns that I face as a parent, and a human being on this planet.

I offer these ways to find continual and unending sources of blog material, and they are all right in front of you.

Write about what keeps you up at night

I call it the common-sense blogging approach.  Just think about what matters to you.  What can you not stop thinking about as you fall asleep, or worse, when you wake up in the middle of the night? I can’t be the only one who does this.  What are issues that your colleagues, or people in your blog niche, are worrying about right now?

For me, one topic lately is what mattress we should buy for my youngest.  A conventional one, although cheaper, may contain harmful chemicals, but the safer ones are twice as much.  I’ve put off this decision for years. Clearly, this would be a great topic to explore and write up as a post, or series of posts.

Find your flow

You may need to find your source for perpetual ideas.  It’s a different place for each of us, but we can all find it.  For me it’s running. Once my feet fall into that repetitive pattern, my mind lifts.  The steady drumbeat of my heart, the calmness of being alone, the soft sounds of the woods slow my thinking.  Sometimes it’s only then I can access a place of creative ideas and problem solving.

I like to think of it as a river right above my head.  Flowing in it is every place I’ve ever lived, my childhood, dreams, fears, loves and ideas, all flying around at electrifying speeds.  If I don’t grab ideas, pull them down into the here and now, and onto paper or the computer, they are gone until next time.  Or some I might never find again.

That is where many of my ideas are born.  On a long dirt road in Vermont, the idea for my blog was born this way (can you hear the song?).

Where is your flow? Whatever it is—sewing, walking, rocking in a hammock, gardening—find where your ideas live and grab them before they get away like birds scattering in the sky.  Then grab your computer and write, bird by bird (to borrow an expression from one of my favorite authors, Annie Lemott).

What do you and your friends talk about?

Before I started blogging, I was constantly talking with my friends about parenting issues, and we eagerly shared ideas and troubling questions about the safety of products, and what we had success with. These early conversations and questions became the foundation of my blog, Non-Toxic Kids. I was doing the research anyway, in trying to find out what was healthy for my infant daughter.  All it meant was getting these ideas into posts and sharing them with other parents in my blog.

So consider, what topics do you discuss regularly with your friends? What do you need to know about, or want to know the opinions of others you trust?  This is gold blog post material, and it is usually right in front of you.

What makes your blood boil?

There are some topics that outrage us into action.  Some of my best posts were written after I learned about a new piece of legislation, action, or inaction, about an environmental issue.  These posts usually do well sitting at least over night—or even for a few hours—for a re-read. 

Posts written hastily in anger can have troubling effects but a post written from the heart about a current issue can make a difference and strike a chord with people. Here is one example of that; it’s a post I wrote after President Obama told the EPA to withhold new ozone (smog) air quality standards that would have saved thousands of lives.  It felt good to put that negative energy into something that could make a difference.

Write about how you wish the world to be

This is a bit harder, especially in our current economic and political climate. But we have to as Gandhi said, “Be the change we wish to see in the world.” Write about your dreams.  What do you see as how we can solve our most vexxing problems? What do you want to see in terms of our environment, local communities, human communication, education, etc.?

Write about it. Describe your vision. We need to hear from each other about how we might solve the complex problems facing the world.  Take on any issue, and describe the change you dream of seeing in your lifetime.  Or describe a small moment in your life that showcased how this change is possible. This is beautiful, optimistic blog material.

These are our ever-flowing sources of blogging material, because we are all constantly exploring what it means to be alive in this world, how we can live better, and help others and ourselves more fully.

How do you generate your blog post ideas?  Please share these in the comments. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Katy Farber blogs at Non-Toxic Kids.  She’s a teacher, author, and blogger who just released a new ebook, Eat Non-Toxic: A manual for busy parents and is the author of two education books, Why Great Teachers Quit and Change the World with Service Learning.

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Comments

  1. Ralph says:

    I like that common-sense approach. I don’t really have anything that keeps me up at night (my blog isn’t related to health or parenting or anything that serious,) but I do like to write about how I wish the world would be. I think that makes my blog fiction though :)

  2. Tim says:

    I love this! Every blogger (or writer) struggles with writer’s block and these are some common sense solutions anyone can use.

  3. Joe Falore says:

    Awesome post! Ive been starting to run out of things to blog about on my end and found this post to be very relevant and helpful. I will defiantly be utilizing your tips to help not run out of content in the future. Thanks for the help!

  4. Jim says:

    Ten years ago, I came upon Julia Cameron’s book, ‘The Artist Within’. In it, she recommended a daily writing practice called morning pages. In it, you simply write three pages long hand anything and everything that pops up in your head–no matter how trivial. I have been doing them since and people say, it has improved my writing.

    When writing on my blog, I do a similar thing, the only difference is that, either I give myself time to write, or write one or two pages on my word processor. When finished writing, I let it compost for an hour. I then come back to it and start editing.

