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How to Find Interesting Story Angles For Your Blog

Illustration for article titled How to Find Interesting Story Angles For Your Blogem/em

Has your blog become boring or repetitive? Are you avoiding posting at all, because you just can’t think of one more interesting topic? I understand.


When I started blogging, I virtually exploded out of the gate. I was easily producing one to two posts each day, and within a few minutes of brainstorming could have topic ideas for a week.

Then I hit the wall. I would go an entire week without posting anything, and what I did post was pretty lame. So, I researched, spoke with other bloggers, and began trying out new things. The following are some ideas I have successfully used to help me come up with new ideas.


Find Someone to Interview

Do you have a connection to a local celebrity, VIP, or even a follower with an interesting story? What about a close friend with an interesting life story or a local author who’s just published a new book? If you do, getting them on board to do an interview can result in at least one, if not more really engaging posts. Even better, turn on your video camera, and film the interview.


Start a Podcast Series

Traditional blogs are great, but they are a bit limited in that people can only access them when they have time to sit in front of a screen. If you cover a particular topic on a regular basis that gets lots of traffic and engagement, consider turning that into a podcast series. Your followers will be able to download your podcast and listen to it anywhere they have access to their connected devices and a set of headphones.


Introduce a New Theme

Many bloggers have a regular rotation of topics that they cover. For example, a food blogger might post a restaurant review on Mondays, a new recipe on Tuesdays, and explore an ethnic cuisine on Fridays. If you have a few go-to topics for your blog, it might be time to change things up by adding something new to the mix.


Livestream With Meerkat or Periscope

If you do exciting things, don’t just write about them, take your audience along with you so that they can experience your adventures with you. Even better, while you are streaming, you can engage your audience live and in real time. What’s your niche? Here are a few ideas for livestreaming.

  • Fitness And Wellness Bloggers: Take your audience with you on hikes, bike rides, or even through your most intense workouts.
  • Foodies: Attend food festivals as you give the play by play on what you see. Give live cooking demos.
  • Arts And Entertainment Bloggers: Showcase neighborhood art galleries. Livestream a concert in the park.
  • Fashion And Beauty Bloggers: Take your audience with you for a luxurious spa treatment. Demonstrate new makeup techniques.

An additional benefit of livestreaming is that you will get your audience paying attention to your other social media channels. Also, don’t worry about followers who miss your live broadcasts. Both tools provide you with the ability to save your broadcasts for future viewing.

Bring in a Guest Blogger

Have you come across another blogger that you think will be a hit with your audience? Reach out to them and offer up a chance to write a guest blog for you. If they think it will be beneficial for them as well, chances are they will jump on the opportunity. You’ll get a bit of fresh content, and you’ll help another blogger widen their audience as well. You may even be asked to reciprocate. If you are a new blogger, this is a golden opportunity. In any case, this can be a positive for all involved. Just be sure to get all expectations laid out ahead of time. Who knows, if you find another blogger or two that really connect with you and your audience, you can team up for giveaways and other projects.


Keep up With The Latest News in Your Niche

Current topics are always a hit. Pay attention and stay ahead of the game by constantly being aware of what is new and upcoming in your niche. If your theme is family and parenting, set up Google alerts so that you receive emails anytime something related to that topic becomes newsworthy. Follow other blogs that are related to your theme, and keep up with online publications. Use tools like BuzzSumo, AllTop, and KeywordTool.IO to stay on top of trending content. When you log into Facebook or Twitter, check trending topics to see if you can draw story ideas from those as well.


Write Seasonal Posts

Check your calendar. Sign up for event targeting on Twitter. Are their upcoming, seasons, holidays, or special events that are going to resonate with your audience? Have you noticed other bloggers in your niche getting a lot of engagement by covering seasonal or event related topics? Maybe it’s time to jump on these opportunities as well. For example, if Christmas is around the corner, you could focus on holiday-themed events. Many sports bloggers generated lots of great content using the recent summer Olympics as inspiration. Here are a few other ideas:

  • Create a holiday giveaway contest for your followers
  • Give back to school tips for busy parents
  • Encourage followers to share stories of their first baseball game in exchange for tickets to see a local minor league team when baseball season rolls around
  • Post fall-friendly recipes
  • Give out spring cleaning tips
  • Build up hype for your participation in an upcoming event
  • Spotlight other blogs that have seasonal relevance

Ask Your Audience to Share Stories And Pictures

Give your audience members a chance to put the spotlight on themselves. Encourage them to share pictures, videos, questions, stories, and ideas. Then, compile the best into a few posts. Crowd sourced content nearly always receives lots of engagement and earns social shares. You can source this content as part of a contest or giveaway, or simply ask your followers to share. This is also an excellent way to get some ideas on what your audience members are passionate about You can use this information to inspire ideas for future posts.


Host an “Ask Me Anything” Session

Your personal blog has specific themes. Perhaps it is about travel or education. And you are establishing yourself as an “expert” in that specific area. There may be topics you have not covered about which your followers have an interest. So, every once in awhile, host an “ask me anything” session. Publicize it in advance so that you get as many participants as possible. Take questions, provide answers, and be certain to encourage everyone present to join in any discussion that occurs. This is an excellent way to build relationships with your followers and for them to establish relationships with one another. The more your followers feel connected to one another, the more they will keep returning to our blog.


Highlight Charities or People Doing Good Works

There will always be charities that relate, even indirectly, to the theme/purpose of your blog. Suppose, for example, your write about soccer. There are some amazing international soccer(football) heroes who have taken active roles in charities, especially involving children. If your purpose is travel, highlight companies that are doing good works in a country you have visited. Toms shoes, for example, provides a free pair of shoes for every one purchased and delivers those shoes to countries all over the world. It is also involved in clean water and prenatal care efforts. If you write about education, Lawrence O’Donnell, commentator on MSNBC, heads an operation that provides school desks and tuition for children in Africa.


Write Follow-Ups to Previous Posts

Perhaps you have told personal stories of others in previous posts. Hopefully, if you have featured these individuals, you have maintained contact with them. Re-visit those stories, remind your followers of the previous story and provide updates and follow-ups. You may have written about the issue of lead in the water of Flint, Michigan, by personalizing it through one family’s story, for example. Give an update on that family now. This keeps an important story alive. Perhaps you are an animal rights advocate, and your blog is dedicated to that purpose. Re-visit a previous story of animal abuse and provide follow-up on that animal today.


Create a List of Favorites

Not every post has to specifically relate to your theme. You want your followers to get to know you as a person too. One of the ways to do this is to connect on other common interests. During holiday seasons, you can provide stories of your own past holidays, recalling your favorite one as a child, teen or adult. You can expand on those stories by listing such things as your favorite holiday meals. You can then provide recipes and ask your followers to submit theirs as well. And, if it just so happens that a list of favorites ties in with your theme, all the better. If your blog is travel related, list your favorite foods of the countries you have visited. If you have a tennis blog, list your favorite winners of the major tournaments over the past 20 years.


Review a Book or Movie

There are movies and books that relate to the purpose of your blog. And you have probably viewed or read many of them. Every once in awhile, especially when you are struggling for topic ideas, provide a review for your followers. Tell them when you saw the movie or book; tell them what caused you to see or read it, and give your personal responses and reflections. Movies and books tend to evoke emotions in us, and you should address those emotions. Again, this continues to establish a more personal connection with your followers. You will also be able to stimulate conversation among those who have viewed or read the same piece – always a good thing.

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