Good Day Class,

It’s great to be back to the blog and to see you all after my short break.

What a pleasant surprise we have today. Ms. Tess Marshall of The Bold Life, our substitute teacher (guest writer), will not only be sharing fabulous ideas for blog post material, but will be passing out some yummy treats at the end of the lesson.

Without further ado, I will turn the class over to Tess.

Please take your seats.

Ms. Marshall, the floor is yours.

21 Hot Ideas for Blog PostsHello class.

Welcome to summer school!

There is a rumor going around that some of you are in a blogging slump and in need of fresh and dynamic content!

I’m here to remind you of the abundance of stories, news and amazing ideas not only in your life but in our world. And you have access to them all!

Get out your writing tablets and take notes. You won’t want to miss a thing.

This is your opportunity to set your blogs on fire, sizzling with the hottest ideas under the summer sun!

Let’s get started.

Today’s Lesson

21 Resources for Creating Content that’s Hot, Hot Hot!

Inspirational stories

Find little or unknown stories about other bloggers, athletes and everyday heroes. Write about ordinary people who push the limits and beat the odds.

Television or news

I heard about the country of Bhuton on “60 Minutes” a couple of months ago. This country with a population under 700,000, located between India and China measures Gross National Happiness vs. Gross National Product. Interesting, eh?

Use personal photographs.

My camera is always with me so I don’t miss anything interesting or unusual. Adding personal photos builds trust and connection.

Quotes can immediately spark ideas for new content.

Albert Einstein said, “The most appropriate response to life is “Sacred Awe.” What do those words mean to you?

Children view the world as if everything is brand new.

They give everything old new meaning. They aren’t afraid to express themselves. See the world through the eyes of a child.

Friends and family members are always up to something.

Ask your father or cousin to do an interview instead of the latest guru.

Magazines are great resources.

I fly South West and always read their “Spirit” magazine. You too can catch the “spirit” and like them become number one!

Social events, workshops and conferences

Take your camera and be photographed with speakers and other bloggers. Mingle and network. Meanwhile you may catch the next big idea.

Your dreams and hopes for the future

Share your dreams and hopes for your future and the future of your blog.

Music

Attend a concert or symphony. Listen to a choir or Jannie Funster’s new CD!

Be inspired by the words and images that come to mind?

Special events

Write about your favorite birthday, a commencement speaker, a new gadget you received. As you leave an event ask yourself, “What has happened that is blog worthy?”

Photography blogs

Lose yourself and be refreshed and inspired by them.

Read best sellers and note titles of books and chapters.

Ideas are endless at the bookstore. Read the top bloggers in your niche. Expand on their ideas.

Your senses

Experience and enrich your life and your blog by using and becoming aware of your six senses.

Survey your readers to see what they want to know more about.

Invite them to send in questions and answer them in a post.

Interview a blogging buddy.

Choose unique and unusual questions and your interviews will stand out from others.

Use videos of yourself to create deeper connections.

Don’t try to sell anything. Be sincere and share your wisdom.

Talk show hosts

Check out the week’s topics. Is there a way you can connect the hot topics with your niche and readers?

Statistics

Did you know 80% of the people who have lost jobs are men? What can you write, do or talk about to fill the needs of this niche?

Be adventurous.

Learn a new hobby or skill unrelated to your blog. When you keep life interesting you keep your blog interesting.

Oh one more thing, everyone is allowed to wear shorts and flip flops to class tomorrow. We’ll be spending our time outdoors.

Today’s Assignment

What do you do to come up with inspiring content?

What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken with a topic?

What is the topic of your most popular post?

P.S. I brought fresh squeezed lemonade and cookies to share during recess, so until then, raise your hand and share your thoughts. 🙂


tess marshall_1.jpegTess Marshall is a life coach and author who teaches others how to live a bold, fearless, and meaningful life in the real world as well as on her blog, The Bold Life. When she’s not sharing knowledge with her clients and/or readers, she can be found on Twitter and/or passing out copies of her Flying by the Seat of My Soul ebook (available for free download or for purchase of the paperback)


Photo Credit: aloshbennett

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  1. […] as some other cell phones, as it is specialized for music, which can be seen in various ways. 21 Hot Ideas For Blog Post Content – bloggingwithoutablog.com 07/24/2009 Good Day Class, It’s great to be back to the blog and […]

  2. What a wonderful surprise post! Is it recess yet? I wants me some lemonade and cookies.

    These are all great of course, Tess. And I just might check out that CD. 🙂

    I very much agree about seeing photos from a blogger’s personal life, those are always especially intriguing to me and are usually part of my most popular posts too.

