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Planning your entry: A basic How-to on brainstorming

By J.T Dabbagian of JTDabbagian.com

First off, I’d like to thank Lorelle for inviting me to be a guest blogger on her blog, and I’m happy to be a part of her two-year anniversary blogfest. Now, on to the festivities!

Have you ever had that time where you want to write a blog entry, but you don’t quite know what to write about, or if you don’t have an idea on something that would work well? Have no fear! All you need to do is some basic brainstorming, and you’ll be back in business!

What is brainstorming? Brainstorming is essentially the idea of collecting all the possible ways to perform a project. You follow a few basic steps, and you have articles to last a long time! (GTD Followers, you’re probably going to catch on quickly.)

Here’s what to do:

  1. Think about your niche/blogging specialty.
  2. Write every possible thing you can think of related to that niche. It does not matter whether you’ve written about it, hate it, or whatever. The point is to, for lack of a better way of explaining it, dump it all onto the plate.
  3. Once you’ve exhausted all of your ideas, start eliminating the ideas you can’t do. If new ideas originate from ones you eliminate, write them down.
  4. Then eliminate the ones you would never do, be it on account of niche/controversy/whatever. Again, if an interesting idea comes up, record it.
  5. If any ideas formed from removing ideas you didn’t want, repeat steps three and four for them.
  6. Record all the ideas in a list that you can refer to when you’re stuck.

You should probably do this once or twice a month, so you can recharge your blogging abilities. Keep doing this, and you’ll never have to worry about running out of things to blog about (I need to start doing this again. :D)


J.T Dabbagian is an professor in training working on his Master’s Degree in Communication Studies. He runs his own blog on the condition of the blogosphere, among other topics. He enjoys writing, photography, and long walks. He is available for public engagements.

6 Comments

  1. Posted August 5, 2007 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip. Where do you draft and record the ideas? On paper or software? Please advice.

  2. Posted August 5, 2007 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Great article, J.T., with brilliant suggestions. I’m sure he’ll have an answer, LiewCF, but I work all of my in a text editor. No frills, no messes. I just list them as I think of them, and if I think more than a few lines, I put a row of equal signs above and below the idea to separate it. Very simple. Low tech.

    Many work with a variety of programs and outlines, but I like simple.

    When I’m traveling, I write things down on paper, but they make their way into my idea list in my text editor.

    If you are comfortable with paper, then use paper. If you want to play around with the computer, do it however is comfortable for you. I’ve seen some use Excel spreadsheets. :D

  3. Posted August 5, 2007 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Lorelle with the text editor. I personally would suggest a pen and paper, so you can do this anywhere. Or you can do it all in your head for later (Like I do…and don’t advise, as it occasionally has bad consequences.)

  4. Posted August 6, 2007 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    thanks for the promptly replies. would you mind to take a picture or two of your list/paper, so that I could have a general idea about how to organize my ideassss(x10)? Thanks. :)

  5. Posted August 6, 2007 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    My sister is doing Journalism but one of her lecturers (on a subject related to Advertising, I think) got the students to sketch an advertisement, and from that advertisement, sketch another three new ideas, and from each three new ideas, sketch another three new ideas (by now you should have nine new ideas).

    It may sound messy, but I think it’s a great way to “think out of the box”.

    By the way, I don’t brainstorm, but I write my ideas down in a book :)

  6. Posted August 6, 2007 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Actually reading this made me think of something to add to an article that so far only exist in key word form. Since I plan publishing it here when Lorelle is kind enough to hand me the party invitation she so far only have mentioned awaits me *hint* *hint*

    Since it will be part of a post I guess I can reveal the digest here. I write general ideas in a text file (I use TextMate), which is a no frills text editor to write my blogs posts. I usually think of a few key words to go with the headline or general description and each time I open the file to add a new idea I browse it and add to the other ideas as well if something comes to mind. Once they take form I usually copy them to their own text file and write the final blog post there.

    With my link posts it works somewhat similar, but I will write more on that once Lorelle lets me ;-)


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