How To Find Ideas For Discussion Posts

11/04/2019 Blogging, Discussions 20

How To Find Ideas For Discussion Posts

Beginner book bloggers could be forgiven for believing that book reviews are the bread-and-butter of book blogs, but when you’ve been around a little longer, you know differently.

Because let’s face it: book reviews are generally some of the worst performing posts on a book blog, which isn’t surprising when you think about it. Book reviews rely on your blog readers being interested in that one single book, whereas other types of posts – discussions for example – have a much wider appeal.

They’re also, in my opinion, a lot more fun to write, and the level of engagement you get makes it all worth it. I’d like to think that most of us got into book blogging because we wanted to talk to others about books, and discussion posts allow us to do just that!

However, it can be difficult to keep coming up with ideas, especially when you’ve been blogging a while. I’ve often struggled with this myself, but thankfully I’ve discovered a few ways of consistently coming up with discussion post ideas, and I thought I’d share these methods in a blog post.

So here’s how to find ideas for discussion posts:

Keep a running list of ideas.

If you’re looking at this post in the midst of a crisis where you can’t think of a single idea, then this first method won’t help you much I’m afraid. Keeping a running list of ideas is simply a good habit to start, so you can take advantage of some of your more inspired moments!

Personally, I keep a running list of blog post ideas on the app Evernote in my phone, because wherever I am, I always have my phone and so can note it down as soon as I think of it. You may think ‘oh, I’ll remember it and write it down later’, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll have forgotten your great idea within ten minutes. So keeping a running list is a great idea, so you can refer back to it later, especially when you’re struggling to know what to write about!

Read other book blogs.

Some of the greatest blogging inspiration you can get is from actually reading other book blogs, and to be honest, it’s something you should be doing anyway.

Seeing what other people have been talking about and their take on certain topics can spark your own thoughts, and since everyone has their own unique view on a topic, there’s room for everyone’s opinions.

However, you should be very, very careful with this approach that you don’t inadvertently copy (or advertently copy, but that’s an obvious no-no!). I think it’s easy to read something, relate to it and really absorb that person’s thoughts, and then afterwards when it comes to writing your post think you came up with certain things.

You also need to make sure you’re giving credit where credit is due: if your post is a direct response to someone else’s ideas, mention that at the start of the post! Most bloggers will be flattered, and glad to be continuing the discussion on the topic. Also, if you see a blogger has come up with quite a unique discussion post idea that you’d like to do your own version of, it’s generally good form to check with them first if you can use it, and credit them and link to their post at the beginning of your own.

Use blog post prompts and ideas.

A quick Google or browse on Pinterest will give you hundreds of blog post ideas and blog prompts, so why not use them?

I’ve done a couple of book blog post idea posts myself if you’re looking for ideas:

Mind-map.

Mind-maps may remind you of school, but I can’t deny, they’re a useful tool!

It’s only recently that I started using this method to come up with blog post ideas, but it has proven to be very effective (and it’s a great excuse to get out the coloured pens!)! I basically write ‘book blog post ideas’ in the centre of a page, and then write a few very general topics off it, such a ‘genres’, ‘book blogging’ ‘book formats’ etc.

From there, I start to come up with smaller topics in these areas – so in ‘genres’, I’d write various genres – and from there I would write things I could discuss within these smaller areas. So in the ‘fantasy’ sub-section of my ‘genre’ thread, I could write things like ‘fantasy tropes’, ‘world-building’ and ‘fantasy religions’, and there you have various possible topics for a discussion post!

Turning these basic ideas into questions is often a good way of translating ideas into discussion posts. So with the above ideas, a few actual discussion post headlines could include:

  • What are your favourite fantasy tropes?
  • Are fantasy tropes good or bad?
  • What makes good world-building?
  • What are your world-building pet hates?
  • What makes a good fantasy religion?
  • Do fantasy worlds need religion?

Think of various bookish topics and come up with multiple discussions around them.

Not everyone loves the madness that is mind-mapping (it definitely gets messy!), but you could do a similar word association thing just as a list.

So you could think of a few general topics, and then list a few smaller topics within that sphere, and then keep breaking it down further, and translating these ideas into discussion post ideas.

So as an example, you could have ‘ebooks’ as your large topic idea. From there you could make a list of smaller topics around ebooks that you could turn into discussions:

  • Pros and cons
  • Ebooks vs. physical books
  • Best e-readers
  • Price of ebooks

And there you have several discussion post ideas!

