Brainstorming is the process of coming up with ideas. For a blogger, this can range from post ideas to new project ideas. This post will offer some tips to help you with brainstorming, whether you’re starting off fresh or been blogging for years.
Brainstorming techniques, like mind mapping and rapid ideation, are not what I am covering in particular. While these techniques can be useful, they are broad techniques. I’m giving tips for things to think about when wanting to specifically brainstorm blog posts.
There is no particular order you should follow these tips in and not every tip will work for you. But it is good to try out new things from time to time to see what does work for you and what may end up improving your process.
Go Back Through Your Topics
I talked about topics in the getting started post for Guide to Blogging. Topics are essentially what you have chosen to write about in a mildly broad sense. Think of it like categories.
Go through your topics and categories and see what you can do with what you currently have. Write down a topic and then see how many post ideas you can come up with that one category. This is also a great way to see if a certain topic is really worth covering for you, cause if you can’t think of ideas for it, it may not be time for that content.
What Has Caught Your Attention Lately?
By this I mean, what are you interested in and spending time consuming and enjoying? If you’re like me, you go through phases where some things have your attention more than others. I often have a Disney phase and then end up writing about Disney a lot. So what phase are you in? You can take that interest and make content out of it, and you’ll be passionate about it as well.
See What You Can Rewrite
If you already have a backlog of posts, go through and see if there is something you can reiterate into a new post. I do this most often at Halloween, where I have a Quick and Geeky Costume Ideas post I remake every year. See if there is a post you can make a sequel of essentially.
Craft A New Series or Revive an Old One
I create series for posts, like Guide to Blogging. With these series, I can find a starting point for brainstorming new posts. I most often do this when I have a gap I need to fill between posts in my calendar. If you don’t have a particular series, see what you can come up with that fits your content. And if you already have a series or a few, look to them and see what you can come up with that fit those categories.
See What Is Trending and Relevant
This works great for multiple reasons. First, there are always new things being announced and shared across all sorts of industries that you are bound to find at least one thing you can write about. This works really well for us geeky bloggers, because we can follow a fandom and write about developments there or write about the latest movie, TV show, or game. Second, it’s great for search engine optimization (SEO) if you can get ahead of the curve quick enough. SEO is the techniques used to improve your ranking in online searches and is often a constant battle to improve on. The relevance of a post to what is trending and relevant can help a lot.
An example of relevancy being a great brainstorm starter is when I wrote the Ilvermorny Sorting Guide. Pottermore just released the sorting quiz for Ilvermorny, the American wizarding school. I jumped in, took the quiz, and started researching all I could to help people understand what their house meant. I caught the trend quick enough that it became my most viewed post of all time and still gets searched for.
How do you see what’s trending and relevant? Social media is the easiest way. Follow things you enjoy and want to write about, and you’ll start to see the relevant announcements and news.
See What Other’s Are Doing
Clarification: this does not mean to steal people’s content. It does mean following other bloggers in your niche and seeing what they are writing about and what posts they have come up with. Seeing what they have done can help get the creative wheels spinning in your head. It is also good to support fellow bloggers in your niche by reading their stuff!
Sometimes we do “Tags”, which are like themed blog Q&A’s, and we encourage others to do those posts. So if you see a tag you want to do for your blog, then take those questions and give it a try. I often do tags and encourage other bloggers to do them, because they are lighthearted and fun posts that help when you’re feeling stumped for content.
Brainstorm With Others
When I’m stuck for posts, I tend to go to my brother to help me work ideas out. Having that additional person is very helpful when you are really stuck. Whether you brainstorm with a loved one or other bloggers, workshopping ideas can help turn them into reality.
Still low on ideas? Check out how to get my list of 101 Geeky Blog Post Ideas!
If you have any brainstorming tips you like to follow, share them with a comment below.
Want to learn more about blogging? Keep reading my Guide to Blogging series.