10 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Next Post

The following post is from Angela of Homegrown Mom:

source: photoxpress

Do you ever sit, staring at a blank computer screen?

Rather than look for inspiration when a deadline is approaching, I suggest writing ideas down the second they strike. I collect these ideas as they spring into my mind on slips of papers in my purse, memos on my phone, little notebooks, envelopes… whatever is nearby, so I always have a ready list to choose from. However, if I didn’t collect these ideas and just sat down to write, I’d be hard pressed to whip up a post at a moment’s notice.

So what happens when you are sitting and staring at a blank screen with no handy list?
Look no further than your laptop! Here are 10 places to look for fast inspiration:

1. Your Categories or Tags.

Sometimes, when I’m looking for ideas, I’ll glance at my list of categories and see if any are being neglected. I find I lean towards writing more musings-type of posts when I don’t follow an editorial calendar. By looking through my categories, I remind myself I need to write more homekeeping tips.

2. Expand on Your Top Posts.

If your most popular post is 10 Ways to Peel a Potato, then consider adding a post 10 More Ways to Peel a Potato. Or My Favorite Potato Salad recipe. Maybe you’ll write about popular potato peelers. The options are endless.

3. Your Calendar.

Here in months past, I can see fun projects or outings we did as a family and share ideas with my readers. You can also look ahead. Got a big conference coming up you’re preparing for? Write a What You Need to Pack for a Writing Conference post.

4. Read Other Blogs.

Perhaps you’ll have a different point of view on a hot topic, or a DIY project someone did will spark your memory of one you completed last weekend. Blogs can be a great resource. In fact, sometimes I am so excited by an idea that I have to do a Google search before I write the post because I am afraid I just read it somewhere else. Anyone else do that?

5. Keywords.

Check the keywords that led people to your site and develop ideas. If your top keywords are books for kids and children’s literature, then write some more book reviews. While you’re checking out your keywords, stick around a bit and scroll past the top ones. There’s some funny things that pop up once in a while. Might make for an interesting post.

6. Find a Link-Up.

Link-ups are a great way to find new bloggers and get some traffic to your site. Find some link-ups and write a post especially for that link-up. Some are very specific, like this one for Keeping Your Home Clean, and some are more general, like Works For Me Wednesday.

7. Check Facebook and Twitter.

See what your tweeps are up to, but even your old posts and status updates might spark an idea or jog your memory. Maybe you were really upset about something that happened at your child’s school and ranted on Facebook, or you tweeted about a really good sandwich you had. Share more!

8. Vlog it!

If you have a digital video camera, turn it on and start talking. Introduce yourself or your site and let the gab-fest begin. Sometimes talking out loud gets a brain going, so this might be a good exercise even if you never plan to share it with the public. If you don’t have a digital video camera like me, you can just talk to yourself. Your kids will get used to it.

9. Look out your window.

I can’t help but get reflective when observing nature. Devotional-type thoughts just happen when I’m watching the rain. You might see your neighbor parking in front of your house again and write a post on neighbor-etiquette. Hey, it’s your blog.

10. Read your emails.

Perhaps your hours at work were cut and you’re inspired to write about the economy. Or maybe a joke rubs you the wrong way and you want to set a few people straight. Perhaps an old high school friend tracked you down and you want to share the story. On the other hand, a post on how to avoid old acquaintances might come to mind. Whatever works.

Where do you find ideas for your blog?

Angela is the blogger behind Homegrown Mom, where she writes about creating family times, being a homeschool freak, and trying to be a wife to rush home to, all the while admitting that she isn’t quite a domestic diva. Yet. She’s hopelessly addicted to her family, sour patch kids, and blogging, in that order.