When you first started a blog, you were likely brimming with post and content ideas. However, as your blog matured, it probably became harder to come up with fresh topics and ideas for engaging with your audience.
Don’t get discouraged! All you need to get those creative juices flowing again is a few effective brainstorming techniques. Whether you’re working alone or in a group, here are seven actionable activities to help you come up with new topics for your blog.
Many people prefer to brainstorm in groups, but research suggests that it’s actually more productive to come up with ideas on your own. The Harvard Business Review explains that when you work in a group, everyone’s ideas tend to converge, making you think similarly about the task at hand.
When you brainstorm alone, you’re less influenced by others and your ideas will be more unique. Try these tactics below for brainstorming by yourself.
1. Fall back on an old classic: mind-mapping
Why not begin with a tried-and-true brainstorming technique? Mind-mapping has been around for a long time, and it’s a great way to kick off your ideation session.
Begin by writing your blog’s topic in the center of a sheet of paper, then break it down into subcategories. Continue to expand your map (creating more branches and subcategories) while writing down ideas that come to you along the way.
2. Dive into the internet
The internet is an endless treasure trove of blog inspiration — if you know where to look. You can come up with new blog post ideas by browsing through your own social media pages, as well as those of competitors. Look for comments that pose interesting questions, and consider writing blog posts that address them.
To take this a step further, you can visit forums related to topics of interest to see what people are discussing. Sites like Reddit are full of threads that may spark new ideas.
3. Leverage Google’s predictive searches
Google itself can be a helpful tool for brainstorming. Start by typing in your general blog topic and see what the search engine suggests in its predictive results. This will give you an idea of what people are searching for, and can help you come up with new topics that may perform well.
4. Try your hand at starbursting
Another useful solo brainstorming technique is called starbursting. According to MindTools, this strategy involves coming up with “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why” questions related to your topic. These questions will often lend themselves to informative blog ideas.
The main benefit of brainstorming in a group is that you can come up with more ideas by building off of one another. Here are a few group brainstorming techniques to try.
5. Get involved with brain-writing
You can counteract the effects of groupthink with this creative exercise. HubSpot reveals that during “brain-writing,” everyone writes down a few ideas on their own piece of paper. Then, each person passes their papers around in a circle, with every group member building on the previous person’s ideas.
6. Think fast with associative brainstorming
As you may have guessed, this strategy involves word association. Begin with a primary topic, then have everyone toss out the first words that pop into their heads. Continue expanding your list, working together to turn random words into blog post ideas.
7. Turn it into a game
Sometimes, the best way to come up with new ideas is to get a little silly! One fun brainstorming activity is to play “Whose Line is it Anyway?” with your group. Bring in several props related to your blog topic and let each person pick one object. Have everyone create a story or character based on that object. Have fun with it for 10-15 minutes, then see what ideas spawn from the game.
Once you’ve generated a few ideas with the techniques mentioned above, learn how to bring them to life by enrolling in one of WordPress.com’s free Blogging U. courses.
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