How I Supercharge Brainstorming of Post Ideas

As with building muscle, you need to be systematic and deliberate about it

It is not easy to find ideas to write on the fly. I find when I’m put on the spot I freeze, similar to a deer-in-the-headlights situation. Even when writing a particular post, without the proper preparation I get writer’s block.

Setting Up a Content Calendar

As I gained more experience in writing, I found that to get around writer’s block I needed to plan everything. From then on, I set aside a specific time weekly to think about topics I can write a post about. These would become my seed topics.

These seed topics, I put into my KMS workspace under projects. From here comes the start of my content calendar — a calendar that I put in my planned content. I try to fill out a month of content and adjust weekly as I go along.

Having a content calendar can be useful especially if you need to plan a series of posts or pieces of content (like my KMS series) as well as having a theme around a holiday or event.

Use of Niches

Finding a niche is an art and/or a science in itself. Generally, this should be something that you are interested in and could write about without much coaxing.

The difference between a topic and a niche is that a topic is general, but a niche is specialized. More often than not a niche revolves around an expert’s opinion or at least a hobbyist’s point of view.

Many blogs focus on a specific niche, and they are rewarded handsomely. However, don’t discount topics because your specific experience and know-how can make it useful for other people who didn’t go through the same way you did.

Niche scraping

A way to get some ideas on what people ask about a topic or niche is via niche scraping. I typically use Google to do this. I go to, type my topic on the search bar, and let autocomplete provide some related topics.

A plus point here is the fact that these are actual searches that people do, which will be relevant and timely when you start writing.

I even do the alphabet method by writing the topic and then pressing just one letter afterward to see the list of predictions generated. Once you finish all of the letters of the alphabet, you will have a bigger list to add to your seed topics.

You can also use some tools like Deap MarketLowfruits, or Answer Socrates to help you out but keep in mind they are not totally free.

Use of Prompts

I sometimes use prompts to generate more ideas or to start any writing work (like my journal). Once I collect some prompts, I run through them to see if any can generate new ideas I can explore.

Some prompts I use are:

  • Practical tips I’ve gained recently
  • How would I answer this specific question I read on _____?
  • Will I be referring to this in the future?
  • An insight from something I watched or listened to recently
  • How does this work in my professional capacity?
  • As a _____, what is something unique from that perspective?

Being Deliberately Open-Minded

As I go through my day, I keep myself open-minded to anything that I encounter. I may hear something on the radio that seems interesting, and I capture that. I may read something on the news or discuss something with a colleague.

Sometimes while strolling, I find myself choosing a different way to go and striving to see something novel. Another is while in a restaurant, I order a dish I haven’t tried before.

While scrolling through my social media feed, I sometimes search for something out of the blue. On YouTube, this practice has made me subscribe to channels I didn’t think I would like. This is also why I opted to lessen the “fast food” type of content in my feed, and actively try to lessen it, with novel “slow food” content taking a higher percentage.

All novel experiences contribute to a deeper pool of understanding and with it posts that are “meatier” and more substantial in general as you are taking it from a place of curiosity and experience.

Use of Captured Knowledge via my KMS

I’ve enumerated the benefits of setting up a KMS before. And I find that while maintaining it, I find insights I never would have found if I didn’t have my system with me.

Insights would sometimes be found because a link or a tag from a note links to another note that is not directly connected. In Obsidian, which is a a notetaking tool, you would have a feature called a “graph view” which shows the links your notes have among them. With a big enough knowledge store, the web can be a source of inspiration for new ideas.

Use of Motivation

Usually while summarizing notes I took of any long-form content I’ve consumed, I naturally get ideas from it and it eventually fills up my content factory.

Sometimes I don’t need to brainstorm an idea. I want to write about a topic because I am inspired by it. In these cases, it is better to go through with it because the momentum will more likely drive you to finish it as soon as you can.

Wrapping Up

I talked about some methods I use to brainstorm ideas for my posts. To summarize, we need to plan and be deliberate with our openness to new knowledge. Our natural curiosity becomes the engine from which we can share our points of view with the world. It doesn’t even need to be a blog post.

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