Fresh Ideas: 20 Tips for Coming Up with Them

Steven8 responsesBlogging
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Whether you publish new content three days a week or three times a day, the most important thing is consistency. You always have to be ready with the next day’s content. In the beginning, that’s easy enough because you’re just full of brilliant ideas. But every blogger has days where he just can’t come up with something fresh and new, something he hasn’t already talked about dozens of times. When that happens to you, here are 20 tips for coming up with fresh, new ideas.

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coming up fresh ideas

  1. Step away from your computer: Step away from your computer for 15 minutes and do something physical. Go walk the dog or wash the dishes or throw in a load of laundry. The physical activity will be a distraction and allow your mind to relax and refresh.
  2. Read something: Read something completely unrelated to your blog. And read a lot. You’ll be surprised at how many ideas you can pick up from books that you can relate back to your blog.
  3. Go get coffee: Or tea, or a soda or a milkshake. Whatever your prefer, just go out and get it. And listen to the other conversations going on around you. You might pick up a good idea but at the very least you’ll clear your mind for a few minutes.
  4. Network: Check in with some of the other bloggers in your network and see what they’re up to today.
  5. Dig through your archives: If you can’t remember some of your older content chances are your readers can’t either. Dig through your archives and freshen up an old post.
  6. Watch the news: I know. The news can be depressing. But you might also see something that relates to your blog.
  7. Phone a friend: That’s what friends are for, right?
  8. Create link bait: OK, go back through your archives and pick out four or five related posts. Now, build one new link bait post around those five. You already have all the information you need, all you have to do is condense it into on article and then link out to your older content so your visitors can get the details.
  9. Break it down: Got an old Top Ten list post out there that was popular back in the day? Take the Top Three items and go into greater detail.
  10. Just start writing: My personal favorite? Just start writing. I guarantee you that within 14 minutes you’ll come up with a good idea, you just need to get your brain working today.
  11. Make a list of things to do: We all have a list of things we do on a regular basis, things that pertain to your niche, not your blog. Write about your list of things to do. For example, if you blog about dogs, your list probably includes: walk the dog, feed the dog, brush the dog, take the dog to the park, work on training the dog. Your readers will get a kick out of your list and might even share their own.
  12. Use article templates: I keep a file of article templates on hand for those days when I’m really stuck for ideas. One flip through the file and I usually have at least four or five new ideas. You can find a wide variety of templates at Ezine Articles.
  13. Share a secret: What’s one thing you do that you’ve never shared with your readers. Make it relevant and you’ve got a great idea for your next post.
  14. Share your favorites: We all read other blogs. Tell your readers about your favorites. Or share a list of your favorite people to follow on Twitter.
  15. Make a pitch post: If you can’t think of anything else to blog about this might be a good day to put out a strong call to action. Need more RSS subscribers or subscribers for your newsletter? Blog about it today.
  16. Comment on your own blog: Read back over a recent post or two and imagine leaving yourself a comment. What would it be? If it’s a question – there’s your idea for today.
  17. Define and explain one word: Every industry has its own jargon. Choose one word today and explain it so even a beginner will understand it.
  18. Share your goals: Talk about one of your goals. If you’re blogging about auto repair, your goal might be to get an expensive set of tools. If you’re blogging about finance your goal might be to make your first million dollars in the stock market. Blog about your goal and what you’re doing to achieve it.
  19. Be controversial: If you’re feeling particularly grumpy today this might be a good day to write something controversial. Is there a popular opinion out there that you disagree with? Remember to be professional. Don’t attack other bloggers, don’t talk down to your readers, and present both sides of the argument so your readers can make their own decision.
  20. Write that article you’ve been dreading: I always have some big article brewing, one that’s going to take hours or even days to write because I want to include so much information and link out to so many resources. Everybody has one blog post they keep putting off – for whatever reason. Why not start it today? It might turn out to be the best idea yet!

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  1. Rasta

    Great tips, great food for thought.
    Often we get so caught up in doing things the same old way, we need to step back to get fresh ideas.

    *I got locked out of Twitter for the day, so these Ideas may help me pass the time until I get out of jail*

    I don’t know where to start to comment, every point is good. Engaging is often done by just the things you describe, and Social Media is about being Social, not just sharing links and auto-tweeting. Using leading questions, tackling controversial topics, all bring in Engagement. And help to increase our social presence. Even if you know all these things, the reminder and direction is essential to getting back on track.
    Thanks for, yet another, great and helpful post.

    1. Thanks for the good words Rasta, I appreciate it. I’ve faced a blank page numerous times, so I know how important it is to start fresh.

  2. Mark Masters

    It’s amazing how many ways there are to take a step back and then attack with new ideas.

    The secret to success is being creative and looking to stand out from the crowd. If you blend in with everyone else, how can you be seen as fresh.

    A good ‘at a glance’ tips to apply.

    1. Thanks for the good words Mark. Being ‘special’ is certainly a big help to stand out of the crowd.

  3. I also keep a list of ideas that spring to mind (at the most inopportune times I might add). But I also write like I’m writing a journal entry and leave the title blank. Something always comes to me; whether I write the whole entry and use all the content, or pull something out of it and just use that or expand.

    1. That’s an interesting approach Sandy. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Steven,

    I really like the number 19. Being controversial almost always stirs some interest. Some good, some not so good.

    I like to make people think about things rather than telling them what I think.


    1. Marc, I really like controversy too. But it’s a tricky thing to use, as it can backfire really easily and get out of proportion. Be careful not to burn bridges

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