21 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue

21 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue

Reader Comments (219)

  1. Thanks to the Coyblogger team for running this post.

    I know that this isn’t an exhaustive list, and I’d love to hear other ideas. How do other people come up with content ideas when they’re feeling stuck?

    • Thanks Danny for the ideas. We are all connected in this world…including how we think and collaborate when creating our own ideas. “The hunches start off as quiet whispers and grow louder when combined with other’s thoughts.” Those are words from Steven Johnson but it is what I thought about when I saw your post. Keep planting thoughts…they will be sowed with other’s ideas and from there greatness will spawn.

  2. These are all great ideas for when you hit a content wall. Personally, one of the first things I do when I need some inspiration is dig through my older posts. When I come across a list post (similar to this one), I just pick a single point and write a whole post around that idea!

  3. Hey danny

    Awesome list – thanks for the shout out too. The Mastermind Group was a great idea.

    One thing that I do to make sure I’ve always got stuff to write about is to create an ‘Idea Bank.’ This can be a spreadsheet, a word doc, evernote, or scraps of paper in a file. The important thing to do is to get into the habit of putting your ideas into the idea bank.

    I find that one of the richest source of ideas are comment threads – either over on my own blog, or on other folks. I’ve written at least a dozen posts (it’s probably more) where the nucleus of the post was generated by comments I left on other blogger’s blogs.

    When it comes to ‘getting inspired’ I like the Peter DeVries quote: OF course I write when I’m inspired. And I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at 9AM.

    Regular readings of THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield help too.


    And a big shout up for the favourite post of all the ones you linked – the Inigo Montoya post.

    • I do that, too, Paul, I keep a running file of post ideas, along with any notes I might have about what I want to elaborate on. I find that extremely helpful.

      • Sonia: My method’s a little old school… I do the same but I keep my written in my moleskine. I use post-it notes and a hi-lighter to remind myself what I want to post where and when. And a red pen to cross out those post titles/ideas I’ve already published.

        Can you say #geek?

          • The other thing I try and do is to read between 10 and 50 times the amount of words that I write daily (which is 1000 – 1500). That was something I picked up from a fiction writing teacher called Steven Barnes. (Very clever guy btw).

      • You may have heard it first from Jon…I definitely first encountered it from Steven Barnes (who blogs at Dar Kush). If you really wanna trawl his archives you’ll find mention of it back in 2005 and 2006 – certainly way before I got interested in blogging (maybe 2009).

        And you’re right, it is a great idea wherever you encountered it. I just went back into Steve’s archives to find the earliest mention I could of it, and there’s an element of his advice I left out which is good,

        He advises: read 10 to 50 times the amount you write AND read one level up (in qualitative terms) from the level you aspire to write at.

        And comment threads rock.

        Go get some sleep!


  4. These are great, Danny. You’ve covered some of the ones I use like reading a book and going for a walk, plus you gave me some new strategies to use. Thank you. I also like listening to interviews to get new insights and ideas. I haven’t actually interviewed anyone yet, but I’d like to.

    It’s been awhile since I’ve read comics, but that sounds like a great idea and fun to tie into content. 🙂

      • Hey Gabrielle & Danny,

        Speaking of listening to interviews… I fire up a bunch of podcasts to listen to when I go to the gym or even to listen to while at work.

        Some of my favorites include:
        – Copyblogger (of course)
        – twistimage.com/blog with Mitch Joel
        – Blogcast.fm

        To name a few. Some good content in there.

  5. Hi Danny,

    Aren’t you a guy that gets around (in a good way)!

    I am actually using your interview tips today with a woman who is doing a teleseminar. I wanted to learn how to do one, so I figured interviewing someone in the midst of doing one would be helpful! 🙂

    I really like your ideas for piggy backing your content off a recognized name, movie, book or event! I use that tip frequently and I find it to be a great way to get fantastic content as well as some extra traffic!

    Great job on your post, Danny! I’m saving it for future reference!


