Good ideas happen at the least opportune moments. When driving, while walking, brushing your teeth, watching TV, and of course the worst time is when you are just drifting off to sleep. You'll never remember that idea in the morning.
After writing more than 1000 blog posts, I came up with a few thoughts of my own for how to make sure I don't forget a good blogging idea when it comes to me.
Here they are:
- Blogging ideas will come whenever they want to come to you. You need to figure out a fast way to take notes no matter where you are. I suggest voice recording.
- Always step to the side, or pull over when taking notes. Don't take notes while standing in the middle of the grocery store aisle, in the middle of a crowded museum hallway, or in the middle of a jogging path in the park. Someone will walk or run into you.
- If you dictate notes while driving, you should keep your voice recorder on your lap instead of holding it up to your mouth. Obviously you'll have to speak loudly or almost yell, but this lets you keep two hands on the steering wheel. Your ideas are interrupted by the attention you also have to give to your driving, so let the recorder run for 20 minutes if needed instead of turning it on or off. This might also be a good way to hear how bad your road rage is.
- Don't assume that you will remember something later. Take notes instead of trusting yourself. I used to trust that I would remember random ideas, and I often do. But some of the best ideas are fleeting and we can't get them back without certain stimuli. If you think of an idea while shopping at the mall, driving, traveling, or sitting on a beach, that idea might have been triggered by something you just saw or experienced. You probably won't remember it unless you expose yourself to the same environment or stimulus... It would be sad to lose an idea for 12 months until the next time your memory is triggered by beach ball whizzing by.
- I come up with a lot of ideas, or see things where I say "I should blog about that." Sadly, I often realize many of my ideas, while valuable for the internet marketing industry, are not valuable for the jewelry industry to learn about. You'll also find that not all ideas are good for your target audience.
- Sometimes, I want to write about technical topics to explain some new whacky thing I came across or figured out, but I keep focused on what my audience can directly implement, rather than trying to show off my knowledge with abstract ideas. Do you want your readers to be able to take action with what you tell them, or just read for enjoyment? Either one if good, but each will attract a different type of reader.
- Sometimes I assume the wrong conclusion, and I'm reluctant to seriously research that topic. There have been several times when my analytical data completely disproved my conclusion and I had to take a different stance on that Nugget topic. You can always learn something new.
- Reading books, fashion magazines, jewelry magazines, and industry related news online will help you come up ideas for your own blogs. Many times you will come up with your own fresh ideas, but it's also okay to copy a topic from someone else as long as you can write a completely original bog about it. Don't simply rewrite it; write it from scratch. Read the article and then write your own; don't refer back to the original while writing; you'll better ensure original composition.
This post is part of a series of what I've learned from writing 1000 blog posts. Maybe one of these other topics will interest you too:
* Content Tips
* Managing Your Blogging Ideas (this one)
* Writing Tips
* Attracting an Audience
* Organization Strategy
* Search Engine Optimization