Have you ever found yourself praying for inspiration to strike while you stare at your computer’s blinking cursor the night before your blog post is due? Don’t worry—You’re not alone. These 20 Best Blog Post Idea Generation Tips will help you.
Did you know that if you learn how to generate blog ideas on a regular basis, you can avoid the curse of the blank page while providing a starting outline for your post?
A blogger dedicated to making your blog a success – finding new content can be a struggle. Bloggers have a bigger challenge because it is critical to post more frequently to keep your readers engaged with new fresh content. But how do you always come up with new topics and ideas for engaging content?
A business that has a blog has to offer content that is directed at the type of clients or customers you want to reach. But when you are busy running a business, the blog can often take a back seat – so how do you save time but still create valuable content?
There are so many ways to find content inspiration – so we tried to narrow it down to a few of our personal favorites when helping our clients find content to deliver! To help you fill your blog editorial calendar, use these 20 blog post idea generation approaches. If you use one per day, you’ll have a month’s worth of posts to fill you blog!
A. REACTIONS, OPINIONS AND EXPERIENCES
Think about your daily life. Articles you read on the web, trade journals you use, events that you attend and people that you speak to. If you “listen” to these things they can be a great way to come up with new angles on topics!
Take a cue from Backlinko’s Brian Dean who makes sure that every piece of his content is up-to-date before creating new content.
Content Marketing Institute follows a similar approach. They spruce up their top performing content. According to Michele Linn, when they do this, the posts continue to be among the strongest for the period following the update’s publication. They add an editor’s note and add “Back By Popular Demand” to let readers know it’s updated content.
2. SHARE YOUR OPINION
While opinion pieces are straight out of newspaper and magazine editorial pages, very few bloggers can pull this off. Often most opinion blog posts are actually guest posts.
But one blogger stands out in terms of opinionated posts – that’s Mark Schaefer who has consistently focused on his blog while others have tested various social media platforms.
Understand that opinion posts generate a lot of controversy. Be prepared to handle reader and social media feedback.
Schaefer’s most well known opinion post is on Content Shock.
- FACEBOOK/BLOG COMMENTS – do you review your Facebook and Blog comments to see the feedback people are leaving? Are they offering great ideas/inspiration or asking great questions about something you have already written that you can expand on?
Ask readers to contribute quality content suggestions where appropriate. To do this, put a note at the end of your content requesting input with the caveat that you will vet the content to reduce bloggers looking for backlinks.
- INDUSTRY “HOT BUTTONS” – think about the issues in your industry that may be “controversy” worthy. Most businesses and bloggers are afraid to write controversial posts for fear of the backlash, but if there is a topic that no one talks about – that may be the one that can bring you new exposure. Do not be afraid to push limits – while you may lose a few readers or upset some people, chances are you will have a great result in the end with new found fans.
- CLIENT/READERS QUESTIONS – have you had readers, clients or customers ask the same question that you are constantly repeating the answer too? Do they always ask how a service works or what a product does? These questions can be a great way to create a useful blog post that will make you look like a superstar.
- READ INDUSTRY BLOGS – when reading your competitors blogs and industry relevant blogs you are opening an opportunity to find opportunities they have missed! Often in the post or in the comments you will find additional questions or be inspired to answer questions the post may have skipped over. I often see things like “we won’t cover that in this post” — within posts – this is an opportunity for me to write a post about that piece they missed!
- ONLINE TOOLS AND RESOURCES
B. The resources below are websites we have found that can inspire you with new creative content ideas. Most will either show you hot topics that are being socially shared or will give you insight into questions people are asking so you can outdo the content others have done or answer questions people have.
Some of these resources also act as content distribution services meaning you can share any found content directly to your social networks or blog – so you can use other peoples content with attribution.
- QUORA / YAHOO ANSWERS
Quora and Yahoo are just 2 of many forum style question and answer websites where you can source content ideas based on what readers are asking. Simply enter in your keywords, industry or general topic and it will return questions that people have asked. Look around and see if a specific question is being asked a lot!
As an example, I typed in “animated gifs” in the search box – then from the dropdown I chose the topic “Animated GIFS”.
