Five Things To Do When You Have Nothing To Blog About

We all know that content drives a blog and a never ending flow of content is one of the keys to long term growth. However, even the best of us will eventually run into writer’s block and just can’t think of anything to blog about. If this happens to you, then here are five things to do when you have nothing to blog about. If you have any more things you would like to add, feel free to do so.

1 – Check The Comments

When I have writer’s block, the first thing I do is read my blog comments. I get many blog story ideas from reading my comments. In fact, the last two posts came about because of comments made to my Three Hour Photo Session for BC Business post. These type of posts do really well because your readers are asking for them. It also re-enforce rule number three of the Seven Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers – interact with your readers.

2 – Check Out Other Blogs In Your Community

With 60+ million blogs out there, I’m sure a few of them must have something interesting for you to write about. While you don’t have to check all 60 million blogs, it’s a good idea to check out some of the blogs in your MyBlogLog community or the blogs of your commentators. Most blogs write these types of post up as news or “speed linking.” Whatever you want to call it, you should try to inject your own views into the topic. You can see an example in my What’s Happening In the Community post.

Sometimes you will come across a good story (like List of Blogger Salaries) that deserves its own post instead of being grouped with a speed linking session. Make sure you give your views on the topic. Just copying a pasting a quote and telling the readers to go read the full story isn’t going to provide much incentives for the reader to come back to your blog.

3 – Look In Your Archives

If your blog has been around for a while and has amassed a good number of posts, then try looking in your archives to see if there are any posts that you can update into a new post. If you’re really lazy you don’t even need to update them. Just change the date and bring the post back to the front page. The chance of anyone noticing is very slim. John Chow dot Com has 1,097 blog posts. How many here have read every single one of them? Many posts are timeless. If I were to bring one of them back to the front, most would think it’s a brand new post. However, the better way is to do a brand new updated post and link to the old post. This way you add new content to your blog and help bring traffic to the old post as well. You can also try a Blast From The Past.

4 – Check Your Email

While most readers interact by leaving comments, some will do it with emails. Sometimes, I will come across a question from a reader that I know many would like the answer to. Instead of replying to the author, I would answer the question in a blog post. That was the case when HMTKSteve ask me for my breakdown of Google CPM and CPC ads. Not only did I answer the question but I also explain how to display your Google contextual and SiteMatch stats.

5 – Look At YouTube

When all else fails, go to YouTube (or any other video sharing site) find a funny or thought provoking video and post it. Remember to add your own comments/views to the video.


87 thoughts on “Five Things To Do When You Have Nothing To Blog About”

  1. 6) Make a blog post about what to do if you have nothing to blog about πŸ™‚

    1. John Chow says:

      7) Hit up your guess writers and ask, “Hey! You got a blog post for me?”

      1. thanks for the tips john.

        7. Take a powernap

        1. Marc says:

          8. Go outdoors.

          I find that getting away from the computer and getting some fresh air does wonders. That assumes you have fresh air outdoors…

      2. Kumiko says:

        You forgot:

        8) Count how much money you’ve made πŸ˜†

        But then again, that only takes me about 4 minutes…

        1. Marc says:

          I find that one counter-productive. It just adds pressure 😐

        2. yeah, count that one in as well

        3. John has an accountant to do that for him

      3. Speaking of which…I haven’t read any guest posts from Mitch or Michael in a few days. πŸ˜₯

      4. blogdinero says:

        John, when you have no inspiration, you can think on my t-shirt, jaja

    2. πŸ˜€
      yeah, include that one

      1. also spend some quality time with your family

  2. Pallab says:

    Another good way to come up with fillers is Stumble Upon. Choose categories like bizzare and humour. You are bound to stumble upon something interesting.

    1. good point, thanks for the tip

    2. Marc says:

      That is a good one. I know I tend to hang out in the same corners of the Internet all the time. Stumble Upon is a great way to expose yourself to something new.

  3. FameFire says:

    Nince topic and discussed more nicely. When we come to youtube and post a random video, it also counts as a post. What other have been discussed gives me an idea to search out posts.

    1. Marc says:

      I don’t really like the youtube idea personally. I’ve used it posts before, but only when relevant to the content. I sometimes get sick of the “funny” videos.

      Then again, I still smile when I think of the rocket powered spa chair sailing down the mountain…

      1. I agree. I like to keep my blog more “professional” and it is hard to find an internet marketing video (thats of decent quality) to post on my blog.

  4. Winston Hoo says:

    Great tips, John! Thank you!

    Well, I am always running out of idea what to write and yesterday, I just snapped a photo of my breakfast and blog about it. LOL.

    1. Mehdi says:

      Heh, I’ve done that too: Scrambbled eggs

      1. Mehdi says:

        Oops, there is the link:
        Scrambled Eggs

        1. TheAnand says:

          Thats interesting guys! I usually have something to blog about right now, if nuthing, I take a PayPerPost post!!! Hey John, nice posts these days…this is the type of posts which is typically you! Good going, nice to have you back! Great Read and super tips there!

  5. green says:

    Ya, great tips again, i usually visit my favaorite bloggers when i have nothing to write about.

