How to Find Ideas to Write About in Under 10 Minutes

Posted in Blogging, Tips, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 11 Comments

The most common problem that bloggers like me encounter is that point in time when no idea seems to be good enough to be written and published. You’d think that the biggest problem here is thinking of what to write about, but the underlying problem is really answering the question, “is it good enough?” or “will my readers like it?”

Thankfully there are a lot of tools and people who can help you verify if that idea of yours is good to be written about or not.

Whatever niche you are blogging about, this guide will be relevant.

Looking Into Trends

Know what the people want and the world is yours to rule. At least a portion of it. Apparently, people can’t get enough of certain things and will do everything to get more. This is your chance to ride the Bandwagon, know what is trending and write, or create, them instantly. Soon people will flock to your website and will ask for more. This is actually easy to do, but the challenge here lies in your ability to be always on time, just when “they” are all awake. You need to be one of the first to hop on the trend to get noticed.

Trendsmap

Trendsmap is the perfect tool for bloggers who want to target a specific geographic audience. I never knew such a tool existed until I began researching about how to find trends.

Other noteworthy tools to look for trends:

It’s all about trends. Going with the flow will definitely bring traffic to your website and will give you a new topic to talk about. This is the easiest route, in my opinion, to gather ideas to write about. Since there are always new things online, why not use that to your advantage?

The tools linked above provide a summary of what’s hot for the day, or what’s being talked about in that hour, but if you want to have a more real-time view of what’s being talked about around the globe then Twitter is your friend.

Twitter-search

Everybody knows what Twitter is, but it seems that people underestimate its search function. Here you can key in any term you want and see what people are talking about, and don’t forget to use hashtags too.

Google Alerts is also one of my favorites when it comes to being updated about current events on the web. You need to simply add a keyword you want to be notified of when it appears on the web, and Google Alerts will notify you once something comes up.

Through People

In order to succeed in what you do you need to have someone whom you can look up to. A living inspiration that you can always look to to find guidance, and possibly outrank someday. I’ve listed some resources below to help you get started. As the saying goes, if you want to be the master, think like the master, and walk like the master. These people are masters in their own ways, and it appears to simple people like us that they have an unlimited trove of ideas! In order to be like them, first you’ll need to know what made them them.

Through Online Communities

Two heads are better than one, but a thousand heads is definitely better than two. In the past it’s impossible to connect with thousands of people, or even a meager hundred, but today it is very possible. With the rise of social media and social news websites like Reddit and Digg it is now possible to contribute what you know and learn new things in return.

I spend a lot of time browsing reddit, answering questions and posing some, and throughout the day I have had several moments of, “why didn’t I think of that?”

Websites you can productively waste your time on:

  • StumbleUpon –  this is probably one of the most innovative tool online, a first of its kind enabling people to randomly see web pages that are based on the users’ interests. I stumble daily, although I rarely “thumbs up” a web page, still it provides me with enough ideas to write about be it for work or personal projects.
  • Reddit –  over the years there have been blogs that mined information on reddit, which is kind of frowned upon (see TIL-Blog.com). Anyway, reddit is a trove of useful information, especially when you know where to look. You know what’s the good part? I wrote a guide on how to use reddit some months ago.
  • Digg –  a social news aggregator and forum where people discuss things. Same with reddit, it’s a trove of useful information.
  • Pinterest –  a place where creative people gather and share their own creations. This is not just like any other web directories, it’s like the Etsy of displaying what you made for the whole world to see.
  • Hacker News –  here you can find fresh ideas and hot topics being talked about by professional tech guys.

Benjamin Franklin once wrote, and in this rare instance we’ll take it without context for it to work, “Either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.” You can’t flesh out ideas out of thin air, you need to do something!

Chances are the reason why you are here reading is because you’re in search for inspiration to start or end your day with. You’re on the right track, reading daily is one sure way to find inspiration. See, there are a lot of beginning bloggers that whine about not having enough ideas to write about, and they don’t notice the problem because they have secluded themselves in their tiny universe. This is not the way to do it. If you are experiencing lack of inspiration to write, just randomly scan your reader for new blog posts or use StumbleUpon to randomly find entertaining posts online.

Through Blogs

There are many people who have found inspiration through 1stwebdesigner, but that doesn’t mean you should stop at that. Above is an extensive list of blogs that you should find time to visit, each having important things to share.

Through Yourself and Your Competitors

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, they say. This works well for websites competing in the same niche. What topics do they usually write about? What keywords? Frequency of publishing? Who writes for them? And more importantly, who are their readers?

