Five Creative Ways to Find Your Next Big Blog Post Idea

Do you think of yourself as creative?  Or do you sometimes struggle to come up with “cool” (or even just “interesting”) blog post ideas?

For a long time, I didn’t consider myself a creative person–at ALL.  I wasn’t an artistic kid.  Heck, I still draw stick people.  My clients often get charts and diagrams I know make them giggle.

Creativity isn’t something some people have and others don’t.  It’s in all of us but it takes some exercise and bravery to let it out.

So how do you make it happen?  Forcing creativity doesn’t exactly work too well… a few smart exercises can work beautifully though.

And today I’ve got a super cool guest post to share with you from Tea Silvestre of The Word Chef (someone who I think’s got creativity super powers!).

Enjoy!

5CreativeWays

Guest post by Tea Silvestre

Let’s face it, creating great blog content — especially the kind that stands out from the rest of those links flying by on Twitter — takes a whole lot more than just sheer determination.

It takes sweet, sweet creativity.

But inspiration can be elusive. It usually show up when we least expect it (and when we’re least likely to be able write things down). Like when we’re driving. Or while we’re in the shower.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t purposely cultivate your creativity muscle. You can.

You just need a little practice.

The best way to practice? Find a starting point.

Twenty some odd years ago, when I was learning how to write short stories, I had a mentor tell me that inspiration usually comes from something we love.

He shared that he often used themes or characters from other writers he admired as the jumping off point for his own writing. As inspiration for something else.

I know what you’re thinking… “But isn’t that copyright infringement?”

That depends. Are you copying it verbatim? Or are you using a piece of it as inspiration for something else? Your jumping off point needs to function as a metaphor. (And in case you have any doubts, be sure you familiarize yourself with copyright laws and the idea of Fair Use http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use).

5 ways to creatively jump start your next blog post idea:

1. Interview a famous person — preferably someone fictional or no longer in the land of living. This does two things: it helps keep your reader from being confused about whether or not you’re joking (hint: these kind of things should be funny, not serious). AND it helps you have more fun with the content. What would Julia Child say about your new book? What would Tinker Bell tell us about your business? Step inside their shoes and talk from their point of view. If they’re dead, you might have to hold a seance, but hey — that could add to the fun of the whole thing, right?

2. Be random. Open a book and put your finger on the page without looking. Turn on the TV and flip to a random channel. Use a Random Word Generator (http://creativitygames.net/random-word-generator). Have a friend or family member pick a word, phrase or idea for you. Then? Noodle these around until you’ve got metaphors that tell your story or explain your topic.

3. Debate the other side. If you’re like most people, you notice after awhile that most folks blog about the same things — give the same advice. Listen to what others are saying and then turn it around. Ask questions like, “What the opposite of this were true?” You might find that you agree with that opposing viewpoint and can then stand behind it 100%. But if not? Then perhaps you’ve found a new way to approach the topic: by stating the opposite and then refuting that.

4. Make it a game. Gamification and games have been popular for awhile now. Is there an existing game that you could use as a metaphor for telling your story? Hint: Go beyond the sports analogies and choose something different like Chess, marbles, pinball, or Frogger. Your readers are aiming to win at a “game” of some sort, so mix those two together and see what emerges.

5. Use a particular genre to tell your story – Are you a sci fi nut? A fan of CSI type stories? Maybe you love the Food Network? Whatever channel or genre you’re most drawn to can be a great source of inspiration for your own series of blog posts. I’ve written more than a few blog posts based on television dramas like Doctor Who (http://thewordchef.com/2013/03/doctor-whos-favorite-marketing-dish-fish-fingers-and-custard/), and Downton Abbey (http://thewordchef.com/2012/02/the-downton-abbey-guide-to-building-a-passionate-tribe/). Even the reality show, “Chopped” helped me talk about branding in a new way (http://thewordchef.com/2012/04/on-rattlesnakes-marketing-and-building-a-business/).

Finding a creative way to tell the story of your business, brand or product doesn’t have to be something you leave up to agency super stars. There’s a whole wide world out there just waiting for you to use it as inspiration for next big idea.

What about you? How do you jump start things when you’re not feeling creative?

TeaSilvestre About the author: As a marketing coach and consultant, Tea Silvestre (aka The Word Chef) excels at helping her clients find and share their Secret Sauce with the world.

She’s also the the author of “Attract and Feed a Hungry Crowd,” and the producer of the new reality web series/competition, “Creamed! Ultimate Marketing Content Showdown.” If you think you’ve got what it takes to compete, be sure to throw your hat into the ring before June 15th!

Quick Note from Michelle: Be sure to check out Creamed!  I’m excited to be part of the team judging entries and would love to “see” you on the show.  Jump in and join us: Creamed! Ultimate Marketing Content Showdown

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23 Comments

  1. Thanks for this interesting and useful post. It’s blog day for me, and I must admit, I’m struggling to come up with something new to write about. I was hoping that a shower moment would have that sorted soon! I like these ideas, especially the #1, so I’m now pondering who I could interview! Thanks for the suggestions :)
    Nicola recently posted… Don’t be afraid to start!My Profile

    1. Awesome, glad this sparked an idea for you Nicola.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 8 Creative Ways to Build Big Buzz – See Them In ActionMy Profile

  2. Michelle, what a great post! I am going to use some of these ideas when my well runs dry.
    Amy recently posted… Liver and onions: a secret that will make it irresistibleMy Profile

    1. That backup list of ideas is one of my secret weapons. ;)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Get Your Momentum Back When It DisappearsMy Profile

  3. Your guest name is Tea and her aka is The Word Chef, colorful combination and it flows beautifully.

    When it comes to finding topics to write about the ideas are limitless. But Tea’s five suggestions are thought stimulating. I”m pondering #1 Interview a famous person. I’ve been contemplating #3 Debate the other side, on the topic of overcoming lack of self-confidence. Some believe that negative self-talk impacts your life negatively ( so do I). But they do not believe positive self-talk, aka affirmations, is enough to make positive changes in your life. My opinion – it may not work for everyone, but if the former is true then its opposite is also true.

