Juha-Matti Santala
Community Builder. Dreamer. Adventurer.

Build an idea bank and never run out of blog ideas

Blaugust is a month-long event that takes place in August each year that focused on blogging and other serialized content. The goal is to stoke the fires of creativity and allow bloggers and other content creators to mingle in a shared community while pushing each other to post more regularly.

"What should I write about?"

I think a lot of us blogger or those who decided to never start a blog have asked themselves and maybe others around them that question. Whether it's about insecurities of thinking nobody would find their thoughts worth reading or about worries of maintaining a good, stable schedule of regular publishing, it's a question worth asking.

I think my first ever blog post was written around 2002 or 2003 as the teenager me built my first website (unfortunately none of the early sites and blogs have survived). I remember writing two blog posts: one about kindness in daily interactions and another about how much harder it is for positive news to travel compared to negative ones.

More seriously I started writing around 2013 when I was studying and got my first developer job. Over the years my blogging was very much on/off and I started almost as many new blog sites than I had posts.

Through 2018 and 2019 I seriously picked up the proverbial pen and started to write. By October of 2021, I had succesfully written and published blog posts on a weekly basis for a year.

One thing I've learned throughout these years about ideas is that the more you write, the more you come up with topics and ideas to write about. It's a muscle worth keeping warm. By being a blogger, I find myself noticing things around me and projects or features or other things that I've done as worthy of a blog post.

But if you really want to keep up a good pace, sometimes you risk running out of ideas, especially if life becomes busy. Maybe you're in a situation in life and work that you're not doing much that you could write about.

Idea bank

My solution to this has been keeping an idea bank in my note-taking app. Every time I come up with an idea that's not interesting or big enough yet (or too big and needs more research time), I write it down to my idea bank.

Occasionally, I do brainstorming days when I write down as many ideas and blog post titles as I can. All this to help future me on a quiet and non-inspiring, non-creative week to pick something up and start writing.

Every idea or topic is one item on a list. Sometimes that's all it needs to be ready to be picked up and written into a post. But often it grows in the bank before it's ripe for picking. I add bullet points as new related thoughts wander through my mind (there's a lot happening in my mind, believe me). I add links to articles that I read from other people that are relevant.

For bigger posts, I do active research and collect more ideas and start fleshing out the outline and what I want to say. This is especially good for things that require a lot of examples or references.

At the time of writing this, I have somewhere around 100 to 120 different blog post ideas and drafts in the idea bank waiting for the right day.

Do you have something similar?

How are you solving this issue (or is it even an issue to you)? What kind of tools and processes do you use to keep your notes in good order?

Let me know and participate in the discussion through Mastodon via the post below and share your tips to the blogosphere!


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