Do you ever have those days where you are sitting in front of your laptop, attempting to write a new blog post, and nothing happens? Nothing but a blank screen staring at you? Inspiration just doesn’t strike and you can’t come up with a single workable post idea?
Or you’re in a rush and you need something quick you can write and publish in order to stick to your blogging schedule and keep your readers happy. You don’t want to spend a bunch of time trying to come up with something to write about.
In either scenario, it’s helpful to have a list of blog post ideas ready to use. And that’s what today’s post is about. I’ll walk you through a quick and easy way to brainstorm blog topics. You’ll end up with dozens of blog post ideas you can use over the coming weeks and months, or whenever you need a little extra inspiration.
This is a simple, but powerful, strategy that will serve you well. You can use it not only for coming up with blog topics but also for brainstorming ideas for any kind of content.
So let’s start brainstorming a whole list of future blog posts. I prefer to do this exercise in a spreadsheet. If that’s not your thing, then, by all means, use a word document or whatever program you prefer for brainstorming topic ideas. Or go old-school with a notebook and pen. Your call.
Step 1 – Log Into Your Blog and Make a List of Your Categories
Start by making a list of all the categories on your blog. You may have a pretty good idea of the main ones or the ones you use the most, but there may be some you are forgetting, so it’s a good idea to actually look.
Log into your blogging interface (WordPress, SquareSpace, etc.) and look up the categories you have set up. This is super-easy to do in WordPress:
- Log into your dashboard
- Click on Posts in the left sidebar.
- The click on Categories.
You’ll see a list of all your categories. If you use subcategories, then they will be listed, too, but will have a dash in front of the name.
Copy them down in your spreadsheet or notebook, leaving at least 10 lines of space below each category.
Step 2 – Come Up With At Least 10 Blog Post Ideas Per Category
Now that you have your list of categories, it’s time to brainstorm blog topics for each category. Come up with 10 blog post ideas for each category. Don’t censor yourself, just jot down the first things that come to mind. Remember this is a brainstorm. The idea is to generate ideas. You’re free to tweak, edit, and reject them later. For now, get them on paper and come up with a long list of potential post ideas.
For example, here are 10 ideas that I came up with for my Blogging Basics category:
- How to write great blog post titles
- Formatting tips for blog posts
- Repurpose your emails into blog posts
- Cross-link posts to increase traffic & interaction
- Out of content ideas? Ask your readers what they need help with
- Optimizing images for various social media platforms
- Grow your list faster with content upgrades
- How to use the Google Keyword Planner for fresh post ideas
- Crowdsourcing: ask your readers for their best tips
- Why you need an editorial calendar
It only took me about 5 minutes to come up with 10 ideas. Focusing on the category gave me a starting place, which made it easier to generate ideas for blog topics quickly.
Step 3 – Rinse and Repeat As Needed
One of the best things about this technique is that you can repeat it whenever you need a new batch of blog post ideas. Whenever you run out of ideas, come back to this brainstorming technique. It will be easy to come up with fresh blog post topics for every category on your blog. And since you’re focusing on coming up with ideas for each category, no area of your blog will be neglected over the coming weeks.
And here’s a little extra tip. Whenever you’re considering adding another category or sub-category to your blog, go through the same exercise.
This will do two important things for you. First of all, you will be able to quickly tell if the new category is viable. If you can’t easily come up with 10 topic ideas, it’s probably not worth adding the new category to your site. Just file the posts you had in mind under an existing category.
Secondly, it will give you a list of blog posts you can then quickly write and add over the coming days and weeks to flesh out the new category. Win-Win.
Try it out and see if this simple idea to brainstorm blog topics doesn’t help you generate a long list of content ideas.