If you’re a blogger, the hardest part of writing can be coming up with fresh ideas every week. This is an endless activity and can be the one activity that takes up most of your time.
As a writer and blogger, I understand how frustrating it can be to come with good ideas that people might be interested in, so I have developed a few sources of inspiration that help me come up with my own ideas. Like Mark Twain said,
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
1. Write in the morning
I write first thing in the morning when my mind is fresh and relaxed. This is the best time to write and most authors advocate this as the best time to write.
Every morning I write down five ideas for blog posts. I read up on those ideas and write rough drafts of at least two of those posts on the next day. By the third day, I have one of these posts ready to be published.
This is the best way to find ideas. In fact, sometimes reading something completely unrelated to your field can inspire you to connect the dots and find new perspectives on your own work/niche.
Subscribe to blogs in your field, set up RSS feeds, there are some great apps that you can download on your phone such a Feedly and Innoreader, these make it easier to follow your favourite blogs and online magazines.
Also look for inspiration offline, you will find magazines and books on the topics of your choice. You must read a lot, it is the key to good writing.
Quora, is a platform for asking and answering questions. You create a profile and selects topics that interest you. Then the website will show you notifications whenever a question related to these topics is asked. This is a great way of finding out what people’s problems are and come up with solution based posts.
You will find some really out of the box ideas on it and it can be a lot of fun engaging with potential readers while you answer their questions as well.
If you use it well Quora can also help you drive traffic to your blog.
4. Ask your audience
If you have social media following, you can always engage with them and ask them what their questions are on a particular topic.
The best medium to do that is Twitter, but Facebook also works well for the purpose.
You can start a Facebook poll asking your audience to vote on a blog post idea and get feedback on what your audience wants to read.
5. Social Media
When writing about brands its good to know about their product launches and press releases, so follow relevant brands on social media.
Also follow the bigger influencers, they are generally the first ones to know about new products and will give you information before date.
6. Join groups
I cannot stress this enough, blogging is not an isolated activity, you need to be a part of a community and actively engage with others to know about what’s trending and what others are reading.
People also ask questions on groups. They share their own ideas and posts, you might meet some very interesting people while picking up the best tips ever.
A lot of PR people are part of these niche-specific groups and you might also end up getting picked to be a brand influencer.
7. Google Alerts
Google ALerts is a notification service. You can set up specific keywords in Google Alerts to find the latest articles published on the web related to your keyword. For example, if my niche is writing and I’m looking to find magazine call for submissions, I can set up an alert for my email and once a day Google Alerts send me an email that contains all the articles published on the specific keyword “Magazine Call for Submissions”, this is a very easy way of finding relevant and latest content.
The only thing you must be mindful of is to pick the right keywords, otherwise, you will be getting crazy emails, also the emails come every day, so it gets annoying sometimes, especially when you haven’t had time to go through them and they’ve just piled up.(guilty!)
OK. So those were my hacks for finding interesting and trending topics to write about. If you know any other hacks, please share them in the comments below!