Blog Post Ideas to Fall Back On

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on March 4, 2013 in Blog Post Ideas
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Do you ever get blogger's block - feeling like you've already blogged about everything in your niche and you can't come up with new blog post ideas? I do. I'd bet most bloggers do from time to time.

No matter how much you've written, you probably haven't really tapped your niche, even if it's a narrow one. So when these dry spells happen, how can you come up with blog post ideas to keep your blog fresh? Here are a few suggestions (using the "making money online" niche as an example):

Update Your Old Posts

If you're writing about ways to make money online, you've probably covered topics such as blogging, affiliate marketing, and different advertising networks. Chances are that at least some of your posts are out of date. Update them, or create a new post about the topic.

For example, maybe an ad network changed their terms of service. Or maybe there's a new blog platform that bloggers can consider using. Write about those things (especially if the older posts on the topic were popular).

Ideally you'll want to do this with a blog that doesn't include the date in the URL (or permalink). Otherwise, republishing the updated post might cost you backlinks and traffic, or at the very least it would require you to set up redirects.

Get Personal

Blogs with no personalization are often boring. For example, if you write about making money online your readers probably want to hear stories about how you're making money online. Did you have a record-breaking month of income? Blog about it, and tell people how you earned it.


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Did your monthly income recently bottom out? Hypothesize as to why, and share your thoughts with your readers. It lets them know they're not alone with lousy earnings once in a while. Don't be afraid to open up a bit on your blog. You can also share your personal experience with blog platforms, plugins, affiliate programs, ad networks, payment processors, or even share general case studies of work you've done. Let people see both the good and the bad.

Chat up an Expert

Do you have to be an expert in the niche you're writing about? It certainly would help, but no, you don't. For example, you might want to start a medical blog about a certain condition to raise awareness because you or a loved one suffers from it. You don't have to be a doctor (as long as that's clear on your site), but interviewing some would lend credibility to your blog.

In the case of a "make money online" blog, the same is true. You don't have to be making a lot of money online to blog about it. Perhaps the point of your blog is to start from nothing and blog about your experiences to start earning significant money online. In that case (or even if you are already successful in the niche area), you can lend more credibility to your own blog by talking to other people earning a significant income online.

You might want to interview popular bloggers, people behind the scenes of a new ad network, or highly successful affiliate marketers. Talk to anyone who might have insight into any of the topics your blog covers. There are always new people to talk to and interview, so that alone should keep you from running out of blog post ideas. As an added bonus, interviews are a great way to network.

In the News

Another reason you should never run out of blog topics is the fact that there is constantly news happening. That's true for most, if not all, niches. Set up a Google Alert for your blog topic, and write a news post whenever something interesting happens. This can be commentary on the news, or just a heads-up to readers with a link to the original news source.

Join the Conversation

You're not alone in the blogosphere whether you're writing about making money online or anything else. Other bloggers in your niche can be your best friends.

Did someone write an interesting post in your niche on another blog? Mention it on yours, link to it, and add your own commentary (maybe you agree with them but want to add more to what they had to say, or perhaps you even disagree with them and want to start a cross-blog debate or discussion).

Answer Questions

It's a good idea to let readers ask you questions directly. If they ask something in the comments or via email that others might also be curious about, then answer them in a new blog post. But what if your blog is relatively new, or your readers simply aren't asking you anything?

Visit popular blogs in your niche, and peruse the comments. Are readers there asking questions? If so, chances are that other people want to know the same things. If you can answer it on your own blog, do it.

Know Your Audience

Keyword suggestion tools can be useful tools for coming up with blog post ideas. Type in some keywords related to your niche, and see what suggestions come up. Are there ideas in there of topics that are heavily searched for, but that you haven't covered on your blog yet? If so, write about the topics, and target the high-search keyword phrases to try to drive search traffic to your blog.

Review Something

There's always something to review. If you're short on blog post ideas, review a book in your niche, a service you're using, an ad network and your experience with it, other sites and blogs of interest to your readers, or tools and resources they might find useful.

There isn't a good excuse to be out of blog post ideas. We all suffer from blogger's block once in a while. Use some of these suggestions as a fall-back when you need something new to write about, and you'll have no problem keeping your blog fresh.

One other thought - if you feel overwhelmed with blogging, perhaps you're trying to do it too often. If you're a daily blogger, try cutting it back to three or four posts per week (even just temporarily). When your blog loses it's "fun" appeal and feels like just another obligation with deadlines, it's going to be harder to keep the blog post ideas flowing.

Do you have other tips for coming up with blog post ideas? If so, share them in the comments.

Note: This post was originally published on March 24, 2008 and was updated and re-released on the currently-noted publication date.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.


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17 Comments

  1. m joy March 24, 2008 Reply

    Excellent and comprehensive article. Gives me plenty of ideas to enrich my blog. Thank you very much.

  2. Maria Reyes-McDavis April 3, 2008 Reply

    This is an excellent post! 99% of my current clients struggle with blog posting ideas and you’ve summed up some super, duper ways to get past that block!

    Great job! I’m definitely sharing this post!

    Maria ;-)

  3. your hands April 15, 2008 Reply

    Review Something – There’s always something to review. Review a book in your niche, a service you’re using,

  4. Anne Moss May 8, 2008 Reply

    Nice post, Jenn. Love the “blogger’s block”.

  5. Sarah February 16, 2009 Reply

    You have helped me break my writer’s block. Reviewing books is just what I need for my blog. I am always on the look out for new sections for my blog.

    • Jennifer Mattern February 16, 2009 Reply

      Glad to hear it Sarah! You know… even though I know about these ideas, I often forget them myself. One of these days I really need to put them on a sticky not and plaster it to my monitor or something. I have an awful time coming up with ideas for a few of my blogs in particular. :)

  6. LoriWidmer March 4, 2013 Reply

    Great idea, Jenn. I’ve done a few of these, but it’s always nice to have more ideas for when the brain isn’t coming up with fresh ideas.

    • Jennifer Mattern March 4, 2013 Reply

      Between a list of basic post types to play with and an editorial calendar, it’s hard to run out of ideas. :)

  7. Amandah March 5, 2013 Reply

    Hi,

    I would like to take my old posts and Ezine Articles and update them or pitch them as a guest blog, revamped, of course. I’ve received invites to guest blog, but I have client projects to work on too. Revising my old posts would be a time saver, but I need to make sure they fit with the blogs I’d write for.
    Amandah recently posted…Stop Wasting Time! Go from Ideas to Blog PostsMy Profile

    • Jennifer Mattern March 5, 2013 Reply

      As long as they’re substantially redone, that shouldn’t be a problem. The concern from the host blog would just be duplicate content (their site could get dinged by search engines). But I don’t see why you couldn’t update and rework old posts for that kind of article marketing.

  8. Connor Harley March 5, 2013 Reply

    Wonderful tips. We all do experience that writer’s block or we just feel that what we are supposed to write was once posted already. Your suggestions surely helps a lot to never ran out of ideas.
    Connor Harley recently posted…How to Invest in StocksMy Profile

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