    I also play Worms Armageddon (best and funny game of world) if i feel bad :mrgreen:

  6. I go through my community regardless of downtime. Since relationships with other bloggers and my readers is so important to me, I try to visit and comment to as many sites as I can without it distracting me from my responsibilities to my other sites.

    1. thats a great point “contribute without getting distracted from main task”…!

    2. Marc says:

      How true. Keeping in touch with communities is very important, whether you’ve got writer’s block or not.

    3. How many sites do you have Jane?

  7. Or you could write about what to write about when you have nothing to write about…

  8. Mehdi says:

    Listening to your readers, what they comment & what they write about on other blogs/forum is the best for inspiration.

    When you know what is being talked about, you know what to write about.

    1. TheAnand says:

      I am with you on this, maybe my comments on

      http://www.johnchow.com/the-seven-habits-of-highly-successful-bloggers/ is making john post some good posts! :mrgreen:

  9. downtime…I visit JohnChow and interact with the community in comments:)..also i like janemay’s blog…will try to become regular there as well…great tips jane!!

  10. ohh i also bookmarks articles or blogs i like and in my free time just read and blog about them..that ways you always have a post…you just need time to post(which is the hard part currently for me)…

  11. TheBeginning says:

    Maybe you could enter ProBloggers Top 5 writing project and he’ll unblock your adds :mrgreen:

  12. Rhys says:

    I have started doing #2 a lot more. But I find the best thing to do is actually walk away. Go for a walk, think about what’s happened today, watch TV. One of those will give you something to talk about!

  13. Bob Buskirk says:

    good tips john, now I have more to blog about!

  14. Yeah, really helpful tips, John, thank you. Just what we all need when battling writer’s block. When I feel I can’t come up with anything for work, I usually do the exact opposite — play. It could be anything from playing video games, a couple of minutes with the hula hoop, a sport you’re good (and bad) at, to skimming through a magazine, grocery shopping, or taking a quick afternoon nap.

  15. I have posts lined up in the time stamp corridor, so it isn’t lack of subjects. For me it is the time it takes to do and test what I write about. Foodie posts take up a lot of page space, as can be seen from your restaurant posts.

    I love comments, especially ones that disagree with me, because it heads me out to see if the commenter might be right. I’d take 10 times the numbers I get, but a lot of people email me instead. Bah!

    Any chance of getting the address changed on your link to me?

  16. Moulinneuf says:

    Find someone related/unrelated to your advertiser that no one else heard about ?

    Look up Review me and look up people who never appeared on your blog you find interesting , hit them with an offer ?

    Look up the calendar and discuss upcoming celebration ( Mother Day ) , hit up related/possible advertiser ?

    John chow Platinum iron American Express blog fight ! Pit two blog against one another and have your reader vote on who they they think is tha winner. The winner gets rewarded with a John Chow American Express card with 200$ on it.

    Ask many insurrance broker how much it would cost to insure Eddie griffin to drive a pagani after showing them is redline trailer …

    go to kiva.org find your top 5 project you find the most interesting and submit to the site that don’t love you anymore.

    Ask your community what they would do to reconquer the love of a blogger who don’t love you anymore. With 5 idea πŸ˜‰

    Select 5 breakfest place youve never been and ask your readership to select one you have to go eat to and what you should eat once there.

    Go to a McDonalds near you and buy a Big Mac to the next 50 people that come to the cashier and leave a 100$ check to the Store manager for the Mc Happy one day late. Have local journalist on hand to take picture.

    Offer to maximize to the max the ram of your user personnal computer to the one who can write a good reason why and link to you.

    look up the security/upgrade of the tools you use for blogging hardware/software.

    :mrgreen:

    1. Marc says:

      “Find someone related/unrelated to your advertiser that no one else heard about ?”

      I like that one.

      “Ask many insurrance broker how much it would cost to insure Eddie griffin to drive a pagani after showing them is redline trailer …”

      And this one πŸ™‚

  17. Matt Jones says:

    Don’t forget about Google Alerts! They sometimes send me stuff great ‘mental substrate’.

  18. James says:

    I am actually having less of a problem finding topics to blog about than finding the time finish the posts properly. There is so much to blog about.

    1. Marc says:

      Then you are indeed fortunate πŸ™‚ I usually have a few topics in my head but there do come times when I’m stumped and go through a bit of writer’s block.

    2. I know what you mean; I certainly get those moments too — so much ideas, so little time LOL. That may not ALWAYS be the case for me, but I do cherish those moments. πŸ˜€

    3. thats exactly my problem πŸ™‚

  19. Mjuboy says:

    Thats a great list, John!

    And whenever I get a good idea for a post, I write it down so that I can post it later when I have time. It’s really useful.

  20. Rich Minx says:

    I find looking at digg.com or news.google.com usually provides some inspiration if I need it.

    1. Jolynn says:

      Me too !

    2. Yes I am even subscribed to digg, and to slashdot, they have real good ideas!

    3. I agree and Im subscribed to both as well. Also take a look at yahoo news and prweb as well.

  21. Money Blog says:

    put up a reviewme post! 😈

  22. Nicely put. I usually have the opposite problem of doing the “other” stuff too much and trying to get back to blogging.

