10 Ways I Sometimes Generate Blog Post Topics

Every once in a while, especially when my poor old brain is too occupied with other stuff, blog topics don’t pop into it as readily as usual. Today was such a day.

As I was going through my ritual to spark some ideas, I thought “why not write up the ritual as a blog post?” How fiendishly clever!

So, okay. Here’s what I do when I can’t think of something to write about:

1. I do not write a post bemoaning the fact that I can’t think of anything to write about.

2. I read every blog in my blogroll – not just skimming the posts, but reading them with a view to leaving a comment. If I can possibly think of a comment I leave it. Often, as I’m writing the comment, it starts getting really long and then I realize I have a blog post! (If you do this, make sure you credit the blogger that sparked the idea. It’s the nice thing to do).

3. I scroll through online news sites: News Australia and BBC Online have the craziest stories. CNN is also often good blog fodder. And if you’re really hard up, CBC. All this is of course, after you’ve read the local and/or national hard copy newspapers.

4. If I’m looking for something less newsy, I go through some cheesy magazines online. Oprah’s monthly glossy wankatome is always good for zany topics.

5. I think of a word, any word – something a little out-of-the-ordinary – and google it. I can often unearth a lot of interesting stuff.

6. I pick a favourite food or drink and do some research on it; put together some interesting facts about the food; throw in a recipe. Everyone loves reading about food.

7.I go for a walk. If I’m out walking for an hour, it’s almost guaranteed that either a) I’ll see or hear something blogworthy; or, b) as I stroll and let my mind wander, I’ll think of something blogworthy.

8. I’m not very good with a camera, but sometimes I’ll take a photo or two. Or I’ll dig up an old photo and write a few sentences of explanation an/or background about the photo(s). Old photos can sometime represent an entire story.

9. Sometimes I’ll root through the old memory bank and come up with something that happened decades ago and write it up either as a straight anecdote or as it relates to something current.

10. I make a list. There is no end to things a person can make a list for. Sometimes it’s a short list. Sometimes a long list. Sometimes a funny list. Sometimes a good, sage advice list.

Good luck!

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19 responses to “10 Ways I Sometimes Generate Blog Post Topics

  1. Interesting. So can I ask XUP, are there any topics that you will NOT write about on your blog? Anything too controversial or risqué?

  2. Sadly, I think half the blogs out there follow #1.

    (Or they blog about Twitter, or Twitter about blogging).

    I must admit, it’s pretty original here. I have NO IDEA what your next post is going to be about.

    That’s why I keep coming back.

  3. You always have such interesting posts, XUP! I never know if I’m going to be reading about olive oil or someone’s severed penis in a jar. It keeps me checking back.

    I usually blog about things that happen to me and the girls. Most of the time a phrase or an image pops into my head while I’m driving to work or taking a shower, and the rest of the post just kind of grows around that.

  4. Hannah – There are lots of things I won’t write about – anything really personal (love life, details about my job, serious stuff on the home front, issues close friends or family might be having, etc.,). I also tend to stay away from whatever the media hype of the day is, although once in a while I have a comment to add.. Other than that, if there’s a good reason for it, most other topics are open for discussion. Thanks for asking.

    Sheryl – No, no – I simply provided some techniques I use for inspiration when all else fails. I must say though that I think the best blog posts just happen spontaneously. The ones I have to search for always seem a bit forced to me. (Way to parlay this post into one of your own, by the way)

    Friar – Wow, thanks. Coming from a blogger as unique and inspired as you, that is high praise indeed.

    Jazz- Ya, eh? A post within a post within a post wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a soft taco shell (as they say)

    Alison – As I said to Sheryl, the posts that just sort of write themselves in your head when you least expect it, really are the best posts of all. This list is just for when you have nothing. And thanks for coming back and being surprised.

  5. “All this is of course, after you’ve read the local and/or national hard copy newspapers”

    Thank you. Because I need the paltry pay I get for making sure you have a hard copy to bend and fold and write on and then use for the puppy or those fragile dishes when you move.

    Oh, I think I feel a post coming on….

  6. I don’t generally have a problem coming up with something I could write about. My drafts folder is chock full of half-written posts. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually go finish a couple of them. (Yes, yes, yes, we already know I have a hoarding problem.)

  7. My head is full of half written posts, I just haven’t felt like putting any of them together for a whole blog post lately. And I HAVE resisted making a post out of that 🙂

  8. Like Jazz, I just post when I feel like saying something, but I guess I feel “chatty” pretty often. Sometimes I just want some outside opinions and sometimes I feel kinda proud of myself after a project and want to show it off. Sometimes I just think something is goofy fun. I’ve never really felt the need to post or find something to post about. Usually I have 3 or 4 subjects I want to discuss and it takes me a few days to make a decision. And sometimes when I can’t make a decison, I just toss them all into an unconstructed stew of stuff. You sound way more organized than me!

  9. I’m always walking around keeping my eyes and ears open for blogging fodder. I never have the variety of subjects in my blog that you do though. You seem to have the brain of a reporter.

  10. Thank you for sharing your blogging wisdom. Your posts are always so well researched. My question is how to do all that and still have time to sleep at night?

    Incidentally, I just learned an important fact. When making a list of RANDOM things that you enjoy, make sure “spending time with wife” is in the number one spot and NOT the number three spot.

    My protests that it was a RANDOM list (and therefore not in order of importance) has not kept me from getting better acquainted with the dog house.

  11. Violetsky – Um.. sorry? I don’t bend, fold or write on my newspapers and they leave dishes all black when you use them for packing. I like to read them, though and sometimes clip things.

    Louise – Why don’t you do a post comprised of all your half-written posts?

    Becky – Oh! You should write them down before they disappear altogether. Things tend to do that if they swirl around in heads too long, I find.

    Helen – Thanks!

    Geewits – I’m not sure that I’d call it organized, but I feel a certain obligation to my blog to post at least 3 times a week and to try to post something some people might actually enjoy reading. I don’t know where this sense of obligation comes from exactly because really, I could just not post for weeks or ever again and nothing much would happen in the general scheme of things. I guess it’s just something I’ve promised myself to do. Your approach seems to work just as well though because your posts are always interesting and entertaining and often surprising.

    Linda – Not a reporter, I think – more like my brain just sucks up stuff like a vacuum wherever it goes and then reassembles it into other stuff. But you live in a place full of marvellous stuff. Your photos and observances are always so rich and charming and exotic – at least to a North American.

    Cedar – I’ll try to do more numbered posts just for you.

    LSG – The internet has information about everything; I just pick and choose what I think will sound good. This in no way should be construed as actual fact. And, poor you and the dog house. Perhaps if you did another post about The Most Wonderful Woman in the World, you’d be forgiven?

  12. Number 5… oh, maybe that’s why my old office jobs in my early 20s didn’t go so well. All that under-the-desk activities.

    🙂

    Actually, WONDERFUL list. Agree on the gossip. Well, I agree on all, really.

    Cool beans!

    So glad I clicked on your gravatar over at Let’s Live Forever! What a nice treat of a writer you are to stumble on.

  13. Jannie – Hi! Thanks for visiting the blog and leaving a comment! Wow, a Canadian living in Texas — that must be some culture shock. Unless you were from Alberta originally maybe? I’d like to hear about your 20-something job experiences!!

  14. Very timely blog for me. I enjoy reading about how other bloggers get their ideas for blog topics.

    I’m approaching my 100th blog, so keeping it fresh is very important.

    Thanks for the blog ideas.