30 January 2014

Where Do You Get Your Blog Ideas?

From article at Fast Company.com

I don't know if it is the bitter, cold weather this month or the after holiday let down, but I seem to be having trouble getting motivated to blog.  I have had plenty of time to do it with the wind chill and blizzard-like conditions we have been experiencing lately.  Who wants to leave the house in that?  Plus, I don't have any trouble coming up with ideas, I just have trouble getting them down in blogger!

My daughter, Kirsten, a successful social media strategist and creative copywriter, and the force behind my start with blogging, shared the above graphic on Facebook and it got me thinking about my blog writing process.  While this graphic may not be representative of where geneabloggers do their best thinking, it is interesting. Where do you get your ideas from?  In the shower?  At the bar?  Or somewhere else?

I get the majority of my ideas while reading.    I am an avid reader.  In addition to popular fiction and magazines, I read blogs, genealogy related magazines, genealogical society newsletters, online news, and genealogy books.  Lately, I have been reading "Digging Deeper" by Karen A. Clifford.  Ms. Clifford's book is an excellent resource for pre-1850 research.  I have a number of ideas written down on an editorial calendar from Ms. Clifford's book alone.

An editorial calendar is an organizational tool to help in the writing process.  It is a place to schedule ideas across many platforms.  For me, I use one to schedule my blog posts.  There are many templates available online, but I use a simple monthly calendar and plan my ideas in advance. .  I use my Roots Magic software to create a calendar report and look for ancestor's anniversaries and birthdays and I fill in with the ideas I have collected through my reading.  Since my mind isn't what it use to be, when I think of an idea I usually write it down.  I have a journal like book where I keep ideas.

Are you one of the 19% who think in the shower or one of the 5% who think over a cocktail?  Leave a comment telling where you do your best thinking?


  1. Hi, Brenda, when I started blogging in Aug 2010, my aim was to post once per week and I soon expected to run our of family stories and photographs - how wrong I was!. I get my ideas from fellow bloggers, geneabloggers - and inspiration during the night when I cannot sleep, but hope I remember the ideas the next morning!

    Following particular blogging series and challenges, is a major help e.g. Sepia Saturday, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, The Book of Me. A-Z Challenge etc. .

    I make full use of the Drafts folder. and create a "New Post" for any idea or prompt or anniversary reminder that I think I will write about, putting in at least the subject or draft title in the Title Box, and perhaps some quick jottings on content, to develop later.

    I limit the drafts to no more than a page of the screen, so it is easy to give a quick overview - too many drafts and some get forgotten about.

    Some weeks I have a blitz with a number of posts ready to go, but I have learnt to be restrained and space them out. Too many on one day I think runs the risk of posts getting overlooked by readers.

    This is not very structured system, but it works for me! I will be interested to read what other bloggers do and thank you for riasing the issue.

    Good luck with your own blogging activity!

  2. Dear Sue, I love the idea of using the drafts folder. I think I will start doing that. I find the blogging series nice too, but forgot to include that in my post.