01Lists -- A Blogger's Best Friend
When it comes to creating content for a blog, lists are one of the fastest and easiest ways to get started. Here are five ways you can use a list type blog post.
- Create a complete list of your favorite posts. This will put your best information all in one place and it's one of the easiest types of post you can create... you're just making a list of previously published content!
- Create a comprehensive list of suppliers, required tools, places to visit, words to study, etc. This can be your Top 10 Suppliers, 5 Favorite Tools, 25 Best Tips, etc.
- List the steps to perform a specific task. 5 Steps to Accomplishing XYZ: Step 1, Step 2, etc.
- List reasons to take action or ways to accomplish specific objectives. Similar to the above tip but more focused on persuasion, motivation, or reason why rather than specific steps.
- List five other blogs that you read, and why you read them. Likely, you can get these blogs to do the same with yours. This is a great way to drive more traffic and develop relationships with influencers in your market.
Reader involvement posts are a great way to increase engagement on your blog and ultimately increase sales. Here are 5 ways you can use reader involvement type posts on your blog.
- Ask readers to submit links to their favorite online resources (for your given niche). This will create a very useful resource for future readers, and likely for you too.
- Run a poll and post the results. People love to vote in polls and love to see the results compared to their answers.
- Answer specific questions from readers. It's a great way to interact with individual readers, but likely others will have the same questions. It will help fill in holes in your content.
- Ask for feedback on a specific problem or concern. You can pose a problem you are having, or one posed by a reader, and request feedback from your readers. Readers love to help and share their experience.
- Create a contest. Give away prizes for specific user involvement. Keep the prize relevant to your niche to ensure that only truly qualified visitors are participating.
03The Attraction of Opposites
Pros and cons, beginner and expert, best and worst -- these are all ways you can use the power of opposites to generate interest in your blog posts. Here are some examples.
- Examine the pros and cons of an issue.
- Contrast the various positions of an issue. Often there are many sides to each issue. Some issues are very controversial (politics and religion) while others are merely light-hearted (favorite fabrics or type of video game software). Explain that it isn't simply a black and white issue.
- Write a post for beginners. Think about what you would need to know, if you were just getting started in the industry. Write from that perspective.
- Write a post for experts. Apply your knowledge to a specific point, and help advanced users to accomplish a challenging task, or to understand a complex concept.
- Profile the best and the worst of something.
Sometimes to overcome writer's block you need to get out of the office or look to other sources for inspiration. Here are some ways to stimulate the mind and get the idea juices flowing.
- Visit a bookstore, and read the book cover and back cover of a related topic. Or an unrelated topic.
- Use a dictionary or thesaurus to look up relevant industry terms, and use newly generated ideas. Synonyms and explanations of commonly used words might get the creative sparks flying.
- Keep an idea notebook: A small notepad in your back pocket or purse or a cell phone can absorb all the great ideas you're generating while walking the dog, riding the bus, or waiting in line for groceries.
- Read blogs in a category opposite to yours. Run an automotive blog? Why not visit a family travel blog? Or maybe you write for a fashion blog? Spend some time on a blog for gourmet food. By getting out of your industry, ideas will begin to flow.
- Write a "for dummies" post. Though we may be experts in our topic, when it comes to attracting newbies in your market you can never get "too simple".
This one is easy. You can always keep abreast of current events in (and outside) of your industry and write your own opinion, commentary, or posts related to what's happening right now.
- Write about current events, and their effect on your niche. Maybe new government policies, the failure or success of a large company in your industry, or changing attitudes.
- Interview relevant people in the news.
- Discuss a popular service or product and why it's popular
- Turn on the news and see what's happening. Sometimes 10 minutes of the evening news is all that's needed to get the ideas flowing.
- Get away from your desk. Visit a park, a movie theater or even a walk in the woods. Get out of the cave and enjoy some sunlight. Your pent up ideas will begin to surface.
Though it can be more polarizing, having a strong opinion is a great way to attract and audience and make money blogging. Think about the most popular radio hosts, political figures, or celebrities... I bet many of them have a strong opinion.
- Write a critical review of another blog or blog post. Can be constructive or flaming.
- Create a strongly opinionated post.
- Respond to general criticism of your industry. Maybe a news program put your industry in a bad light. Respond to this in your blog, showing what else is involved.
- Respond to direct criticism of your blog. It's impossible to run a blog and not offend someone some time. Maybe you goofed in a previous post, you can acknowledge and apologize. Or maybe you feel that the criticism is not justified and you can defend your position with more facts.
- What really bugs me? Most likely things that bug you will bug other people too. Address these points and offer some insight.
Writing reviews is an easy way to come up with blog ideas and it's also a great way to monetize your blog reviews via affiliate marketing. It's also a great way to connect with other bloggers in your market.
- Connect with bloggers in your niche and review each other's blogs.
- Review complementary service providers. Help your readers sort through the options available to them.
- How to use a product/service in an unusual way.
- Address a common myth and explain if its fact or fiction.
- Review your blogs performance (such as website traffic) and display the results.
08Fill in the Blanks
We'll wrap this up with some fill in the blank templates you can use for blog post titles and topics to write about related to your market niche.
- Why you should (always/never) ______
- The Top 10 ways to ____
- How do I ____?
- The Best Site in the World for ____
- How I Finally Fixed ____
Edited by Online Business/Hosting Expert Brian T. Edmondson
I Started a Blog! What Will I Say?
40 Great Blogging Ideas for Your Blog
You started a new blog and are ready to start making money blogging but not sure what to say. You need some blog posting ideas.
The problem is more common than you might think.
Professionals and newbies alike often experience the dreaded writers block while sitting down to create their next blog post. More than anything else, the death of a blog is due to lack of content. A successful and healthy blog needs new posts at a minimum of once a week.
Here are 40 ideas to help keep the ideas flowing: