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Sunday, October 17, 2010

20 Things to Blog About (in Any Niche)

blog post ideas
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Blogging can be a lot of fun. But what happens when you run out of ideas? Then it can become frustrating and more difficult to want to sit down and write. Don’t worry! No matter how much you’ve already covered in your niche, there’s always something else to say. If you’re feeling stumped for blog post ideas, let this list inspire you. These blog post ideas can be adapted to any niche, so give them a try!
Here are 20 things to blog about (or types of blog posts) that you can use on any blog when you’re out of ideas:
  1. Share news — Search the news engines and see what’s going on in your niche or industry. If there’s news, share it with your readers. You could write a detailed post, or even just link to the news source and write up a brief summary.
  2. Comment on news – If you have an opinion on one of those news stories you found, link readers to the original news, and then write up a blog post sharing your own viewpoint on the issue. It can be a great way to ignite some cross-blog or comment discussions.
  3. Write a review – Every niche has something that’s available to review. Go to your library or bookstore and pick up a book that might be of interest to your readers. Review it. You can also review services, products, or even other websites and blogs!
  4. interview
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    Conduct an interview
    – Just because you don’t have something to say at the moment doesn’t mean others in your niche don’t. Find a credible source, and interview them about a niche or industry issue. Bonus — you’ll get to network with go-to sources in your niche!
  5. Write a “top” list — Some people love them and some people hate them, but top 10 lists (or whatever number you want) can bring in links and traffic. More importantly, they can give you something to blog about when you’re feeling a bit stumped. For example, you could share your top 10 tips for “insert whatever your readers want to learn how to do here.”
  6. Write a resource list – These are usually longer than top ten types of lists. They compile a large number of resources that readers would be interested in all in one place. For example, if you run a blog on blogging, you might list 100 places to find free blog themes. On a PR blog of mine, I created a “big list of free press release distribution sites” because it’s something a particular segment of my audience frequently looked for. Your audience is looking for something too. Help them find it. 
  7. Assemble a round-up post — Another list-style post, round-ups are often done weekly or monthly. Basically you put together a list of links to other blog posts recently posted in your niche. Sure, it’s a bit of a cop out but it keeps your blog fresh, brings your blog to the attention of other bloggers in the niche, and gives readers access to other material they might find interesting. I like these because they’re a way to show readers trends in what bloggers in a certain niche are talking about during a given week.
  8. Answer a reader question — If you get reader questions via email, consider answering them publicly on your blog instead of responding to the email privately. You can remove the reader’s personal information (or share it if they don’t mind). This not only gives you something to write about, but it stops you from having to answer the same questions privately over and over again.
  9. questions
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    Answer a non-reader’s question —
    Don’t get many reader questions of your own? That’s okay! Look at answer sites like Yahoo! Answers or LinkedIn’s Q&As. Also look at comments left on other blogs in your niche. What are people curious about? What do they want to know? Share the answer to common questions on your blog, even if they’re not from your own readers. Chances are that some of your readers have the same questions, and they simply haven’t asked yet.
  10. Update an old post — Do you have an old post that’s a real gem, but it’s so buried in the archives that no one sees it anymore? Consider updating it with fresh relevant information (especially if any details are outdated), and then change the post date so it goes to the front page as a new post again. Note: you might not want to do this if it’ll affect your permalink and incoming links and traffic, and you should probably note that it’s an update so long-time readers know why it seems familiar.
  11. Highlight old posts – If you don’t want to, or can’t, update an older post you can still create a new post that brings it to the attention of newer readers. For example, if you run a business blog and you have a bunch of posts on handling the start-up phase, you might create a new post that serves as a hub linking to all of them (maybe with a summary of each).
  12. Rant. Rant. Rant! — Does some issue in your niche or industry seriously get under your skin? Tell your readers why! Don’t be afraid to rant once in a while. Just know your audience’s tolerances for it before you do so you don’t get too offensive for your readers.
  13. Have a cross-blog discussion — Did another blogger in your niche say something that caught your attention? Why not blog about it? Conversations in the blogosphere aren’t limited to the comment function. If you have a lot to say, link to their post so your readers can see it, and then post your own thoughts. Cross-blog debates can be fun, but it’s okay to share a post you fully agree with too. It shows support for an idea and another blogger.
  14. Take a look at Twitter — Even if there’s no “official” news in your niche at the moment, that doesn’t mean there isn’t buzz about something going around. Do a search on Twitter and see what people in the niche are talking about. Then contribute with a blog post of your own (or highlight some interesting tweets).
  15. Ask a question — We already talked about answering questions that others have. Why not ask your own? Asking a question in a post is a good way to build reader involvement, and you might get some new perspective on an industry issue (which might inspire another post!).
  16. video
    Credit: BigStockPhoto.com
    Get visual —
    Is your blog mostly text-based? Do something different and share a video or a photo that might interest your readers. It doesn’t have to be your own. For example, you might embed a YouTube video. Just make sure you have rights to share something like a photo before you do (a credit link alone doesn’t make it okay — or legal).
  17. Get personal — Why not share a personal story with your readers? I’m not talking about something completely unrelated, but rather your own individual experiences with a situation in the niche. For example, if you blog about Web hosting and you recently went through the process of moving your site from one host to another, that might be an interesting story to share with your readers.
  18. Find out what readers want — Use a tool like the Adwords keyword tool to find out what people are searching for in your niche. You might just find some interesting post ideas in there that you wouldn’t have otherwise considered.
  19. Share a blog update — Write a post that looks back on the history of your blog. Talk about what you’ve done, how it’s evolved, and where you’d like it to go.
  20. Publish a guest post — If you still can’t think of anything to blog about, consider accepting a guest post from someone else in the niche. Generally this means giving them a link back (it’s a marketing tool from their perspective), but you’ll get fresh content for your readers.
There you have it — 20 blog post ideas that can work on virtually any blog! I hope you found something useful. Do you have ideas you’d like to share with other bloggers in addition to this list? Leave a comment and let us know what you do when you can’t think of anything to blog about.





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