Better Blogging: Tips on finding good ideas

Your blog is hungry for content, and finding the best stuff to feed it can be pretty difficult and time consuming.

So, here are three tips for making the process of discovering content for your blog easier and more fun:

1. Spend a lot of time looking for good ideas. Scan through items in your Google Reader every day. Check Twitter at least daily, and search for keywords and hashtags that might lead you to something interesting. Click on links. Read comments. Walk around. Talk with people, in person and online. Ask them for ideas. Do all of these things consistently.

2. People don’t talk about this one enough: Be incredibly selfish as you’re searching for ideas. Look for things that interest YOU. This is harder than it sounds because we’re often worried about what others expect of us. But try to forget about what anyone else thinks — your teacher, your boss, your readers/listeners/viewers, even — and concentrate only on stuff you care about. (In a future post I will argue that you should definitely consider your audience when you are crafting and presenting your work.) Only the tiniest fraction of material you sift through will surprise or delight you, but don’t let that get you down. Just keep sifting.

3. Make your workflow more predictable, and thus easier on you: Do an occasional series. Kim Chua, a recent SF State journalism grad and reporter for the Contra Costa Times, did a weekly post for her 94112 blog called “Sunday Faces,” where she did mini-profiles of residents in the Excelsior neighborhood. This is a great way to connect with people in the community you cover, and even connect them with each other. This semester, Melissa Reyes of maldita daily is planning to do a series called “the personal IS political.” Subscribe to Melissa’s feed and follow her on Twitter so you don’t miss out!

Have some blogging tips of your own? Please let us know in the comments!

Next time on Better Blogging: You found a great idea! Now what?

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One response to “Better Blogging: Tips on finding good ideas

  1. Pingback: Better Blogging: You have a good idea! Now what? | Intro to Online Journalism

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