After the initial burst of inspiration that churns out blog post after blog post, it gets harder to keep coming up with ideas. This should be expected and is nothing to worry about—but if you’re finding yourself constantly wondering what your next post is going to be about, we’ve got you covered. While there are a variety of avenues you can go down to find that next timely idea (think Twitter, Google, any news source), Feedly is an invaluable tool when you find yourself scratching your head at your desk.
What is Feedly?
Feedly is a news aggregator that can be used on both mobile and desktop devices. It’s one way to curate your own news feed, pulling from news publications, Twitter profiles, RSS feeds or any other stream of content. It can be used as a learning tool or a tool for engagement. Simply follow the relevant sources you’re interested in and categorize them as you wish.
The useful thing about Feedly is you can have multiple boards—meaning one can be dedicated to labor law while another follows Bar Association news. You can save stories, highlight certain sections and even share directly to Twitter or LinkedIn with your own commentary attached. For multi-authored blogs, there’s even an option for team boards so you can share what you’re reading and interested in with coworkers.
How to use it to come up with ideas
After you’ve selected a good amount of material to follow, make it a daily habit to check in and see what’s new. Find something that piques your interest? Write about it. A core theme of blogging that we preach here at LexBlog is using the blog as a listening tool. Quote someone’s thoughts and add your own take on the matter—and there you have it, a blog post.
It’s as easy as finding an article on one of your boards interesting. What about it is intriguing—does it have the information you think your blog’s audience would be interested in? Format your blog post around that idea. It’s okay to lean heavily on someone else’s ideas as long as you’re properly citing them and adding your own input alongside it.
See it in action
For instance, LexBlog’s newest publication 99 Park Row is all about digital publishing trends and I have a board dedicated specifically to that. NiemanLab is a publication I follow and was the inspiration for one of my posts. “I have always been obsessed with this idea of getting people to care” was the headline that grabbed my attention—as so many writers, at least the ones I look up to, are trying to do just that.
It was an interview with BuzzFeed News’ Sara Yasin and she made a number of points that really resonated with me when it comes to advocacy writing and its crossover with social media. I wrote up a quick introduction that served as the basis for why I thought others needed to hear her thoughts and bounced back and forth between her answers in the interview and why I thought they were so poignant.
And voila, I had a 671-word blog post, even if a lot of the words were borrowed. I wouldn’t have seen this interview if it weren’t for Feedly and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to blog about it.
Now, Feedly isn’t an end-all-be-all solution, but if you’re struggling to come up with ideas it should definitely reignite your inspiration. Aside from that, it’s a great resource for staying informed in your respective niche and discovering who the thought-leaders are out there you want to follow.