If you want your blogging marketing to kick some serious ass you’ve got to have the deep well to plunge of ideas of what to write about and these 32 should give you an blog title for every day of the month
It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2.
Are you scared to start a blog for fear that you wouldn’t know what the hell to write about on a day to day or even a week to week basis?
Do you ever avoid writing posts for your blog because you believe you don’t have shit to say?
How often do you sit and stare at the blank screen for waaaaay too long and look for endless ways to distract yourself before you actually get started writing a post?
None of these scenarios has to be true for you.
Not after you print this post off or convert it to a PDF by clicking either of those options you see on the top right corner of this page and keep it handy as kind of a “Break open in case of emergency” survival guide.
Today was the first time in over a year that I sat down to write a post and didn’t know what I wanted to talk to you about.
So I reached out to Boss Blogger Leo Babauta’s one-page PDF – “Places To Find Ideas For Blog Posts” list I have on hand for a time just like this.
Allow “Great” be the target rather than “Perfect”
Some people will tell you they “choose” to only write posts when the “muse” hits them a.k.a. when they’re inspired.
I think this is the perfect excuse to behave like an inconsistent bum who clings to perfection so I don’t
subscribe to this because it’s very easy for me to be lazy and I like to rationalize my bad behavior and this train of thought enables both of these tendencies.
So I don’t play the “Hope” muse comes by bullshit. What I’ve found is that muse is abound when I’m studying my ass off seeking ways to make myself more valuable in order to be able to provide value to you. And if I don’t stoke this fire, that’s when the ideas for posts stop boiling up to the top of my mind.
The other thing that staves off “muse deprivation” is knowing I want three posts up on the site every week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday a.k.a. demand on myself.
So unless I’m busier than hell on another project for another business, I make sure there’s something sexy for you to feast your eyes upon here 3 days out of the week.
I’ve just decided that whenever something gets done is when I will be posting, I’d be paralyzed by desire to have it be just right. Maybe you’ve done this too, thinking about what your peers will think if your post isn’t balls out awesome or what is the trendy thing say in the blogging arena these days, “epic”.
I learned from Eben Pagan that a mistake people tend to make is to look back on successes they’ve had or that other people have and label them as “Perfect”. They equate their having had success with their having been perfect. And this leads them to always chasing “Perfection”.
When “Perfection” is the target, you over analyze everything. Everything needs to be “right” before you can take action in order to protect your shot at perfection.
Here’s the rule of thumb to operate from if you don’t want to be punked by perfection . . .
“80% Is Good Enough.”
And what’s crazy is that more often than not, you can get to 80% in 20% of the time.
Shooting to get the last 20% perfect is what hogs up 80% of the time and leads to diminishing returns.
Profit and progress comes to those who gun for “Great”, not to those chasing the ever elusive perfect.
And now I’m going to give you 32 ideas and my quick thoughts on each of them to get the ball rolling so that you’ll always be well on your way to pursuing the 80% . . .
I can’t tell you how many comments on blog posts I’ve written that after I’ve finished them, I’ve thought to myself, “Damn, I could flesh this out and turn it into a post on my site.”
And I’ve done so a few times. The porno post I did was actually inspired by another personal improvement blogger’s post on his love of porn and why he believes it’s beautiful but I took my piece in a different direction than he did and made it relevant to my audience.
When other bloggers in your niche or outside your niche give their take on something and then ask the audience thought provoking questions at the end of the post, these are questions can be the perfect gateway into a topic you can passionately discuss with your fans in your own unique voice.
Look no further than this post here to see the four reasons Dan Kennedy believes you need to have your nose in books.
3. Overheard Dialog
I don’t do this with TV or movies or out in the wild as often as I do it while I’m reading fiction.
Anything on the screen just flies in and out and you hear it but the screen is geared to automatically take you forward which makes it easier to say, “Ohhh that was smooth,” and then get caught up in what you’re seeing unfold.
Books on the other hand are Ayn Rand has some magnificent dialog in her books (The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are my favorites) John MacDonald’s Travis McGee series fiction books have some great dialog in them that dig into human motivation that I’ve used in my posts before.
Magazines around your niche’s topic are great to stalk because they focus on what’s in-demand and trending now.
I remember hearing Rich Schefren talking about going to the book store at least once a month and taking pictures of the covers of all the business magazine covers so he could put his finger on the pulse of what the media was putting into the minds of his target audience.
This free research is available to you as well. And guess what? You can be a lazy ass and do this research from home by just cruising over to www.magazines.com. A bonus with this action step is you’ll probably come across some great titles or title templates to use for your blog posts in the future.
