And not one of these blog ideas involves looking at a magazine rack, Amazon or someone else's blog… In fact, you'll love one of these methods of generating unique blog titles so much because it's so memorable! Are you ready to discover how to generate 100s of blog post ideas?
One of the things I'm often asked (usually straight after the “how on earth do you find the time to blog“) is how do you come up with ideas for blog posts. The truth is, I love blogging, marketing, and social media so much, it's hard not to come up with ideas. But I also have the advantage over industry experts and that's I tend to think lateral pretty much all of the time.
Thinking laterally? What??? Okay, from a very young age we're taught to think in a linear, logical fashion. But that's not the only way you can think (this blew my mind to know, seriously it did. I thought I was weird for not thinking in straight lines, but tangents.) I didn't know that people actively cultivate this skill, but they do and you'll see why.
Non-linear thinking means I can strip back the layers from a topic and generate lots of ideas for blog posts. So, let's explore how thinking lateral will help you generate lots of topics for your to blog about, none of which involve leaving the comfort of your chair.
1. Start with your niche and what's obvious
In this post I've gone for a very obvious topic – What do I blog about? Instead of giving you a list of prompts, I'm going to share how I strip it back to the beginning.
Start with the topic and write it down. Visualise your ideal readers; what are the first things she asks you when you meet? How do you explain what you do and whom you serve? For me, that could look like
- What do busy mums blog about?
- What do busy business owners blog about?
- What can an entrepreneur write about to attract business (I like this one a lot)
And as I type them out I'm thinking about whom I want to talk to – business owners, mums, entrepreneurs and incorporating that into the headline. When the potential reader sees their title mentioned on social media, in an email, they'll be curious enough to click through. It works. You clicked.
2. Then look at the other things you're asked
For me, it's where do I find the time to blog. When I first started blogging in 2007 the question was “what's blogging”. It's so mainstream now the questions change. I'm now asked how I find the time to blog. My sarcastic answer would be when you love something you make the time. But I've found that there are a lot of strange people out there who don't love blogging as much as I do… And they don't understand why I enjoy it, or why they should take the time…. strange
3. Look at the other bums on the bench…
When I first started at uni, they taught us the bums on the bench technique. Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How. We were told to imagine 5w's sitting on the crossbar of the letter H. We were told that they looked liked bums on a bench… I kid you not. The great thing about this method of generating ideas is that it's easily memorable!
Take your audience and use the word or phrase that describes them. I'm going to use mum (the British for Mom) and let's blend in one of the bums on the bench… Why.
- Why new mums find the time to blog
- Why blogging matters to mums
- Why mums need to look after their children's privacy online
- Why business owners blog
- Why entrepreneurs need to take 30 minutes a day and write a blog post
That can be immediately transformed into
- When do busy mums find the time to blog?
- When mothers go crazy…
- When should a business owner blog?
You can see the pattern, I know you can; you're smart and you know you need to blog, you just need to generate ideas.
Stripping back to the beginning is just one aspect of lateral thinking. Another tool to think this way is to look at the historical review. Apply the bums on the bench to how things have been done historically, blend in your topic (in this case blogging) and you're good to go:
- What busy mums do now that their own mother didn't
- What the modern business owner does that Alan Sugar can't be bothered with
- What entrepreneurs need to do in the 20s
I've quickly weaved in a time aspect/comparison in order to generate the title (the historical part). There's also a provocation. In truth when it comes to lateral thinking around blogging I tend not to use provocation too often, not because it's controversial (because it's not). I find provocation generates big (and by big I mean massive) ideas. In the context of lateral thinking, provocation is pushing an idea to the extreme and then exploring it. So let's look at provocation and apply it to the bums on the bench (I wished they'd planted a better image in my mind).
- How far should a busy mum go to get her blog published?
- When does a busy mum know she's gone too far in her blogging?
- What to do when you go too far in your business blogging
If provocation generates big ideas, you can then go back and revisit the provocation ideas and make them small, in other words, strip them back…
- What's the least a busy mum can do on her blog?
- What's the minimum a business blogger can do and get away with it?
Instead of thinking like other people when you write blog posts, start thinking in extraordinary new ways, think laterally, toss the logic out of the window. Start with the why if you have to, but remember the where, the when, the what, and the who as well as the how!
PS the best thing about using this method to generate blog post ideas is you become the leader in your niche, the one other people go to for inspiration.
If you like this post, you'll love my 30-day blogging challenge, come and join us.