Are You Ignoring a Potential Mother Lode of Blog Content?

Do you ever get stuck trying to figure out what to blog about next that your readers WANT to read about?

Here’s a great strategy to help you get un-stuck from guest blogger Jonell Alvi of HomeLearningPortal.com

Finding Good Blog Content: Are You Ignoring a Potential Mother Lode?

Coming up with ideas to blog about can be trickier than negotiating video game time with a twelve-year-old. If you struggle with the former, I just may have an idea that will help. As for the latter; I welcome any and all suggestions.

Seriously though, most successful blogs belong to a niche: their authors are knowledgeable about a given topic and that’s what they write about. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that lots of blog authors are also active in Yahoo Groups related to their niche. See where I’m going with this?

Recently, while preparing to launch my blog, HomeLearningPortal.com, I was trying to brainstorm ideas. I’m a homeschooler, so it made sense to focus on that, but even that’s still a pretty broad topic.

And then I got an idea. A perfectly wonderful idea. I already knew what homeschoolers were asking about. I’d already written answers to tons of questions and discussed many topics with other homeschoolers. I didn’t need to re-invent the wheel. I didn’t need to let the kids have an extra hour of media so I could brainstorm ideas.

I’ve been a member of several homeschooling Yahoo groups for more than six years. When I first joined the groups, all I did was read others’ conversations. Over time, I began to ask questions. Then, after I got a bit of experience under my belt, I began to answer questions. A lot of questions.

It took me about four hours to go back through the three primary Yahoo Groups I was active with. I located my past “conversations” by searching the archives for my name. Then I simply copied the answers I’d written to the Yahoo group over to draft blog posts in WordPress and saved them with a descriptive title. Some of the ideas overlapped, and some were obviously several blog posts. But using this technique, I scraped together over sixty draft posts prior to launching my blog. Sweet!

So if you’ve been active in Yahoo Groups in the past, use that content! And the best thing about this strategy? The information and ideas are relevant. Homeschoolers are already asking these questions. And the answers are already written. All it takes is a bit of editing, reformatting, add an image or two, and whiz bang blog posts. Easy. Fast. Done. Now pass me that controller, it’s my turn to play.

Visit Jonell Alvi at HomeSchool Catalyst, a place where effective homeschooling tips, useful resources and  creative ideas come together to provide inspiration to families that homeschool.

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9 Comments

  1. I wasn’t active in Yahoo groups, but I have tons of content that I created for my retail business that could be used to help business owners and entrepreneurs. I’m going over to take a look at it now to see how I can round it up and repurpose it, as they say.

    Thanks Jonell.
    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. recently posted… Get Dan Poynter’s New Book on Writing, Free July 13 and 14–Hurry!My Profile

    1. Great idea! I think we all probably have content just waiting for us to use, if we look around a bit. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Big Blog Mistake #1My Profile

  2. What a great suggestion – I hadn’t considered using the Yahoo groups as a source of relevant info and to pick up on what folks have been asking about. I’d imagine there will be no end to the ideas for future posts there. Thanks Michelle. :-)
    Lynn Baillie recently posted… Using Slide Decks to Boost Your SEOMy Profile

    1. Definitely! Lots of great discussions happen there. :)

  3. Hi Michelle,

    Sanjib here.

    A useful post this. I completely agree that when we want to address a topic we feel that we already know what to write because we must have faced the situation already. Deja Vu. There are many such issues out there for which we may be a guide.It is just that you need to spot them correctly..

    Thanks a lot for the article,

    Sanjib
    Sanjib Saha recently posted… Top 5 Best Antivirus Software of 2012My Profile

  4. Hey Michelle,

    I haven’t participated in Yahoo Groups much, but I do visit Yahoo Answers to find good blog topics. I also think you have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes sometimes and think back to the questions you had BEFORE you became knowledgeable on a topic.

    When you know a lot on a topic, I think it’s easy to look past the basics and you can easily skip a lot of things that would make good blog posts because you don’t even think about them.

    For example, if you have a computer blog, a post on how to copy and paste might actually be very useful to some of your visitors, but it might be something you never even think of because it’s something you can do in your sleep and it never even buzzes your radar.
    Derek J. Maak recently posted… Michael Fiore Text The Romance Back Text ExamplesMy Profile

  5. This aLso works great with LinkedIn Answers. One day I wrote a great answer and later that week a light went on. I went back and repurposed that answer as an email to my list and a blog post. I did the sequence on purpose another time but then forgot about it. thanks for the reminder!!
    Lisa Rothstein recently posted… Top 3 tips for entrepreneursMy Profile

  6. Great idea Jonell. Thanks. ~Debra
    Debra Jason recently posted… Is my copywriting copyrighted?My Profile

  7. Thanks Jonell and Michelle, I’ve never belonged to a Yahoo group but I think your tip is an excellent idea for those who have participated. It has inspired me to check out the groups who are discussing my favorite topics mindset, confidence and success.
    Adalia John recently posted… 21 Habits of Successful PeopleMy Profile

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