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How I Come Up With Blog Ideas

This post was most recently updated on August 1st, 2016

How I Come Up With Blog IdeasI’m often asked how I come up with blog ideas.

So I thought it would interest you to learn why I write what I write about.

There’s a reason I say that “I thought it would interest you”… and that’s really the key to the system I use to come up with blog ideas.

Now, when I talk about “blog ideas” I mean the topics you write about.

I guess another way of saying blog ideas is blog titles.

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Very often, people write what they think is a compelling title, and then they proceed with writing an article that goes with it.

But this still leaves you with the matter of coming up with the titles on a regular basis.

I actually have my own little system for doing this, and since I’ve been asked about it so many time, I decided that an intriguing title for this article would be “How I Come Up With Blog Ideas.”

Before I show you my system, though, let’s talk for a minute about how other people develop their blog ideas.

Here’s Some Common Ways That Bloggers Come Up With Blog Ideas

Most bloggers I know struggle on a regular basis with what to write about on their blogs.

Understandably, they start out by wanting to write about things their readers care about.

Somehow though, this very often translates into things that THEY care about.

Here’s one example:

How much money am I making?

Did you ever read blog posts about how great the author is doing?

Things like “I just sold 500 copies of…” or “This new thing I just joined is really paying off for me.”

Now, does this really interst you, as the reader?

I find those kinds of posts dreadfully boring, but maybe it’s just me.

If I go out to dinner with a few friends and all they talk about is their new job promotion, or how they just started making a lot of money with some new business they joined… I suddenly fake up a call from my dog sitter…

“Oh, I’m sorry. The dog sitter just called. She’s stuck in traffic and the dogs haven’t been out since 2:00. We’d better leave, now. So sorry to cut this short.”

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Same thing when I read a blog post about how much money someone’s making with something.

Like I care, haha.

What next, copies of Profit & Loss statements?

Am I alone on this, or do you find these articles pretty boring, too?

Here’s the problem, IMHO…

People write articles like this because THEY are interested in how much money they’re making, and they assume everyone else is, too.

Or at least they hope everyone else is interested.

You see, if their readers are actually interested, it means they have a chance to sell them something or have them join a business opportunity or whatever.

The point is… a bog post like this is not really what the reader wants.

It’s much more what the blogger wants the reader to hear, and maybe take action on.

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Here’s How I Come Up With Blog Ideas

That’s just one example of how bloggers tend to write what they want readers to be interested in, more than drill down to what readers actually are interested in.

Now, I’m sure I’ve written blog posts on topics that interested me more than my readers.

But I’ve develop a system that keeps me from doing that.

It’s not a system that works for everyone, but it does for me.

And it’s pretty fool proof if you use it.

Here’s how it goes.

  1. Hang out with people in your niche.
  2. Engage with them, build real relationships with them… like first-name basis relationships.
  3. Listen to them when they tell you the problems they have and challenges they face.
  4. Write blog posts that help them solve their problems and overcome their challenges.
  5. End Goal: Improve their lives to the extent that the problem or challenge was depriving them of reaching a goal or
    attaining a desire.

That’s it.

I do it all the time and it strongly resonates with my readers.

This is partly because I have constant interaction with my target audience.

This may not be the case with you.

Your business might be creating software, for instance.

Maybe you don’t really interact with your customer/prospect base.

In that case, this might not be the best strategy for you.

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This is really something that assumes you talk to your readers and prospects.

I don’t know what business you’re in, so I’ll leave it up to you to determine if this is as a good a strategy for you as it has been for me.

Having said that… Here’s why this is tailor made to my specific business model.

Hanging Out

I hang out with lots of people.

I’m in social media groups, blogging communities, and forums that are filled with my potential customers/clients.

I’m there all the time and so I meet lots of folks.

In addition, I also coach clients, mentoring them to build successful, profitable blogs and online businesses.

I run several membership sites, both free and paid.

I’ve released many digital information products into the marketplace.

I have multiple mailing lists.

The bottom line to all this activity is that I have many, many places where I hang out with people who are interested and involved in the things I do.

That means they’re a highly targeted audience within my specific niche of blogging and online business development.


Now, having access to lots of people is one thing.

Engaging with them on a regular basis is another.

And I do.

I strike up real conversations with people, and I ask them all the time what they’re up to, what problems they’re having and what their desires are.

I encourage them to respond to me and engage with me, as I do with them.

In this way, I build very strong relationships with my clients, customers and social contacts.


When people respond to things I say or do, I listen carefully to their responses.

