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Ali is our Head of Content and Blogging Trainer. She is the author of 'Publishing E-Books For Dummies' (Wiley, 2012).

Ali Luke

21 Grab-and-Go Ideas for Blog Posts (with Examples): Get Inspired Here

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Image from Flickr by thedaisychick

You’re stuck for an idea. Perhaps you’ve sat down to do some mindmapping – but there’s nothing to map. Your mind is blank.

Or perhaps you’re doing OK for ideas – but it wouldn’t hurt to come up with a few more.

Here are 21 ideas that you can take and run with. We’ve made them specific (not “write a list post”) but we’ve also made them broad enough to apply to almost any field. For each, we’ve given an example, so you can see that type of post in action.

Multi-Item Posts

All these posts are types of lists, and they’re all designed to offer great value to your reader.

#1: Define Key Terms

Your industry has specialised terms – and customers may feel daunted or put off by them. Explain key ones in a post, and it’ll become a handy resource for them to refer back to.

Example: 17 Marketing Terms You Were Too Embarrassed to Google (But Should Definitely Know)

#2: List of Useful Tools

Would your customers find life so much easier if only they had the right tools? Depending on your industry, these could be digital (e.g. websites, software) or physical (e.g. the right crafting supplies). Bring together some your favourites in a post.

Example: 13 Handy Content Marketing Tools

#3: The A-Z Guide to…

This type of post takes a bit of work, but it’s often well worth it for the attention you’ll get – not just from potential customers but also from fellow bloggers in your industry. It’s a great way to cover big topics (like “The A-Z of Baking”) in a single post.

Example: 26 Essentials for Blogging Success: What You Need to Know

#4: Top Blogs (etc)

Whatever your area, there’ll be other blogs about it – or Twitter accounts, Pinterest boards, and so on. Bring together 10 or 20 of your favourites and tell readers what you love about them. This shows you’re on top of your industry – and can foster good relationships with the blog owners.

Example: The UK’s Top 20 Gardening Blogs

#5: Q&A

Many bloggers find answering questions an easy way to put a post together. You might use a single question, or take several questions on a particular topic (“choosing a camera”).

Example: How To Find My Ideal Posting Frequency?

#6: Post Roundup

This is another good way to avoid doing much writing! Link to some of your favourite posts from the past week or month (or choose them by topic). You can write a short summary, or just quote from each post.

Example: The Weekly Optimiser

In-Depth Posts

Not every post needs to be a list. Sometimes, you’ll want to dig into a particular topic in detail – and these posts are some ways to do that.

#7: Book Review

Whatever industry you’re in, there’ll be books coming out on a regular basis that relate to your work. Review one you’ve read recently: it’s useful to your readers, it showcases your expertise, and it’s potentially a way to build a relationship with the author.

Example: A Review of StandOut, A New Book by Marcus Buckingham

#8: Pros and Cons

There’s rarely a one-sided argument for something: instead, there’ll be various advantages and disadvantages. A “pros and cons” post presents both sides (and, often, draws a conclusion).

Example: How Many Posts Should a Blogger Post? [Pros and Cons of Daily Posting]

#9: A vs B post

This type of post is similar to pros and cons – but it compares two different solutions to a problem. For instance, if you blog about social media, you might compare two major platforms – Facebook vs Twitter.

Example: Createspace vs. Lightning Source For Self-Published Print Books

#10: How I… / How We…

You’ve probably written some “how to” posts already. A great variation on these is to write a “How I…” post or “How We…” post. These dig into something you’ve accomplished (which could be big or small) and help readers see how they could do the same.

Example: How I Stopped Waiting to Become a Writer, Quit My Job & Launched My Dream

Short Posts

Although longer posts (500 words plus) tend to be better for traffic and for engagement, short posts can be a great way to mix things up.

#11: Reader Discussion

Why not let your readers do the work? Ask a question – and get them to answer it. These posts are often great for engagement, and they can also provide you with loads of new ideas.

Example: DISCUSS: Does Your Blog Focus More Heavily Upon Information, Inspiration or Interaction?

#12: Checklist

Creating a checklist is a great way to produce a post that’s likely to be linked to, shared and bookmarked … without having to do much writing. You may even have checklists that you already use in your business that you could publish on your blog.

Example: Pre-flight checklist for small business owners

#13: Announcement or Reminder

Obviously you don’t want to fill your blog with promotional content – there’s no faster way to turn readers off. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of forgetting to mention your products / services. An occasional announcement (e.g. for a sale or new product) or reminder is a good idea.

Example: Announcing: Seth Godin will be Keynoting Authority Intensive

Borrowing from Other People

#14: Quotes on a Topic

Bring together a bunch of great quotes on a particular topic (it could be quite broad, like “writing advice” or even simply “inspiration”). If you’re struggling to write, this is a great way to put together a post: you’ll just need to add a brief introduction and conclusion.

Example: How to Flourish: 17 Quotes on Living, Being, and Doing

#15: Reader’s Comment

Perhaps one of your readers wrote a great comment that you want use to start off a post. It could be a question, a thought-provoking point, or a great piece of advice. By “promoting” their comment in this way, you show your potential customers that you really care about helping them.

Example: When Might You Turn Comments On and Off on Your Blog?

#16: Interview

Authors, bloggers, conference speakers and other experts in your field may well be willing to contribute to your blog. An easy way to make this work well for both them and you is to write a list of questions and get their answers.

Example: Here’s How Hugh Howey (Bestselling Author of Wool) Writes

Off-Beat Posts

Sometimes, you’ll want to shake things up with a different look at things. These types of post are often full of energy, and can become very popular.

#17: Unusual Perspective

Take on a different perspective – perhaps that of a child, a Martian, or even an inanimate object – then write about a fairly familiar topic. This can make for a thought-provoking and refreshingly different post.

Example: 5 Things You Should Know About My Dad the ProBlogger

#18: Personal Story

Tell a story about you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be closely connected to your business – the point here is to give readers a glimpse into your life. You may want to use the story to start your post, then discuss broader implications.

Example: Do you ever resist something you know would make you happy? If so, why?

#19: Letter to Your Younger Self

What do you wish you’d known when you started out in your industry? Write a letter to your younger self – it’s a great way to help readers with problems they might not even realise they’re facing.

Example: Six Inspiring Experts Answer Five Questions on Writing and Blogging (question #3)

#20: What Not to Do

If you want to have a bit of fun, write an anti-advice post: think along the lines of how to lose friends and alienate people instead of how to win friend and influence people. To get it right, readers simply need to do the opposite of what you suggest.

Example: Top 10: Fastest Ways to Get Fat

#21: Disagreement

Perhaps everyone in your corner of the blogging world has jumped onto the same bandwagon … but you disagree. Write a post explaining why they’re wrong. (Depending on the tone of your blog, you could do this gently or not…)

Example: Why Email Marketers Can Relax About the New Gmail Tabs

 

Hopefully this list has sparked off some great ideas for you! And if you want a bit of extra help with some of these – plus a few extras – check out our post on 8 Under-Used Blog Post Structures.

Want to learn all the secrets to writing great blog content? Come to our Write Well Online workshop – a half-day packed with advice, ideas, and hands-on exercises.