In The Bloginning 6 – How Do I Get Ideas?

This is one where I really hope you’ll share how you get ideas…. Joy already mentioned StumbleUpon.

Ideas. Without them, there’s no blog, no visitors and most certainly no comments!

The fact is, I’m not entirely sure how I get ideas, because I get them in very different ways and inspiration can come from almost anywhere – and at any time. Sometimes an idea just pops into my head – usually when I am thinking about or doing something completely unrelated to blogging, or for that matter, writing. Usually when I have no writing tools to hand either. Because I can be quite forgetful absent-minded I’ve had to learn to grab potential ideas and write them down along with a few thoughts of my own at the time they appear – whenever I can. I may not use them in the end, but at least that way I have the option to use them or not.

Several ideas come from my experiences and I’ll expand them, from stuff I know and am interested in, (my Childfree articles are one example). Or I’ll be reading or listening to something and I’ll think – “That would be interesting to blog about…must find out more.”

Sometimes, particularly when I feel strongly about something it’s hard to write as fast as my brain is cranking out what I want to say… those articles almost write themselves and they’re among the most fun to do.

I read a lot – online and off-line – and that opens up new avenues for ideas. I get inspiration from visiting other blogs, from comments on other blogs and from comments here. From news sites, magazines, newsletters, the world of business and economics, politics, recent events and old events. And let’s not forget those Google searches…

Recently ideas have come from a completely new place – my readers. They send me links to articles they feel I’ll be interested in, or to interesting stories related to being childfree that could do with a bit of discussion on Like It Is. This is great, because it’s hard to find every interesting article out there! Within my niche on Like It Is, (my views on life) anything and everything is fair game as a source of inspiration – since everything is fair game for my opinion!

The wonderful thing about blogging is that depending on your blog, you can decide what works for you. You can get ideas from anywhere – sometimes I find it’s really just a question of looking at something in a different way – which may make you feel as if you’re going out on a limb but – so what? It’s your space.

For me, the real secret to getting ideas is aiming to blog about what you know, or an area you are expert in which you are very interested in and blogging enthusiastically, whatever it is you’re blogging about. Call it your niche. The challenge isn’t so much getting the ideas, it’s translating them into the kind of articles that you enjoy writing and others in enjoy reading.

Have I ever faced bloggers/writer’s block? So far, there are more ideas out there than I have time to write about.

So no. At least not yet. I’m “collecting” ideas wherever I can find them so I plan to have stuff to write about for a while to come.

As a resource for finding ideas for your blog, I find Lorelle’s Blogging Tips – Hundreds of Resources for Finding Content for Your Blog well put together, informative – and a very good start if you’re wondering – “well, what on earth do I blog about now?” Or, Oh no! Where will I find ideas to blog about?!” If you follow even a couple of the points within the niche you’ve chosen, you’ll have a ton of stuff to blog about…

It’s your turn to share!

How are you inspired? How do you get ideas? Are you running out of stuff to blog about? Or do you feel you haven’t even begun? Have you ever faced the dreaded writers’ block?

Next: What do I think makes a good blog?

10 thoughts on “In The Bloginning 6 – How Do I Get Ideas?

  1. mercurior

    getting ideas is hard, but getting consistent ideas, is even harder, yes i blogged a few things, but you soon run out of things, so you have to re do other posts, even use filler stories, just to cover you.

    i have copied samuel pepys dairy online, i put my poems, i put my theories, anything to fill the blog. over 1300 posts, you get a little, punch drunk, its finding that one thing to spark once you have that.. then a lot of posts follow.

