Brainstorming 101: How to Generate the Best Ideas for Your Next Blog Post

It’s a known fact that people get bored with reading rehashed content. Your audience wants to read something new each time you post an article on your website.

But the fact remains that most brands find it supremely difficult to find interesting topics to write about. With editorial deadlines drawing closer, they steer towards safer, often-explored topics to create content.

This is one of the biggest reasons for audience attrition, and the only way to prevent it is to create super engaging content using new, unexplored and creative ideas. In this blog post, we’ll look at the various ways in which brands can brainstorm new ideas and keep up a steady supply of brilliant blog topics.

Say goodbye to writer’s block with these ten fun brainstorming tips & tricks

1. Use an idea generator

Let’s say you have an area of interest in mind, and you need some guidance about the type of blog posts you can write. This is where idea generator websites help.

All you need to do is enter a set of words/phrases about your area of interest and then submit your entries. The generator will come up with a list of topics based on the information you provide.

2. Play a game of word association

Word association is a fun game to play. Think of a word, to begin with, and write down the first word that comes to mind, when you think of the base word. Keep going until you have a chain of words with you. You’ll soon see a pattern emerge, which you can harness to pick a blog topic.

Example: Dancing – ballet – petite – breakable – hurt.
Topic: How To Prevent Injuries When Doing Ballet

3. Freewrite

Have severe writer’s block? Then freewrite.

Freewriting is the process of writing random content for a specific period of time. Here, you write for the sake of writing, without any intention of covering any topic in particular.

Freewriting helps the creative juices flow and gets rid of writer’s block. Although most of the content will be unusable, you may still find a string of thought that looks promising for your next blog post.

4. Make a mind map

Mind mapping is one of the best ways to brainstorm an idea. It is the ideal way to find topics that at first appear to be unrelated to the primary topic, but which are. Mind mapping often helps writers come up with unique content ideas, which turn out to be extremely engaging and entertaining.

Start with a particular topic and keep branching-off, getting more-focused as you proceed.

Image Credits: Pixabay

5. Use Google’s search suggestions or set up a Google Alert

One of the best (and most overlooked) ways to find new ideas for your blog is to look through the search suggestions on Google.

Google uses search trends to recommend search queries to users. The moment you type a single word, you’ll find a whole host of questions available in the search queries list. You can use this list to find subjects you haven’t written about yet.

In addition to this, Google also allows users to set up ‘Alerts’ for specific keywords, where it will notify you whenever a certain number of people extensively use those particular keywords. You will be able to see how audiences use keywords and what they search for online. You can use this data to find engaging (and SEO-driven) topics to write about.

6. Look through keywords on Google Keyword Planner

Another excellent Google tool that helps brainstorm creative ideas is the Google Keyword Planner tool. Often, the keyword planner gives marketers insights into the type of products/services potential customers use online. By looking through the keyword planner, you may come across related products/services, which you have never mentioned on your blog.

7. Visit Quora

Community websites like Quora are excellent hunting grounds for new ideas. Here you’ll find thousands of Q&As, related to hundreds of topics. You can easily search through specific categories and see the kind of questions people are asking. Writing a blog post in response to these questions is a great way to create engaging content.

In fact, experienced content writers often use this technique to ensure that they create content that is extremely meaningful for their audiences and customers.

8. Look through writing prompts

Writing prompts are obscure topics that are designed to help writers get started on their wiring journey. They can be interpreted in numerous ways and can be written in various formats, with numerous storylines.

Typically, prompts are used for fiction or creative writing, to lend writers a hand when they’re stuck or have a writer’s block. But you can also use wiring prompts for other genres of writing as well.

Image Credits: Pixabay

9. Study audience comments

Your customers and your blog/social media followers can become your greatest inspiration for your next big write-up. Just look through the comments section of your older posts and check if anyone has requested you for information about a topic you haven’t covered yet.

You should also consider looking through the comments on competitor blog posts, and using that information to write content. This way, you can actively address the queries and needs of a competitor’s customer base and indirectly encourage them to switch over to you by providing them with the information they seek.

10. Get personal

Finally, if none of these techniques works, why not look for inspiration within yourself? Make a list of your interests and hobbies and check whether any of these can be used as fodder for your blog/website. If you can, write about it. You can use your personal likes and dislikes and topics you are passionate about to create unique content that your audience will love.

How to make brainstorming sessions more effective?

Actual brainstorming aside, it’s extremely important that writers follow a set of strict rules to ensure that their brainstorming sessions are effective. Some steps which you can implement are:

1. Make brainstorming a timed session

The basic problem with brainstorming is that people tend to forget what they’ve brainstormed if they take too long to write down their ideas. That’s why it’s important to restrict brainstorming sessions to 10-20 minutes.

2. Jot down the most free-flowing & impulsive of ideas

Many people hesitate to put-forth ideas that seem out-of-the-box. This is counter-intuitive to what you’re trying to achieve through the brainstorming session. So, make it a point to write down all of your ideas – no matter how outlandish they seem.

Image Credits: Pixabay

3. Regroup to discuss or use someone as a sounding board

Contrary to popular belief, brainstorming can also be done individually. But, it’s always more effective to present your ideas to someone else, as it will give you newer and fresher perspectives which you haven’t considered before.

4. Fight for an idea if you think it’s worth it

A lot of times, a good idea is lost to us purely because we don’t fight for it.

There will be many dissenters in your brainstorming session, who may not be in favour of your idea. But if you do believe that your idea will result in higher audience engagement, more blog post open rates and the possibility of leads or sales, then fight for it.

If you can, provide proof of your belief in the form of a competitor’s blog post, statistics, and so on.

5. Develop a mailer outlining the results and share with the team

Finally, always make it a point to send out an information-rich mailer about the ideas you’ve agreed upon and the points discussed to your entire team. This ensures that no ideas are missed out, there’s no miscommunication between team members and that employees who weren’t part of the session are kept in the loop as well.

Feature Image Credits: Pixabay

Author bio:

Nisha Prakash is a blogger specializing in social media marketing and content management. She is an avid runner and a bibliophile.