Wednesday, November 30, 2011

20 Ways to Get Ideas for Writing Blog Posts

I have been blogging for a few years now and I usually publish each day. I'm often asked by current and would-be bloggers how I come up with my blog posts. These are some of the ways.

1)  Someone asks me a question. Rather than just share the answer with them, I share it with the world as others may have that question too.
  • Example: That is how this post came about.
2) I disagree with someone but politically it is not a good idea to vocalize my opposition. I write about it in generic terms on my blog.
3)  I find a new way to use something and I want to share
4)  Someone says something powerful that would never be captured and shared otherwise. I capture and share it.
5) Someone asks me for advice. I figure this might help others too so I write a blog post, send them the link, and others benefit too.

6) Someone asks me a question and I don't know the answer. I learn by writing a blog post.
7)  I see schools wasting money that could be spent on students. I write about that and share it hopefully inspiring and/or validating others not to make the same mistake.
8)  I disagree with policy. I write to explain why.
10) I want to help readers change policies I disagree with at their schools.
11) A comment on a post in another blog has turned into it's own blog post.
12) I want to learn more about a product. I use it and write about it.
13) I am exploring radical ideas and I want to see what others think. I write about it and see the kind of reaction I get.
14) I see students or teachers doing something great. I want to share it so I write a post.
15) I send a Tweet which becomes a conversation which becomes a blog post.
16) A parent needs help for their child so I advocate for them through articles in my blog
17) I discover students are struggling so I write to inform them of options they may be unaware of.
18) A parent doesn't know their rights. I write a post to inform them.
19) I provide a platform and an audience for those who don't have one.
20) Someone asks my opinion on something. I know how I feel, but sometimes I'm not sure why, so I write to solidify my thoughts.

Five bonus tips.
  1. Some people also ask how I find so much time to write. One trick for me is that many of my posts (including this one) start in my cell phone. I can type without looking so I write when I'm walking. I also write on the subway or when I'm waiting on others to start a meeting or when I'm put on hold on the phone. Using my cell phone provides a great way to engage in anytime anywhere writing.
  2. Since my book Teaching Generation Text came out, I commit to writing one post each week about cell phones so that takes care of one post each week and per a suggestion of a friend I do an end of the week recap on my slowest day of readership, Saturday. That takes care of two posts each week. That leaves me only five per week to write.
  3. I develop a queue with about ten posts written in advance. This gives me a bit of a cushion.
  4. If I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, I don't fight it. I write. I used to keep my computer out of my bedroom but I find keeping it next to me for unexpected spurts of inspiration has resulted in me banging out some good articles in the middle of the night.
  5. I have a note in my phone called "Blog Ideas" and I jot down ideas as they come up. If I have a few spare minutes at any time I look at those ideas and start writing about one of them.
So, that's how I do it and how I get my inspiration for blog posts. How do you get yours?


  1. Lisa,

    I have been following your blog posts for a long time and I must say that you are truly an inspiration for me! I am a middle school technology teacher who recently attended the Siemens STEM Institute at Discovery Communications Headquarters this summer. As of last week, I have officially started my own blog and my hope is to give back to those who have helped me so much along the way! Thank you so much for all that you do for your colleagues all over the world!

  2. Thanks Bradley,

    If you have a post you think my readers would like, let me know and we can do a cross post that 1) Brings material to my readers and 2) drives some of my readers to your blog :)

    1. Hi Lisa,

      So I am now at the point where I feel confident sharing out some of my blog posts! It took a little while for me to get started, but now I am totally hooked and blogging is so addicting! I love knowing that I am helping other teachers, while organizing my own thoughts at the same time.

      my blog is @

      Here are two blog posts that I think might interest your readers:



      If you would consider cross-posting with me, it would truly be a privilege and an honor.

      Thank you for inspiring me and other teachers around the world!


  3. nothing to say. Just, thanks for the great ideas. Lately, I have been very busy, and I dont have time for my posts, now I see your ideas. Thanks so much.

  4. Some great ideas swirling around in my mind! I just say keep it up, you are breaking new ground...Cheers!

    Mobile Phones

  5. These are great tips. I can especially relate to your bonus tip about keeping the computer next to your bed at night. Work/life balance advocates would kill me for saying that, but I think for creative people, especially, it's important to go with the flow. When an idea comes to me, I try to write it down immediately. I just got the iPhone and will often dictate posts into a note now, too, which is awesome. (Can't type without looking on a phone yet--that's pretty cool!) When you write things you're passionate about, inspiration can't be fit into a neat 9-5 window of opportunity. My best ideas are usually very late at night.

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