  5. Tim Villard says:

    Hey Darren,
    I seem to get writers block quite a bit. And I know because I only direct my posts towards one thing. But this post just opened up my eyes to a variety of posts. Thanks for sharing Darren.

  6. Lolita says:

    Thanks for sharing this post. I have been struggling with ideas for my blog.

  7. Devesh says:

    Hey Katy,

    Nice Post. I use social blogging communities, DigitalPoint forums & Yahoo Answers site to get the blog post ideas.

  8. Sonal says:

    This is just what I needed to hear – write about what keeps you up at night. I can vouch for it that this tip works.

    My blog happens to be about self-help techniques. So my worries + self-help = tons of post ideas. Being a habitual worrier, I’m almost never out of ideas. Thanks for this post Katy!

  9. James Greg says:

    The post has brought many ideas to overcome writer’s block. I have found a solution to it and now if I follow the advice and the idea I might never have to thin a topic for the next 5 years.

  10. Has8888 says:

    Writers block must be really avoided like plague.I think strong enthusiasm is needed in order to get rid of lack of new ideas to write about .Taking part in social networking websites and popular forums is a great idea .There we can be sure of what is hot right now and what people want to know about .

  11. Marge Newton says:

    Great suggestions here. Fortunately for me, I often find inspiration from Google Maps. Because my niche is local tourism, Google provides ideas I might not have thought of. An idea might be right around the corner or a little further away, but it’s there.

  12. You had some great ideas, and I connected with the one about finding your flow. That’s where writing happens the most easily. One thing I do is a Google alert on the things I’m interested in. Then I have targeted news about the topics I care about, and hopefully my readers do too.

  13. My blogs is based on my fav thing photography…I always have tons of idea but very less time to implement them properly…

  14. Alexis says:

    Very great suggestions. But what if your blog is not about any of those subjects?
    Regards!

  15. I’m a huge fan of getting inspiration while running as well … thanks for a great post!

    Best,
    Christine Hueber

  16. naijadotcom says:

    How so true,these are basic simple things that we could write about,inspire lives and get traffic on our site,Just simply sharing our lives experiences like we do with our friends,our challenges,our victories and our wishes,These are the stuff that appeal to people and keep them coming back,Normal people want to deal with Normal Blogs,it makes them feel better knowing that their challenges,struggles etc are Normal and not just something that is peculiar to them,Great post.

  17. Tom Durkin says:

    I focus all my blogging around large profile festivals in the UK which occur annually..never run out of information and find new ways to make stories every year, even from the most tiny quotes or bits of info!

  18. Chris Cole says:

    Thanks for the post. I find at times I can write and create content after content. Then there are other times I just can’t get inspired. nothing seems to flow.

    When this happens to me I will use the times of plenty to my advantage and write as much as possible. Then I will hold some content back and drip it in for the times of drought.

    I also find visiting other blogs and reading others posts are great for inspiration. Even a post title or topic can be the trigger for my creativity!

  19. Anne says:

    Great blog post. I am about to start one next year and trying to collect as many ideas as possible by browsing around. Great tips and I will be sure to use them to make sure my blog is interesting and readers come back for more information. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Marcie says:

    Man, I need a blog just to scream about things that make my blood boil. As it stands, I write those things I enjoy most. Thanks for sharing these suggestions.

  21. Faizan Elahi says:

    I never considered writing about things that I did not like, but after reading this I realise that they can lead to good posts too.

  22. Jovie Onyema says:

    I have found that putting down ideas as soon as they come to mind really helps. Then i can now take my time to “ruminate” over the ideas in my mind until i have built up the idea and given it flesh. when i now return to write, i haven’t lost the theme cos i’ve written it down and i’ve built up the idea already, so there’s plenty to write. i bet a lot of people do this too…

  23. Johanna says:

    I also find that running or power walking (if my knees are giving me jip!) are excellent ways to get ideas going. Being out in the open, alone, is rejuvenating and I think of all sorts of things that wouldn’t come to mind if I was in front of the computer or doing housework. My biggest spark though are the one-liners I’ve written in notebooks and my own photos. A quick look through our photo archive will prompt any number of blog topics – I just have to be careful to remember that I need to help others and not be self-serving.

  24. Chris says:

    I noticed that tech-savvy moms are a much more common phenomenon than tech-savvy dads. My family included.

    My mother is 54 (and she’d of course kill me for revealing that information) and she sends me links too, knows Excel and Word perfectly, can find anything she want on the internet etc.

    My father called me few times to come and show him how to find Solitaire on his Windows.

  25. Lori says:

    I keep a notebook by my bed – just so I can capture the thoughts that keep me up at night. I have so many ideas to keep me going :)

  26. I’m always worried that my blog will turn into a continual rant if I write about things that make my blood boil. :^)

    Finding the flow is my usual method for blog posts. When I’m driving, I get tons of ideas.