    Michelle and Tea thanks for sharing.
    Adalia John recently posted… Grit is the Key to SuccessMy Profile

    1. Tea is amazing at creating branding, Adalia. LOVE her concepts.

      That’s a very interesting idea to approach it from the other side — might help people see the reasoning applies both ways as you’ve said. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Most Powerful Blogging Lesson LearnedMy Profile

  4. Hi Tea,
    Nice topic you have given here. May be we can our analytic tools too. With anything we do, the audience always decides what they like the best. Take a look at your Analytics to see what’s most popular on our blog. If there is something that stands out we can expand on it in another post, or even a series of posts.

    There are lots of places to get ideas, but what’s important is that we just write.
    Okto recently posted… Looking For an Effective SEO Strategy? Here Are Some TipsMy Profile

    1. That’s a good tip, Okto. I always find interesting things in my stats of what people are searching for.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Create Blog Posts that Catch the Eye and Mesmerize Your ReadersMy Profile

  5. Tea is worth her weight in gold. She touches the lives of new entrepreneurs and sets them on the right path. Her experience as a former corporate marketer and as a soloist allow her to be “bi-lingual” in all kinds of marketing situations. She is thorough and patient and goes out of her way to give more than is expected.
    Lucas S. Greene recently posted… No last blog posts to return.My Profile

    1. I agree, Lucas. She’s a treasure. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How NOT to Get Electrocuted (Or, How to Conquer Your Biggest Fears)My Profile

  6. I am not also a creative type of person, but I have always wanted to be one. I used to even call myself a “frustrated artist” when I was a kid because I love to paint though I wasn’t really good at it. But I guess being random with the things will eventually bring out the creative side of you. It works well for me.
    Connor Harley recently posted… Business to Business Marketing StrategiesMy Profile

    1. Sometimes we’re guided to such a narrow definition of what creativity or “art” is and it does lead to frustration. Glad the randomness approach works for you, Connor. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Create Blog Posts that Catch the Eye and Mesmerize Your ReadersMy Profile

  7. Using a random word generator is such a clever way to find blog post ideas, definitely going to give that a go.
    Ben recently posted… Best Basketball Shoes to Play inMy Profile

    1. Isn’t that one cool? That’ll bring out some unexpected ideas!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Create Blog Posts that Catch the Eye and Mesmerize Your ReadersMy Profile

  8. Hey Tea, you really brought some really unique ideas of what to blog about. I can tell you’re a very creative person and have fun with it. These ideas will definitely help you stand out from the crowd. Thanks for sharing!
    sherman smith recently posted… Are You Mixing Opinions For Facts?My Profile

    1. Hey Sherman, thanks for reading and commenting.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Create Blog Posts that Catch the Eye and Mesmerize Your ReadersMy Profile

  9. Very nice post!
    I like the idea of random. It will help me to have some interesting ideas.
    You’re true about creative is not something some people have and others don’t. It depends on how people focus or be interested in. Reading also help the creation. Sometimes, I talk with other people to have more ideas.
    QuynhLan recently posted… How to install OpenCart?My Profile

  10. This was very helpful! I have my own blog and yesterday I realized I hadn’t posted in almost 2 months. I was hard put to find a topic, but your post sparked a few ideas in my mind. Thanks for sharing!
    Steve recently posted… Ninja 1100 Blender Reviews 2013My Profile

  11. Yep…what can i say…i tried once to make it a game and it was a disaster. I think for me to be random will be more appropriate :)
    Jerry recently posted… Bed rails for adultsMy Profile

  12. Some great ideas there when you think it’s all been written about before. It probably has but when I’m reading your blog I’m happy to hear your opinions about a topic as long as they are your opinions and not regurgitated stuff from someone else. I am fascinated by what makes people tick so I have found people watching to be a good source of material for my blog – just seeing them in the street is enough to get me thinking. And I also love to overhear a conversation on the bus or in the street and think about what sparked off the snippet I heard.
    Ana recently posted… How Your Dad Can Help You Find Love (Or Not)My Profile

  13. LOVE this post! I have been taking improv classes for the past 2 years (we just had our Advanced Class show last week). Some of these ideas remind me of the games we do in improv.

    For instance, present a scene in a particular genre – so you show the scene in film noir, then romantic comedy. We also create scenes from one-word suggestions.

    I especially like the idea of interviewing a dead or imaginary person.

    I’ve found it’s helpful to include both creative posts like these and also series posts; for instance, on my career blog, I have the Quote of the Week, which I’m testing as a feature.

  14. I start making list of article at night and post its next day. Works great for me
    Jaspreet Singh recently posted… Man of Steel Game Released for Android,iPhone and iPadMy Profile

  15. I like the point about debating the other side, however that does take some courage.
    Neil Butterfield recently posted… Mineral Supplements: Is The Cheap Stuff Worth The Money?My Profile

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