    Inspiring, as usual! Thanks.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Review of “Mirror Blue” by Thomma Lyn Grindstaff: A Novel You Can Really Sink Your Teeth Into. =-.

  3. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Good Morning Teacher!

    Well it’s great to see you here as the substitute teacher! I see the Ms. Goodie Two Shoes of the class has arrived early today! (Jannie – did you bring the teacher an apple?).

    I found myself the other day, as we were driving across the state to visit relatives – coming up with potential post ideas, just looking out the window of our van. Possibilities are all around us! And Tess – you’ve given me some great ideas on how to expand this thought process for me now – very cool!

    For me, the most popular pieces I’ve written usually have some sort of personal angle to them. And I think that goes along the line that people can connect to personal stories that are shared.

    Enjoy your day here Tess! And don’t be afraid to send some of the trouble makers (i.e. Jannie) to the principals office!
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: Leading From Within =-.

  4. Hi Tess – A topic about topics, yay! I’m with Lance – I find the prism of blogging makes you see everyday things with new eyes. The blogging medium creates an opportunity to memorialize your thought patterns and reactions.

    My most controversial posts have got to be the political ones. I’m sure I’ve annoyed people with those, but I can’t help it. I’m compelled to share my opinions. Some of them have even been popular. 🙂

    Congrats on a great substitute teaching day!
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: CONSIDERING A STAYCATION WITH HOTEL MINNEAPOLIS AND RESTAURANT MAX =-.

  5. Petra NorrisNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara – this is one of the best guest blogger posts yet! Tess, thank you for this one. I can’t tell you how many times I realize that my blogging really does shape the way I see the world!
    .-= Check out Petra Norris´s awesome post: Lakeland Real Estate Update: Florida, California, Nevada Still Accounting for Bulk of Foreclosures =-.

  6. Jannie,
    Have of the fun is you on your blog and the other is your daughter and the best about it all is the photos you share. I love the “I burnt my bangs” photo.

    Lance,
    You are hilarious and I’m telling Jannie on you! I love the posts you share and thanks for letting your secret out! Get it everyone: Do personal stories like Lance! Aren’t family trips fun?!? Are we there yet?

    Betsy,
    People like you are needed in the world. Your opinions shake things (and people) up and who wants to sleep walk through life?

    Petra,
    Thanks for you compliment. You’ve made my day. Or is it the other way around, the way you see the world effects your blogging?
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: Mind Fitness: How About A Workout For A Healthy Mind? =-.

  7. What wonderful ideas, Tess! Thank you! It looks like I chose to do the music one today. 😉
    .-= Check out Positively Present´s awesome post: positively present: the soundtrack =-.

  8. I have a weakness for freshly baked chocolate chip cookies!

    Great ideas. My most popular post: I have two of them and neither have much to do with my niche LOL. One is about helping unleash the creative side in you and the other is about protecting your assets with business structures.

    For new ideas I do many things, but I suppose the best answer is just being observant and understanding what it is I’m looking at or learning. From there ideas can flow.

  9. Dani,
    Just checked out your “happy music list.” Very cool and very cool idea.

    Jon,

    I hear you about those popular posts not having anything to do with your niche. LOL with you!
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: Mind Fitness: How About A Workout For A Healthy Mind? =-.

  10. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, Welcome back! You were missed!

    Tess, these are great ideas! I love how you can get me to think outside the box. I am trying to be more adventurous with my blogs…actually, it’s been more of me “exposing” my self to the world. But I think my readers really enjoy the honest posts (well, I hope so anyway!).

  11. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ms. Marshall,

    WooHoo! I came back just in time for the goodies.

    It’s great having you here today, Tess. And, snacks too? You’re spoiling the class. 🙂

    The ideas you’ve listed are superb. I am especially inspired by world events and analyzing how that could affect or be compared to blogging.

    My greatest inspiration comes from my readers. As I read their comments, they remind me of the different situations we face as bloggers. From there, I create lessons.

    On this blog one of my most popular posts (and most commented on) is about the CommentLuv plugin and how it can help us to increase our readership and find other great blogs, as well.

    As for a “risky” topic. The one that got the most attention was when I wrote about not using profanity on my blog. A few other bloggers linked to it in their posts, stating we have “freedom of speech” with our blogs and can say whatever we want, etc. I like how they took the discussion further and made bloggers think how they want to be viewed in blogosphere.

  12. Watch out world if your blog continues to get better and better! I love it already. I do believe Leo at Zen Habits got big because he told on himself all the time.