SimilarSites –  use SimilarSites to find popular blogs like yours and see why they’re doing well. You may also find new things that you can also do, but of course do not copy!

SEODigger –  with this tool you can analyze what makes your competitor really popular, what kind of keywords people are looking for on that certain blog, how often, and a lot more.

Seodigger-1stweb

Using SEODigger I checked what keywords are common for 1stwebdesigner. It also shows a report on what keywords provide more traffic.

Through Existing Ideas

Let’s face it, 99% of the things that you’ll ever think about creating have already been created by hundreds and thousands of people. Through the use of the internet nothing remains unique for more than a day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use an existing idea to give birth to a slightly angled idea.

Blogs are a great example of this. Every blog that you can think of has a lot of competition. Even huge eCommerce websites like eBay and Amazon, streaming music, streaming videos, fan fictions, and a lot more. But what differs them from one another is the content they provide, and that’s what makes or break everything. You can start a blog today with the same niche as 1stwebdesigner, but in the end what will give your blog an identity is on how you present things differently, from a different angle or from a whole new perspective. It is literally a “lather, rinse, repeat,” kind of process for everything, with slight changes in every turn.

This article you are reading has been written hundreds of times across hundreds of blogs, but what makes it unique is it’s more updated and I’m trying to take a different angle, every angle possible.

A question begs to be answered, is it ethical to get ideas from existing ideas? I will be annoying and say, it depends. If your goal is to take an idea to simply have new content for your blog, that is a terrible way to make it. But if your goal is to improve on an existing idea, by all means please do. You are content creators, and part of the unwritten and unspoken rule every content creator has is to constantly improve things. You can’t call yourself a content creator if you can’t improve things.

Do yourself great favors and read as much as you can at the start of your day, allot a few minutes to think about the things you have read, morph them and merge, and come up with a new and improved idea. It’s like polishing an armor or whetting your favorite knife.

Here are 7 Easy Ways To Turn Old Content Into New Content.

Sit Back and Relax

Literally. Sit comfortably in your office chair, or half lie on your couch, and hit it with a TED talk or run the Blu-ray player for a marathon. Humans are visual creatures, just like when you look at clouds and see images that aren’t really there, simply watching things while relaxing can stir up your mind and make you catch, or generate, ideas.

  • Listen to your favorite music, or try a new genre
  • Watch a movie
  • Read a book
  • Read the newspaper
  • just stay away from work

Talk and Talk

As opposed to the tip I gave above, talking and talking for countless hours is also a great way to come up with several good ideas. But I should mention that the talking is done with another person. Yes, I’m talking about going outside and having a social life. I know many writers that mostly spend  entire months at home and they begin to wonder why they’re into so much creative block. Well, sir and ma’am, I may have a solution for that. You need to talk to people, socialize and laugh and spend your Friday nights getting wasted. As they say, life is too short!

Further readings from experts:

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Rean is the editor of 1stwebdesigner. He regularly writes about freelancing, technology, web design, and web development. Rean also writes at Knowledge Salad, a blog filled with weird and interesting facts. One of his goals is to help his fellow Filipinos earn money online, to help them build a career out of working from home, just like what he has been doing for years now.

11 Comments Best Comments First
  • Sarah Bauer

    Thursday, March 8th, 2012 02:03

    1

    Excellent round up of writing inspiration resources. With a toolbox like this, blog writing for nearly any industry can be accomplished with ease. It gets tougher when your industry is a bit new to the Internet and entrenched in specialized language and knowledge. With highly specialized industry blogging, I find that a much more in-depth understanding is needed, and often loads of research must be done to offer readers something new and interesting. However, using tools like Trendsmap is a great place to start!

    0
  • Kari

    Friday, March 9th, 2012 16:38

    4

    Just a small correction – you are actually not supposed to use Pinterest to promote your own work or build a portfolio (against their TOS)- its a place to share visual information and create mood boards for inspiration, essentially.

    0
    • Rean John Uehara

      Friday, March 9th, 2012 16:43

      5

      Hmm, that’s odd. But I can pin others’ works? Not mine?

      0
      • Grim Cris

        Saturday, March 10th, 2012 09:18

        7

        You can pin your own work, too, but I think the main idea is to promote both your work and the others. Am I right?

        0
  • Tessa

    Friday, March 9th, 2012 13:16

    3

    Most commonly i used to get idea through reading blogs and sometimes popular tweets inspires me for blogging. I haven’t try Trendsmap. And like to use it to check the popularity on region basis.

