25 Ways to Use the Web to Find Content for Your Blog

25 Ways to Use the Web to Find Content for Your Blog

As a blogger, you know that sometimes the hardest thing to do is come up with content for your blog. Finding ideas for your blog (especially if you want to post regularly) can often lead to you not blogging at all, because you start hitting the wall when it comes to what to blog about.

So I thought it might be useful to offer up 25 ways to use the web to find content for your blog. Here they are.

Blog Comments

1. Using a plug-in like CommentLuv allows your commenter to share their most recent post. I’ve seen blog titles that have intrigued me and clicked through to read, and given me an idea for a post of my own. We use CommentLuv on For Bloggers By Bloggers.

2. If you see a comment that really resonates and offers a great viewpoint, ask the poster if they’d like to guest for you and expand on the original comment.

3. Similar to above, if you see a comment you disagree with, expand your own view into a post and offer reasons why your viewpoint is different.

Other Blogs

4. As #1 points out, CommentLuv is great for sharing the most recent post of a blogger, but not every blog uses it. So click through the URL of someone’s comment and see what they’re writing about, to see if you can gather ideas from there.

5. Blogrolls. While some have called blogrolls out of date, many bloggers still use them to share what they’re reading. Visit the blogs of those your favourite blogger reads, and see what ideas you can get from them.

6. A lot of bloggers have category lists for Top 10 Tips and popular posts in their navigation menu. Have a look and see what’s there, and use them to build your own content from.

7. Speaking of popular posts, if a blogger has their most popular posts on display in their sidebar, click on a couple to read and see what made them popular. Then see how you can take inspiration from them.

Social Bookmarks

8. Delicious is a great resource for finding blog content. Just type your topic into the Delicious search bar and you’ll find a ton of results from people that have saved articles or blog posts about your chosen topic.

9. Stumbleupon is a cool browser add-on that lets you browse websites at random. You can land on some great content that will give you your own ideas for your blog.

10. While not as popular as it used to be, Digg still has some great shared posts and news on its site. Look at the most popular and see what take you can offer.

11. BizSugar is becoming more popular, as it concentrates on small business news. If your blog is in this niche, you can get some great ideas from here.

12. A mix of social bookmarking and community, Blog Engage is similar to Digg and BizSugar with its voting system, but it focuses a lot on just bloggers and is a great starting point for ideas.

Blog Resources

13. One of my favourite blog communities is Scribnia. You can find authors and bloggers based on niches, and this can really help you target content to get inspiration from.

14. Alltop offers a great collection of blogs in a veritable feast of topics – if you can’t find something to write about there, then I’m stuck!

15. Still viewed by many as the Blogger’s Bible, Technorati has more than 133 million blogs registered with them. Use the categories or top topics to find content you can get ideas from.

16. Google Blog Search offers up a huge resource of blogs on every topic under the sun. Much like Alltop and Technorati, use the topic search to find your interests.

17. Another resource from Google is their Trends platform. If you’re quick off the mark, you can write a blog post about a trending topic, optimize it for SEO, and (hopefully) be found by those looking at the trends for that moment.

18. Junta 42 offers some great tips on content marketing – check out their articles for ways to get ideas for your own blog.

Social Networks

19. If you’re on Twitter, one of the best ways to find content for your blog is to jump into the weekly #blogchat discussion. Great bloggers, great topics – what more do you need?

20. Sticking with Twitter, have a look at what’s trending at any time on that platform then see if you can get a post out about it (just don’t go all spammy with your hashtags when your post is ready). Trendsmap is a great resource for global trends.

21. And yet again with Twitter, Twitter Search is great for finding out what people are saying regarding the stuff you blog about – type in a keyword, and see if any conversations inspire you to expand on them in a blog post.

22. On Facebook there’s a great app called Networked Blogs, that shares content from Facebook users with blogs, and the Networked Blogs directory. You can get a widget with different blogs in it, and use this to build some ideas for your own content.

23. LinkedIn Groups are perfect for finding blog content. Look at the questions being asked on there and write a blog post as your answer.

24. Seen by many as a place for file and document sharing, Slideshare has great presentations that are just chock full of ideas for you to take away and build several blog posts from.

25. YouTube is more than just a video upload site – think about grabbing a tips video, for example, embedding it into a blog post and then riffing on what else could have been added to the video to make it a better resource.

Your Turn

As you can see, there are a ton of ideas that you can get from places you’re already using, but may not have thought of. These are just 25 – but there’s bound to be a ton more.

So how about you – what are some of the ways you find content for your blog? Share your tips in the comments!

image: hugovk

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  1. DougaHay says

    Other sources of good content are google alerts for your major keywords and news sites such as Yahoo Business if one was writing a business blog.

  2. says

    Digg? Everyone knows the cool kids are at Reddit. 😉 http://www.reddit.com There are subreddits on anything you can imagine, and if it doesn’t already exist, you can create it. Not to mention the self posts (non-link posts), community, and how the comments are gold, both for quality and comedy.

    • says

      @sushi Ha, funnily enough, I was considering Reddit (I have an account there), but I’ve found that it’s turning into what Digg used to be (power users, asshats in comments, being voted down for no reason), that I haven’t used Reddit in a long time.

      But you’re right, it can be a good resource for content ideas.