But even when people aren’t talking directly to me, I pay careful attention to what they’re saying.

Some of this comes from social media conversations they’re having, maybe in a Facebook group or forum.

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Some of it comes from blogging comment threads, whether or not I’m directly involved.

Wherever I am (within my niche, of course), I’m always listening to what folks are asking, talking about, ranting or complaining about.

I make it my business to really “hear” what’s going on around me.


Because I keep myself so attuned to these conversations, coming up with blog ideas is pretty simple.

I usually write about something that’s going on right now.

If a client tells me on Monday about a challenge he or she is having putting together a sales funnel, for instance… by Wednesday I’m writing a blog post that pretty much summarizes the answer I gave them in consultation.

The blog post won’t go into the level of detail I do within a coaching session.

This is partly because when I talk to a coaching client, everything we discuss is within the context of their specific situation, business and goals.

It’s partly because I just can’t get into the level of detail in a general blog post on a topic, that I can in a coaching consult.

All things considered, my blog post will generally reflect my client’s problem, and it will generally solve that problem… or at least point my readers in the right direction.

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If I’m not writing about a question posed to me in coaching session, I’m probably writing about a question I got from someone on my email list, or from a customer of one of my training courses.

It could be in response to a forum or Facebook group thread in which a group of people were discussing an issue that concerned the group.

It could be from anywhere that I was hanging out with people in my niche… from clients I was speaking directly with, to a crowd I might have just been listening to.

End Goal

The final step in this process is for me to write blog posts that actually help people get past obstacles holding them back, or to help them solve significant problems in their business.

When I write these articles, I have in mind a specific person who I actually spoke with, or heard conversing with others.

So, I’m usually writing a particular blog post with that one person in mind.

This helps me keep focused on real people with real problems, who I can offer real solutions to.


Now, you know why I write what I write about.

There was a reason I said at the outset that “I thought this blog post would interest you.”

There’s a reason I said it is the key to the system.

The reason is that I wrote this blog post based on an actual discussion I had with one of my clients a few days ago.

So, I figured this might be of interest to you because I know (not speculate) that it was a real issue of real importance that was really of interest to this particular and very real client.

That’s the key.

It’s the key to writing blog posts that are of real concern to real people.

I hope I have given you some help to writing impactful and compelling articles, by seeing how I come up with blog ideas.

Now, it’s time for some engagement.

I’d love to see your comments below, and I appreciate you sharing this post on your favorite social sites.


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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64 Responses to How I Come Up With Blog Ideas

  1. Donna Merrill March 13, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

    Hi Jacs,

    Good to know you enjoyed this post. Oh yea..reading a blog with a bazillion screenshots of how much money someone has made bores the heck out of me. We all all unique and one size does not fit all. If Mr.X made so much money, it involves so many different things. If I put Mr. X’s plan into action, I would have different results because of different variables. Simple brainless science!

    OK..I will stop my rant lol.

    But listening to others is the key. It can be a client, a friend on social Media, even a comment on someone’s blog. These things can inspire us to write.

    Thanks so much for your visit.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  2. Jacs Henderson
    March 13, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    what a superb post… the best information to read is something that is going to change your thoughts on how to action a change to grow your business.

    I see how you often write based on a question or problem someone has presented to you.

    Listening really is such a skill, as is engaging with your audience in communities where you are able to see and hear their struggles.

    Hanging out with them is the perfect model for your business growth because people can see your warmth and blogging skills and you listen to them. That is so key!

    I had to smile.. it is really not interesting to read how much money someone made! And there can be a fine line between offering value on how someone can help themselves, and showing how you did something.

    You identified a key point for any blogger to consider when deciding what to write about, and that is to show the way to overcome their struggles and obstacles and how to move forward.

    Supadupa Donna 🙂

    ~ Jacs
    Jacs Henderson recently posted..My 3 Success Secrets… Focus ~ Community ~ SupportMy Profile

  3. Ikechi
    March 9, 2016 at 1:08 am #

    Hi Donna

    I love your system for coming up with blog ideas. It is pretty easy when you have a conversation with your audience and also listen to them.

    I get my blog ideas from reading other blogs and looking at an issue from another angle. This can sometimes be difficult which is why I agree that with hanging out with your audience makes blog ideas easy.

    Thanks for sharing. Take care

    • Donna Merrill March 11, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

      Hi Ikechi,

      That is a great way to get some blog ideas. The way we as bloggers need to always be reading other blogs, we can come up with ideas from them with a different angle.

