Need inspiration for your blog posts? I have an idea.

Like many personal bloggers (and probably more than a few professional ones), I sometimes have trouble coming up with good ideas for interesting posts. When I used the now-defunct Vox blogging service and two of my favourite features of that service were the Question of the Day and the Vox Hunt. Both features provided prompts that encouraged users to write or share media related to the subject they posted. The questions were often user-generated so there was usually variety. You can see from my previous posts in these categories (QoTD , Vox Hunt , and several more posts that didn’t get categorized when I moved) that I answered several of them and they often led to writing on a topic I wouldn’t have considered had I not followed the prompt.

I also really enjoyed reading other people’s answers to the same questions.

I’ve been searching for similar writing prompt sites and my Google-fu is failing me – I keep coming back to the same sites over and over. They are usually static or long-abandoned and often only consist of one person’s ideas. The 30 Days of Truth meme going around right now intrigues me but that’s only 30 days worth of questions, and some of the questions on that list don’t interest me, which is why I haven’t started participating in it myself. I’ve enjoyed reading those posts immensely.

I’d like to create a site devoted to reader-generated blog prompts (in word or picture/media format), but I’d like to figure out a few things first:

  • I want lots of people to contribute ideas, because more ideas equals more content. If I opened up a site and asked for contributions, would you consider contributing an idea or seven? No idea is too small or too silly. Those are often the easiest to answer quickly.
  • If you looked at this potential site and found a prompt interesting, would you write about it and link back so everyone else can read what you wrote? Would you consider leaving a comment saying “hey! I wrote about this on my site!” or would you want to use one of those link widget things? I want to be able to read any posts that come out of this and it’s always nice to have a little promotion somewhere, right?
  • What is the best platform for this? I want this to be easy to manage for me as an admin and easy for any contributors that may want to share content. I also don’t want to spend a pile of money on hosting if I didn’t have to at this stage. I love the flexibility of WordPress and the simplicity of Posterous. How would you do this?

What would you do to make this work? I’d like to keep it fun, low-pressure, full of variety and completely opt-in. If you participate in every post, that’s awesome. If you participate in only one, that’s awesome too.

I’m always on the lookout for new things to write about and you probably are too. Would you participate in something like this, at least once in awhile? Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Need inspiration for your blog posts? I have an idea.”

  1. I think its a great idea! I’m part of a writing group (new) and also participate in two writing sites (that have weekly prompts): MamaKat’s Losin’ It and Sleep is for the weak. I’m always amazed when I look at the list of prompts and think “nope, nothing there” but then manage to write a post I’m really happy with. I’d be happy to join in and contribute 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing Sara. I knew this concept wasn’t an original one, but I hadn’t actually visited the sites you mentioned, even thought I had read and enjoyed several posts written by folks using the prompts.

    I worry that it looks like I’m totally trying to copycat or steal this concept. That’s not my intent. I just wanted a spot where I could post ideas from and for me and others who are looking for blog post ideas. Now that I’ve seen that these guys have done so much work already, I wonder if I should be building my version at all.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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