10 Magnetic Techniques to Attract Ideas

Finding new ideas is difficult! Is it? Well the answer is, No! There is no shortage of ideas around. This world is full of ideas. No matter which niche you are in and what you write, ideas are always out there. The problem is that people do not see the ideas lying around and think "Oh My God! I have no idea to write a post. What to do?"

But they just overlook ideas around them. In this post, I will discuss 10 techniques that you can use to attract ideas like a magnet. Again and again and again and again and_________ (add as many "again"s as you like and proceed to list.)

1. Read Comments

comments

Comments

You blog's comment section is an idea mine. Most of the comments have hidden ideas in them. All you need is to read them with some attention and new ideas will always pop up.

Once a week, take some time and look through comments area. You will find a lot of blogging ideas.

Here is a good example from one of our post's:

Writing content related to consumer products/services probably helps more than anything (placement and ad size is huge, too, but those are easy fixes). Writing about products (reviews, consumer information, etc) attracts visitors who were already thinking of buying that product. They’re a lot more likely to click on an ad than someone who surfed in for idle entertainment. - Lindsay.

Idea: A post can be written about using articles to promote the products. I can also integrate my experience with it. I have done it for Chitika and had good success.

2. Participate in Forums

forum

Forums

By participating in forums, you get a lot of exposure and lots of ideas! People generally ask about their problems and you can also get some idea of missing things in your niche.

One of our most popular posts, Grab my Button, Promote My Blog sprang from a BlogCatalog Discussion Forum where Creative Junkie asked for help in creating one.

3. Read Niche Blogs

blogger-group

Niche Bloggers

Blogs in a similar niche are very helpful when you run our of ideas. Most of the posts contain what I call "openings". An opening is basically a topic left untouched or not covered in much detail. Posts can easily be developed with these openings.

Just write in detail on these and you will never be out of ideas.

One of my posts, How to Blog Again After Long Absense was born because of a post on Write to Done, 10 Mistakes that Could Be Killing Your Blog . Second point was "Infrequent Posting" and third point was "Writing about infrequent posting." I thought that it just the tip of the iceberg and went on to expose the whole iceberg (in other words, I took inspiration from the two points and wrote a post! ;-) )

I have left an opening in the above point! I just touched the topic and left it. You can get some inspiration and write "How to take Advantage of Post Openings" or "Get Ideas Everytime With Post Openings".

4. Browse Archives

archives

Archives

If you are regular blogger and have a good archive list,  you will always find ideas there. Reading an older post can give you many new ideas. And if you are in hurry (you should never be!), even the titles alone can give some great ideas!

How?

Take a look at these these titles from our archives and how they have hidden ideas:

  1. How to Make a 'Professional' Logo for Free: I wrote this tutorial a while ago but did not mention how you can add the logo to your blog theme/template. This can be helpful to many newbies who might be unfamiliar with template/theme structure!
  2. How to Create a 125x125 Ad for Your Blog: SBA wrote this tutorial a while ago. After reading it, the idea came to my mind that you need to use the image for something too (Why would someone make a 125x125 ad for blog without any use in mind?) Result? Where to Use Your 125x125 Ad.

5. Analyze Lists

scroll

Lists

List posts are good for promotion. What I like most about them is the fact they are not detailed! You can pick a good tool/resource from the publiched list and write a post about it. However, it is better to not overuse this technique because this will make your blog look like a review site.

Here are some examples of how lists give ideas:

  1. 101.5 Free Tools and Services for Bloggers: In this post we covered 101 tools and services for bloggers(+1 little one, hence 101.5). It was impossible to cover every service/tool in detail. Imagine 101 points each with a 2 paragraph detail for it. But some of the tools were really good. For example, Google Ad Manager, which is the best ad serving tool but is designed with corporates and big guys(with sales force) in mind. This renders it a bit confusing for newbie and small blogs. (It even took your dear writer 2 hours to get familiar with interface). A good tutorial can be posted on it.
  2. 50 Must Have Plugins for WordPress 2.7: Similarly like 101.5 Tools list, it featured some excellent plugins like WP-Note and Zemanta which can be used for a full post or a small list with details. HeadSpace, my favorite plugin is very feature rich and at the same time complex. A good tutorial can be written on it too!