    He makes you believe any thing he can do you can do better!
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: Mind Fitness: How About A Workout For A Healthy Mind? =-.

  13. BunnygotBlogNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Barbara and Tess,

    1. What do you do to come up with inspiring content?
    Read things that interest me and that I know about. I shared some things with a friend on line about my blog and she has become my muse in one on going series about Great Women of the Past and Present. She doesn’t have a blog but she is a teacher who lives in Poland and we both have an interest in history and the arts.

    2. What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken with a topic?
    I would have to say the 17 sexy commercials article in my Advertising Towards Dummies series. I wasn’t so sure how I would be taken after that. It turned out to be a very good experience.

    3. What is the topic of your most popular post?
    I am totally serious here. Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper.
    .-= Check out BunnygotBlog´s awesome post: Wislawa Szymborska, Nobel Prize Laureate & Poet =-.

  14. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara and Hiya Tess. All wonderful ideas for sparking inspiration! I’ve had days when even the best idea goes nowhere and then I think it is time to take a break and disconnect. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves or we get caught up in not having enough time. Even the best idea needs time to be born and written.

    The favourite post I’ve ever written received over 600 views in one day and it was on my older blog; the topic was on Life Balance. The most favourite posts seem to be personal stories and motivational topics.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: Roaming with the Metaphor =-.

  15. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    YAY!

    You’re back! You’re back! You’re back! The web was positively empty without you, Barbara!

    @Tess: Thank you for these. This last week I’ve been struggling with topic. Consider this bookmarked for future references!

    George
    .-= Check out Tumblemoose´s awesome post: It really is easy to Podcast your writing =-.

  16. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Welcome back Barbara!

    Good tips Tess. I like them all. I especially like “be adventurous.” Quotes and stats intrigued me too.
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: Proven Practices for Individual Contributors =-.

  17. LisisNo Gravatar says:

    I’m all for real people, real adventures and real photos. Keeping it real and personal helps readers connect.

    My riskiest post? “What I Learned from a Stripper”

    Most Successful? “10 Reasons Why Douglas Adams Might as well Be a Guru”

    Tess… I loved this post. Short, sweet, to the point and thought-provoking!
    .-= Check out Lisis´s awesome post: Fellowship Fridays: LEOpalooza – The Essential Motivation Handbook =-.

  18. LisaNewtonNo Gravatar says:

    Great post, Tess. I’m with Lance on this one. Just look out your window, take a walk in your neighborhood, or visit a local attraction.

    Each time I do out, I find new and unique ideas for my articles. I have so many ideas in my head, it’s sometimes overwhelming, but in a good way. 🙂
    .-= Check out LisaNewton´s awesome post: History and Grandeur meet in Pasadena at the City Hall =-.

  19. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Great ideas…. I think I will work on a couple of ’em..

    Any cookies left? I know I am late but I love cookies.
    .-= Check out Linda´s awesome post: Keep Batteries Out of Landfills =-.

  20. janiceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – welcome back! What a great post to returnwith!

    Tess, this is a juicy one- thank you! (It won’t surprise you to learn I love the Einstein quote!) From one angle, my riskiest post was Guest House, a spontaneous outburst of a post, where I said “Writing helps the soul breathe, but blogging is a different beast. It makes me feel like a madwoman most days, swinging between highs of connection, learning, new friendships and self expression and lows of paranoia, frustration, exhaustion and queasiness at the underlying hypocrisy and unmentioned stalking and plunder that goes on in the shadows.” I thought that might herald the end of my blog, but it didn’t.

    I also thought it was risky to talk about something as mundane as my decision to have a staycation this year, but my staycation/holidaying at home post turned out to be one of the most popular. Folk seem to like authenticity, more so when it’s human and uplifting.

    Do I get an extra cookie if I add a point? Every week, look back and enjoy the comments in your own boxes and the ones you’ve left elsewhere; they often contain gems and seeds you might not have noticed at the time.
    .-= Check out janice´s awesome post: Journals and Juries =-.

  21. Marcy WebbNo Gravatar says:

    These are excellent suggestions. Thank you for the post!

    As a teacher, I find that the day-to-day doings of my work with students in the classroom provides lots of fun and interesting blog fodder for me between September and June. Which is why I am sometimes struggling for things to post during the summer. I do, however, post a lot on my own life experiences, which seem to resonate with people. Last, I find that a comment left elsewhere is often a blog post prompt for me.
    .-= Check out Marcy Webb´s awesome post: Mindhearted =-.