Freelance Blog Writing: 5 Ways to Find Blog Post Ideas

One of the most challenging aspects of freelance blog writing is coming up with ideas.

Since my writing is so prolific throughout the personal finance blogosphere, one of the questions I am asked most often is, “How do you come up with blog post ideas?”

There are days when it's not easy. Sometimes I stare blankly at the computer screen, willing inspiration to strike. However, there are some steps I take to reduce the amount of time it takes to come up with an idea for a blog post. Here five ways that I make my freelance blog writing a little easier by finding post ideas:

1. Ask Your Clients

Sometimes, it's just that easy. I often ask my blog staff writing clients if they have any requests. In some cases, they respond with a whole list of items they want covered. That makes freelance blog writing very easy indeed.

Even if all you are given is a keyword, it's enough to spark a blog post idea. Ask your clients for ideas, and you not only write what your client wants, but you spend a little less time begging the writing gods for inspiration.

2. Look at Your Life

Some of my ideas are “real.” They come from my life or from situations I've seen others experience. Writing about something that is relatable to others and that comes from your own experience can be a great way to inject a little personality into your blog posts, as well as add something unique to an article.

Let's face it: Once you get into blog staff writing, you realize that you write about the same things a lot. Getting post ideas from your own experiences can liven up a warmed-over subject.

3. Look at the News

Blog posts ripped from the headlines attract attention. While blogs like to have a lot of evergreen content, the occasional news piece related to what's happening right now can be just the thing for a bump in your client's traffic (and maybe mean a traffic bonus for you). When you add a different spin to the news or just comment on what's happening, you have a blog post ready-made.

4. Ask Someone Else for Ideas

There are times when I'm stumped. I want to come up with something useful to write, though. So I ask someone else. There are posts of mine that have come into being just because I said to my mom: “What is the one thing you want to know about ______? Go!”

I've even texted my husband, in the middle of helping one of his students, and asked him to ask the student what s/he wanted to know about a particular subject. Sometimes I get a totally out-there and random answer, and it makes for an awesome blog post.

5. Keep an Idea List

Put together a list of freelance blog writing ideas. I keep a document on Google Drive with ideas and links to interesting studies. When I'm suffering from writer's block, I just go to that list. I also keep a little black notebook in my purse, so I can jot down ideas while I'm out and about. I've also started using voice memos on my iPhone so that I can instantly record blog post ideas.

What's your go-to method for finding blog post ideas?

0 thoughts on “Freelance Blog Writing: 5 Ways to Find Blog Post Ideas”

  1. Michael @ The Student Loan Sherpa

    The news is great advice. I have a google alert that sends me the latest news in my area every day. If I’m looking for something to write, it is almost always there.

    I think there is also something to be said for writing what you know and love. In that case there will be no shortage of topics to cover.

  2. Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce

    Keep your ears and eyes open when you interact with the world around you, which often gives good, grabbing situations to springboard to a broader topic.

  3. Ask someone else idea is the very easiest step. But there’s no assurance that the idea of someone will trends. And the very helpful is being updated to the news.

  4. Emory Rowland

    These are inspiring, Miranda. I’ve been keeping a list over the years and recently noticed that it’s over 10k words so I’ve picked out the best ideas to start developing.

    1. Miranda Marquit

      Haha 🙂 Funny how sometimes your list gets out of control. I’ve noticed that too. Sometimes you need to revisit the list and start actually using some of the ideas.

  5. I always keep a notebook with me wherever I go. Old school, I know. But it works for me. I also like the idea of “looking at your life” in order to write, which reminds me of Saul Bellow.

    Keep the taps flowing, Miranda.

    MACs Women’s Group

  6. Great suggestions! I keep a list of ideas on my phone because I get them at all hours of the day. If you are open to the world around you, every conversation or observation can spark an idea for an article.

  7. I have a notebook in Evernote for post ideas. Sometimes it’s just a title or a keyword while other times I’ll flesh out the idea more. What’s great is there’s an iPhone app as well so I can keep track of ideas on the go.

    The big thing though is having a place to put the ideas down as they come. You will not remember them later on and it will kill you (it drives me crazy at least).

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