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Generating Post Ideas – A Follow Up

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July 29th, 2009
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WordPress, WordPress Plugins, WordPress Tips

Last week I posted a blog entry to generate discussions about how you work at Developing Post Ideas for Your WordPress Site. The response by everyone was tremendous – 33 comments and quite a few great ideas.

It seemed that the most popular way to keep track of ideas for blog entries is by using the built in draft functionality of WordPress.  You can do this via the Admin Post writing interface or even via offline tools such as Windows Live Writer.  A quick title and a few words, lines about what you want to write about and then save it as a draft.  That draft will happily sit there waiting for you to come back to it when your ready or when you have more info to write down towards the idea/post. Once you get the post where you want it and feel the inspiration to complete it then it is easy to just publish it to your site.

If you want those drafts to appear on your WordPress Dashboard for quick reference then from the main Dashboard page of the admin interface click on Screen Options and select the checkbox next to Recent Drafts:

recentdraftsondashboard

That in turn will place a panel on your Dashboard showing your drafts:

recentdraftsdisplayondashboard

Those titles are clickable and will take you directly to the post edit page.

That is a great way to keep track of those ideas because you never know when you might log in to your admin interface and be inspired when you see those draft ideas and jump in there to finish writing that next great posting.

A plug in that was mentioned more than once to help manage a long list of drafts is the Drafts Dropdown Plugin developed by Alex King. This plugin places a tab on your Dashboard that gives you on click access to a drop down tab with your drafts listed:

draftsdropdowntab

draftsdropdowntabexpanded

Some other ideas that were mentioned to generate and hold onto those ideas were:

  • Good old everyday notepads, notebooks, sticky pads.
  • Take a break from blogging to let your mind clear and refresh your writing palate with new ideas.
  • Review the comments on your site or on a single blog entry for follow on ideas (that is the method I am using here) :-)
  • Peruse RSS feeds or other websites with similar subjects to generate fresh ideas or new twists on one of your blog subjects.
  • Someone even mentioned writing down ideas that come up when they over hear discussions on public transportation!

One other plugin that got mentioned for tracking your ideas was the To Do List plugin by David Gwyer.  This plugin places a dialog box on your main Dashboard screen that is a simple text box. Just write your ideas or to do list in there and save it.  That’s it.  I recommend you move it into a prominent place on your Dashboard so you see it each time you log and hopefully get inspired to write that post. No hotlinks in this plugin just a simple electronic version of a notepad.

todolistdisplay

The bottom line is you have to find your inspiration and plug away.  Blogging is a passion and that makes getting the ideas a lot easier in the long run.

As for the electronic assists I discussed here. I recommend a combination of draft posts to hold your ideas and the use of the Drafts Dropdown Plugin to make your drafts easy to access from within your dashboard. With the quick access to your drafts and then one click to the edit post screen it is the simplest means of working on those inspired postings!

Thanks to everyone who contributed. See ya on the next one!

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Comments

  1. Arsen (1 comments.) says:

    need help on plug-in myself let me know pls

  2. Ken (1 comments.) says:

    Well being a blogger myself, I used to think about what to blog tomorrow when I dont get sleep in the night… LOL

  3. YorTz (2 comments.) says:

    Remember the old Hollywood screenwriter technique: Put a sheet of paper in the typewriter and stare at it until your eyes bleed.

    Can’t wait for the plug-in

  4. J. Lynne (1 comments.) says:

    I recently heard a story on NPR about how those old-time typewriters are all the rage now. Apparently young aspiring writers and rich geek gadget collectors want them. Some repair guys are overwhelmed trying to find typewriter ribbon and replacement keys. I’m trying to get my father to sell his on ebay.

    BTW, I’m a notebook gal. I tried keeping notes in my Palm or using one of the online notepad things, but I’m much happier keeping my lists and blog ideas in a pretty spiral that slips into my eco-friendly purse — I know it’s conflicting. I’m complex.

  5. gestroud (11 comments.) says:

    Yep, I’ve heard stories about them new-fangled typewriter gizmos you mentioned. They’re a little too complicated for an old timer like me. Gonna stick to my quill and parchment, thank ye.

    On a serious note, this is definitely a handy post, but I makes me wonder how many people still use paper and pen these days. Or if I’m living in the past :-(

  6. gestroud (11 comments.) says:

    but it makes me wonder



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