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Cheryl Reif

Cheryl lives and writes with her inspirational family, two energetic dogs, and a small mammal menagerie, all of which are fairly tame. She writes about cool science stuff for children and adults, daydreams about stories and characters 87% of the time, and tries not to plot novels while driving. You can also find Cheryl on Twitter @CherylRWrites, Pinterest., and Google. Come say hi!


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10+ Sure-Fire Ways to Find Blog Post Ideas

Are you ever stuck for what to write?
Tambako the JaguarPhoto Credit

I frequently am—until, of course, I start working on something else, like that novel, or a big medical writing project that due the next day. Something about facing a bigger, tougher piece of work makes blogging ideas flow like the Colorado River.

But that’s not the recommended strategy for coming up with blog post topics.

In fact, skipping from one project to another is an ineffective use of time. Plus it bears a remarkable resemblance to procrastination. So how do you come up with fresh content for a blog you’ve been writing for more than a week, a month, or a year? Read on for ideas….

Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Find Blog Post Ideas

  1. Read: other blogs, craft magazines, industry news can inspire you to share your thoughts on a topic, or point your readers to a great read. (Example: Strategies for Keeping Up Momentum When You Don’t Have Time to Write)
  2. Visit social media sites such as StumbleUpon and Digg to find interesting content to share with your readers. (Example: Handwriting Online?)
  3. Discuss current events: an awareness of what’s happening in your industry (or in the world) can inspire posts on current topics. (Example: Bad Boys—Girls Really Do Like Them Best)
  4. Address readers’ comments and questions: Are readers commenting on your posts? Show you care and continue the conversation! (Example: Do You Take Yourself Seriously?)
  5. Poll readers to learn interests, struggles, and questions. (I haven’t done this one in a while—obviously, it’s time!)
  6. Share an experience: Stories are a terrific way to introduce a topic or illustrate a point. What ideas do your recent experiences inspire? (Examples: Reasons to Love Writing: Manatees!, Society of Environmental Journalists Conference 2010: What Children’s Writers Can Learn From Journalists)
  7. Review a book that would interest your readers. (Examples: Why Stress Hurts Performance, How to Change: Love What You Hate)
  8. Identify a product that might help your readers. (Example: Fave iPad Apps for Writers)
  9. List resources that your readers will appreciate. (Example: 25 Inspiration Sources for the Discouraged Writer)
  10. Exercise: a long walk or run is a terrific way to let your subconscious chew on a problem. Be sure to 1) have a specific question or idea in mind when you begin, and 2) bring along a recording device (pen and notebook, index cards a la Anne Lamott, or voice recorder.) (Example: How To Change: Love What You Hate)
And from my great commenting peeps:
  1. Critique a manuscript: mooderino shares this great method for finding new perspectives to investigate
  2. Take a shower: Patrick Ross suggests “Listen to what your mind is telling you in the shower. I find that time of my morning–when I’m freed from conversation and my smart phone–is when my subconscious can finally reach me with whatever is literally “on my mind.” “

What about you? Where do you come up with ideas?

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