      Even blog comments can be a blog post in the making.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  4. Sherman Smith March 8, 2016 at 11:41 am #

    Hey Donna,

    Im with you on peopleaving talking about how much money they’re making. As soon as I start reading this I automatically think “ok when is the sales pitch coming?” Lol.

    But interacting with your target market helps lot with coming up with ideas. I usually get emails and messages on facebook of people asking different questions. Every couple of months I would also send out an email to my subscribers asking them what problems are they consistently running into.

    Joining Q&A sites help a lot as well. I’m in Quora and kingged.com just started a Q&A section for all bloggers. There I can jot down topics I can later use as a blog post which is still geared towards my target audience.

    Thanks for sharing Donna! Have a great day!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..Google URL Builder: Quick And Easy Way Of Tracking Your Sites’ PerformanceMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 8, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      I think the same thing…when is that sales pitch coming when I see people talking money. I’m not the IRS I always think to myself so why do I care?

      Indeed, interacting with people is so useful giving us ideas. Someone will talk about a problem that we can easily answer and there ya go…a blog post done.

      Good to know you are doing the Q & A’s on those platforms. You will get amazing feedback.

      Be well,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  5. lisa thomson-The Great Escape...
    March 7, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

    Hi Donna, that’s the key isn’t it? Not just what we want to write about but what do our readers (target audience) want to read. Knowing what that is takes a bit of doing though. As you say visiting forums is a real great way. Sometimes I just come up with topic related items while I’m out walking or watching a television show. It’s kind of weird but seems to work for me. Thanks for the suggestions and reminder, Donna!
    lisa thomson-The Great Escape… recently posted..Can Writing Lift Us Out Of Darkness?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

      Hi Lisa,

      It sure is the key to be writing what our readers want to read. There are so many ways to get ideas. I too get them when I’m just walking around.

      Sometimes I get Idea OVERLOAD! I can drive myself crazy but as long as I jot down an idea on my phone or paper, it is out of my head and there for a later date.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  6. Ryan Biddulph
    March 7, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

    Ditto on those money posts Donna. I find them dull. Not because I dislike money. Money is nice. But my life is built on Freedom and Fun. Show me how to be free and have fun. Ya got my attention. Showing me how to manipulate systems or folks to manifest digits on a screen doesn’t catch my fancy.

    I always love the engagement deal, just like you note. Sit, and cyber talk, or meet people in person and shoot the bull about your niche. Or be a problem voyeur. I spot probs and blog ideas left and right through comments and social shares and emails and offline experiences. I link to my experiences. I toss in a wild travel story or 2. And I’m golden.

    Fab tips Donna!

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..Home Office on the Water Koh Lanta ThailandMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

      Hi Ryan,

      Yes, those money posts are so boring. Money can be manifested in many ways. We each have our own money karma don’t we?

      I do like something that makes me want to read on when I visit a blog. Like your adventure stories…I always find them interesting because I don’t have the balls to visit a jungle I can share your experience and it sure is fun.

      Engagement is key if we ever want to do anything online. But it all comes down to how passionate we are about others. I find that meeting cyber peeps is amazing and becoming friends with people I could never meet awe’s the heck out of me.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  7. Andrew M. Warner
    March 7, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Really great stuff here.

    I wouldn’t say I’m bored about those types of posts, but sometime I do think ..’uh huh, and this relates to me how exactly?’

    But regarding topics and coming up with them, hanging out with people in your niche is a great thing. And really listening to what problems they’re expressing. That’s like you being a fly on the wall and getting the inside scoop.

    Because at the end of the day, you need to write posts that readers want to read, and not what you want to write about. I had to learn that lesson.

    Really great post here, Donna.

    – Andrew

    • Donna Merrill March 8, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

      Hi Andrew,

      I too get that feeling sometimes as you mentioned above… ‘uh huh! It can be a chore to comment on lol.

      Yes, you said it because if we are really listening like a fly on the wall, we do get that inside scoop that will give us amazing ideas to write posts.

      Great to see you here,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  8. Chery Schmidt
    March 5, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    Good Morning Donna, You did an Awesome job with this post my friend and agree 100%! Asking questions and then writing out the solutions.

    Now it doesnt get any easier then this Right?

    Great Share!
    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..How Are You Building Customer Relationships In Your Online Business?My Profile

  9. Sonal Talwar
    March 5, 2016 at 5:49 am #

    Hi Donna

    Listening to the problems of others and writing about it giving a solution is a great idea.

