Wednesday, November 30, 2011

20 Ways to Get Ideas for Writing Blog Posts

I have been blogging for a few years now and I usually publish each day. I'm often asked by current and would-be bloggers how I come up with my blog posts. These are some of the ways.

1)  Someone asks me a question. Rather than just share the answer with them, I share it with the world as others may have that question too.
  • Example: That is how this post came about.
2) I disagree with someone but politically it is not a good idea to vocalize my opposition. I write about it in generic terms on my blog.
3)  I find a new way to use something and I want to share
4)  Someone says something powerful that would never be captured and shared otherwise. I capture and share it.
5) Someone asks me for advice. I figure this might help others too so I write a blog post, send them the link, and others benefit too.

6) Someone asks me a question and I don't know the answer. I learn by writing a blog post.
7)  I see schools wasting money that could be spent on students. I write about that and share it hopefully inspiring and/or validating others not to make the same mistake.
8)  I disagree with policy. I write to explain why.
10) I want to help readers change policies I disagree with at their schools.
11) A comment on a post in another blog has turned into it's own blog post.
12) I want to learn more about a product. I use it and write about it.
13) I am exploring radical ideas and I want to see what others think. I write about it and see the kind of reaction I get.
14) I see students or teachers doing something great. I want to share it so I write a post.
15) I send a Tweet which becomes a conversation which becomes a blog post.
16) A parent needs help for their child so I advocate for them through articles in my blog
17) I discover students are struggling so I write to inform them of options they may be unaware of.
18) A parent doesn't know their rights. I write a post to inform them.
19) I provide a platform and an audience for those who don't have one.
20) Someone asks my opinion on something. I know how I feel, but sometimes I'm not sure why, so I write to solidify my thoughts.

Five bonus tips.
  1. Some people also ask how I find so much time to write. One trick for me is that many of my posts (including this one) start in my cell phone. I can type without looking so I write when I'm walking. I also write on the subway or when I'm waiting on others to start a meeting or when I'm put on hold on the phone. Using my cell phone provides a great way to engage in anytime anywhere writing.
  2. Since my book Teaching Generation Text came out, I commit to writing one post each week about cell phones so that takes care of one post each week and per a suggestion of a friend I do an end of the week recap on my slowest day of readership, Saturday. That takes care of two posts each week. That leaves me only five per week to write.
  3. I develop a queue with about ten posts written in advance. This gives me a bit of a cushion.
  4. If I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, I don't fight it. I write. I used to keep my computer out of my bedroom but I find keeping it next to me for unexpected spurts of inspiration has resulted in me banging out some good articles in the middle of the night.
  5. I have a note in my phone called "Blog Ideas" and I jot down ideas as they come up. If I have a few spare minutes at any time I look at those ideas and start writing about one of them.
So, that's how I do it and how I get my inspiration for blog posts. How do you get yours?

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