How to Generate Better Blog Ideas for Strong Site Theming
Consider this a sequel to the post about 25 blog post ideas. With that article, I guarantee that you will be able to grab a bunch of ideas for your blog.
The next challenge is, how do you know if one idea is better than others?
Too many bloggers work to improve the flow of their thoughts to produce as many ideas as they possible could, thinking that with those ideas they have enough content to keep their blogs going.
However, other bloggers are doing exactly the same. While ideas and contents may get the blog updated, at the end of the day, bloggers want traffic that turn into loyal readers. That is the only thing that matters.
In a retail shop, it is like turning visitors into shoppers. Obviously you need more than products, but at least one strong reason for the shoppers to buy stuff.
Not all ideas are created the same. Getting a better idea is another different thing than idea generation. So, how do you get a lot of better ideas?
Follow this process to visualize and filter your ideas:
1. Get a lot (I mean, a lot) or ideas
The secret to having good ideas is to have a lot of ideas. If you spend time brainstorming, one key you should not have missed is that you should not object or reconsider any idea during the first phase. This is the only time when you can go for quantity instead of quality.
Let the idea flows from your mind into paper or notetaking software, whichever suits you best. If you haven’t written at least a few pages, you are not thinking hard enough.
Give a bit of pressure to stimulate your thoughts. Perhaps limit yourself to 10 minutes per brainstorming session. Write as fast as you can during that time. Start over for another session if necessary.
If you’ve collected ideas as they appear, collect them all into one place. Random ideas may lead you too a good idea. And if out of 20 ideas you are able to come up with one really good idea, it is worth it.
2. Utilize idea capturing tool
Microsoft OneNote is my favorite but at other times when I want a more structured view of my ideas, I use mindmapping software. A lot of people prefer to use journaling software to keep notes and ideas.
Fortunately, there is no such thing as the best idea generation tool. What works for you and brings you result is the best tool, so use it.
The nice thing about idea capturing tool is that with the right presentation of your ideas, often they can potentially spark some more — and often better — creative ideas.
It is especially true if you are a visual learner.
3. Create relationship for your ideas
Your blog should follow certain theme or siloing guideline, if you focus on a narrow set of topics for a specific niche. A collection of blog categories is a way to create themes and sub-themes for your site / blog.
Once you have those ideas, create a simple diagram or use mindmapping software to create relationship between them.
It is not only about greatness, but also relevance to your audience. If one day your audience gets an article about Twitter and the next day you write about rose gardening (I know, an extreme example), less readers will click through and read or stay engage with your content.
The goal of this step is to create a visual representation of your ideas so later you can produce posts that strengthen your site or blog theme rather than weaken it.
As part of this step, you also want to weed out ideas that are not too related to others. Perhaps put them in the reserve bucket so you are able to get back to them later. A typical idea can possibly be a lump of coal but within it may or may not be a precious diamond.
4. Organize those ideas and plan a posting schedule
What does it have to do with generating good ideas? Organizing your ideas have everything to do with quality.
An independent and short story may be interesting to read, but if you can put a bunch of simple ideas and combine them with just one spectacular idea, you may be able to write an engaging novel. The key is in the connection between those ideas.
If from your ideas you can chain them into a series of useful posts, perhaps for the first time from your posts your readers can finally understand the whole picture about a specific topic.
This is stronger than any single big idea.
To take blogging as an example, it never is about knowing how to write well per se, but more of combination of different things like idea generation, good writing skills, networking and proper promotion.
A breakthrough article about writing can be useful, but a series of typical articles that can help people get started blogging quickly also has a special place. You get what I mean.
5. Make time for each idea
Being the first certainly matters, but if you are struggling to come up with original ideas, another way to get attention is to spend more time on your idea.
What I mean is that you research like crazy and put up a really good piece of content around an existing idea. Many bloggers are hitting the front page of Digg just by using this strategy.
A great idea often is a result of creative thinking and putting existing resources to good use. Or to put in another way, a well-developed idea — even if it is nothing new — can be the next hit.
6. Track news and keep up with your industry
There is no shortcut to become an expert in a niche. You have to work hard to know your industry inside out. Fortunately with RSS, this is now possible. You can track hundreds of feeds daily without having to visit each web site regularly.
In order to turn an idea to a great one, you need to be able to give insights about it. Sure, you can spend time to do research but still the accumulation of experience and knowledge after years of getting involved in an industry can’t be surpassed with just a few hours of research.
If you want to turn every one of your idea into gold (yes, just like the Midas touch), pick your favorite topic and plan on becoming an authority.
Whether you like it or not, this is the only secret why authority bloggers rarely (or never) have writer’s block. Whenever they write, there are something to be learned from it.
7. Improve your writing skills
You need to spend time to spell check and make sure your writing has as few grammatical mistakes as possible.
Moreover, you also need to improve your writing skills in order to engage your readers.
A good writer can turn any random idea into interesting read. Part of it is talent, but writing is also a skill that you can learn over time. Perhaps, either you and I won’t be the next Hemingway, but learning how to write just a bit better than you are right now may be enough to get your ideas to the readers better.
When it comes to an idea, it is hard to determine if something is good or bad. What sounds like a great idea may become very common as it morphs into a blog post. Demand of the topic and writing skills play a significant role here. The reverse also holds true.
Blogging is a circular process. As your experience grows, you will be able to generate better ideas quickly, write faster, and turn what you think as typical ideas into great ideas.
It takes time and perseverance to do this, but it is absolutely something worth pursuing.
Return to Blog Content — How to Write Great Content and Where to Get Them.
Return to Blog Tips for a Better Blog — Blog Building University.