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17 Ways That I Find Stories For My Blog

Written by George Manty  · January 31, 2007

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger asked the question:

“Where do you Find Stories for Your Blog?”

Here is my answer:

1. My Life
I find a lot of stories for this blog from my everyday life. For example, last week I was trying to do keyword research on Overture. This lead to my post on the death of the Overture Search Tool.

2. Reader Comments
Jill and I often get comments on our blogs that are questions. If I feel like it would make a good post, I will answer the question in a separate post.

3. Other Blogs and Websites
Many times I will see some cool tidbit of information on another blog and it inspires me to write a new post. When you do this, be sure to give credit where credit is due.

4. Darren Rowse’s Group Writing Projects
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger occasionaly runs group writing projects that inspire me to write a good post. In fact, most of my best posts on this blog were inspried by Darren’s group writing projects. I hope he has another one soon!

5. Searching YouTube
For my wife Jill’s American Idol blog, she spends time searching YouTube for videos of the contestants. Videos make great content. Based on the search statistics of our blogs, videos also bring in extra traffic.

6. Searching Forums for Questions

Visiting forums is a GREAT way to come up with content! I haven’t used this method in a while, but I used to do it a lot. What I do is visit forums related to a topic that I cover on my blog. Then I find out what other people are talking about in my area of expertise and I answer their questions on my blog.

7. Searching Yahoo Answers for Questions
I sometimes go to Yahoo Answers and search for questions people are asking about topics that I write about. I then go and write a post answering their questions.

8. Giving Polls
On occasion I put up polls on my blog. When I close the poll, I give my analysis of the poll results. Polls can be a great way to find something to write about.

9. Taking Polls
Answering polls on other websites or blogs can also give you inspiration for a post. I sometimes answer polls and my answer to one or more of the questions inspires me to write a new post.

10. Interviews
While my wife and I have only conducted a handful of interviews, interviews are a great way to get content for your blog. Additionaly, I sometimes come up with more posts based on the answers given in the interview.

11. E-mails
I often get asked questions in emails and sometimes I use my answers as the basis for a post at a later point in time.

12. Brainstorming
Sometimes, I just sit down and ask myself questions like:

“What would my readers really want me to write about?”
“What would be a really cool thing to write about?”
“What could I write about that would get a lot of links?”
“Why even bother writing anything?” ūüôā


13. Creating Lists

Sometimes, I find stories to write about by coming up with a lists. For instance when watching a tv show, I might write a list like:

“My favorite scenes from the show”
“Funniest moments in the show”
“Favorite Quote from the show”
“Worst Moments in the show”
“Ten Most Interesting Questions from the show”
etc.

14. Keyword Research
Sometimes I do keyword research to see what people are searching for about the niche my blog covers. This will often inspire me to write a post about what people are searching for.

15. Watching Television
On our tv blogs it’s obvious that I get stories from the television to write about. However, sometimes I am inspired to write a blog post by a news story I see on television.

16. Listening to the Radio
Sometimes I am listening to talk radio and a topic comes up that I think, “Wow, I have to blog about that.”

17. Having a Dreamer Personality Type
You can’t really teach this. I have a dreamer personality type, which means that by nature I am creative. I don’t really have much of a problem coming up with ideas for posts. My real problem is having enough time to write everything I come up with.

Those are some of the ways I come up with stories for my blog. You can use these same techniques (except for maybe #17) to come up with content for your blog, website, ebook, etc.

PS. Thanks so much for the question Darren!

PPS. I was hoping to come up with a list of 20 ways that I find stories for my blog, but I had writer’s block…


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Comments

2 Responses to “17 Ways That I Find Stories For My Blog”

  1. Leroy Brown on February 2nd, 2007 1:56 pm

    #4 is a biggie – I love when Darren runs a contest… I know I’ll get a bunch of links from it, so I make sure to try and write the best, most interesting post I can come up with.

  2. George Manty on February 2nd, 2007 2:33 pm

    Leroy,

    I agree!





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