    To find my blog ideas, I read the blogs of others.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Sonal Talwar recently posted..Create Invoice with FreshBooks and get paid Faster!My Profile

  10. Donna Merrill March 3, 2016 at 10:01 pm #

    Hi Cori,

    Wow you remembered my blog post from last year by visualizing one person? My gosh you have a good memory. Yes, that was the one whereby I explained how to create that “Avatar” so it is easy to look at and know exactly what that person needs to be successful. So great to know you have used it ever since. Thanks so much.

    Isn’t it amazing when we read post after post and so many ideas run through our heads? We just have to remember to write it down lol.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  11. Corina Ramos
    March 3, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Thanks so much for sharing how you get ideas for a blog post. It’s good to know what others are doing just in case our method goes cold. 🙂

    I’m happy to say I do the same things, only I don’t hang out on forums so I just might give that some consideration.

    It’s easy to write a blog post with one person in mind. I remember you shared a blog post, I think last year, about visualizing the person we’re blogging to. I’ve used that ever since. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your strategies with us. I hope you’re having a great week.

    Corina Ramos recently posted..Introducing An Online Community For New BloggersMy Profile

  12. Stella Chiu
    March 3, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    Hi, Donna

    Fantastic topic, Donna!

    if we follow your way, we are never short of blog post ideas for next post particular the one with single niche. Your way is an effective way.

    I have a multi-niche blog so that I have less problem in finding what I am going to write about. However, your ways still help me to narrow down what niche i should concentrate on this time.

    Agree with you, one of the keys is “exposure” which enables us to engage with people and know the problems they are having. i see your pic over many groups dashboard. Of course, we can’t neglect the comments of the posts.

    Thanks for insights of blog content!

    – Stella Chiu
    Stella Chiu recently posted..Are Healing Miracles Real?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 3, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

      Hi Stella,

      Glad you found this interesting and helpful. Having a multi-niche blog can be confusing at times to come up with content. My advice to you is to segment each niche and then write down ideas under each niche as you get them. I find the reliable pen and paper a good tool to use in this case lol.

      Just keep that paper next to your computer and I’m sure you will never run out of ideas.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  13. Atish Ranjan
    March 2, 2016 at 3:04 pm #


    Great topic!

    Getting new blog ideas every day is somehow tough for many of us. Sometimes I spend hours and end up with nothing. That is why I stopped brainstorming on the topics rather I read various blogs including my own, and I also read comments on my blog posts. These give me quite a few ideas for new blogs. Reading the old posts on own blog may give great ideas at times too.

    Thanks for the ideas you have shared.

    Have an awesome week ahead, Donna.
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..Ninja Blaster – Online Marketing on AutopilotMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 3, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

      Hi Atish,

      You mentioned that you do read your comments on your blog for some ideas. That is a wonderful place to start. Many comments will stir up ideas because our readers will either ask a question or give us some feedback we can elaborate on.

      Good to know!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  14. Tuhin Adhikary
    March 2, 2016 at 5:36 am #

    Thanks Donna for this great article, I really was thinking of posting at least 3 articles every week but never thought of how not to run out of ideas. I’m going to start penning downing every idea that flashes my mind. Thanks


    • Donna Merrill March 3, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

      Hi Tuhin,

      Good idea. Make a list of all the ideas you have and start developing one after another.

      I don’t know that you want to do 3 posts a week, but if you decide to, you need to stick with it, otherwise your blog will be inconsistent. I’m sure you know that’s not a good way to optimize it for the search engines.

      Best of luck with it.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  15. Sam March 2, 2016 at 4:37 am #

    This is great thanks! Alot of ideas on how to create content.

    I definitely struggled with it in the beginning. I wish i’d come across this then 😉

    I do all that you say now. I get immersed in the niche. Podcasts, youtube videos, training courses, so on & so forth! There is SO much to write about.

    Thx again

    • Donna Merrill March 3, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

      Hi Sam,

      Yes, once you get immersed in your niche the ideas for writing blog posts come so fast and furious you just can’t keep up.

      Just keep a list of your ideas under categories and develop them as you need. Some of the ideas might end up as videos, podcasts or full out courses. Others will be blog posts.

      When you’re not immersed in your niche, this can be hard work. When you are, it’s just a natural, organic part of the flow of what you do.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

      • sam March 3, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

        Yes I agree Donna. I’ll go as far as to say that only content creation problems are due to one not being fully committed to whatever niche or business that is.

        I say this because its 100% true for me & for all others that I’ve seen.

        I struggled with what do I write about. I just don’ tknow… to a point where I come up with so many ideas I have to cull my list & choose what’s best for my audience.

        Its a powerful place to be in & a great problem to have! I’d certainly rather that then having no ideas.

