10 Ways to Brainstorm Blog Post Ideas
I’ve got something a little different for you today, a peak behind the scenes at my writing process. Here are ten ideas that I use to brainstorm blog post ideas:
This first idea was partially inspired by reading Nina Amir’s, How to Blog a Book. The initial 3-4 months of writing for this blog, I wrote exclusively from an outline that I did for a book I’m working on. I chose my topic first (trusting in Jesus) and then I started researching. I read at least five books on my topic before I ever started publishing any content. Next, I put together a playlist of songs that inspired me. It was at this point that I decided I wanted Oceans, by Hillsong, to be the theme song of my blog and my book. The lyrics lent themselves, in this case, to organizing the book into 8 chapters. Each chapter had a line from the song, to use as that chapter’s focus, and each chapter had 4-5 blog posts (or chapter subtopics), which fit together under that theme. So I had approximately 40 blog posts ideas from one book outline.
For example: Chapter 3:
Title: Who God is? Why is he trustworthy?
I repeated this format for each chapter. I always had 2-3 teaching posts around the topic, another teaching post specifically around the song lyrics associated with that chapter, and I closed each chapter with a personal story to illustrate the topic.
Pros: I always knew what to write about and what to focus on in my studies.
Cons: I was ready for a little spontaneity and freedom in my writing by the time I was done.
Would I do this again? Definitely. This system kept me on track and organized- and I had something extra to show for it at the end- a potential book.
I’m not currently working from an outline, but I’m still (mostly) working around a theme (grace). I like doing this because when I study, the information can then be used for multiple blog posts. Without an outline, I have to use other methods to brainstorm potential blog post ideas. Here are a few more of the tricks that work for me when I don’t know what to write about:
Listen to music (or walk, read, draw...whatever you need to get the creative juices flowing)
Research and retell the story behind the music. An example, the story of John Newton, the man behind Amazing Grace
Pick a theme song (as mentioned before).
Pick a favorite quote and expand upon it, relating it to a personal story in your own life. Example: “Life Itself is Grace” –Frederick Buechner
Just start writing: Sometimes a free write can turn into a blog post. I didn’t know where I was going with this blog post when I started. Sometimes it takes the process of writing sort out your thoughts. Giving yourself permission to write without the intention of publishing it- and then decide later if it’s something that should be published.
Recycle/rewrite old content: Put a new spin on an old story.
Day in the Life: I haven’t written one of these on this blog, yet- but I used to, when I had a personal blog, and I did one for my newsletter last month. These can be fun- a behind the scenes peak. I know I love to read these when other bloggers post them.
Book Reviews and lists: I know I’m always looking for good books to read, and I’m much more likely to read something if a blogger I connect with has recommended it.
I hope that you’re not experiencing writer’s block. But if you are, maybe these ideas will help. I get writer’s block sometimes, too. So please, if you’ve got some ideas, leave a comment and share what you’ve got!