  3. says

    Great list Danny, what are your thoughts about the future of commentluv? I don’t see people paying for a comment system, but I also don’t see people offering free solutions for ever either. Curious what your take is.

    • says

      @hackmanj I think Andy Bailey (the CommentLuv developer) has a premium version, Joe, that offers analytics and other features. There’s also a ComLuv community, where members are promoted on the front page:

      http://comluv.com/

      Perhaps that’s a good pointer for other plug-in developers? I like how Andy’s built a solid community around something that helped promote bloggers to start with – seems the natural progression. :)

  4. says

    Every now and then I really dig combing through someone’s blogroll (though I admit, I just unpublished mine). You find some really good things there form time to time. I also think that Delicious is a GREAT resource though often an underutilized one in my opinion.

  5. Sam_museum_manager says

    Sometimes is very hard to find content for your blog. I never thought that social netwotks could be important. Thanks for your tips, I’m sure next time it will be easier to come up with new ideas!

  6. kacem4 says

    Fantastic list. Well done!
    I also think u get double benefit from using http://networkedblogs.com/: it’s a nice and easy place to get inspired and also make your blog more reachable to the FB community!
    And also as a wise man once said that social media is social, I often get inspired by tweets.
    J

  7. says

    Hi Danny,

    Late last week my creativity had all been spent, so I was reading around the web. One of your posts inspired me to leave you a spontaneous comment. My comment inspired me to expand the idea into a full post. That post was found and linked by a PR 7 site.

    I haven’t been one for leaving a lot of comments, but I plan on doing more :-). Apparently the act of writing just a little was enough to get the ball rolling.

    Rick

  8. prosperitygal says

    Danny you are definately thorough. Finding inspiration for blogs is not my linchpin, it is getting them written. I have numerous headlines written and saved as drafts that need to be completed. One thing I have leanred sometimes you get the idea way in advanced of when it needs to be used( SIGH guess I will breath in more patience).

    • says

      @prosperitygal Maybe leave less in drafts and publsh more spontaneously, Michelle? I used to have a ton of drafts, and found that they never got publshed as I lost interest in the topic. Now, I pretty much publish as I write, and found it to make a big difference. Worth a try?

    • prosperitygal says

      @dannybrown @prosperitygal Danny I love you and loving want to share my Mother said her daughter doesn’t have hell in it so it is Michele ;)).

      If I wrote everything right then I think of I would literally be writing while I drive, eat and have sex (OMG she said that out loud).

      I am taking my own advice and updating my mindmap for my editorial content 2011 and looking at which drafts fit where, then plugging them in (SSSHHH do not tell anyone there is an internal engineer in me. I am suppose to be organic-intuitive and creative)

  9. Craig_McKenna says

    Danny, very useful and comprehensive post. Its not often that I print a blog off and refer back to it but I know I will be with this one. I published a post less than 30 minutes ago and I will be polishing it further after reading this!

  10. ginidietrich says

    I did this this morning. Couldn’t figure out what to blog about so I went straight to my Reader. Opened Harvard Business Review, scanned the headlines, found one that was intriguing, and voila! I have a blog post on terror management theory and how I deal with that as a leader. Also, you, frankdickinson and I have talked about this, but keep notes of things that are interesting to you. I use Evernote because it syncs to my phone, my laptop, and my iPad. So it doesn’t matter if I’ve forgotten one or if I’ve written something down in a notebook and don’t have it with me. My ideas are always there. Plus it’s great for shopping, too.

    • says

      @ginidietrich frankdickinson Admit it, Gini, you’re on commission for Evernote, aren’t you? 😉 Actually, that’d be a great topic for your guest post here, hint hint…

      Looking forward to reading your terror management post – that should be a doozy!

    • FrankDickinson says

      @ginidietrich I am COMPLETELY with dannybrown on this – Please write a post on Evernote – how you use it, why, where all the good stuff!

      This is not a hint – this is me begging :)

  11. renepower says

    Top post Danny. I also can’t praise Google Reader high enough. And I even wrote a blog post last Friday about why writing the blog isnt enough when it comes to blogging anymore – ie get it out there!

    • says

      @renepower I really need to revisit Reader. I had it for a while, but then it got out of control with feeds, etc. Now I subscrib to blogs by email; but maybe time to get back into Reader and use it as a very moderated news feed.

      Cheers, Rene :)

  12. says

    Nice on, Danny. Great knowing you via Triberr, and getting ideas for articles for my own blog from the innovative writings people are publishing and sharing with Triberr.

  13. Queentorrent says

    I just started a new blog a few weeks ago using many similar ideas. But you have just confirmed that I .headed down the right path. Thanks.

  14. Queentorrent says

    I just started a new blog a few weeks ago using many similar ideas. But you have just confirmed that I .headed down the right path. Thanks.

  15. says

    Using plug-ins like CommentLuv is one of the easiest ways of finding quality blog sites on the web. Then install PR add-ons on your browser and sort out some high Page Ranking blogs. Pass on sensible comments. This is what I do. I hope this helps. Thanks.

  16. says

    Well, it is true that using Commentluv, you can get instant approval comments. Plus more bloggers will read your blog and pass their comments. So there is a chance that one or two bloggers will get interested in the topics which you write and would subscribe for your blog. This will help you get a guest blogger for your website. That is the best thing about blogging.

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