6.Tweet

Twitter

Twitter

Twitter = short! Short posts, short urls and lots of short(and open) ideas.

Friends from this network can also help you a lot!

When we were compiling the "Top 100 Articles to Help You With Blogging" post, I wanted a strategy to find good posts in categories (nothing would have been worse than a list of 100 random articles) . I tweeted about it and moments later, RamKarthik from Blogging Tune (@RamKarthik came up with really good advice.

Also, some of my friends tweet a lot about blogging tips and since everything can not be summed up in 140 words, I get many good ideas from there too!

7. Listen to Readers

readers

Readers

Keeping an ear towards your readers will never hurt.  In fact, many readers will drop some good ideas into your ear (Caution: Bigger Ideas may Hurt Your Ear! :twisted: )

Creative Junkie asked me about Social Bookmarking icons and asked if I could write a tutorial on that. This is a really good idea as tutorials get more comments (and more complaints about them not working too!).

Make sure you install a good Contact Form plugin for WordPress or use a free contact form service like Kontactr and Formsmats so that your readers can reach you easily.

8. Watch Your Surroundings

surroundings

Surroundings

As I said in the beginning, the world is full of ideas.

If you are really passionate about your niche, you can get ideas from almost anything!

Don't believe me? Then read this real world example(of mine):

I was in my village one day and was getting bored! It was hard to pass the time since I had no computer (or anything close to it, e.g. calculator!). I was thinking of some good ideas for blogging and in the process, I saw a bicycle. The idea hit my mind and Bicycle Approach to Blogging was born!

Two hours later, I began to feel sleepy. And guess what, another good idea, Beware: Are You a Sleepy Blogger approached me and will soon see the daylight on Blogging With Success!

9. StumbleUpon

stumble-upon

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon lets you discover new (and cool) websites on the internet. Since there are a lot of categories,  and when you surf for some time, you can always find something for your niche. Combine the "openings" method with it and you can have a really good post ready in no time.

Example? I knew you would ask for it! So here it is: After SBA and Fransiska forced me to Stumble (I was and am a loyal Opera user and fan but StumbleUpon toolbar doesn't love Opera! :cry: ), on first day, I found Newspaper Clipping Generator which was really fun! So I stumbled a bit more in internet tools category and found some similar tools and complied them into 6 Fun Image Generators for Bloggers.

10. Keep Eye on Social Bookmarking Services

socail-bookmarking

Social Bookmarking

Social Bookmarking websites like Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, Furl  etc. have some of the best articles in their listings. You can easily find realted articles about your niche and can either compile a list (Top 10 Articles about _______ , Top 10 Websites for______) or write a post inspired from them.

I decided to compile the 50 WordPress Plugins list after I noticed that WordPress was popular on Del.icio.us and many posts about WordPress design and plugins were bookmarked a lot.

Its not always necessary to go with popular choices but social bookmarking services give you insight on the trendy topics on which you can write.

Blogging With Successs Readers, Your Turn Now:

These are the top 10 techniques I use to get post ideas. It's your turn now. What techniques do you use? Tell us in comments.

This very post should give ideas for a month's  worth of articles.  And now, give us permission to leave. Hope to meet again in your feed reader! Subscribe Via RSS.

About Ishan Sharma

Hi, I am a young Blogger from India. I am very passionate about blogging and also co-founder of Blogging With Success. I write about general blogging tips and WordPress. You can read other posts by me here.If you need help, feel free to contact anytime!

Comments

  1. that was really awesome ….
    I like it very much. Thanks for sharing

  2. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog!

  3. I am thinking to start blog for very competitive niche. Already 5 top ten blogs has 5000 pages indexed and updating daily many times a day. Do you think, we will be ever be able to dominate over them?

