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Over the weekend, my goal was to brainstorm an entire year’s worth of blog post ideas.
I’m sure for some people that may sound like a piece of cake.
But for the rest of us, it can be hard to brainstorm that many post ideas so quickly!
Honestly, I wasn’t 100% sure that I’d actually be able to do it. Now that I’ve actually done it though, I feel like a HUGE weight has been taken off my shoulders.
So, if you’re struggling to brainstorm post ideas, then this post is perfect for you!
Here’s everything I did to come up with enough post ideas to last me a whole year.
BEFORE YOU START
- I recommend using a program like Trello or Evernote to keep all of your post ideas in one place. Both of these programs are free to use and you can access them anywhere from your phone, which really comes in handy when you’re feeling particularly inspired!
- If you’re a new blogger, it’s important that you know your niche before you start brainstorming post ideas. Your niche is the topic you blog about and helps you reach your target audience.
For tips on finding the perfect niche for you, check out this post from Theme Trust.
CREATE A MINDMAP
The very first thing I did to start generating post ideas was create a mind map.
If you’ve never heard of a mind map before, it’s a pretty great way to brainstorm ideas.
Basically, you start with a single word/phrase, then you write down whatever comes to mind when you think of that word/phrase.
A mind map looks a little something like this:
I created this mind map using Canva, but feel free to do this on paper if that’s easier for you.
You want your niche to be your starting-off point, so it should be smack in the middle.
Next, write down either the categories that you blog about, or just write anything that comes to mind when you think of your niche.
For example, I mostly write about blogging/online business tips. So some of my categories I used are monetization strategies, growth/traffic, social media, etc.
Then, write down what comes to mind when you think about those categories. And so on and so on.
You’ll keep repeating this process until you have some very specific words/phrases.
As you start to really whittle down to very specific topics, you should start to get ideas for posts.
For example, one of my categories was social media. Which makes me think of Pinterest and Tailwind. Which also makes me think of Tailwind Tribes.
I could do a post on how to choose the right Tailwind Tribes, how to start your own Tailwind Tribe, strategies/tips for using Tailwind Tribes to grow your blog, etc.
My mind map in this example is fairly small just to show you what it looks like, but honestly you can generate a LOT of ideas this way.
In fact, I was able to come up with over half my blog post ideas for the year just from doing a mind map!
MORE WAYS TO BRAINSTORM BLOG POST IDEAS
Creating a mind map is my favorite way to generate ideas, but there are plenty of other ways too!
Here are a few that I also used to generate some post ideas:
Not only is keyword research important for SEO, it can help you figure out what topics you should write about!
Everyone’s got a different approach to doing keyword research.
Personally, I haven’t quite found what works best for me yet.
Eventually I’d like to pay for a keyword research tool but for now, I’ve just been using free tools like Answer the Public to do my research.
If you’re new to keyword research, I recommend checking out this post from The Unpredicted Page! Amber does a great job at showing you free ways to do some keyword research!
RESEARCH WHAT’S TRENDING
Similar to keyword research, see what’s trending and what people are searching for online.
There are plenty of outlets that have a ‘trending’ section (Twitter, Buzzfeed, etc.) where you can see what people are talking about.
If there’s a way for you to connect those topics to your own niche, create a post about it! Readers love to get your opinion on a topic, especially if it’s a controversial one.
It’s a good idea to have some seasonal content on your blog because this can bring in a huge amount of traffic during certain times of year.
Every niche can have seasonal content, it doesn’t just have to be popular niches like lifestyle/food!
You may have to get a little creative with it, but trust me, it can be done!
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for seasonal posts, look at other bloggers in your niche and see what kind of seasonal content they have.
That doesn’t mean you should copy what they’re doing.
I just mean you should look at their content and see if you can expand on it further, or use it as inspiration to go in a different direction. A jumping-off point, to get you started.
LISTEN TO YOUR READERS
A little secret to building a successful blog- you’ve got to provide value to your target audience.
You want them to view you as an expert in your field, and someone they immediately go to for advice when they’re struggling.
So, when you’re trying to think about what you should write about- listen to your readers and the problems they’re having!
This is easier to do when you’ve already got an audience. You can send out surveys to your email list, or pay attention to the comments people are leaving on your posts.
If you don’t have a large following yet, you can check out comments on posts from other bloggers in your niche and see if anyone talks about things they’re struggling with there.
Over time, you’ll slowly begin to get an idea of what your readers want, and you can go from there.
I hope this guide gives you some inspiration as you start to plan out your content for the next year!
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions/other brainstorming tips! 🙂