A bonus, bonus tip is to pay attention to how magazine articles are written, the way they flow, the way they break up the copy with subheads, font size changes, etc. and then bring home their point within the limited space they’re dealt.
I was just studying the legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz’s presentation he did for Rodale publishing, the notes for this I will be making available in Nerd Premium.
In his presentation Eugene recommends that if you want to stay in tune with what society is in love with in this day and age, you should go watch any movie that’s absolutely crushing it at the box office.
There’s themes that run through these movies that massive numbers of people are rallying behind and rooting for and are riveted to. You don’t want to be in the dark about this mass psychology stuff.
What’s great about this idea is that forum threads are usually blog post topics in and off themselves.
When you find a forum where you perfect prospects go and hang out for HOURS venting about their biggest fears, frustrations and desires, that’s a place you wanna be lurking in.
In fact, you want to be posing the questions that pull the rants out of the people – “What’s your experience been with xyz?” “What’s worked for you?” “What would you never recommend in a million years to solve xyz problem?”
I draw a blank on this in the sense of art in the form of paintings, sculptures, drawing, etc. But if you write about art, I’m sure there’s a gold mine there for you. And if you find meaning in seeing it and it speaks to you, I imagine this is a place to draw inspiration from.
My eclectic taste in music moves me like nothing else does, yet I’ve never thought to write about it though. But I do remember a post on Copyblogger where one of the guest posters wrote a piece on how you could learn a thing or two about becoming a writing machine from the rapper Eminem.
If you can make this work and convey lessons to be had based on musicians from any era and share a part of yourself with you fans while doing so, I say do it.
Your conversations, trials and tribulations you’ve experienced with your friends can be a deep reservoir of stories and life lessons you can share with audience that bring them closer to you.
10. Writing groups
I’ve never showed my writing to any writing group so I don’t have experience with this. You and the people throughout my life that I’ve asked to give me money have served as my sounding board. Maybe I’m missing out, maybe not.
I feel different about a professional writing coach than I do a writing group. It’s hard just to get our own ego out of the way and look at a piece of writing objectively which is what I hope a high quality coach could do. But to ask a group of people in the general population to not only set aside their ego but also their desire to do the whole “politics” thing – “she’s got nice tits so I’m not say anything bad to her,” or “He’s got connections and he’s cool so I’m not gonna trash any of his stuff,” or, “That guy is a power hungry douche canoe and the girl with nice tits likes him better than me so fuck him; I don’t care how good his writing is, I’m not giving him the satisfaction of telling him so,” - within a group is asking a lot.
But, I’m doing my best to stand by the principle of not believing anything more than 50% and believing that nothing is either right or wrong so I’d tell you to test the waters and see how you like it for yourself.
11. The Pocket Muse
Never read this but the link you click above takes you to amazon where you can see a description and I have to say it looks promising.
A quote like, “Holding onto resentment is like holding your breath – you suffocate.” by Deepak Chopra could set you forth on writing a post on forgiveness.
Quotes can set the tone for you to write about humor, strength, leadership, sex, relationships, on and on and on. Challenge yourself to write a post based on just a quote and see what spills out of you.
You can go outside and appreciating the beauty all around you and letting the inspiration flow from this. If you’re totally into the outdoors I imagine you’ll easily find connections you make and ways to relate your love of nature within your content.
Leo mentions about how historical figures like Ben Franklin, Gandhi, Leonardo da Vinci can inspire you. He’s right.
What I would suggest you do is look for a story about something that happened in their life, what you learned from it and what your audience could learn from it and adapt to their lives today.
Another thing you could do tap into the history of your niche and the wisdom to be had from paying attention to past masters, even highlighting one of them, or talking about how far the niche has come.
If anything this can serve as a pure voyeurism for you audience who wants to know what you do on the road. Tim Ferriss is awesome at bringing you along on his journeys abroad where you get peep what his take is on the other side of the planet.
I’m sure you die hard fans would love to travel with you too via your writing.
This is a universal topic. We’ve all been kids before, we have kids or we know someone who has kids. Like relationships, it’s a topic we can all gather around and relate to on some level. If you can entertain and educate with it, knock yourself out.
Exercise has been proven to be one of the greatest sources of emotional renewal known to man. This is why if you’re not doing balls to the wall exercise where you feel like your muscles are going to explode and your stomach is gonna toss up everything inside of it and you’re moving your body at about a 7 out of 10 where you can think of something besides the pain and getting air into your body, your mind will give you ideas it wasn’t giving you when you were sitting on your ass at your desk.