    0
  • Donny

    Thursday, March 8th, 2012 11:49

    2

    reading about other bloggers and people who have succeeded against adversity is a big go..it works for me.

    thanks Rean John

    0
  • waqas

    Friday, March 9th, 2012 17:26

    6

    i must say that some of them are worth a try!

    0
  • Mary

    Sunday, March 25th, 2012 08:01

    10

    Very nice tips. Considering the nonstop buzz over the web nowadays, it should be easy to write about something, which is in connection to your tip about trends. These trends can even branch out more to other related topics and can give you more ideas. Just learn to filter info though because I know one dilemma of writers is to get too much info, that they can’t start anything because of overload.

    0
  • Richard

    Saturday, March 10th, 2012 15:33

    9

    If I need to write something ( usually an article or an ebook ) I try to put 3 things into it
    1. Interesting
    2. Funny
    3. Scary
    If I’ve got a little of each of these it tends to turn out ok

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Friday, March 30th, 2012 08:37

      11

      I would say something similar but:
      1. Educational
      2. Funny
      3. Controversional

      0
  • Tony

    Saturday, March 10th, 2012 14:14

    8

    Great suggestions, especially the Trends tip, I didn’t know about these tools! Here is my input: For all the blogs I work on, I have a separate ideas.txt file, where I put down ideas whenever I get them. Sometimes I get ideas all of a sudden, so before I forget it, I put it down. Very often I put some highlights of what I will include in the post. This way I have an idea reservoir full at all times. Then, when I have the time and feel like writing a particular piece from the list, it is very easy to expand the highlights into a full-blown article. This arrangement saves me time to think about new ideas and this is why I am using it for all my projects.

    0
  • Mary

    Sunday, March 25th, 2012 08:01

    10

    Very nice tips. Considering the nonstop buzz over the web nowadays, it should be easy to write about something, which is in connection to your tip about trends. These trends can even branch out more to other related topics and can give you more ideas. Just learn to filter info though because I know one dilemma of writers is to get too much info, that they can’t start anything because of overload.

    0
  • Richard

    Saturday, March 10th, 2012 15:33

    9

    If I need to write something ( usually an article or an ebook ) I try to put 3 things into it
    1. Interesting
    2. Funny
    3. Scary
    If I’ve got a little of each of these it tends to turn out ok

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Friday, March 30th, 2012 08:37

      11

      I would say something similar but:
      1. Educational
      2. Funny
      3. Controversional

      0
  • Tony

    Saturday, March 10th, 2012 14:14

    8

    Great suggestions, especially the Trends tip, I didn’t know about these tools! Here is my input: For all the blogs I work on, I have a separate ideas.txt file, where I put down ideas whenever I get them. Sometimes I get ideas all of a sudden, so before I forget it, I put it down. Very often I put some highlights of what I will include in the post. This way I have an idea reservoir full at all times. Then, when I have the time and feel like writing a particular piece from the list, it is very easy to expand the highlights into a full-blown article. This arrangement saves me time to think about new ideas and this is why I am using it for all my projects.

    0
  • waqas

    Friday, March 9th, 2012 17:26

    6

    i must say that some of them are worth a try!

    0
  • Kari

    Friday, March 9th, 2012 16:38

    4

    Just a small correction – you are actually not supposed to use Pinterest to promote your own work or build a portfolio (against their TOS)- its a place to share visual information and create mood boards for inspiration, essentially.

    0
    • Rean John Uehara

      Friday, March 9th, 2012 16:43

      5

      Hmm, that’s odd. But I can pin others’ works? Not mine?

      0
      • Grim Cris

        Saturday, March 10th, 2012 09:18

        7

        You can pin your own work, too, but I think the main idea is to promote both your work and the others. Am I right?

        0
  • Tessa

    Friday, March 9th, 2012 13:16

    3

    Most commonly i used to get idea through reading blogs and sometimes popular tweets inspires me for blogging. I haven’t try Trendsmap. And like to use it to check the popularity on region basis.

    0
  • Donny

    Thursday, March 8th, 2012 11:49

    2

    reading about other bloggers and people who have succeeded against adversity is a big go..it works for me.

    thanks Rean John

    0
  • Sarah Bauer

    Thursday, March 8th, 2012 02:03

    1

    Excellent round up of writing inspiration resources. With a toolbox like this, blog writing for nearly any industry can be accomplished with ease. It gets tougher when your industry is a bit new to the Internet and entrenched in specialized language and knowledge. With highly specialized industry blogging, I find that a much more in-depth understanding is needed, and often loads of research must be done to offer readers something new and interesting. However, using tools like Trendsmap is a great place to start!

    0

Comments are closed.

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