        Once I got immersed, like fully committed, there were so many ideas it was crazy. and between podcasts, audiobooks, books, trainings, blog posts, youtube videos… the information just doesn’t stop!

        Thanks again Donna

        • Donna Merrill March 3, 2016 at 10:44 pm #

          Yes, Sam, if you’re committed to and immersed within your niche… you have your finger on the pulse of the situation.

          At that point, just enjoy yourself and engage your readers, followers, subscribers, and customers with conversations that help them move forward.
          Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  16. David Rhodes
    March 2, 2016 at 1:38 am #

    Donna thanks for your help. A little story I would like to add. I am sitting here on my phone late at night reading this great and helpful post. I am learning so much from great correct bloggers such as yourself. I have learned that people including myself are wanting solutions. And it is our duty as bloggers to write what they want or need to help solve that problem. I like to go to the different groups thst I am interested in and there are always problems thst they are trying to fix. Listen,Look and Research and lot of times both of us gets thst solution to the problem. Great post Donna. Sincerely David

    • Donna Merrill March 3, 2016 at 11:52 am #

      Hi David,

      Glad this helped you out a bit.

      Yea, it’s not really that difficult to come up with blog ideas if you’re in touch with what your crowd is looking for in terms of a helping hand, and maybe some instruction on something, or maybe just some encouragement.

      If you don’t know what your followers really want, then it’s tough trying to give them what you think they want.

      If you do know their challenges and problems, then just keep giving them some answers and solutions and make their lives a little better, and their path a bit easier.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  17. Kim Willis
    March 2, 2016 at 12:27 am #

    Excellent ideas here, Donna

    Talk to people and listening to their concerns etc is a simple way to uncover content ideas.

    Another good one is to attend webinars featuring topics that are niche relevant, then create some content around the key points covered.

    Another one is to check other people’s blogs and see which posts get the most engagement. It’s also good to read the comments – I sometimes get ideas from the comments that people make.

    So many ideas out there!

    Finally, you hit the nail on the head with your comment about writing posts based on concerns and interests that real people have.

    Thanks again, Donna!

    Kim Willis recently posted..How to Use Effective Messaging to Attract Your Best CustomersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 3, 2016 at 12:20 am #

      Hi Kim,

      I like the idea of the webinars. Lots of good engagement on those, and especially during Q&A’s you really get to see what concerns people.

      They are often, at that point, trying to decide if they should buy something being promoted during the webinar, so they’re really laying it on the line. They talk about will the product do this for me, or that, is it a solution to this problem or another… etc.

      So it’s a great opportunity to see what’s really on peoples’ mind, what their pain points are and what they’re trying to achieve.

      Thanks for adding that to the mix 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  18. Mitch Mitchell
    March 1, 2016 at 10:54 pm #

    Donna, I’m not going to lie; I write about what I want to write about. Having said that, usually what I’m in the mood to write about is something I know others have either been thinking about or that they might not have already considered as it relates to whatever the topic happens to be that I’m addressing at that moment. I also sometimes go against the grain of belief because belief isn’t always the truth. lol

    Having said that, I do talk to people and listen to people and, at least on my business blog, I write those stories and either offer my own thoughts or some helpful suggestions that will help others in some way. Every once in a while I go off on a topic that’s probably way more important to me than to the masses (like Black History Month lol) but it’s also a business topic that I address in real life so I feel it should be important to others… whether or not they agree.

    I always agree that when we write our blogs that we hope our readers are into whatever we are. At the same time, if we don’t write about what interests us, then what we write about will be boring, people will know we’re bored, and who wants to read that? 🙂
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Popups Ruin A Blog Readers ExperienceMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 2, 2016 at 11:58 pm #

      Hi Mitch,

      I certainly hear what you’re saying, and i agree that blogs can be creative and provocative and hey, even poetic.

      There’s plenty of room for creativity and yes, I do try my hand at that occasionally, but not nearly as much as you do.

      It could be that we just have a different purpose for our blogs. Mine is essentially to help people learn to build an online business in one way or another, so my posts tend to be more in line with their struggles and challenges.

      If people come to your blog for something different, maybe wit, insight, entertainment, etc… then naturally you’d be developing different blog topics and ideas than I would.

      It’s funny, too, that even though our styles and audience may be different, I think we both enjoy very loyal followings… so I guess we’re doing things the right way, my friend 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  19. Jennifer Giacoppo
    March 1, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

    Hey Donna,
    when I read your blogs I get a great sense of satisfaction of you being there. What I mean by that is, that you are fully present in your blogging and you are fully turned on with your senses.
    You not only are delivering with your words all of the time, but your senses are acute.
    You listen, you feel, you watch, you sniff the air out for what needs to be addressed, you taste your rewards with your fans and you touch your visitors with your expression.

