Ins and Outs of Blogging:

Collecting Blog Post Ideas

Hey Ladies, this is Amber here, continuing my series on how to start a blog — “The Ins and Outs of blogging.”

This is the fourth post in the series — you can get caught up with my blogging tips in the earlier posts: why people blog, choosing a blog platform and naming your blog.

By this point in your blogging journey, you’re ready to go ahead and actually blog. But what are you going to blog about today? It’s a question with which many bloggers struggle. And sometimes, even when we have great blog post ideas, we lose them. It’s happened to me many times. I’m in the shower or I’m driving, and from out of the blue the best blog post ever comes to me. “I totally have to blog about that,” I think to myself. But as I am occupied with showering / driving / what-have-you, of course I don’t write anything down.

Time passes. My children have a few crises. I buy groceries. I handle a dispute about who had the toy first. I burn my mouth on some hot tea. I try to convince a telemarketer that I’m not buying. I find a half-rotten apple under a chair in the living room. I fold some laundry. If you’re a mom, you know the drill.

Finally, finally, I sit down in my chair. Hooray! I am ready to write that blog post! It is going to be awesome! But, um … what was it supposed to be about again? Try as I might, the idea has vanished and I cannot get it back. And so I spend a lot of time staring at my computer screen and drawing a total blank. It’s no fun, let me tell you.

Confused Hannah

My daughter demonstrates the feeling of struggling to remember a blog post idea


Over my years of blogging, I have come up with a few techniques to help me collect and remember blog post ideas, so that I can avoid staring at the blank screen. Here are some of my tricks:

  1. I have a post in my blog editor, which is scheduled to publish in 2032. I did this because the newest post is always at the top, and nothing’s newer than 2032. In the post I jot down blog ideas and leave links to articles and photos, so that they’re there when I need them.
  2. I leave myself voicemail messages when I can’t write things down, like when I’m out for a walk with my kids. If you have a fancy phone, it might have a voice recorder or a note utility, which also work.
  3. I have an informal blogging schedule. I write lighter posts with lots of photos on Mondays. On Tuesdays, I write posts about bigger issues I’m thinking about. At 5 Minutes for Mom we have Tackle it Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday. Some people run giveaways on Saturdays. A schedule creates a framework that helps you come up with ideas.
  4. I write regularly. It seems counter-intuitive, but the more I write, the easier it becomes. I’m cultivating the mind of a blogger, who sees a grocery trip as a chance to collect blog material.
  5. I take lots of photos in my daily life. Partly because I’m documenting my kids’ childhoods, but also because photos are a great way to create blog content and ideas. If you get some neat photos of your kids blowing bubbles, you have yourself a blog post.

Raindrops on my flowers

You may see my back yard after a rain shower, but I see a blog post


I certainly don’t have all the secrets to collecting blog ideas, so I’d like to hear from you! How do you come up with blog ideas? Do you have any system to keep track of ideas that come to you? And have you had my experience of forgetting your great ideas when you finally sit down to blog? Tell me all about in the comments.

Written by 5 Minutes for Mom Contributing Editor, Amber Strocel. Check out her idea-filled blog at Strocel.com.

Comments

  1. says

    I do a lot of the same things mentioned. One thing that really inspires me is visiting other people’s blogs. When I do this I usually have pleeeeenty to write about. Also, I keep a list of ideas in my Blackberry!

  2. says

    Love the picture idea – 1000 words right there 😉
    It seems like those stray ideas always come to me while running errands or waiting for the school bus to arrive so I keep a small spiral bound notebook in my purse. Also, choosing certain types of posts (ways-to-use-it on Tuesdays and creative challenges on Thursdays and Saturdays) helps keep ideas focused and keeps me calm knowing I have at least 3 days of posts scheduled for the week.

  3. says

    Although I’m a mom and it’s my #1 priority in my life, I’m not sure if I would be embraced by the “community” as a “mom blogger” as I tend to be filled with a blend of cuss and made-up words and big ol’ bushel of TMI. Fo shizzle. But part of my blog’s purpose is to help me maintain the balance of life so I can maximize my talents and blessings as a mom. KWIM? As a result, I get LOTS of my post ideas from Google Alerts. I have them set up so I get daily news summaries for topics including: sex, orgasm, vibrators, diet, and then some. Then, using WordPress’ handy-dandy “Press It” feature, I’ll save anything newsworthy as a draft (and I LURVES your idea to date it out to kingdomcome so they aren’t on top). Then whatever theme I’m craving, there’s a springboard for me to jump from.

    Please feel free to email with any follow up thoughts or questions at resultsnottypicalgirl at gmail dot com.

    Thanks! – Kirsten (http://RNTGirl.com)

  4. says

    Thanks so much for these articles! I’m just beginning my blog and you have been soo helpful! Right now I am using a small notebook to record ideas. I’m a notebook fanatic. I am definitely going to implement the daily schedule you mentioned. That will help me organize the ideas that make it to the notebook!

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