  6. For me, domestic works is the best way of generating new ideas. Yes, I am a man 🙂

    When you do dishwashing or vacum cleaning your brain can rest as you do repetitive movement. In these cases I tend to lead an internal dialog that always generates a handful of decent ideas. I note them down and then develop later. When I do it, I try to recall feelings and the dialog I had before. It really works and it’s strange but it’s actually more efficient than running.

    And emergency folder puts quite a lot of pressure off my back.

    • I’m actually the same way, Nicolas. I’m working on a post about that right now, actually – when things are going crazy for me, the first step is to wash the dishes and take out the trash, it’s a way of reclaiming control over my environment. 😀

  7. My blog-article ideas usually show up in pairs. I’ll struggle for days to come up with something interesting, and suddenly, I’ll pop off two rough drafts in a couple of hours. It’s an unpredictable process, and the tips you’ve given are useful for getting off the dime. Thanks!

  8. These are some really good suggestions.

    When I hit a block, I like to do two things: 1. as Nick said, I’ll look through my prior posts and find something to expand on or reframe; 2. search some forums. If a topic is really popular on some of the forums, it will likely be popular on my site. Plus the forum gives me an idea of what people are wanting to know on the topic, meaning I can be a good source of information for everyone.

  9. Hi Danny!

    Super great ideas! I can’t wait to start on one of them. Number 4, Do An Interview, is appealing to me the most. Thanks for sharing these ideas. These are perk-me-ups when I’m in a rut.

    • Elmar: Any time I go to a conference or meetup, I take my Kodak Zi8 with me and take it as an opportunity to interview clients and other bloggers to share their best tips. I use this as content on the blog!! So far, readers seem to love it (it’s good to mix it up ya know).

      • I love this re-purposing mindset Ricardo!

        Another idea for using bloggers to spark the creativity to write a kick ass guest post is something I got from Terry Dean.

        He gave me the idea that if I ever wanted to get a guest post approved for a site I’d like to contribute to, that I should dig through their posts to find one that lays out a strategy and an action steps that I’ve actually implemented in my life and then to use #21 on Danny’s list to write my story about the results I got from using this advice.

        I’ve yet to give it a whirl but it makes sense to me to try it if I ever get the itch to do a guest post and wanna shave some minutes off of my creative brainstorming. 🙂

  10. I’m in favour of taking two unrelated things and force them together into a really interesting post. It may sound imposible but as you say Danny “It’s really easier than it sounds.” Great article! It’ll be really useful to me!

    Thanks a lot! 😉

  11. One of my favourite things to do when I’m running low on ideas is to respond to a recent (or not so recent) blog post on another site that I either disagree with or have too much to say about it for a comment.

    • That’s a great idea. Actually, Heather Stephens did exactly that on Monday, to my guest post on Danny Brown’s site, and so did Gail Gardner (and so did I, on Firepole Marketing). It’s a great way to get a conversation going. 🙂

  12. Great Tips, Danny.

    One tip I have found useful for business blogging is looking back at your “sent email” folder to see if you have answered any questions lately via email to prospects or existing customers. The question is the title of the blog post, the answer to the question is the body of the blog post.

    If one prospect/customer has a question, there is a good chance others have that same question and will go to search engines to ask that question. 🙂


  13. Using a comic is a fun idea, Danny. It gives you the opportunity to use powerful language and makes your actionable advice sound exciting (less like a chore).

    So, thanks for that tip and for the mention.

    I limit my TV viewing but commercials have inspired a few articles for me. It’s fascinating to study the ad strategies of the big guys. Just last night I watched a commercial that inspired a post I’ll tuck in drafts later today.

    Keep publishing, man. It’s great seeing you consistently churning out quality work like this.


  14. I truly enjoyed reading this post, especially the last section, share your story. It’s the old age adage – write what you know about. We humans know life. Life isn’t always pretty and peppered with Norman Rockwell memories that leave a heart free of pain. Why not spin the time you lived in the middle east and your car broke down three times, in a riot with flaming coca cola bottles that took flight like flocks of birds going south for the winter, before ditching it and running like the wind for cover. You made it through that alive and back on USA ground, despite the plane carrying you home engine’s blowing up two times, thank god for that window seat, it gave you a birds eye view of the flames and a clear perspective as to why that emergency landing was needed. Not only did you endure that but you endured it two more times until safely landing back in the USA. Why can’t you endure the slow start to a new business if you can endure these passing moments? When you put your mind to it you can create anything – why not a successful business as an ARTIST! This post inspired me to write in a new way – thanks! And yes, all this is true, after all the exercise was to write what you know – share your story. Thanks again!

  15. Danny – Truly useful and practical ideas. All I need to do now is to have myself ‘cloned’ ASAP so I can first review all items on your post and then begin implementing them, 🙂
    Thanks a lot.

  16. Wonderful tips here, Danny. It’s been hard for me lately to come up with ideas to write about. I have a bunch collected over the past weeks but I can’t seem to find that “something” and I haven’t finished a single thing. I am not sure if it’s lack of inspiration really or more on the fact that although I may have these ideas, I don’t have enough spice to back it up and present it as my final output. It’s really frustrating. But with this post you have, I hope I can break-free of this state soon. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Thank you Danny, these are some fantastic ideas to get inspiration to write. As a writer I fully understand the challenges of coming up with fresh content. You have listed some very good and unique ideas for us to get some inspiration. 🙂

  18. This is a quote I read somewhere: “Write even when you don’t feel like it. And when you can’t write, read!”

    As a blogger (especially a small business blogger) you should be stocking up on content ideas always. The more consistent you are, the greater your chances of success. When you run out of ideas, pick up something fresh to read for more ideas. Heck, you’ve listed a ton of them here!! Here’s a tip I’d add… Go through your sent folder in your email inbox – look at the emails you’ve sent that answer a client question. If you can send email, you can write a blog post. Turn those Q&A emails into blog posts!! Just sayin’… That’s content too.

    As for me, what works to get the creative juices flowing again? It’s nice to take a break and catch some sun. For me, that includes a mid-afternoon trip to Starbucks with the moleskine and pen in-hand. Or a walk by the pier just to enjoy the breeze and the sound of the waves. No phone, no checking email. Just relaxing for a few.

    Anyway, great list of tips Danny!

    • Great quote Ricardo. I am not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, so you can imagine how much tougher it gets. For me it’s a means to an end in order to build my number of viewers.

      • John: You don’t have to be a poet. And it’s totally ok to write like you speak. Often times, I’ve found that that kind of writing style connects with readers the most. It’s conversational. it’s natural. It’s human. And readers can relate to that. They relate to that best.

        Often times I’ve found that’s it’s more a fear of putting ourselves out there that hinders us. So here’s what you do:

        1.) Make a list of everything you know about your subject,
        2.) Make a list of everything you don’t know and/or want to learn,
        3.) Make a list of some of your favorite hobbies and passions – find ways to relate this to your subject (if you’re writing a business blog). This works well for example if you’re a real estate agent/blogger – what are you passionate about in your community?

        Then, grab a beer, pen and paper or your laptop and start typing away. Act as if you’re having a casual conversation with a friend about anything from #1 and/or #3. Write what you know. Get conversational. Then just edit, re-write, edit again, and publish.

        But don’t get caught up editing and rewriting or you’ll waste too much time and never get around to publishing anything. At the end of the day, remember, practice makes perfect. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time around. And it probably never will be. And that’s ok.

        Just write. Then write some more.

        Hope that helps 🙂

  19. Hey Danny, Excellent post with lots of helpful tips that we can all use!

    I find my best content ideas come to me just as I am relaxing and falling asleep. I also tend to get some ideas from conversations at networking meetings.


  20. Many new bloggers struggle finding different content ideas to write about. This is the reason why most bloggers only last for a couple of months then give up

  21. Reading other people blogs and reading books are my way to generate great content. You will not run out of ideas if you keep reading blogs and books. There are a lot of ideas since internet changes everything. I use Google readers to track all my blogs and buy at least 6 books per month that related to my content.

    A good blogger is a good reader as well. I made this mistake before and that’s why I always ran out of content but it is not my problem anymore.

    Plan your content at least one year ahead, it helps too. 🙂

    • Very well said, Kent. Some people think that they can hole themselves up in a room and just write all day, but that doesn’ t make sense to me. I think the more you’re out there, and the more you engage with people, the more ideas are going to come your way.

  22. Danny!
    Have you turned to not sleeping?
    This is incredible stuff my friend. Love it. Printed it. Plan to use it! Thank you.

  23. Wow… who could run out of ideas after reading this post? 🙂 Great ways to generate content for your website – thanks for including some examples from Kikolani too. Guest posting DEFINITELY helps busy bloggers get great content while only sacrificing a little editing time.

  24. Hey,
    I have been reading this blog for a while and let me tell you this is a great article… love this article a lot.T

  25. Nice ideas Danny…How about, list ideas on how to get ideas for blog posts..Does that work?

    Just kidding, these are definitely great and will be pulled out of the magic drawer when needed.

    Question: When you write posts, do you just keep them as Drafts in WordPress or do you write a bunch of Word docs and keep them in a folder? What seems to be the best workflow for you guys?

    • Actually, that’s a pretty good strategy! 😀

      For me, I write in Word, and once it’s all done, I’ll copy it into WordPress and schedule it for whatever date I want – but the actual writing happens in Word.

      How about you? Does anyone else want to weigh in?

  26. Thanks for these great ideas, Danny. In reading through your post and the comments one idea I didn’t see mentioned is jumping on the news and writing a blog relating it to your brand. I did recently in this post, “Twitter Post Breaks News of Osama’s Demise.” It generated one of my highest traffic days. Mainstream media from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal have credited a Twitter post with starting the story that flew around the web. While people were searching for that story they might have bumped into mine. Others I’ve written include, believe it or not, a post about Michael Jackson’s death. What, might you ask does this have to do with social media (my beat)? Well, he just happened to be one of the greatest communicators of all time. So you might add breaking news to your terrific list of thought-starters.

  27. Thanks for the post.

    I definately like the idea of asking your readers what they would like you to write about, as it’ll give you another perspective and also you could be missing something that your readers are wanting you to post about.

  28. Danny,

    Man – I don’t know how you keep putting out all of this great work…but whatever you do and however you do it, keep doing it!

    I loved all of the ideas here. If we can just keep this within our memory we should never run out of stuff. And considering I have a printer – I’ll have these for the long haul.

    You made an excellent point in #22 – two write when we HAVE ideas. That’s key! Too often do I say to myself that I’ll remember some [good] idea that comes to mind, only to forget about it 2 minutes later. I have to get in a better habit of taking notes on the ideas that pop into my head.

    Great work as usual Danny.


    • Thanks, Jk!

      The trick I’ve learned to use is post-its; whenever I have an idea, I scribble it down on a post-it, and you just can’t go into very much detail on something that small. But I remember for later.

      Seriously, a small block of post-its in your pocket. It works. 😀

      • May I add sending yourself a quick email and then putting it in a folder entitled “blog post ideas.” You’re always on email so it’s not likely you’ll lose the idea (or a post-it note – hey, whatever works).

  29. My golden goose right now is interviews. I remember a copyblogger post on 20 ways to get ideas for blog posts, I did a mash up and it’s a good post. Thanks.

    Also, I have a reality show video series where I chronicle which I think will definitely pick up. Good concept.

  30. Oh! Great thanks for this post, it’s so in time. You systemized so many methods. Sometimes I write post which connect currents news with daily life, what we can learn from it or smth else (I resume post with conclusion I need). Especially it works good when write about breaking news. People don’t stay indifferent if see how it influences and appears in their lifes.

  31. Danny, this is such great list of ideas, and it comes at a very good time for me. I think my first idea to try out will be an interview with a well known figure in my industry.

    Thanks for all the great tips.

  32. Great Ideas. I have about 20 or so headlines unpublished in various states of incomplete. I flesh out these articles as I have time or fall back on them when I have nothing else to write. I appreciate all of your other suggestions that will be very handy for that inevitable writers block.

    • I do that, too. I’ll start with a headline, then fill in some subheads, then start to fill in the body. The intro usually comes last, once I figure out what I’m really writing about. 🙂

  33. Danny..great ideas here. Lately the well started running dry for me. So I wrote my last post about where we find inspiration. Turns out our best ideas often come from the stories of other people. People who’ve overcome struggles or people like you who inspire us to take our blog posts to another level. Thanks.

  34. Danny,

    Love your list of ideas to get topics to write about.

    There are about 3 that I want to give a try soon.

    I like the first idea – Curate content. This one really sounds fun to do and I think a lot of ideas for other posts would come from doing it.

    I also like the idea of doing an interview. That would be fun and also really informative to readers.

    The last one that I want to give a try is to write a review. I have been thinking about writing a review but I like the added twist of contacting the company and asking them to donate a product for a raffle.

    Thanks again for all of the great ideas. I will definitely put many of them to use.

    Dee Ann Rice

  35. I get quite a bit of inspiration from the blogs that I read and comment on. There are so many topics flying about on the Internet so there should never really be a shortage of content to write on.

  36. I was getting a little worried until I saw the “Write When you DO Have Ideas” section! This has proven to be the most beneficial thing for me and what I teach my clients at http://www.bittybiz.com. I keep a journal with me that I jot ideas into whenever they come to me and a folder of longer articles, most half-written, on my laptop. That way I have a lot of fodder when I’m feeling uninspired. Just reading through my past ideas helps get the creativity flowing!

  37. This is a great post that should make all of us writers slap ourselves and start clicking the keys. Thanks for the KITB!
    Couple of my habits:
    1.Keep a folder bookmark of blog “ideas”- posts, articles, photos, etc. Revisit from time to time to see if inspiration comes or you see a thread of an idea forming.
    2.Scour the newspaper. Watch the news. Clip and/or jot notes.
    3. Write down comments from clients/colleagues that you can spin into a topic.
    4. Watch your dog. You never know…

    • The newspaper is a great idea, Cathy, and I hadn’t thought of it (goes to show you how often I watch the news… :P). Thanks for sharing it!

      I don’t have a dog, but maybe I should get one? 😉

  38. Posts like these are why I read you every day. Thanks for being awesome…i’ll be sharing with my Facebook and twitter friends.

  39. Well, as so many have (rightly) said already, mate, awesome list of tips and resources here. And the best bit? They’re ALL solid – no fluff with a number in the title just to grab some link-bait.

    Nicely done, sir. 🙂

  40. I absolutely loved this and think it is one of the best ones out there on creating content ideas. I was even comparing it with another one I saved and the two are very different but yours was even better. THANKS for your brilliance!

  41. Well I’ve got no excuses for neglecting my blog writing now.

    Case studies and reviews was a great tip. It reminded me of a rant I need to write about Best Buys customer service and why I won’t shop there.


  42. Danny, this is just…so good. I think this is the best post I’ve read on the subject. I’m not kidding.

    I LOVE the “create content without creating content” part. Explaining success and failure is great fodder, but often overlooked.

    But my favorite is the “get inspired” part. People cannot be good writers by staying glued to the Internet 40 hours per week. The real stuff happens offline in a zen.

    I ate up Danny Brown’s post a few weeks ago but I’ve never read Brian’s and Jon’s. Those are so awesome.

    Thank you so much.

  43. Excellent post, thanks. I come from a video background, and one of the big things they teach you when writing a screenplay is never stop at your last thought. Save one final thought for when you start back the next day. I use a similar strategy in writing our blog posts. I pour out my ideas until the well is almost dry, and leave one final thought to start back the next day. It’s an excellent way to keep the creative ideas flowing and never running dry.

    Thanks again for the excellent post.

  44. Thanks for this post. I completely agree with writing “when you do have ideas.” You will find something that takes what it feels like an eternity to write (when not inspired) comes so easily when you have that idea fresh in your mind.

  45. Wow, what a great article. This will help me a lot to create content for my blog. This is easily one of the most useful articles I’ve read this year. In other words the content of the article is all positive and it is a great start of people would get a chance to read this.

    Great work!


  46. Another way to come up with content ideas is to just go read your favorite blogs and instead of writing a comment, start writing a blog post in reaction to the post you just read. Did you agree with the ideas in the article? Is there anything you would like to add? Does the article raise other questions? Give your opinion or an alternative view. We all have opinions on the things we read, so why not share and use them for a blog post?

    Thanks again Danny for the inspiration!

  47. I love #4 – I do interviews on my blog all the time. It’s a great way to get good-quality content without having to spend a lot of time writing.

  48. I would love a little help in preparing to conduct interviews — my topic is active seniors – and my first interview will be with my primary care physician, who said he sees the whole spectrum regularly – young 90-yr. olds and old 50-yr. olds —– and seemed delighted to be asked. I have a domain name – — but not yet a website. I love to write and have a million ideas, scribbled notes all over the place — and am excited about the possibilities. I am a 72-yr. old woman with 3 careers going at the same time – but need to strike (write) when the muse speaks rather than always putting it on hold. Any thoughts would be much-appreciated!

    • Sure, Carol. If you’re interviewing someone, then you’re not the one who’s doing most of the talking – think about what questions you could ask that would allow the interview subject to really shine, and share their knowledge in areas where they are most competent and passionate. Does that help?

  49. Awesome post! This will be my ‘go-to’ list when I’m fresh out of ideas for content from now on..

    Another one you could include in the ‘Get Inspired’ section is read the news. I often find inspiration for a new post when I read a few news articles. I generally write on SM and just yesterday two separate articles covering different stories but a related topic inspired a post comparing the two.


  50. Man, Are you serious?

    It’s like almost every article post that I read here is helping me understand at least something very useful and important for my own blogging…

    Very good ideas you gave here for creating content ideas, and I already have been using most of them, but now I know a little more, thanks to you 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

  51. Lot’s of good tips in this post. Thanks! I really liked the part about borrowing name recognition. It just gave me some ideas for future posts!

  52. I’m hooked (lined and sinkered)! I devoured this post, and it went down great with coffee 🙂 The “ask friends for ideas” is especially helpful when you write articles for budget backpacking travelers. Friends who are living around the world have proven to be great sources of insider info.

    Thanks Danny! Awesome post!

  53. Danny:

    Thank you for contributing this post. I appreciate your attention to details. The listing method works for me.

    Personally, I find myself running out of ideas a lot of times. I am not the brightest bulb shining in the closet.

    It does not help that I also tend to be a bit absent-minded. Forgetfulness is part and parcel of my nature.

    What helps is to keep a small note-pad and a pen and jot things down. Otherwise, I could never get anything done. It works for me to have a constant and ongoing to-do list. Helps me to keep the focus on completing tasks.

    For example, one of those tasks is to become a voracious reader: newspapers, magazines, journals, periodicals, texts and books are all fair game. Listening to the news on radio or TV is also great. And then a little music helps to soothe the frayed nerves. Taken together, this helps to jog the memory and keep the little, grey cells active.

    These seemingly unrelated activities can lead to profound and new insights. I have had eureka moments when walking in the woods. I would also recommend swimming for those in search of new ideas. When the body relaxes, you enter another zone. The subconscious minds starts to stimulae our conscious mind and ideas flow more freely. You start to make connections and come up with a totally new perspective.

    Sort of like synergy: 1+1=3!

    I have also been inspired through meditation. During my sessions, I have found that the subconscious takes over. A relaxed mind is more open to suggestions and new ways of looking at things; new angles on issues or events. Some of my best ideas I have “received” during such sessions. Sort of like a revelation or a miracle. If I feel stuck, I also tend to sing in shower with my awful voice. Some of my best ideas are showerful ideas. Hope this helps. Cheers.

    • Hey Archan, thank you for your detailed comment – I do the same thing with the notepad and the pen, I carry them around with me all the time. It prevents me from having to remember everything all the time – I couldn’t get anything done either if I kept trying to keep all the little details in my head… 🙂

      I think you’ve made a very important point here – the more we read, learn, and explore, the more material is coming into our awareness, the more ideas will be there to jog our memory and keep our grey matter active (memory and thought are both associative, after all)!

      I don’t meditate as much as I’d like, but I get a lot of ideas when I’m out for a run. I get ideas in the shower, too – I’ve looked for a shower fixture that might allow me to take notes, but haven’t found a good solution yet… 😉

  54. Sorry, what I meant was the “past indefinite form” , not ” past definite” as was wrongly typed.

  55. Hello. Kudos to you.

    I love this article so much that I placed it in my TA-DA LIST under my list of copyblogging/copywriting sources.
    My favorite tactic is: Borrow some name recognition tactic. It’s a great strategy! As a reader, seeing how this brand/name recognition helped me.

    I have different blogs and this article really helped me (and will continually to help me) to angle the titles and content in my future blog entries.

    I’m relatively new in blogging and this article will come in handy whether it’s for my religious blog, theatre blog, events blog, personal blog, and technical writing/product blog. What you wrote here will be pretty useful for me when I write my entries for each of them. It will help eliminate, or at least minimize, my writer’s block episodes. Thank you for coming up with such a wonderful list.

      • You’re welcome, Danny. I can’t wait to read more of your other works. Not only are you very good in researching and unlearning what you know, you are also great in explaining things. Can’t wait to try out all your ideas here. Thanks again for this very practical approach to blogging.

  56. Very informative post and I think quiet a lot of bloggers are trying to do like that especially when you don’t have the knowledge or simply because you have no new ideas anymore. While reading the other comments, I feel better because sometimes I get a bit panicked because I have no ideas and I feel bad about paraphrasing someone else’s content.

  57. Wow this is certainly a very useful pointer! The next time I’m stuck for words, I know where to come for inspiration. Consider yourself bookmarked! 🙂 Great resource.

  58. There’s lots of ideas here I haven’t tried; thanks for them all.
    My favourite things to do, personally, are to keep a notebook (actually, several) in which I jot down ideas.
    My second favourite idea is to keep some very good books about my blog’s subject (writing), both text-book types and inspirational, and dip into them often.
    I’ve also found it very important to have a file of blogs that are started, and at least have enough framework to develop reasonably easily.
    Thanks again,

  59. Danny:

    Am I being marginalized for my comment on your following sentence ?

    “It’s not a matter of talent — you’ve written great stuff in the past.”

    It should have been —

    “It’s not a matter of talent — you wrote great stuff in the past.”

    Moreover, the word ‘stuff’ is now on the list of hedges like ‘aspect’, ‘feature’.

    • Of course not, Dr. Naquib. I think that from a grammatical standpoint you’re right, and thank you for pointing that out.

      The thing is, I don’t think writing is primarily about grammar; it’s about communication. While technically grammatically incorrect, that line follows normal speech patterns; there’s a “pivot” in mid-sentence, which is something people often do in conversation.

      I think it got the message across, and I didn’t get the impression that people had trouble following it. That being said, of course, if you can communicate effectively while following the rules, then so much the better. 🙂

      • Danny:

        I cannot but differ with you when you say–“I don’t think writing is primarily about grammar; it’s about communication.”

        You are not writing a play or drama, and the relevant sentence is not a dialogue within a play. The blog you very effectively produced is a public document meant for public consumption. Moreover, grammatical accuracy is a prime need when we claim to be authentic writers, if we do not not, then there is no problem.

        Thanks for the response, and for not deleting my words.

  60. This is such a great article, Danny, which can resonate with bloggers both new and experienced.

    I especially like your advice on “reaching out for inspiration.” Even the most experienced content creators need to realize its okay to ask for help. Even Batman needed Robin at times!

    Also, your idea about taking two dissimilar concepts and forcing them together is so important as well. We can see this by a recent copyblogger post by Mark McGuinness which relates marketing strategies to the biography of Buddha.


    My inspiration creation advice is two words. “Pay attention.” A new article idea can be found in almost every moment of our life. It is up to the author to pay attention and analyze their experiences.

    Great work Danny.

    • That’s really great advice, David. The truth is that most of the strategies that I recommended are just crutches to help people do exactly that – learn to pay better attention.

      I just didn’t think Copyblogger would run it if that was all I said… 😉

      Seriously, David, that’s great advice – thank you for stopping by!

      • No problem Danny!

        And no worries, I think this was a better presentation of information than just “pay attention.” : )

        Look forward to hopefully reading more of your content in the future!

          • Wonderful! I’ll check it out. I am sure as long as you keep up the informative articles, the postings will be inevitable.

            And for some great direct response marketing advice and tools check out directresponse.net as well!

  61. As always, great post. But, I’m a bit befuddled. By choosing to write a post based on any one of these ideas, am I not just imposing my opinions and thoughts? Is anyone really interested in what I think? I want to start a blog because I love reading and writing, but I want my content to matter and make a difference to someone. Am I being too hard on myself?

    Thanks for your input!

    • That’s a great question, Caroline!

      None of these ideas tell you what the message should be; you still have to decide what you see as valuable, and communicate that value. All that these ideas do is create a structure to help you get going when you’re not sure where to start.

      Ultimately, what will determine whether your content matters and makes a difference is whether your *ideas* matter and make a difference – and I believe that if you find the right audience, you will be able to do that. All these structures do is make it a little easier. 🙂

      Does that answer the question?

  62. What fantastic advice, I need something like this. I am not a great writer, but I have plans and projects ideas I have worked on for years. I’ve been given a lot of help and encouragement in the past, but there is a problem. I am dyslexic and struggle with words. I fear writing down what’s on my mind, I can’t state facts from research well. On the other hand, talking through the plans works better for me. I will use the strategy you have outlined, read through your comments again and give it a try. Thanks gain.

  63. Good article! I’ve found here a lot of interesting ideas. In fact, I have 3 sections in my media: News, Science Articles and Blog.

    In the section of the blog I write my opinion. I wrote a lot of opinion articles on politics in local newspapers, so when I have something interesting to say subjectively I post it into the “blog” category.

    Moreover, the news section is one way to have something to write. I read news into important newspapers and i write my own article. With my words, of course.

    Then, science articles section is where I post education resources. I love writing articles describing all things about the universe. There are a lot of books with interesting information, which one can use.

    Finally I have idols and I want to write about them. Still I didn’t but I’m in the way… For example, Punset, Goleman, Hawking, etc.

    I liked your idea about writing comments on products or services. It’d be interesting in my niche.

    • Gerard, thank you for your detailed comment, and for sharing your ideas with us. It sounds like you’ve got a really vibrant and active site!

      Thank you very much for stopping by, and I wish you lots of luck and success!

  64. A lot of fresh ideas for an upcoming content writer like me. I’m so fond of your posts and that’s why I don’t delay in reading them. You have taught me how to product great content when I’m lost with ideas. Most especially, studying other successful bloggers in my niche and writing about their best posts is what I love so much. Thanks and continue in your good works.

  65. These are excellent tips for creating content.

    You can also create a commentary type/reaction type content to a very popular/controversial post. A famous Indian
    director calls this the ‘Reactions To Reactions’ where he selects a few popular comments/questions from his blog and creates content on the comments.

    The ideas of using “movies” and “celebrities” are spot on. I use them quite often in my articles or when I try to explain a complex concept. It works like a charm.

    The key is to not only come up with great content but also to come up with engaging and entertaining content. In the words of Travis Sago, the Bum Marketer, people are looking for “infotainment”- information + entertainment.

  66. Great pointers and content. Being new to blogging I really am enjoying your insight into this world. I am literally going through all of your work building a best practise foundation on which to launch my blog..Thanks for your generosity.

  67. being clueless is one thing and having a writer’s block is another. But I see the pattern, it makes writing much easy when you aren’t sure what you want to write about. What you can do is make a list of things you want to write and keep updating it on any given day when you are out of ideas you can refer to it and you have a treasure of ideas waiting for you to write about. I still have a list of 30 or more unwritten ideas waiting for a clueless day to come by 🙂

  68. I am still amazed why did i not read this article on this website. Thanks a tons for this great article. It will always inspire me to grow my blog.

  69. Awesome list Danny. Excellent tips. You have not left a single point untouched 🙂 Another helpful tip that sometimes comes handy to me is to research infographics. If you can gather a few quality infographics, you might have some great ideas to write posts and to put your own opinion there.

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