  23. Gayla McCord says:

    If worse comes to worse, I either complete a meme I’ve been tagged for or do a round up post of my favorite bloggers hot posts.

    Nothing like spreading a little link love during the down times.

  24. Mosley says:

    Good post John! I have bloggers block at least once a week!

  25. Eric says:

    John… what is you’re e-mail by the way?

    $1,000,000,000

  26. Krillz says:

    yeah yeah that a good list.

    When you don’t have anything to write about, just make a post about how fed up you are with it or how stuck you are.

    Your community would most likely respond on what you can do.

    Personally John I think you hit such a lock today thus posted this post on what to do in such moments, so this post was your solution on ending your lock, or am I wrong πŸ˜›

    1. Marc says:

      “When you don’t have anything to write about, just make a post about how fed up you are with it or how stuck you are.”

      That reminds me of a quote from a comedian. Do you know who cares less about your problems than you? Everybody…

      Readers don’t want to hear you complain (unless your blog is about complaining).

  27. green says:

    I had planning to write 5 articles today, but at first attempt i had problems with inserting content to database. And it took my whole day πŸ‘Ώ

  28. Rosie says:

    I’ve read every single one of your posts!

  29. theothereye says:

    I personally make note of every single thought I could have into my mobile to record it before I forget… It happens usually in the tube or while I’m trying to get asleep :).

  30. Kenny says:

    John since you read your comments for post ideas, why the 1000 reader drop on the RSS? Its at 3400 now. It usually dips during the weekend, but 3400 mid week?

    1. wow that’s huge I am sure it is a system malfunction 1000 in a day is quite alot !

    2. John Chow says:

      Look for a post about this later.

  31. D&D Nerd.com says:

    1 – Look through forums related to what you blog about. You’ll probably find some gems that are worth posting your on views on. In my case, I’ll occasionally go through Wizards of the Coast’s forums looking for something to write about.

    2 – Instead of just YouTube, search other video sites as well. And don’t just limit yourself to video! Search sites like Flickr, Photobucket, Deviant Art, and even Cafepress for stuff to blog about. And I know there’s plenty of other resources you can tap into as well. That’s how I ran into the pictures of peeps! πŸ™‚

    3 – Read some magazines related to your topic! I finally decided to pick up a copy of Dragon Magazine, despite it going out of print soon, and there’s some very good articles within. One of the articles, which covered using music in a D&D campaign, kinda caught my eye and got me to thinking about people who might not be able to afford even music over iTunes, and also those people who don’t want to deal with any kind of DRM. Thus, I’ve created a post where I share some resources where you can find free, DRM-less music (and won’t get you sued by the RIAA). πŸ™‚ However, that post won’t be showing up until later on today, so if you want to see it, keep your eye on D&D Nerd.com for it. And maybe even subscribe to the RSS feed. πŸ˜‰

    Yes, I know, I’m being evil by advertising my blog in this comment. 😈

  32. didnt you have a post about this already?

  33. Amanda says:

    I find talking to my friends helpful, because they tend to ask a lot of questions about stuff I do. Or when I cant find something to post about I ask someone to guest post

  34. Matt Ferris says:

    2. Check out other blogs in your community

    This is probably the most effective. I read plenty of blogs in which a writer has a broad scope, but a section of the post presents a great opportunity to expand. I also keep a list of bookmarks from news websites (and even links websites) that continually provide ideas for good content. Maybe I’m different than most people, but sitting around watching a mainframe greenscreen at work all day doesn’t really promote cognitive fecundity.

    Cheers,
    Matt

    1. I have an entire folder-full of related sites in my bookmarks (and until recently, BluFur) to get inspiration from. Really helps especially when you’ve got no leads whatsoever.

  35. You can also write about what to do when you do not know what to write about ? πŸ™‚

  36. Hey John, Have you think about sending this

    post to problogger.net? and enter into 1001 $us contest about the top5 list?
    you still have time!

  37. Also wanted to add that updating an older post is a good idea. However, doing it sparingly and ONLY when needed is important, I think. You don’t want to work with recycled content all the time, do you?

    1. cheap, you always tend to have the last words

      1. Well, I wouldn’t say “always.” πŸ™‚

  38. If your weblog isn’t just about technology or how to earn money with adsense, you can also check what’s going on TV and newspapers. I helps you to know what kind of information people will soon request.

  39. well

    i check out digg

    and i usually finds something interesting there

  40. Jason says:

    πŸ’‘ Start a completely random contest which has little to nothing to do with the content of your blog πŸ’‘

    Jason

  41. Excelente reportaje, voy a seguir tu consejo John… Saludos desde Caracas, Venezuela

    Excelent post, i will follow your tips John. Regards from Caracas Venezuela

    Pedro Yaselli

  42. Chicago 2016 says:

    Even this can be branded for your readers, though. In my opinion, there are plenty of places to go on the Web for funny videos, but if you build yourself a niche – for example, I’m a fan of hip-hop, so I post new hip-hop videos – you may get a bunch more visits that way.

    Just a thought.

  43. Chicago 2016 says:

    Or I’ll post on JohnChow.com

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