When writing for money, you constantly need to come up with something new and interesting. The problem is there’s only so much creativity in one day. What happens when you run out of ideas? Do you often find yourself sitting back and staring at that blank screen? It’s time to get proactive. Here are six places to find writing ideas, and you’ll never have that blank page ever again.
6 Places to Find Writing Ideas: Never Have a Blank Page Again
Running out of wring ideas? Here are six places to find them so you never get a blank page again.
Read Blogs and Articles from Other People
Find inspiration from those you admire
You’ll be amazed at the amount of ideas that come to you when you’re reading someone else’s content. I once read a piece about the difference between the terms The UK, Great Britain and England but it was completely off the mark. I’d never really considered it before, but I suddenly had an idea to create a piece that was better, longer and accurate (you know, the important part!).
That’s not the only time I’ve gained inspiration from another person’s posts. I’ll find areas that a person has forgotten about, and develop ideas based on those ideas. It could be the layout that has given me ideas for a new piece. I’ll even read something on a completely different topic and come up with ideas within my own niche.
When you’re reading someone else’s pieces, your mind gets the chance to relax. You’re not trying to force your brain to come up with ideas. Your subconscious is able to work while you read. It’s not going to happen instantly all the time, but eventually you’ll have a notebook full of ideas being thrown at you. Make sure you have a notebook to jot all those notes down!
Look at Books on the Same Subject
Books are a great place to get some inspiration, but watch out for the copying!
This idea was suggested to me by another writer, and I love it. Go into your local library, book store or just take a look at eBooks online where you get a sneak peak at the contents page. All you need to see is the contents page. Don’t be tempted to look at the actual information, because you may copy without ever intending to.
Look at books that are on the niche you write about, and take a look at the title of each chapter. For example: you write about photography and have found a book “The Seven Basics of Photography.” Each chapter will have those seven steps. You can then create seven articles from those chapter titles (making the titles your own, of course). Add your own take to the basics, and share your own stories.
Watch out for copying here. It’s fine to get inspiration from others. I get my inspiration from others. I’ll sometimes Google a topic just to see what results come up. Just looking at the first page of results will usually get my brain ticking with ideas if I’m really struggling. What you don’t want to do is actually take the content and just rewrite it into your own words. You need to make it entirely your own.
Find the Gaps in the Market
There are gaps everywhere, but it does take time to find them.
What about gaps in the market? This is where Googling comes in handy. Take a look at the results in your niche or a particular topic in your niche, and see what isn’t there. This is sometimes a little harder, and it can take some searching.
You’re looking for snippets of information that is missing. You want tips and advice that haven’t been shared hundreds of times already. As an expert in your niche you’re going to find them.
Once you have the gaps, it’s time to do the keyword research. Is there a need to cover the gaps? If people aren’t searching for anything to do with them, then it’s safe to say there’s a reason for that gap. If people are searching for them—and a lot of people—you’ll quickly find yourself with a following.
“What Not to Do” Articles
Twist your articles to help people avoid the mistakes.
Have you noticed how all the articles out there are actually “how to” or “reasons to” style articles. They give you all the tips to carry out, and the things to do to help you succeed in whatever you’re doing. It’s a lot like this article right now.
Yes, there are times that this will work to your advantage. Most of the times these are the types of articles people are searching for. But what about twisting the subject every now and then? It will give you a different angle, and make your title extremely interesting for people finding it on social media or coming across it on Google.
Try a “what not to do” style article. Cover the mistakes that people make, and share ways that people can avoid them. I recently did this on my writing blog telling people why they’re not becoming a freelance writer. It received more comments and views than any other post on my blog. It caught people’s attention, and they wanted to know if they were making those mistakes. I have a few more like that in mind, but I’m going to wait a while before I do the next one.
Tell a Personal Story With the Lessons You Learned
Personal stories are unique and a great way to draw people in.
You learn something every day. You could make a mistake in your business, or it could a discussion you’ve had with friends. Those lessons you learn could really help others.
People love personal stories. It adds a human element to the blog post or article, and people often forget that there is a human behind the computer. Your personal story will also make your article completely unique. Nobody will ever have that same story to tell. They’ll never learn the same things, or pick up the same tips.
Think about something that has happened in your life. What did you learn from it and how has it helped you? Share that with your readers. You’ll soon find a lesson in everything that happens, and create a full list of story ideas to tell.
Use Your Friends to Your Advantage
Let your friends tell you what they want to know to help you create new ideas.
When I first started my Student Survival Tips website, I took to Facebook and posted a message to all my friends. I wanted to know what they would have liked to have known before they went to university. I also asked those who were currently at university or planning to go what they would find useful.
In the end I had 25 posts written before I’d even created my website. I had another 100+ post ideas because of all the things that my friends told me would be useful. Only around 10 people posted, but when I got one idea it spawned into another and then another. Some people also had a long list of things they needed help with or would have found useful before they lived on their own.
You’ll be surprised at the way your friends can help. They may not have any expertise, but that’s where it benefits you. You ask them what they would like to know, and they will tell you everything. It’s then up to you to craft the posts and share the information with them. As you start to run out of ideas, ask them if they’d like you to expand on anything.
There’s never an excuse for running out of ideas. Even if you think you’ve written it all, you haven’t. There are always gaps in the market, and new things that people want to know. It’s time to use your connections to your advantage and get some inspiration from the people you admire.