Forums of Inspiration

Teli Adlam —  August 29, 2007

Please forgive me; that was a very poor play on words that I used in the title of this entry. But, it’s relevant to what I want to discuss today. Finding inspiration for blog entries.

When you decide to blog, it’s inevitable that you will encounter writer’s block. You will wonder exactly what’s left to talk about and where to find it all. Well, check a forum. Not necessarily a blogging forum — chances are, the only thing you’ll find in blogging forums is technical blog issues and other items related specifically to blogging and not writing.

Blogging is all about writing. (Duh, right?) Writers, whether a novelist or armchair journalist, need sources of inspiration. In most situations, I’d recommend picking up a great book on writing and creativity, but this time around, I’m going to recommend looking at the questions posed in some of your favourite forums.

The reason forums make a great place for finding blog inspiration is because of it’s disheveled nature. When people ask questions and there are multiple responses, the answers can sometimes be strung across multiple responses interlaced with random chatter. As the blogger, your job could be combing through it all, compiling the information into a neat blog entry, and publishing it for anyone else who has the same questions.

I see this happen a lot at the forums I moderate and frequent. Actually, this blog entry was borne from a forum question that was intermingled with a different topic. The question is what exactly do you blog about and how do you find it?

Instead of just leaving my answer in the forum thread, so it can also be lost to others who are potentially asking the same question, I brought it to a different location. From the blog, it can be indexed by the search engines and possibly reach an even larger audience. As an additional bonus, you could even link to your blog entry from the forum.

One caution if you do decide to post your link in the forum is to make sure you’re not spamming the place. Check the rules as it pertains to linking out to your own sites and avoid random link dropping without offering up an explanation. To properly link back to your compiled answer, properly give an overview of what the readers can find in the blog entry.

Now, let me close up by saying that forums aren’t the only place to find inspiration for blogging. You just need to become a lot more observant of your surroundings. Depending on your niche, a blog entry could be lurking around the corner of your local coffee shop.

[tags]finding blog topics, what to blog about[/tags]

Teli Adlam

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4 responses to Forums of Inspiration

  1. Forums and Yahoo Answers are a great place. I am an active member of a web development forum and being a member kind of prompted me to start a forum on blogging so bloggers (in my comment link) could help each other better themselves and grow!

  2. Interesting post Teli. I really had a useful information in your post. I do participate in forums for finding useful comments to my questions. Some supposed to be a joyful chat with the forum users.

  3. I agree, Yahoo Answer is a good way of driving traffic to your blog. There’s an old saying that goes “If you want a friend, be a friend” – I say “If you want comments, leave comments” 🙂

  4. Inspiration. We all need inspiration on a daily basis and finding somthing new to blog about is not always so easy. As you state, forums as well as Yahoo Answers are two great places to find ideas. And don’t forget about Twitter. Lots of inspiration there.