I get what Leo is saying here but I look at this in a different way.
I believe religion – the herding of humans – causes and has caused more drama that it does good. But I believe the spiritual texts that the religions bastardize with their petty beliefs and chimpanzee tendencies have love and light within them. Hell, the love and the light within the message of a book like the bible is the only thing that keeps society from seeing how cruel religions can be.
So, I say that if can find some love and light in the spiritual text a religion subscribes to, knock yourself out sharing it.
Leo tells you to look for inspiring human interest stories. You’ll have to look deep to find these. At one point and time I used to open the Investors Business Daily to read just one part of it – the Leaders and Success section where they highlighted people who were making shit happen. Check it out and see if it inspires you.
Dreams are no-holds-barred. This is why Leo suggests keeping a dream journal next to your bed to capture all the crazy stuff going through your head during the night. I imagine this could lead to some interesting content for a post or two for you.
21. Writing journal
This would be something where you note any slice of inspirations that falls into your focus. This is where you keep all of your waking dreamy ideas prisoner to tap into when you need inspiration later for a post.
I love writing on paper but I don’t like being limited to small pages with something that I’d carry in pocket for example. This has led me to falling in love with Evernote. I take these quick notes down on my phone or at my computer which are both synced together and the pixels are always captured both fast and legible.
You should definitely try using Evernote as your writing journal if you don’t like writing with pen and paper.
This is a bookmarking site that is loaded up with articles, blog posts and other information resources you can use to kick start your mojo.
I have pretty much nothing to say about this so I’ll just quote Leo here . . . “Its beauty and flow and style and use of rhythm and play on words, through use of language and music.”
I’m not sure this one is for the majority of people.
Of course, Shakespeare’s writing and story telling skills are world class but he used so many words of the English vocabulary – even more than the bible – that unless you’re a Shakespeare scholar who’s hobby it is to read his works, your eyes are going to glaze over when you’re searching for points of his to speaketh upon.
Unless you can really simplify Shakespeare down for the masses and not make your over-communicated-to audience have to climb over Victorian English words, I would replace this one with TV.
TV’s not on this list but I know one thing for damn sure; the people who write hit shows that are in demand for YEARS, ride on the same exact themes Shakespeare did – Sex, money, power, death, and wildly charged emotions like love, hate, fear, and jealousy.
And if you think there’s more people are paying attention to Shakespeare than there are to TV, you’re out of your goddamn mind. Even the Shakespeare lovers will be able to connect to content you write that revolves what you learned about human nature from shows like South Park, The Sopranos, or Desperate Housewives.
Do a search for a topic and you’ll be handed page after page after page of germs of ideas to run with.
26. Free writing
This is you dumping everything free of a filter and judgment just to get your fingers dancing on the keyboard. That’s it’s only purpose. And if you’re lucky, you’ll wind up with some shit you can use.
With brainstorms you’re just throwing concepts down on paper or pixel. You’re not fleshing them out. You’re getting ideas out of you head and onto the page. And Leo mentions that with this one that speed and quantity are better than quality.
This is a site where you can see the photography of some of the greatest photographers on the planet and who knows what thoughts these pictures with stir up.
29. Break your routines
This is a call to get out of your comfort zone. Stop being like an animal locked up in the zoo doing the same things at the same time every day. Do something different that shakes things up.
30. Success stories
I love finding stories of people who have defied the odds and succeeded. There’s a number of places to find these but if you want to see a winning template for how success and failure stories are woven into lessons, go get your hands on any of Robert Greene’s books (The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The Art of Seduction, The 5oth Law).
31. People Watching and 32. Your Life
You know who’s fucking marvelous at doing this? Erika Napletano – the queen of disruptive behavior at RedHeadWriting.com. She catches people acting retarded and she catches them being brilliant and then lets you in on the conversation she has with herself on the topic.
If boring, dry, text book content bugs the shit out of you, go check her out. There’s never a dull moment in her writing. She’s got a full-steam-ahead style of pushing down the page.
I wish to get better at doing this, sharing my observations of what’s happening in my day to day life and weaving what happens into lessons or as Erika calls them, bitch slaps, that make an imprint on my life and yours.
There you have it – 32 Places to find ideas for blog posts. Like I said before, print this off or turn it into a PDF and keep it handy. You’ve now been relieved of all your pussy ass excuses to not get a post written.
Take something from here and enhance your blogging marketing which your content serves as.
Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd