September 15, 2013

Brainstorming Tips for Beginner Bloggers

what to blog about

Photo credit: Mike Borkowsky

Now that we've discussed the value of blogging in last week’s post, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and let loose with your all-important first brainstorming session. If you’re starting up a blog, the work you do here will be critical in both developing great ideas that attract an audience and making sure you have enough of these great ideas to sustain your efforts.

Brainstorming is, in essence, setting aside some time to think up as many themes or individual blog post ideas as you can, and jot them down for future reference. There are many different approaches one can take in order to have a productive brainstorming session, but here are a few tips to get you started:

Team Up - Consider brainstorming as part of a small team or with the help of a colleague who knows your business. Including more people in the process will help broaden your perspective and increase your chances for identifying winning ideas or themes.

Go Fast and Furious - Write down as many themes as you possibly can, without much regard for how good you think they are. And keep the sessions short, maybe 15-20 minutes. I encourage short and frequent sessions rather than lengthier, infrequent sessions that become a drag.

Think Keywords – Remember, keywords are essentially words that web users most commonly type in when searching topics that are relevant to your business. So once you wrap your ahead around what these words might be, try incorporating them into your themes.

Keep it Loose - This is a personal preference of mine, but I’ve found that a relaxed environment is key for letting the best ideas flow. Don’t be afraid to write down silly or even ridiculous ideas. Remember, you want your blog to be entertaining. Humor might eventually become part of the “voice” or “tone” of your blog.

Always Have a Notepad Nearby - Once you get the creative juices flowing, you’ll find that you often think of great ideas at the most random times and places. It’s the age of smart phones, so we no longer have to carry around a pen and paper to jot down ideas. We can send ourselves text messages or emails, or use Notepad apps. Still, have a way to record your sudden ideas, because, as quickly as they emerge, they can leave your head forever in the blink of an eye.

For your first brainstorming session, I recommend setting aside 15 minutes to get down as many ideas as possible. Then, schedule subsequent sessions until you have at least 10 topics that you are confident in.

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