Where do you get your ideas?

I’ve got a question for the bloggers out there. How do you consistently come up with topics for your blogs? Especially if you blog more than a couple of times a week, where do your ideas come from? Do you worry about running out of ideas?

I struggle each month when I create my editorial calendar of about a dozen blogs a month. Sure, with a good brainstorming session I can come up with 8 or 9 ideas, but what about those last few. I really hate leaving it up to “same day inspiration” because that puts way too much pressure on my creative juices.

One thing that I have discovered that helps is the weekly Blog Topics newsletter (affiliate link) from Chris Brogan. He doesn’t just hand me a list of topics to use, but gives guidance on some ways to approach my blog, including different styles of writing, and even some suggestions to generate more comments.

The thing that I like best about the format of these newsletters is that his prompts get me thinking in new directions, which creates even more ideas. That’s what you want as a blogger, right?

So now let me ask the bloggers out there – why haven’t you signed up yet? Just click the blue banner and you can be on your way!

8 thoughts on “Where do you get your ideas?

  1. I’m guilty of “same day inspiration”. I write on my commute, so pretty much write about my observations on life. When I get a GREAT idea, I turn it into a series. I write about topics that are relevant for me at that moment. I imagine myself with a camera, taking snapshots of the world around me. Sometimes a great conversation at works sparks an idea, or something going on with my family. If I read a great book I blog about it, or if someone comes up with a question which I think may help others I write about it too. I’ve gotten away (thankfully!!) from writing to increase traffic and/or comments. Don’t get me wrong, I love both, but I used to have them as my primary “measure of success”.

    I enjoy the process and hope people are inspired. As an example, I ran into someone at the lobby of the building where I work. We don’t work together but she mentioned how much she enjoys reading the posts when they’re published to LinkedIn. I mostly monitor Twitter and FB comments and I think those are the only people reading my blog. She’s not the only person who has mentioned they enjoy reading the posts, even if they don’t comment on them.

    Very long comment, but I REALLY enjoy your posts, whether you’ve planned them a month in advance or last night. Your style is very calm and insightful. Reading your blog feels like sitting at a tea house sipping a warm drink with a long-time friend. However you want to plan them, KEEP THEM COMING!!!

    Twugs!!

    • Thank you Lily – you are so sweet. I love your blog too, and am always inspired. I wish I could just observe and write – but I guess that’s the high C in me that has to plan it out! I love your image of sitting in a tea house with a friend – that’s a true compliment.

      I’m taking two different writing/blogging classes and am thriving on this process of discovering my voice, my tribe and some best practices on blogging better. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

      • Interesting…I am DI…in the versions I have taken I either had 0 SC or 1 S and 0 C. But I love planning my posts out.

        I keep a journal where I write thoughts, quotes, entire posts, outlines, etc. down. I sit down every weekday morning and write for about an hour or so until the sun comes up, then I am done. Sometimes that is one post, sometimes two, sometimes just the shell of three.

        I try specifically to think of failures that have learning attached to them, but I also get a lot of inspiration from just hearing things. It’s sad in a way because I miss that the person is saying sometimes, but at least once a week I find myself writing a blog post in my journal because someone said something and next thing I know…well I get lost.

        • I love that you journal your ideas. I too spend about an hour every morning writing – and some days, that is excruciating, but others, I wonder where the time went. Thanks for sharing your process!

  2. What’s Shakin, CD? I’m enjoying your posts. Where does this stuff in our heads come from? (Grammer police, please give me a warning.) Great question. Here’s my unsophisticated method.
    1. Stuff happens or I have thoughts
    2. I jot them on a folded piece of paper (a lot of them!)
    3. I review the paper in hopes of finding clear, legible thoughts
    4. I develop only those that are “speaking to me”
    5 . I occasionally same day it.

    I’m not placing strict deadlines and discipline into the mix, although my goal is one per week. This is more of a dumping ground for completed thoughts than a publication for me, though.

    • I love your process – thanks for sharing! I have sadly discovered I’m way too much of a planner to not freak out if I don’t have several things lined up already. Yeah, spontaneous is not much in my toolbox!

  3. I get most of mine from you. Sometimes you directly. Other times “you” in the aggregate. Plus, I take lots of photos. Then I create topics to share so that others can have ideas for when they’re stuck.

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