Never worry what to write about in a blog ever again

Brainstorming with Post its
photo credit: jasonparis

Have you ever surprised yourself with how awesome/creative/efficient/productive you are? Like you can’t even stop all of the creative juices flowing because you are a human Niagra Falls of good ideas? Like sheer awesomeness is blasting through your fingertips and punishing your keyboard with a burst of typing to record your utter GENIUS? If you’ve ever worried what to write about in a blog, I’m here to tell you that all you need is some caffeine, some nondescript jazz and/or classical music, and a Google Doc.

This week try spending about an hour at a coffee shop (maybe wear your hipster glasses?) and crank out as many ideas as you possibly can into a Google Doc or Evernote. Coffee shop optional, but I know I do my best work in a coffee shop because I think the people behind me will judge me for being on Facebook so I have to prove them wrong and be super productive.

Write down everything your audience could possibly want to know about.

We’re brainstorming here – no idea is a bad idea. Don’t filter yourself. You can always edit later.

Get all your ideas out of your head and into a record: good ideas, bad ideas, innovative plans, new services, webinar topics, etc. ad nauseum.

See, when you’ve got a brain dump to draw from, you will never have to worry again what to write about in a blog post or an email newsletter. You can avoid the midnight panic attacks, the “What the flip am I supposed to write about on my blog this week?” or “I don’t have any good ideas for guest pitches!”. Yes you do! Go check your brain dump.

Go dump out your brain. Clear out some mental space to give your best ideas some breathing room.

I hereby give you permission to make a mess. Create a 1,000 pageexaggeration obvs. document full of random bullet points. Let it be a “living” record that you got back to and edit and add to and revise and tweak. I just made my entire editorial calendar until July by copy & pasting my favorite ideas from my brain dump into Asana. UNTIL JULY!

Share your genius: how do you get ideas for what to write about in a blog?

  • The Stacey Harris

    LOVE this! I did this last year with blog posts and really need to do it again for Podcast episodes and also for my guest post ideas. I’ve been holding off pitching guest posts because I simply haven’t had a ton of ideas.

    I really need to try this whole coffee shop/coworking space thing and get out of my office sometimes. I NEVER do that unless I’m travelling.

    • Ann Harris

      Thanks, Stacey! You know, I would really love to get a transcription of your podcasts. They’re so helpful! I’m a visual learner though so I have to *really* focus to get all the juice out of ‘em. Maybe you could turn a podcast into a blog post?

      • The Stacey Harris

        That’s a great idea, I’ve had a couple of requests for transcripts so maybe it’s something I’ll start offering as I evolve the show.

        The most recent one is definitely on my list of blog post ideas as well so there should be one soon.

  • Susan Cabezas

    I have to be better with a running list of blog post topics, I tend to just write a post based on what I’m doing at the very moment, when I should be more informative, rather than writing posts about my progress which I have been doing. I think people are more interested in reading posts that help them.

    • Ann Harris

      Thanks for your comment, Susan! I really liked your post about the different technology and design classes you’re taking! Can you just mix in your “progress reports” with the other stuff?

      • Susan Cabezas

        I could definitely do that. I just have to also have a running list of blog posts in addition to “progress reports.” Good point!

  • Yoneco Evans

    That bulletin board of post-it notes is insane! And by insane I mean, I wants it!

    I just started keeping a blog binder. The first section is where I jot ideas and clippings. The second section is where I plan the posts that I’m working on. I create an outline of the content, list any related links or hashtags I want to include, plan out when the post is going to go live, etc.

    Great post!

    • Ann Harris

      Oh I love the idea of having a pen & paper real live binder! Do you carry it with you in your purse? You know, just in case inspiration strikes mid-latte or something?

      • Yoneco Evans

        No, I don’t carry it with me, it’s a bit too big for my wee-sized purse. I keep a small notepad in my purse and transfer any ideas over. That way everything’s in one place.

  • Karen DeFelice

    I actually just thought last night that I need to schedule a morning off from everything and sit down to do this. I’m always digging for blog ideas and really need a go-to list. I’ve been keeping a file on my computer whenever I think of something but I really need a brain dump day!

    • Ann Harris

      Do it! You totally deserve to kick your feet up, listen to some sweet jams, and write until you break a pencil or something ;) The best brainstorming sessions I’ve ever had include wine in a box (because I’m classy) and plenty of post-its!

  • Sandy Sidhu

    Yes! I have a google doc with all the ideas..Not all of them get published but I let them simmer there.
    I also have a notebook because deep down this digital gal still has a soft spot for them :)

    • Ann Harris

      Bet you’re the kind of classy lady who still has monogrammed stationery, too. Amiright? Seriously though – I still love a good sesh of putting pen to paper. As long as the paper has my name on it. Embossed preferably.

      • Sandy Sidhu

        how *did* you know :P J/k although now that you mentioned it…

  • Kristina Brzezinski

    No Facebook because you want to prove you’re being super productive! Haha! This reminds me of me when I’m at my coworking space! I sometimes hop onto FB to schedule a post or leave a comment in Thrive Hive, and I think everyone must be judging me for goofing off! I follow almost the exact same process you outlined, but I use Focus at Will for my music. I want some hipster glasses, too!

    • Ann Harris

      Oooh what’s Focus at Will? What’s that? It’s got SCIENCE? I may need to change my listening habits at my desk…

  • Ali Meza

    Flexibility is important too! Sometimes my blog ideas get bumped because, well, something more exciting (and current) comes up. The topic I planned for last week got kicked to the curb when I heard about Olympic athletes rescuing stray dogs in Sochi after the government hired a pest control company to round them up and kill them. Compelling, relevant content goes to the front of the line :)

    • Ann Harris

      YES! Totally agree! Thanks for bringing it up, Ali :) Flexibility is so important.

  • Maggie Patterson

    Miss Ann – Smart, smart, smart. I tell my clients this all the time and it’s so great to have a “well” of content to go to when you aren’t feeling so inspired.