  4. Excellent points to find new ideas, I’ve been very much benefited from using Stumbleupon, Twitter and forums are my other sources for finding creative ideas.

  5. I couldn’t have read this article at a better time. I have always wanted to blog about my niche skat af udlejning to help get in touch with my potential clients but I always feared running out of ideas. Thanks a heap for these tips

  6. Wonderful tips, such well organized, informative and amazing article should be appreciated.
    Thanks for these ideas. Dean Martin

  7. I always out of out always out of ideas, I start with a very good thought then after I loose it. Your list is very nice. I’ll definitely put this on my checklist.

  8. As to my favorite, I lean towards #8. My take on this is that good ideas are a byproduct of leading an interesting and full life.

    Riley

  9. Hello Blog Author, thank you. You help too much; you give me new ideas. It is great post. Waiting your new.
    Latest versions of programes

  10. Hello Blog Author,

    I’ll leave a comment.

    Well, it’s like this: I don’t lack ideas. Not having enough ideas is not my problem, it’s more everything else that is my problem.

    I am very new to keeping a website and have next to know knowledge about IT … HTML, and all that.

    But like you, I am passionate about my subject … ‘niche’ is a good word for it, but it doesn’t exactly evolve around tutorials, though I do give advice – which doesn’t pertain to computers at all though.

    That is why I looked for websites with the subject your blog is about, and something about your blog’s name and the first line in it’s description made me take a look.

    I noticed you didn’t have the usual style of intro: “I’ll tell you how to solve ALL your issues with blogging!”, etc. Your doing the opposite of that made it not obvious whether your blog was a joke or if it maybe was a more intelligent approach to giving advice. I decided to take a look, and it turned out to be the latter.

    So why did I look at exactly this article, when this probably the one problem I do NOT have?

    Because I wasn’t sure where to start… – That is, I know one of the things I would like to know about, and you have a featured video about it (creating a list with clickable pictures … though I want to have a few lines of words too, describing what each article is about. A “most popular readings” kind of list.

    I didn’t look at it right away though, because I’ve read several articles on various things pertaining to how you can customize your blog, but my IT knowledge always seems to make me end up trying to research abbreviations etc. that there just don’t seem to be anything about anywhere.
    These days everybody are being schooled in computer basics, but I’m an exception and haven’t had much school at all in anything (my writing is more or less self taught).

    If I was rich, I’d probably be tempted to buy the service of setting things up – along with signing up for a good computer study. But I’m a poor person at this point, so I have no other option but to hopefully learn fast enough to keep up with my blog.

    …..

    So… I hope this wasn’t a disappointing response. I already love your blog and will keep reading. You have a goldmine here!!

    If I get to where I can help promote sites that aren’t within my own niche of subject, I’ll definitely help promote you! You deserve it.

    Best of luck ahead!… :)

    Zhawq.
    ———-

    Ps. I started out with Blogger/BlogSpot, and my domain is bought via Google Apps. But I’m considering moving to WordPress – I’ve heard so much good about it, and it does seem it might be the better choice for someone who isn’t very computer savvy such as myself.

  11. Great post! Of the 10 techniques, the one I use the most is watching my surroundings. There are a lot of things happening in our surroundings that we don’t know about. We just need to watch closely. Sometimes it’s all in the details. And I love to write about analogies to marketing from my experience in life.

  12. What a great post. I used some of these tips before so at the moment I kinda always have ideas about what to write. I get them from comments on my blog, other blogs, Twitter and forums mostly. But as soon as I see a blog post that could have been written a bit better I always try to write something like a follow up to it and give my readers more info than in the original post.

  13. Thanks for sharing the tips Ishan.
    For me forums and the twitter are the biggest sources of ideas. I need to try the number 8 – Watch your surroundings :)

  14. Hi Ishan,

    An inspiring post, thank you. I use most of your ideas and also many of those added by other commenters here.

    Another source for me is attending Webinars. One often picks up an idea for a post or more this way.

