This is a guest post by Aman Basanti.
Of all the challenges I face as a blogger, one that I have never fallen prey to is the challenge of generating fresh content ideas. In fact, my problem is that I have too many topics to write about at any given time. Right now, for example, I am working on 4 posts. My challenge is not coming up with post ideas but deciding which ones to pursue.
But given the number of bloggers who struggle to find post ideas and the ease with which I happen to generate them, I thought I would share some of the methods I use to come up with new post ideas.
1. Use stories
This is the easiest way to generate fresh post ideas without having to come up with original ideas. If you see, hear or read a story that helps pose a question or prove a point related to your niche or topic area, then use it in your post. Especially if the story involves a famous person or event, it will be attractive to readers. This includes true events as well as fictional events from movies, TV series and novels.
My post on the importance of hard work, for example, was hardly a new idea. But I used the story of how Obama uses hard work to look effortlessly stylish to breathe life into an otherwise tired idea.
Similarly, my post on familiarity breeds content was made fresh and new by using the story of how Margaret Thatcher used repetition to turn her otherwise radical ideas into conventional wisdom.
2. Dig deeper
Another way to find new ideas is to focus on a sub-topic. Say you want to write about guest posting. You could write a typical post on how to get guest posts, which has been done to death on the internet. Or you can concentrate on a specific part of guest posting like how to write a great guest post submission, or how to find a-list blogs that accept guest post using Google etc.
Similarly, you can write a generic article about why guest posting is a great way to build traffic or you can concentrate on how guest posting can help your SEO efforts, like Oni did in his article on guest posting and SEO.
3. Compile the views of multiple people in one post
With so many different voices on the internet, one way to generate post ideas is to compare and contrast the views of different bloggers and thinkers on a given topic in a post. NPR recently ran a post using this formula where they compared the views of 3 eminent scientists on climate change.
Alternatively, if you find multiple sources of information on one topic with each source concentrating on a specific area, put all those topics in one post and you can create a complete post. Copyblogger have used this formula to great effect with their ‘Ultimate Guides‘ series to popular marketing tools like Facebook and Twitter.
These are three proven methods to generate fresh content without having to come up with original ideas. They have worked for me, and they have worked for many other successful bloggers. There is no reason why they should not work for you.
Aman Basanti has written for a number of A-list blogs including ProBlogger, MarketingProfs and Business Insider. He shares his secrets to getting guest posts on A-list blogs in his new FREE e-book – Guest Posting Secrets: 25 Tips to Help You Get More Guest Posts. Visit Ageofmarketing.com to download it now for FREE.