    I love learning from someone like you because your interactions are visceral. I have been someone in all of my life that relates to people with heart and then head. I love your posts.
    Looking forward to the next one-Jennifer

    • Donna Merrill March 2, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

      Hi Jennifer,

      I have to say that your comment really hit my heart and I thank you. The feedback you have given here just made my day because it is confirming what I try to do. Be present, be here for others and of course listen to problems that go on all the time, trying to give back the best I can.

      I too relate best to people that come from the heart then the head. Thank you sooo much!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  20. Chris DeeWaard
    March 1, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

    HI Donna.

    As usual, a great post here.

    I, for one, don’t like to read posts which only talk about how much money the writer made. Where’s the value in that? Them talking about their bank accounts being full is not going to help me to succeed. They need to explain what they did to get there, or else it’s just bragging, in my honest opinion.

    As far as finding ideas to write about, I’ve struggle with that as you are aware. I don’t spend enough time in the Facebook groups I joined to listen to what problems people are having with their online ventures, or to engage with them on a more personal basis. Maybe it’s the shy guy in me. I know I need to do more in that area.

    I actually finished and published my latest post, based on a problem someone had regarding the amount of hackers’ failed login attempts on her blog. She had posted a picture of the total amount of tries, over 3000, and asked how to stop this in one of the groups.

    That right there should be the bell ringing to tell me to get my butt back to those groups and look for problems that need solutions.

    Going to start putting time aside to get more involved in the groups.

    I also need to engage with my very small mailing list more often, other than just sending them the link to my latest post. It’s time to start asking them how I can help them.

    Again, this shy guy in me has kept me from reaching my full potential. I’m better now. I can actually talking to people I don’t know more comfortably, but I still have a long way to go.

    Gotta kick the fear which causes my shyness in the butt, like I wrote about a while back. Lol

    Sorry, the rambling man in me when I’m comfy has taken over.

    Thanks for sharing your strategy.

    Have a great week…….Chris
    Chris DeeWaard recently posted..How to prevent hackers from logging in to your WordPress BlogMy Profile

    • Jennifer Giacoppo
      March 1, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

      Keep it rocking Chris, you are funny. You must feel so proud of how far you have come?
      Jennifer Giacoppo recently posted..Does your blog feel like home?My Profile

      • Donna Merrill March 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

        Hi Jennifer,

        Chris is amazing isn’t he?
        Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

        • Donna Merrill March 2, 2016 at 1:36 pm #


          Oh those money posts! Who is going to enjoy that besides the IRS? Indeed it is boring.

          I just came back from your latest post whereby you did a screen share of how to protect our WordPress sites from being hacked. You did a wonderful job and it is one topic that is so important.

          Coming up with ideas all the time as a blogger can be tough. I shared how I did it because it came up with discussions I had lately.

          As far as your email list, I would say work it!!! Even if it is small, that is where you can roll up your sleeves and give them more information than your blog. Just think…when someone new comes into your list, they will get all that information on cruise control.

          As for being shy…I think you are doing well coming out of that shell 🙂

          Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  21. Susan cooper
    March 1, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    Hi Donna, I feel so lucky that having to come up with blog ideas isn’t a huge issue for me. Since my blog is centered around either recipes or wine it narrows it down greatly. If every week was just a big question mark of what to write about, with endless topics to cover….wow that must really add to the amount of time it takes each week or each post. You’ve given some great ideas based on your personal experience to help those that are struggling.

    • Donna Merrill March 2, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

      Hi Susan,

      Every time I visit your blog I’m impressed. Your latest one I just had to share with family and friends because that recipe was amazing. Mixing recipes and wine is just fantastic. You hit a very broad audience because it interests so many people.

      Now If that was my niche, I would be scratching my head because I don’t know many recipies and when it comes to wine, my husband is the expert not me lol.

      Keep on writing..

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  22. James McAllister
    March 1, 2016 at 8:55 am #

    Hi Donna!

    I know I am guilty from time to time on writing on topics I want to write about rather than ones there is actually an underlying demand for. I try to tie lessons into them and make them worth readers time, but the reality is that what you say is absolutely true.

    I’m willing to bet you and I both have the opposite problem of having too many ideas. I have a list of like 50 I want to get to writing, and many fully written posts sitting in reserves because I was so excited at the time when I came up with the idea, I felt like I had to crank it out then and there.