Think about bookish problems.

A lot of good discussion post ideas stem from problems we bookworms have, whether they’re small problems (not knowing the best way to organise your bookshelves) or bigger, weightier problems (lack of diversity in fiction).

So what bothers you as a reader? What problems have you found in your reading life that you could transform into a discussion post? Because there’s probably plenty of other people out there who feel the same and want to read your thoughts!

So how do you come up with book blog discussion posts? Do you have any tips and tricks? Do you think you’ll be trying out any of my suggestions?

20 Responses to “How To Find Ideas For Discussion Posts”

  1. Krystianna

    I love this! I used to love writing discussion posts but I feel like I’ve run out of ideas. I’ll have to try some of these. Thanks for sharing!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    • Laura

      I’ve definitely had that feeling of having run out of ideas too. I really hope some of these ideas help! πŸ™‚

  2. Elley @ Elley the Book Otter

    OMG, amazing post. I LOVE the mind-map idea. I do a sort of topic, sub-topic list (like you mention after mind-mapping) and it’s worked fairly well for me so far. Keeping a list of some sort if DEFINITELY key though! I keep mine in OneNote, so I have a page that lists a bunch of ideas, and then I have separate pages for various ideas where I flesh them out further, or even start writing my post in fits and spurts whenever I feel ranty about that particular topic, haha.

    • Laura

      I’m glad the topic/sub-topic method seems to work for you too! πŸ™‚
      And I definitely do that too, where I have a rough list of ideas and then separate pages where I start drafting the post, or just making notes (only I do mine in Evernote). It is always a good idea to take advantage of ranty moods I find. That’s when I write some of my best discussions when it’s something I feel really strongly about!

    • Laura

      I definitely get quite a few ideas from things that excite or annoy me too. I think that’s actually a good way of coming up with ideas because it means your posts are about stuff you feel strongly about.

  3. Malka @ Paper Procrastinators

    I love coming up with idea for discussion posts and writing them down! The struggle is then writing out my thoughts in a coherent manner at a later time. Many times I’ll also just text Chana with an idea. This is especially handy when we’re trying to come up with a topic for our Debate Its since we need to find something that we have opposite feelings on, with enough of a back and forth to make it interesting.

    • Laura

      It sounds like you and Chana have a good system for your Debate It posts. I always like seeing your different opinions, so it’s good that you try and find topics you can have a good back and forth around! πŸ™‚

  4. Marie

    Ahh what an amazing blog post and such a great resource, thank you so much for writing this, bookmarking it for sure <3
    I'm always, always writing ideas down whenever I get an idea for a blog post, unfortunately I don't keep them all in one place, some are on my phone, some others on my computer, I really should use Evernote haha. I also love that my sister sometimes randomly tells me something and from that, an idea comes ahah πŸ™‚
    Thank you for this post!! <3

    • Laura

      I’m glad you’ve found this post helpful!
      I do find it helps to keep all my ideas in one place. Before I used Evernote I used to jot them down on whatever scrap of paper came to hand, but then I’d always lose them! I love that though where something someone says gives you an idea for a post! πŸ™‚

  5. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    This is a FANTASTIC resource for people who are struggling to come up with discussion topics. I think my main problem is that I’ll love an idea, but it’s fleeting—if I don’t write a post about an idea that sparks my interest right away, I’ll often lose feel that interest wane and then I can’t actually write about it when I sit down to do so. It’s a peculiar problem that’s probably pretty specific to me, though.

    • Laura

      I definitely know what you mean with this! With me, it’s more that I’ll note down an idea and then have no idea what I meant when I read it back later. Or an idea that seemed good when I wrote it down won’t end up being enough to write a whole post about.

  6. ShootingStarsMag

    This is a great post. I try and keep some post ideas in Google Drive so I can go back and use them in the future. I need to try and brainstorm more though because I want to do more discussion posts!

    -Lauren

    • Laura

      Brainstorming really has helped me come up with more ideas. It’s something I’ve only started doing recently, but it definitely works! πŸ™‚

  7. Angela

    Great post! I also like writing discussion posts but I’ve really slowed down on them this year, just haven’t had any good ideas! I have a Pinterest board where I keep blogging resources, I have to go through there and see if there’s anything good!

    • Laura

      Creating a Pinterest board for blogging resources is a great idea! I have one for writing and blogging prompts which I consult occasionally if I’m struggling, and I do find it helps πŸ™‚

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