Stuck for Ideas? 10 Tips for Finding Something to Talk About

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by Deb Ng

Blogging and online radio aren’t so different. As a blogger, I have to come up with fresh material several times a day, as a BlogTalkRadio host, you have to come up with fresh material once a week or more often.

I have productive days when the ideas don’t stop flowing.  Other times, I’m at a loss. As someone who has been writing and blogging for over a decade, I do have a few tricks for finding topics to write about, and I don’t mind sharing them with you here today.

  1. Keep an idea notebook - I have been keeping notebooks for years. I jot down thoughts, ideas, lists, charts and anything that comes to mind. I have a stack of them in my office and every time I’m stuck for a topic, I dust off my notebooks and give them a browse.
  2. Read your feeds – Another of my favorite ideas is to read my feeds. I have over 300 blogs and sites in my Bloglines. Taking some time to catch up on my feeds always puts ideas into my head.
  3. Check out blogs and websites in your genre – What are other people talking about? Is there any news? scandals? Maybe a writer in your niche will be willing to be interviewed. You never know if you don’t have a look around.
  4. What’s going on in the chat room – See what your listeners are talking about. They probably have some great questions or thoughts for your idea notebook.
  5. Go for a walk – Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a nice long walk in the park or around the neighborhood.
  6. Listen to some of your older shows - Past segments might spark ideas for future podcasts.
  7. What are your fellow hosts talking about? Check them out. Call in. Chat. Participate. Once you get started you may get a few ideas of your own.
  8. Poll your listeners – Ask your regulars what they’re interested in learning more about.
  9. Visit the library - Browse all sections relating to your genre for books to review and discuss or just to get ideas.
  10. Chat with the people who have been there – Visit the BlogTalkRadio forum or Yahoo group and talk to hosts and listeners there. Many of them can suggest topics, or ways to get over your podcaster’s block.

What do you do when you’re stuck for ideas?

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