Back then, writing was thrilling.
My mind would swell up with hundreds of cool topics. My fingers felt fiery. In a few short hours, I’d crank up a pretty epic piece after clanking the keyboard at 100 wpm.
But after blasting out dozens of posts, my mind finally took a toll. It felt exhausted. Drained.
At that point, I couldn’t stop. I had to find fresh content for my blog. Otherwise all of my efforts into growing my readership would’ve been a huge waste. After all, the more stories I wrote, the more readers I had to please.
“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity”
-H Jackson Brown Jr.
So I did the next best thing — I tested numerous blogging tips to produce fresh content. Here’re the 5 most effective ones that brought me the most results (views, likes, comments).
1. Write a story based on a popular Quora question
Quora is everyone’s go-to place to ask questions and get legit answers, making it one of the best places to pluck out interesting topics.
One of my most read stories, What does “attractive” really mean? came from this question:
Initially, I was going to clone this idea and encourage people to show a snapshot of themselves to build some engagement. But eventually, as I kept rewriting my intro, I began incorporating more of my thoughts and emotions. And pretty soon, this question expanded into something personal, which blew my expectations.
A few tips when searching for a good topic from Quora:
- Find a topic with more than 10+ answers.
- Find a topic with insane views, within a short period of time.
3. Find a topic you genuinely find interesting.
Pro-tip: Check the box for Quora Digests, under settings, if you want interesting Quora questions (aka. blog ideas) sent to your inbox.
2. Use your reader’s comments
Nothing is easier than looking back at your old comments and seeing what your readers have said — be it a suggestion, an itching question, a mere thought. Because sometimes, you could get some pretty cool ideas.
Like this one time, a reader asked if it’s rude to give a friend a gift with its tag still attached. Of course, I had to reply since this question struck pretty deep.
After giving my answer, I suddenly came up with a great idea for a future post: Gift-giving culture around the world.
Pretty cool, isn’t it?
All it takes is a few minutes to get some interesting content from your old comments.
3. Expand your old post with a side story
Most of us have a habit of pushing out a post and forgetting about it the next day. To the point where it starts collecting dust.
In my eyes, that’s a wasted opportunity.
Because one of the best ways to recycle your old content WHILE creating new content is to write a side story, relevant to your main one.
For instance, I wrote about stories that talked about my dating experience and tied them back to my big post, How love f*cked my career.
- How dating has always felt like work
- How My Dentist Became My Relationship Therapist in One Day
- An open letter to all the boys I’ve dated
Not only did my readers find these stories just as enjoyable, but I also got a few more recommends and comments on my old post, which attracted new readers to check out my stories.
Find your highest read, most personal, most emotional, most thought-provoking story, and see where you could expand it — that will intrigue your readers.
4. Use someone else’s article
If you really can’t think of anything to write about based from your own content, use somebody else’s.
Back then, I’d read someone’s post and proceed to respond, using Medium’s box comment, with my own story.
**On Medium, box comments were counted as “stories” to a story. But in 2016, they’ve been placed under “responses”**
What I got back was a crazy amount of responses and recommends given that week. Almost the same as if I wrote my own story vs writing on someone else’s.
5. Transform quotes into insightful stories
Wait, what? Quotes into insightful stories?
✋🏻 Let me explain.
People are hooked on quotes. In fact, it’s one of the most highlighted, most shared snippet of a post. Because it inspires. It shakes their reality. It makes them ruminate.
And I’ve dug deep into Pinterest, Instagram, and Google search just to find powerful quotes. At first, it was for my own inspiration, but now I find they’re super effective in building a personal story.
Take this quote for example:
It dug so deep into my nerves that I decided to write this post:
The one trick to breaking into a million dollar business.
So if you ever bump across a great quote, JOT IT DOWN. SAVE IT. Because it might trigger you to write something you would’ve never thought about.