  2. Jannette

    I started blogging over a month ago and have already had bloggers block…. :( but I do get ideas when riding the bus to school while listening to music….odd isn’t it? I’ll just be sitting or standing in the bus and all of sudden all these ideas for blogging pop into my head. I’ve taken the advice of timethief and started to carry around a small notebook to write down these ideas; otherwise I forget them by the time I reach home…and my computer. :)

  3. Britgirl Post author

    Both – Then I hope you check out Lorelle’s blog link I included in the article :)
    And yes, Jannette, you need to write the ideas down…I liken them to early morning mist… often beautiful, but gone as soon as the sun comes up :)

  4. Jannette

    I did check out the link you provided..most helpful….and I’m starting to write them down now….so in a few days my blog should be full with more articles…just takes time cause I like to research before blogging. :P

  5. Christine

    Usually I write about my day. My ideas come from what happened to me or what I was thinking about. For example, I recently wrote about what friends and I were discussing on our morning coffee break. We were talking about celery and other foods we disliked as well as bad food experiences. So I wrote about that. I write about what I’m reading or if I bought some new shoes I might post a picture of them. I try to see humour in the things that happen to me everyday.

    I don’t really get writer’s block (often) because I have to write things most days at work and so I’ve learned how to deal with the times when nothing comes. I go for walks down the hall to visit my friends in other offices (they write too so they know what I’m up to). I get a cup of tea or I tidy up my office. Maybe I might go and check my mail for the tenth time that morning…I do the same kind of stuff at home.

    If I had a day with nothing to talk about I might surf the net and see what people are talking about on my favourite discussion forums. Or I might answer some questions from a book of questions I have. Or I just don’t post that day.

    Sounds boring, no? :-)

  6. Chris W.

    Funny how I’m now (3.3.07) the top commenter of the month… by virtue of having to get caught up!! LOL! Ah well, I’ll be surpassed and I don’t compete like that, so no worries.

    I’m a chronic net-surfer, so I get ideas from anywhere. Maybe I’m trying a new service or application worth mention. Maybe something big happened in my life; since my family reads it, it’s good for them to know. Maybe I took a funny pic of myself or the birds. Whatever! My life, my blog. The blog is an extension of my mind and heart, and I treat it as such.

    My favorite posts to write are anything to do with music. Other favorites are photos I feel the need to comment on.

    My least favorite is any I know are going to to be long, simply because of the nature of what it’s about. Like the “Twilight Princess” review I keep putting off! I know that, after writing that monster, I’ll be drained!! :(

  7. Britgirl Post author

    Christine… not boring to me :) … I also have to write and review stuff at work (totally different subject matter of course), but I have never actively thought to link this to the non-appearance of writer’s block… I know when I can’t think of what to write for something at work, I set it aside and do something else… or write what I can and leave it for a bit, then come back to it. Of course for work I usually have deadlines to meet… I am never sure if they help or hinder..

    Chris – “Twilight Princess”… Have you thought of splitting into several posts? Kind of like a series. While it does commit you to finish once you’ve started – since once you’ve whetted their appetites your readers are then eagerly waiting for the next installment – you can choose the frequency… weekly, monthly, bi-monthly or whatever suits you. That way you make it manageable, and readers get a bit at a time. I call it “breaking into bit-sized pieces” – from my not too distant project management days:)

  8. Chris W.

    Too late; already worked and posted! :D Yeah, I thought of that… but I kinda like to just make it more concise than make it an epic series, at least as far as reviews go. What you’re doing with this Bloggers series works very well. I may try it sometime, but a completely different topic.

    If you want to see what I was tempted to do with that review, go to TwiddleGeek’s Twilight Princess review posts. I conversed with the guy who runs the site. He had the advantage I wish I had; I’d love to record what’s on TV to the computer. That’s what he did to make those beautiful screenshots supplementing each part of the review! It also gave the advantage of posting stages of the game and what happens in the storyline at each stage. I give him “major props”!!

  9. Rirath

    Thanks Chris. ;) Seen an unfamiliar domain in my logs so I stopped by.

    I’m still struggling just a bit with how to split video games into posts. Twilight Princess had the advantage of being divided by temples as major stages, but with many games it’s hard to find such spots so I end up just posting whenever I’ve got something cool to show. If you want to give it a shot, you can grab a capture card for around $20. There’s a post with my hardware here.

    My former site was actually all reviews, but eventually it became a bit of a chore. Like writing a book report after finishing a great book. I wanted to find some way to show off all the neat things along the way too. Honestly, each post is kind of just an excuse for a new set of images with a mini-review thrown in.

Comments are closed.