Do you have a hard time coming up with new and interesting ideas for content for your blog? A lot of bloggers do and there are all kinds of tricks you can use to help wake up your muse. One of my favorites is forums. I don’t spend a lot of time chatting in forums. But I belong to a few, just so I have a place to go when I run out of content ideas. Forums are loaded with more content ideas than you could ever possibly use and that’s where I’ve found some of my most popular blog content.
You may not realize it but no matter what niche you’re blogging in you’ll find a corresponding forum. At least one. Usually dozens. And most of those forums are free and open to anyone who wants to join. To find a forum in your niche, go to your Google search box and use the following search command:
“your niche” + Forum
Just start clicking down the list and join as many as you like. Don’t forget though – forums can be addictive and turn into a big time suck. So don’t join too many or you’ll never get any work done.
If you’ve never used a forum before you’ll more than likely have to register. A lot of forums will let you see the categories and topics but if you want to see the actual posts you’ll have to become a registered member first. It’s usually a very simple process though, so don’t worry.
Once you’re inside, take a look at all of the categories you’ll have to choose from. And each category will have a page full of topics inside. The topics are the threads that people start and each one is usually dedicated to one specific question that people are discussing.
Look for topics that have a lot of replies first because these usually indicate that it’s a hot topic and there’s a lot of information being passed around. But it’s also a good idea to look at topics that have only one or two replies – you may be the only one who can answer that question!
Here’s a few things to watch for:
- Don’t mention names in your blog posts unless you have permission. Most people assume that their forum discussions are open only to the other members of the forum and they might be offended to know you’ve been eavesdropping.
- Don’t copy and past directly from a forum post. It’s never a good idea to use someone else’s content – even if it is available to the public. Re-write it in your own words before you use it on your blog.
- Don’t use answers that you found on a forum unless you can verify they’re correct. The “It’s true! I read it on the Internet!” excuse doesn’t work when you’re posting to your blog. You should always verify your facts so you don’t intentionally mislead your readers.
- Do send your readers to the forums you belong to. If you enjoy them, they probably will, too. If you’re worried what they might think when they find out you’re using it for content for your blog, consider using an anonymous user name so no one recognizes you.
- Think about using a different name than the name you use on your blog. If your blog is popular with among the forum members, they might start freezing up when they see you enter one of their conversations.
Forums are also a great place to find guest bloggers and to find blogs where you can guest post. Watch signatures for people who are linking to their own blogs and if you like what they have to say on the forum, then check them out. You could even end up creating your own comment tribe or blogging collaboration right from the comfort of your favorite forum.
Now that you’re a member of that forum, it’s also a great place to find some new traffic for your blog. And wouldn’t it be great if you saw someone asking a question that you’ve already answered. You could pipe up and say, “Hey! I just wrote a blog post about that. Check it out here!”
If you’re feeling really brave and adventurous, and you have a lot of well-established traffic, consider creating your own forum attached to your blog. Then you’d always know what people are looking for and you’d never run out of content ideas. In fact, you might become so engrossed in your forum that you decide to start blogging about having your own forum!