How to come up with story ideas or blog posts

how blog posts story ideas lesson

There was a time when I woke up in the mornings, give a sigh and tell myself that I didn’t want to go to work. Why? Well, I didn’t have any worthy stories for my Editor.

After pitching a few stories, I would sometimes get a stare and mostly, the question “what else have you got?” This was during the time I had been a newbie at my former workplace. The thought of not having stories would almost kill my spirit every morning.

If whatever I pitched was not good enough, I didn’t know how to next. Of course, my Editor would sometimes grill me during the day and want to know do I have anything yet. I really felt lost.

Later when I became seasoned in my job (at this particular workplace), I didn’t stress anymore. I had figured it out – how to find my stories.

So what happened? Well, I explain more about how I got out of the groove of not having stories in this blog post. Basically, I realised I had to find a niche – certain topics to write about. My colleagues had the popular niches (or “beats” as journalists call them) already – crime, education, and politics.

blog posts story ideas

Since coming up with story ideas is easy for me now, I thought of giving you a glimpse of how I do it.

POSSIBLE WAYS TO FIND BLOG POST IDEAS

  • Firstly, it helps when you understand your audience (or your Editor’s wants), their wants and needs. For example, when I worked at a tabloid newspaper, I knew people enjoyed a juicy paranormal story. If the Minister of Finance’s Budget Speech came up, I knew what parts of the speech would be applicable to a particular audience too. So, have someone in mind when you are sourcing your stories.
  • Secondly, where does your audience hang out and what concerns them? I used to join community forum groups on Facebook to see what people would talk about or to get news. I even befriended people who are involved in community projects or programmes. This keeps you in the loop.
  • Thirdly, I keep my eye on news events on Twitter, Facebook, news channels and even radio stations’ websites. Then I try to find something that’s relevant to my audience.
  • As a blogger, I read a lot of blogs – this often gives me ideas for blog posts. For example, fitness blogger Samantha Dube did a feature on Shantal “Slim” Dietrich and the one thing that stood out for me was that this lady was teased in school because she didn’t pick up weight then.
    Some bloggers like Melanie of Imagine You are really oulik (cute) because they give you blog post ideas. Melanie wrote a post that stemmed from a coffee shop experience. She gave 100 blog post topics, which mainly relates to coffee and coffee shops.
  • Recently, I listened to the online entrepreneurs Femtrepreneur’s podcast. The hosts discussed 10 essential blog post topics. One of the topics was a tools or resources blog post. This gave me an idea to write a post on the tools I use as a blogger.
  • Lastly, talk to people! I don’t mean we spy on people but sometimes someone says something that triggers an idea. Really, it happens. Also, by listening, I can act on questions people ask me, especially if this relates to your blog. Back when I worked for the newspaper, we would do follow up stories if a certain story did well especially when it got a lot of comments in the SMS section.

If you’re a blogger or writer, what is your experience? Any tips on finding story ideas? Please share in the comments.

14 thoughts on “How to come up with story ideas or blog posts

  1. Great tips, especially considering what your audience’s concerns are.

    I’ve started something new! When I review my month and consider upcoming events, I think of what I would want to create into blog post. Along with that, I find myself, considering the categories I have set up on my blog, these form the basis of what I write about.

  2. I, also, have issues finding inspiration! I read a few blogs with similar audiences to mine, and it seems to do me more harm than good… I’ll have an idea and it’s all been said… how can I make this my own?? I read a tip the other day to read something new and different everyday! Keep your brain working with something new… it helps inspire original thought! These are great tips! I actually get out without the kids every now and then, but I never think to look around or go to forums! Thank you for sharing! <3

  3. This is really useful advice. I used to really struggle to know what to write about. One place I’ve been getting ideas from lately is Quora. There are some really random questions being asked there but if you search your niche or topics you like to write about, it’s really helpful because the whole site is based on people asking questions.

  4. Mel, I agree that the organising part is tough. Eisj. Wendy, I think I should use Quora too – good idea. Alet, I like the upcoming events story generation. Thank you everybody for stopping by.

  5. I get quite a lot of inspiration from the American National Day’s calender. They have some strange National Days and looking at what is happening in the coming month has lead to quite a few blog posts.

  6. These are all excellent tips. I keep a running list of ideas whenever I have them that I can go back to and use to create new content!

  7. I’m enjoying the tips you guys are giving me on where you get inspiration from. I think I must update my list on how to get story ideas.

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