The results are so many – of course this is a broad term – you can refine it but just from this I can see that questions like “what are the most hilarious animated gifs” and “what are the best cat animated gifs” – if you have a blog about cats – you can do a post about the “The 10 most hilarious animated cat gifs”. Using the filters on the left you can further refine your search as well. Play around – you may be surprised to find some really great ideas here!
- ContentGems Scours Articles
ContentGems scours hundreds of thousands of articles all over the web. Use your keywords to find the content and filter as needed to further refine the content that best matches your brand. You can use the content in your own social outreach or be inspired to create better content!
- HUBSPOT BLOG TOPIC GENERATOR
Simple and easy to use. Enter 3 nouns and it will return a few blog topic ideas for you to consider.
Again, we entered “animated gif” in the first noun box and it returned these ideas. We could have added cat or dog or any other noun in the second box to even further refine it.
- HELP ME WRITE
A cool website that will help you decide on what to write next by getting real human feedback! Create a profile, add details about what you are considering writing and share it with your social network for feedback. The bonus to this is that you will also be seen by members of Help Me Write so you can gain some new readers!
Is another great content aggregator that returns public content with its social sharing. A filter lets you find specific media types, a search lets you find topics and you can even break down the search by social network. Another search for “animated gifs” gave us a list of 76 popular gifs and the shares they have received. Ummmm apparently everyone likes Simon’s Cat!
Still a favorite here at 2 Dogs Media! Enter your keyword and it will return a large list of associated phrases that will inspire you. When you click on the keyword you can view the Google Trends to see if the volume is increasing or decreasing too. This tools pulls from Google suggest – it just puts it into an easier to read format with related topics!
If you are a blogger using Amazon can be a way to really improve your product related posts. Read the user comments to get real feedback to be able to give your readers the most accurate information from people who have really used the product so you give a balanced look at the product.
EpicBeat offers a powerful tool that not only offers content ideas, but shows you the influencers that are in the industry that you can reach out to. This is robust platform that offers a lot of data and to help you not only find new ideas but find people to reach out to to share your content.
One of our favorite tools! ContentIdeator is an aggregator that will crawl different URL’s and social channels looking for content ideas based on the keywords or topics you enter. Once you enter the keyword you will see a list of related content ideas and you can then view the shares for that content.
- PORTENT CONTENT GENERATOR
This is a fun one that may inspire you to write something “snarky” and more fun. I entered “dog toys” in the subject box and it gave me this awesome idea! Seriously can you imagine how fun a blog post about “6 facts about dog toys that will keep you up at night” could be. This could be so much fun if you have the creativity! When I hit refresh – I got “Why dog toys are hotter than Jennifer Lawrence” – really – how fun is that!
- Use REDDIT
Reddit is one of our top picks for finding content. With sections dedicated to just about every area of interest you can find what people are sharing, questions that are asked and see what people are discussed. By using all of this you can compile some pretty great posts.
- Have You Tried Answer the Public
We use this one often! Type in your keyword, choose your country and you will see a cool page with a variety of variants of questions with your keywords. So let’s use our “animated gif” example again – we put that term in, chose US and here is a small sampling of what the page returns. (You can also view a list if you do not like the example below) – we love the simplicity of this tool!
Discover content based on the keywords you choose. The free plan has limited capabilities and monthly plans offer more to help you curate and publish content. You can retrieve content ideas, submit your own content and publish your Scoop.it page with others. If you sign up for a free account you will get a free 7 day trial of the business version.
- UpContent helps with research
UpContent was developed with help from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. They say they have a unique algorithm that pulls news articlas and blog posts and allows you to sort them by things like social influence or recency. .
Best Blog Post Idea Generation Tips Conclusion
The key to avoiding blank screen syndrome when you sit down to blog is to have a set of potential blog post ideas ready.
Filling your blog with useful, quality posts on a regular basis to keep readers coming back for more requires planning in the form of blog content idea generation.
Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, make blog post idea generation a habit. Even better, improve your blog ideas and develop an outline when you vet the ideas.
Still at a loss for content ideas? Then take this blog post idea generation list and create at least one post for every idea. I bet you can’t do that in less than 10 minutes!
So – what do you use to remain inspired to create content? What’s your favorite tip for blog content idea generation? Do you have a favorite tool or process that you use to get new content ideas?