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There are many many things we need to do to become successful bloggers, from running our websites, to learning SEO, to building a presence on social media. One of the hardest things we have to do is actually write our blog posts! After all, a blog is not a blog if there is not anything there! This one simple thing is absolutely key to each and every one of us as bloggers. It took me a while to figure out it out, but once I did it changed my whole perspective on blogging and made me a better blogger.
Ready to learn about this one simple thing?
Your Blog Idea List
This may sound crazy, but a running list of blog ideas is absolutely key to your success as a blogger. Sometimes we can sit down and write a blog post in an hour without issue. Other times we finally find some time to write, but cannot come up with anything to write about. This running list of topics can help you come up with that new inspiration in a pinch.
My running list of blog ideas takes a couple of different forms, and has evolved over time. For me, nothing substitutes a pen and paper. I use my planner as a dumping ground for many ideas – including topics for this blog and other blogs. Often, this is where an idea starts and I park it to a dedicated section in the weekly layout of my planner.
The next place an idea makes it to is a notebook. I have a dedicated notebook I use for everything TechStarZone. In this notebook, I have a lot more than just pages of blog ideas. I also keep track of things like when I have spent time optimizing content, running lists of goals for myself and this blog, as well as notes on things like my social media strategy. Like I said, I love the feel of paper and I love pens too. For me, a notebook is an essential must have tool for every project I undertake.
Finally, I make the jump to the digital world. Personally, I use Evernote, but any app you like that you can type words in will work for you! I make the jump to digital so I can have my blog ideas in a easy to reach format, no matter where I am and no matter what device I am using. As long as I have my iPad or a computer, this means I can always be productive. Beyond Evernote, you can use just about anything. Be sure to check out my guide to running a blog on your iPad for more great tools to keep you productive wherever you are!
My Blog Idea Strategy Broken Down
The strategy I just talked about may not work for quite this way for you, and that is ok OK!. You may not like paper, or you may not like digital. However, no matter what medium you use to record it here is the strategy broken down into four simple steps, regardless of where you choose to record it:
- Brain dump your blog ideas. These can be words or phrases
- Refine the blog ideas. Add a couple of bullet points for each idea, you may end up going in a different direction than you originally intended and that is ok! You may also end up with multiple posts from a single idea!3.
- Keep refining the blog ideas! Bullet points become sections in your blog article, you begin to add more information on what you want to write about.
- Repeat! It is important to check in on this list, add to it, and revise it on a regular basis.
Sometimes a phrase I have written down for a blog post is enough to get me right down to blog writing. Other times, I have the time to write, but struggle for an idea so I turn to a post that already has somewhat of an outline. These tips can help keep you productive, and bust writers block when it hits.
Do Not Forget Your Key Words and Natural SEO!
In the guide to writing with SEO naturally, we talk about how important it is to keep in mind what your readers may be looking for when they click on your blog post. By doing this, we can help to make sure we are starting to work with SEO naturally. Remember, SEO does not have to be difficult!
Here are a few basic rules for natural SEO:
- Think of what your reader wants to learn
- Play with terms in a keyword tool like Ubersuggest to figure out the best term to use (the tool will tell you the search volume and how hard it will be to rank for the term)
- Use the term a few times in your blog title, blog post, and permalink.
That’s it! With three simple steps you are on your way to writing with SEO naturally. Sometimes I like to check keywords during the first stage of my blog idea strategy, but sometimes I will wait until I start writing the article. No matter when you do it, do not miss this crucial step to help you drive traffic with SEO naturally!
The Evolution of a Blog Idea (and Example Blog Idea Brainstorming Session)
Let’s take a look at the evolution of a blog idea with an example. This example is based on my blog post Three Awesome and Easy to Use Example Blog Formats
- Blog formats, example blogs, blog ideas
As you can see, I just jotted down a couple of similar ideas. My paper and electronic notebooks are full of words like this!
- Example Blog Format
1. List Post
2. How to
3. Review Post
Now, I have a basic outline of the three example blog formats just about anyone can use!
- Three Awesome and Easy to Use Example Blog Formats
Three main types, with variations and examples of each
1. List Post
Checklist, researched list, curated list
2. How to
Soft and hard how to
3. Review Post
Why you chose product or service and what you learned from it
I think I’m ready to sit down and write a blog post about this idea when I have the time!
That’s it! From a couple of words, I turned those simple words into a blog post! From this brainstorming session that got me the post on example blogs, I also got the idea to talk about coming up with ideas for blog posts in general, which you are reading right now!
Easily Get Started With New Blog Ideas
Now, I challenge you to come up with new blog ideas right now. If you have read some of my posts before, you know I still prefer paper notebooks like these:
So your favorite paper or digital notebook, and just write down words and phrases that come to mind when you think about what you want your readers to learn from coming to your blog.
Give yourself 5-10 minutes of doing that, then step away! Next time you have time for a brainstorming session, come up with some new words and phrases, or take an idea and build on it. Before you know it you will have an inspirational list of blog ideas just waiting for you to get the time to sit down and bring them to life!
How do you brainstorm for new blog posts? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments!