So, here you are. You have started your blog, or started writing for a community site like InfoBarrel or Squidoo and you start wondering: "what should I write about? what kind of articles would people like to read about? how can other writers have so many ideas?" Here are some tips to find inspiration.
1. About You
The first thing to analyze when looking for ideas is yourself. You may think you are just a standard guy having a "normal" life without anything really exciting to write about but try to have a look from an outsider point of view.
For example, what is your favorite place to eat/have a drink/go party in your area? People look a lot for such kind of information and getting it from a local, someone really living there adds an authentic dimension that tourist guides don't have. Think about it yourself. If you go on holiday to Prague next month, who would you rather read? Some tourist organisation advising something very touristic or someone local having lived there for 20 years? Sure, for things to visit, you generally want some tourist information but for food, or pub, night club, ... people generally want to hear the opinion of someone living there.
If you are married with a person who is not from the same country as you, write about it! Many people like to hear about culture differences and how to handle them in a daily life. You moved to another country? Tell us why, how... You changed career? Was it hard, how did you do it? You have an uncommon hobby? There are things people like that you don't? You have raised twins? So many things to write about!
2. Passive Inspiration
This is probably the easiest things to do at the beginning. Don't look too much for ideas, let them come to you. If you are open to them, your every day life will make them come to you.
Today you had an ice cream and wondered where is ice cream coming from? How to make ice cream? What is its history? What's the most popular flavor per country? If you look for the answers and see something you could write about, such as the 5 top tips to make ice cream, do it. The most personal experience you have with it, the better (try things yourself, compare the taste of the different brand yourself, etc...).
For the best use of passive inspiration, you should always have something with youto write down your ideas (it can be a notepad app on your phone). Maybe you will find later that the idea was stupid, or that you don't have enough to add to it but in many cases you will be able to write an article about it, maybe by changing a little bit the focus of the article (too many articles about ice cream? Go with sorbets! Too many articles about sorbets? Go with ice cakes...).
3. The News
This is a really important source of inspiration, especially if you write articles online. Why? Because many (not only you) follow the news and may wonder about them. This does not necessarily means to become a reporter but if you see the Olympics Games around the corner, why not write about them? For example, what about the 10 least known events of the Olympics, the 10 greatest Olympics athletes that also were mothers, etc... In such cases, try to find original topics.
Even articles that are not about the current affairs can be source of inspiration. A newspaper published the insane salary of football players? Share your thoughts about it! You too find it insane? Do you find it insane, on the contrary, that a newspaper focusses its attention on such an unimportant topic? Do you mean it is a privacy issue to make their salary public knowledge? Write about it!
4. Read, Listen, Look...
Have a look at what others write about. Don't copy them, of course, but think about similar topics. A great articles about manta rays? Maybe you want to write about jellyfish, or sharks, or orca, or how to prepare a whale safari. An article about what someone learned from her kids? What about what you learned from yours? Or maybe what you learned from your parents? Or grandparents? Or what is it people have to learn by themselves that are not coming from their parents...
You heard on the radio that Ray Bradbury died? What about telling us a bit more about him? His best writings, his least known ones, his influence on other writers, ... You watched something that shocked you on TV? Something you disagree with? Something you think should not be shown... Write about it.
Even forums are good source of inspiration. This very article is actually due to many posts in forums where people asked how to get ideas for articles. If you see a question often asked in forums, especially if you are not completely satisfied with the answer (not complete enough, not developed enough, ...), consider writing an article about it.
5. Successful articles
If you write 10-20 articles and you see 3 or 4 have more success than others, consider writing more about similar topics. One of your most successful article is about German gymnasts? What about other sports? Or gymnasts from another country? Or maybe you really only knew about German gymnasts... then tell us more about them! History, least known, best in your opinion and why, future, training, ... plenty of topics to choose from.
You may not be successful everytime you write about a certain subject, maybe some will work really well, some won't. Still, it is generally good to try it, especially if there is more to say about the topic (and generally, there is).
6. Keyword Search
This article would not be complete if keyword search was not mentioned. Basically, this means writing about what people are looking for in search engines. There are many tools in the market to see what are the most looked for words on Google and this is a source of inspiration for many. It has also the advantage that you will get readers if you write about those so-called keywords as people are looking for them. Keyword search is unfortunately too big a subject to properly deal with it here.
7. Find an Inspiring Site to Write For
Even if this is not the main reason to choose a website to write for, you should consider using a website that gives you some inspiration.
Squidoo is really good for this as it gives you many ideas for articles through the so-called quests. Write an article about a color, about a country, about something in motion, about a photo you took, etc... even new article "themes" can be used as a pretext for an article: write an article using this theme or that one, ...
InfoBarrel is very good too (if you are not registered yet, I invite you to do so here). It gives you a list of topics that will be featured the following month. For example in July, you know that one article about this topic or that one will be featured on the front page of InfoBarrel in August. This is very important as it will attract a lot of readers. Some of those selected articles are even promoted through mails! Finally, similar topics will display those featured articles at the bottom of their page (in a box called "Stuff you should read").
I hope this article helped you find some topic ideas or at least helped you understand how to find some ideas. If you liked this article, don't hesitate to have a look at some related topics:
- Beginner Tips: How to Get More Readers
- What Is InfoBarrel and Why You Should Write for It
- Blogging Motivation Loss: How to Handle It?