Whether you’re just starting a blog or you’ve been doing it for years, coming up with post topics can be a struggle. I frequently check out lists of blog post prompts for inspiration. Typically, only a handful spark an idea. I might jot down some initial thoughts and return to them later when I have more time. But I usually end up tossing my partial drafts because they suddenly don’t seem as interesting or like anyone will want to read them.
Even when I power through the imposter syndrome and come up with a small backlog of content to publish, it doesn’t last very long. I’m right back to where I started. My empty content calendar mocks me.
One day, when it was cold in my office, I decided to work in front of the fireplace. I grabbed a notebook and opened another list of prompts on my phone. I figured I’d make a list of the ideas I liked to go back to whenever I sat down to write a new post.
It should be easy to be inspired by a list I created, right? But as my list grew longer, it grew more daunting. Sure, I had more than enough to publish once a week for the whole year. But how would I figure out which ones to publish when? Could I even write that many posts in a single year? I tried not to think about it too much and continued writing ideas on my list.
There’s a magic to writing things out by hand instead of typing. That magic led me to stumble on a totally obvious but absolutely brilliant solution.
After numbering every prompt I wrote down (I still can’t believe I found more than 60 I liked!), I used a random number generator to pick four as a test. If I focused on just one month at a time, it couldn’t be that overwhelming. But I didn’t imagine this simple process would make planning out blog content enjoyable.
Being a one-person team managing your own brand or small business can be stressful. There’s no one to delegate tasks to unless you hire outside help. Every decision is yours to make, and there’s no one around to help gauge if you’re making good choices.
But leaving just a little bit of the decision-making up to chance made it so much easier to handle. My list is made up of prompts I know apply to me. I don’t have to sift out irrelevant ideas. Once I have my prompt, I can get to work.
And if that week’s prompt isn’t inspiring enough, I can swap it out with a different random number.
If you struggle to come up with new content ideas week after week, I highly recommend giving this a try.