23 Ways to Generate Blog Post Ideas

Last week I wrote about Capturing Ideas for Blog Posts and now I am concluding that article with some ways that you can generate blog post ideas. Some of these are obvious and some less so. Please let me know if you can think of any more, thanks!

1) Out of the blue! I sometimes get blog post ideas seemingly from nowhere whilst I’m doing something totally random. The Universe just seems to post them right into my brain. This is the easiest method as it requires no effort!

2) Writing forum posts. Sometimes I’m writing a detailed forum post and then I realise that it’s great blog post material. So I cut and paste it into my blog instead and then post a link back on the forum. Occasionally some people may complain if you do this too much by saying that you are self-promoting or some such thing. If your articles are genuinely helpful to other people though, I don’t see a problem with this. If they were spammy nonsense, then fair enough.

3) Writing email replies. I quite often get emailed questions about game development and related topics. Sometimes I find myself midway though a large replay and, you guessed it, I realise that it’s great blog post material. So I Cut/Paste and then the email the link. Everyone wins.

4) Reading Other Blogs. Obviously reading other people’s blogs can inspire you to write a similar article (or a different complimentary piece). Clearly you shouldn’t rip off another person’s article but you can reference theirs and put your own spin on it. Don’t forget that Blog owners love links back to their blogs. So once again it’s win-win.

5) Whilst programming. Sometimes when I’m programming I think of a blog post related to some key point about programming technique, or a funny bug, or game design – and sometimes I get an idea about something completely unrelated (this probably shows I need to focus more, lol).

6) Talking to people. Naturally I talk to lots of people about making games because it’s my job and I love it. A blog idea may suddenly occur to me mid-conversation or afterwards.

7) Listening to people. Equally as important as talking (or maybe more so) is listening. Sometimes you may be listening to someone talk about games (or their own careers) and hear something that is blog-worthy.

8 ) Listening to podcasts. There aren’t many podcasts about game development (although you should check out but there are plenty about other topics, and any of these podcast may inspire you.

9) Going to Seminars/Presentations. I’ve only been to a few game development presentations but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ones I went to and learnt a lot (plus met some nice people). In fact I’m doing a presentation at the Vancouver Game Design Expo on Sunday! You can often download the presentations from the Internet after the event. Their usefulness depends on if they come with a recording or at least detailed notes.

10) Playing Games. This one should be obvious. Whether you are playing a AAA PC or console game, an Indie or Casual game, a flash game, or even a board game, you’ll probably get tons of decent ideas for your own games and for blog posts of course.

11) Watching movies/TV/Youtube. You may generate blog ideas related to what you are watching or just as a natural result of “zoning out”.

12) Browing the Internet. You may like to browse game news sites which will give you good blog post ideas. Alternatively just browsing any site may give you a related idea that you can write about – perhaps with a unique angle.

13) Reading. Maybe you read books and get cool ideas, or newspapers with technology or business news articles that give you a great ideas, or magasines with an inspiring articles, or graffiti on toilet walls (actually it’s probably best not to read that, and certainly don’t dial any numbers you see). Sometimes you may read something that you don’t agree with and would like to post your opinion instead.

14) Listening to music. Listing to music may not directly give you a blog idea but it’s a great way to generate ideas out of the blue as your mind relaxes and starts to simmer away…

15) Lying down and dozing off. This is one of my personal favourites 😉 I used to have a sofa in my home office and if I felt a bit tired, I’d lie down and nap for maybe 20 minutes. As I was dozing off or waking I would often come up with great blog post ideas, or even ways to solve programming problems that I was having. Soon we are getting a giant bean bag at the BFG office just for this purpose. Quite often I get great ideas just before going to sleep at night too which is why it’s worth keeping a notepad next to the bed to get the ideas out of your head so that you can sleep properly!

16) Going for a walk. It’s free and it’s healthy and it’s a great way to just think about things. Watch out you don’t tread in dog mess though ;-p Alternatively, try not thinking of anything and just enjoying your walk and this is a good way to receive ideas out of the blue.

17) Travelling as a passenger. By car, bus, train, plane, space shuttle, whatever. Like walking, this is a great time for thinking, or not-thinking, whichever gets you the best results.

18) Driving, Cycling, Skateboarding, Flying. I’m not encouraging thinking up blog posts if you are driving on a busy or dangerous road, or landing an aeroplane, but sometimes you are able to zone out a little whilst doing these activities and that’s when you may get good ideas. The problem is that you may not be able to write them down so you’ll just have to remember them and write them down later, gasp!

Actually that’s something I didn’t cover in Capturing Ideas article, but basically if you don’t have a computer, notepad or mobile device handy to note down an idea you can try to set up a mental trigger in your mind that goes off later when you are somewhere where you can note the idea down. You can even try the old “tie a knot in your handkerchief” idea, which basically means change something on your person (clothes/items etc) that is unusual that makes you think “why did I do that?” later on.

19) Whilst Gardening. Gardening can be very relaxing unless you’ve overstretched yourself and have taken on too much, which is typically what I do. It’s a good way to get ideas out of the blue for sure.

20) Doing a hobby/sport Of course gardening is just one of many hobbies so you may have other hobbies that allow you take a break from work and let your mind roam freely and generate ideas, such as sport or painting or cooking or whatever really. It’s very important to have a hobby (or three). It’s also nice to do something regularly, say once a week, so that you can 100% forget about work and just go and do that and then come back refreshed and seeing things with a different perspective.

21) In the bath/shower. I personally love long hot baths. My mind seems to go crazy in the bath and not relax at all! Sometimes I think about the cool stuff that is going on now and imagine how well it’s going to pan out (I’ll write a whole other article on this soon), and other times I let my mind wonder freely and that’s when I get blog post ideas, and business ideas and all sorts really.

22) On the toilet. Never underestimate the power of the toilet as a meditative aid. Quite often, if I’ve been stuck on a programming task, I go to the bathroom and suddenly I realise the answer. I also get good blog ideas out of the blue, or should that be “out of the loo”? Sorry couldn’t resist.

23) During sex. You may get some great blog ideas whilst making love (whether on your own or with someone else) … Of course I’m only kidding! Focus on the task dude!

OK that’s the lot for now, I’ll probably think of some more when I’m in bed now haha. Anyway I hope that you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to post your ideas for generating ideas too!

One Response to “23 Ways to Generate Blog Post Ideas”

  1. Shafar Says:

    Great Ideas! 🙂