    ~Marcus

  15. hi Ishan, very usefull points. thanks! Participating to forums and giving valuable sollutions is good for a blogger.

  16. Thats really very nice of you to share these informative post.

  17. Great tips. Hope I too start attracting ideas like a magnet soon.
    .-= Regular Blog Tips´s recent blog ..The Lazy Bloggers Post Generation Tool =-.

  18. I ALWAYS carry a pen and a piece of paper wherever I go. I get ideas all the time; if I don't write them down, they're gone (often forever). Joe Vitale said, "Ideas are like gifts. Respect them as such."

  19. Great post … I'll add a couple of my favorites too:

    YouTube – I can almost always find a new topic on YouTube and if you like "how to" type of content you can even embed the best video you find there on the subject and some of the work is already done for you (of course it's even better if you have the time and know-how to do your own video).

    Yahoo Answers – I love going to Yahoo Answers (especially for my niche stores) and you can always see what others are looking for answers to and even the answers to those questions right there. (*Bonus tip – you can also do an advanced search for open questions and you can answer them and link back to your site too). *SmiLes* Suzanne

  20. I use some of the techniques that you describe in your list, but I also use some other approaches:

    1) I read books. It doesn't have to have anything to do with the topic I'm currently writing, or the topic of my blogs. I get inspired by authors, and if I read a good story, I always get several new ideas.

    2) I watch movies and TV-series. It's the same as with reading books. I get all sorts of ideas just by watching movies. I guess it's about participating in stories.

    3) I read newspapers. Both local and national newspapers (even a few international). It's easy to get new ideas when reading the news (it's also like this when watching the news, but I think it's easier to get new ideas by reading the newspaper).

    4. I think about mistakes I've made, and find out ways to correct them. What would I have done if I knew beforehand that what I was about to do was a mistake? We've all made many mistakes, some small and some big. Think about the past, and think about what you would have done different. That'll become interesting blog posts, believe me :-)

    Great post by the way.

    - Jens –

  21. Quite inspiring post. Thx!.

    Another way I use too: Using google alerts for special topics/keywords. So I'm able to check the web and the news for articles about my favorite topics.

  22. These items I find helpful in my experience:

    1. Listening to readers – It's a good idea to really read between the lines what readers are actually saying. Some readers actually let you know their concerns and issues. But a lot of readers don't like articulating their needs and problems. It takes special practice to really get attuned to what these needs are.

    2. StumbleUpon is a source of inspiration. It's quite surprising what you'd find there. Entertainment, discoveries totally unrelated to your niche, but helpful nevertheless because these spark off new ideas you can incorporate in your posts.

    Great list of techniques indeed!

  23. Restaurant POS Syste says:

    Amazing ideas. It's really effective techniques. I learnt lot of things from your blog. Thanks.

    • Thanks! Can you leave the link to your blog? We like to visit and see how you apply those things. There will be a test later — LOL

  24. i need to focus on 5,6,8, 9 these are new to me….

    other i do….

  25. Participating in forums and tweeting can really give some great magnetic ideas.

    Overall a great Post, photos are really good , i would love to know from where you get those photographs, do you develop your self or through some other sites !

    • I use Google Image Search to find images! Make sure that you do not use Copyrighted images from it as search results may include some copyright.

  26. Excellent post -with incredible photos and information. I especially enjoyed your thoughts on watching readers and looking for better information. Great work!

  27. Awesome list!

    The only idea I've come up with lately is an "update" post … where I go back and mention a few things I've blogged about and then update the current status. Like our remodeled bathroom or a trip we were taking, etc.

    Also, watching the news or TV in general – a huge potential there for blog fodder.

  28. A great list of tips for article-ideas! Especially the comments on your blog should not be forgotten. What can be better than your own audience, your own readers, telling you what else they would like to read about on your blog!

  29. Number 8 is definately my favourite! I am constantly getting ideas for posts out of my everyday life, and it brings a realness to your blog which readers love!

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