    As you have pointed out ideas are plentiful as soon as we’re able to step back and identify them. And the good thing is, it only tends to get easier over time.

    Thanks Donna!
    James McAllister recently posted..Udemy vs. Self-Hosting – What’s Best For Your Online Course?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 2, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

      Hi James,

      Why am I not surprised that you have too many ideas lol? You always provide fantastic information on your blog and yes, tie lessons into them to make readers learn a thing or two.

      I know I always come away with a lesson or even better than that…something I have to ponder.

      Great point: It does get easier over time.

      Thanks so much,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  23. Lisa Sicard
    March 1, 2016 at 6:32 am #

    Donna, I really like your point about those that write about their earning income reports, etc. I used to like them to see what others were doing but after a while they did get Boring! I try to write about topics that others are struggling with or questions that come up either online or in person.
    There are weeks I go without an idea and other times I get several ideas in a day. It is a struggle at times when 2 weeks go by without a new post. But I try not to write just to write. Years ago I would just to hit that publish button.
    Thanks for some great ideas here Donna and have a great rest of the week.
    Lisa Sicard recently posted..Why do social realtors protect their wonderful valuable tweets?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 2, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

      Hi Lisa,

      Oh those income reports! Bores the heck out of me lol I know how it is when we get those ebbs and tides of ideas. We can go for a while scratching our heads thinking what we should write about and then other times get a flood of ideas. Trick is to write down those ideas when the flood gates are open.

      I do find the best way is just to keep our eye out or listen carefully to our clients and we can “answer” the questions.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  24. Beb
    February 29, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    Hi Donna. That sounds like one of the best ways to come up with blog post ideas. If you don’t clients or other real people to talk to, you can always ask Google. When I’m looking for an idea for a new post, especially for my product website, I go to Google Analytics and see what search strings people have entered to get to my website. There will be a lot of entries asking how something works, how to use it, or what to do if they have a particular problem. It’s very close to what you are talking about, just a little more second-hand than actually talking to real people.
    Beb recently posted..How To Build an Online PresenceMy Profile

  25. Adrienne
    February 29, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

    That’s a great post Donna and I know everyone will appreciate you sharing how you do this. I mean you continue to be asked all the time as you said. That just means they really want to know.

    I know people are always wanting advice as to what to write about but I agree with what you shared. Just listen to the problems people have and there ya go. They’ll tell you if you’re interacting enough with plenty of people.

    I do the same thing, I get a LOT of emails and questions from people who are just so lost and confused. I hate to see that happen so I try to write about whatever issue they’re having at the moment. Of course it all ties into what I teach anyway so there ya have it.

    I love this post and of course will be sharing as well. Thank you my dear for sharing your tips, I know people really do appreciate this.

    Have a fabulous week Donna.

    Adrienne recently posted..How to FINALLY Succeed With Your Blog Even If You Feel CluelessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 2, 2016 at 2:00 am #

      Hi Adrienne,

      I think we use a similar approach in what we’re blogging about.

      And I think for that reason, neither of us is every short of ideas to blog about… and neither of us is ever short of words either, haha

      It’s really kind of a natural thing to simply use our blogs to help people out with their business, just like we do when we’re talking to our students and clients on our email list, in our social media threads and everywhere else.

      So nice to hear from you, girl.

      You have a great week 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  26. Mark
    February 29, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

    Thanks for sharing such a powerful and evergreen content generating system Donna!

    Your proven approach, to consistently generating highly relevant blog content,
    is a great example, of using the mega profitable service angle!

    Because as you clearly pointed out, simply by being an active listener and
    contributor in the various circles and platforms etc.

    You can’t help but get a solid understanding, of where your target audience
    is struggling, and what they truly need, that would definitely be of benefit to them!

    And it makes perfect marketing sense! Plus,it’s
    like you’re literally tapping into a never ending source, for both inspiration,
    and pure, problem solving content idea generation!

    And BTW, I love your exit strategy, whenever you go out with friends, and
    the conversations are simply too “me” orientated!LOL!

    That’s too funny!Thanks so much for sharing it!
    Mark recently posted..How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Advertising Costs Into Marketing Profits!Part SevenMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 2, 2016 at 1:47 am #

      Hi Mark,

      Yes, to be relevant to your readers, you need to always keep in mind the “service angle.”

      If you’re really trying to serve the needs of your readers, you’ll keep your content clearly relevant to their needs, desires and challengers.

      Stop their struggling, give solutions, improve their lives.

      That’s all it takes.

      Sometimes things are so simple that they can seem complicated.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  27. Donna Merrill February 29, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

    Hi Don,

    You sure hit the nail on the head when you wrote “The more focused and clear one is on their business, the more one can get ideas from virtually anywhere!”

    I could be walking down the street and get an idea. Sometimes I get too many he he he. However, I do try to focus my content on questions people may have, or comments I receive.

    Because this was a common question I have received lately from many people, I decided to blog about it.

    Now I can always send this post to someone if they ask me that question. People seem to enjoy when I do that.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  28. Don Purdum
    February 29, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This is often a question I get and I love that you shared your ideas. Engaging with people, reading blog comments, responding to an article on a popular website or engaging with people can create massive ideas.

    The more focused and clear one is on their business, the more one can get ideas from virtually anywhere!

    I get ideas at networking events, from TV shows or commercials, or from conversations with friends or at businesses.

    Clarity and specificity opens our eyes to the amazing world of possibilities. Articles are everywhere and are only limited by own creativity or experiences.

    Thanks for sharing your insights Donna!!!!! You’re awesome!!!!!

    Have a great week.

    ~ Don
    Don Purdum recently posted..How to Stop Inefficiently Losing Money in Content MarketingMy Profile

  29. Marquita Herald
    February 29, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    Great points Donna. I think some bloggers really struggle with the “authenticity” issue and at what point we cross the invisible line to TMI. Thanks for the tips on how you get your ideas, we can never have too many of them! My best source of ideas is reader comments and book reviews. Once I target a general topic I look for the unanswered questions and things that frustrate people and then I dig into that a little deeper.

    • Donna Merrill February 29, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

      Hi Marquita,

      I do agree that many bloggers do struggle with “authenticity” and may loose focus. Many people were asking me how I come up with ideas and I just had to write this post. I do believe it is important to listen to people because when we do, we can have a plethora of information to write about.

      I like the way you target a general topic and look for unanswered questions. Then dig deeper to solve them. I always come away feeling great after reading your blog.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  30. Mandy Allen
    February 29, 2016 at 7:34 am #

    I’m always interested in how others find topics to write about. I guess some do have a title and then write the post. I tend to write (because I always have written) then find I have great trouble coming up with the title!! I always hope it is compelling and people will want to read the post based on the impact the title has but I’m not sure it always works that way! Thanks for sharing!

    Enjoy the journey!

  31. Edward Thorpe
    February 29, 2016 at 5:49 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Wonderfully effective strategy:
    writing about issues your target market is already talking about,
    writing for one person,
    solving one problem.

    You’re a keeper!
    Edward Thorpe recently posted..Blogs I Like and ReadMy Profile

  32. Harleena Singh
    February 29, 2016 at 1:18 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Interesting indeed 🙂

    I loved all that you wrote as I can relate to it, because I do the same in most of the cases, especially when they are posts I create based on what people have asked me about. It could be through emails, on the social media platforms, and even in their comments or in the communities and forums.

    If we can help people by creating blog posts that would help them, we are actually blogging for a cause – a reason to help others, alongside keeping our blogs alive as well. Honestly speaking, if we follow such a way, we are never short of blog post ideas, nor wonder about what the next topic should be about. I know I’ve never had that problem, especially with a multi-niche blog, but even those with a single niche one should go for this effective way.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..Ultimate Guide and Review of Visme for Creating Infographics and PresentationsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill February 29, 2016 at 11:11 am #

      Hi Harleena,

      You have such an active community at AHA Now that I’m sure you find plenty to talk about.

      It’s really nice to read blogs where the content emerges organically from what your readers are all talking about because you know, without question, what they want to talk about. Because they’re already doing it, hehe

      In a sense, when you get your blog content form conversations already taking place on your blog, you’re just elaborating on what people are talking about, what they’re asking, where they get stuck on something or whatever.

      Thanks for taking some time to visit today, my friend.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Put Screen Capture Video On Your Blog | And WhyMy Profile

  33. Robin Khokhar
    February 29, 2016 at 12:23 am #

    Hi Donna,

    The best source of my ideas is reading others blogs and asking out the visitors of sites. Mainly the post asked by the visitors of my site work more than any other blog post.

    Thanks, for the share.
    Robin Khokhar recently posted..How To Rank On Google First Page Without Backlinks?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill February 29, 2016 at 11:06 am #

      Hi Robin,

      Reading blogs is a great way to find ideas.

      If anyone has trouble coming up with blog ideas, just see what people are talking about on other blogs. Leave a comment, reply to others…. you’ll come away with more ideas that you can handle 🙂


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