Blogging requires an inspiration to consistently publish high quality content that your target audience wants to read, share to their colleagues and helps your site earn links from relevant blogs/sites.
Generating better blog post ideas is a skill that can be learned easily and improved through research, reading content marketing blogs and investing on data-capturing activities like survey and polls.
In this post, I’d like to share 100 ways to find topics for your next blog post with step by step instructions and real life examples to help you apply every technique in the list.
But before that, here are a few things you should consider to maximize every blog topic generation technique in this post:
- Don’t just focus on identifying the target keyword of the post/page; try to understand what topic is being discussed in order to create a comprehensive post about that topic.
- Determine which content format attracts the most number of readers/visitors. Every industry has its own preferred content format (e.g. travel or parenting blogs prefer photo-based content with minimal texts in it).
- Identify synonyms, entities and technical terms from successful blog posts or pages and include them to your content to improve your page’s relevancy and search ranking potential.
Let’s head over to actionable ways to find blog post ideas.
1. Other website’s successful pages
One of the easiest blog topic generators today is to get inspiration from other brands’ successful posts or pages. Because those pages had successfully brought traffic to a certain brand and got traction on other blogs (links and social engagement), you can rest assured that they have high potential to send organic, social and referral traffic to your blog as well (especially if the post provides unique information about that specific topic).
How to do it?
Step 1: Plugin in other website’s homepage URL (could be a competitor or an authoritative niche blog) to Open Site Explorer.
Step 2: Go to Top Pages.
Step 3: Visit all links in the first page of search results except company pages (about us, our team, etc…)
Given that pages in OSE are ranked from highest to lowest referring domains, you know that the topics covered by the top pages have high potentials to attract relevant backlinks in your industry.
2. Use micro-survey tool
In offline marketing, surveys are used to collect data from customers or audience prospected by the brand to make better decisions about their products and create better strategies to promote their content.
This same marketing approach applies to online marketing. Online brands can take advantage of surveys to easily determine their audience’s wants and needs in order for them to create content assets that have highly valuable to the community.
One of the recently released micro-survey products is Qeryz. It is a tool that can help you gather data by asking questions to your visitors. The survey form can be visible in any page of your website.
How to use Qeryz?
Step 1: Install Qeryz plugin to your WordPress blog.
Step 2: Add questions to Qeryz platform.
Pro tip: You can also link to your important landing page after asking a few questions.
Step 3: Brainstorm blog topics based on the data you’ve gathered from your survey form.
3. Determine topic trends in your niche
An authoritative blog proves its expertise when it covers industry news and updates or at least provide actionable tips in its blog posts that are related to the latest industry trends.
How do you identify niche trends?
Step 1: Go to Google Trends.
Step 2: Search for your head term in the tool’s search bar.
Step 3: Sort the results by global/international searches and dates. You can also use the categories and web search options to get very specific results.
Think of how you can create the best content around those queries.
4. Get insights from Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMAs)
Reddit is one of the user-generated websites where you can find community-ranked content that is well-received by its members.
One of my favorite topic generation sections in Reddit is Reddit AMAs. The interviews for each industry expert can provide you tons of ideas and questions people want answers to, which are good topics to consider for your blog.
How get ideas from Reddit AMA?
Step 1: Go to Reddit and search for [head term] AMA (e.g. parenting AMA).
Step 2: Select a Reddit AMA in the search results that gained several comments in the discussion.
Step 3: Skim all the questions in the discussion and list those that are relevant to your brand and you know you can answer thoroughly in your post.
A few more tips to create content using this blog ideation technique:
- Target at least two questions in your post and answer them with most comprehensive details/information.
- Provide useful data (case study) in your posts to answer those selected questions.
- Make your answers straightforward and clear to your readers.
5. Data-based infographic
Most infographics fail because they do not provide real value to their audience.
Infographics are meant to share data to readers in order for them to apply to their daily activities the information and message contained in the infographic.
How to find ideas for your infographic?
Step 1: Go to Reddit.com/dataisbeautiful
Step 2: Check the first 10 infographics in the Reddit search results.
Step 3: See how you can do the same formats or concepts to your brand’s content.
You don’t need to replicate the same image but just get inspirations from those infographics.
6. Famous quotes
Quotes provide bit sizes of learning for everyone.
Because you can learn one good message or tip from a quote, you want this to share to your friends or colleagues.
Famous quotes can be one of your topic ideas for your blog.
Take a look at this page on Okdork that lists down all famous business and internet marketing quotes.
How to find famous quotes?
Step 1: Go to BrainyQuotes and click on the topic(s) of your choice.
Step 2: Choose quotes that are related to your industry and categorize them under sub-topics (e.g. parenting for general family quotes).
Step 3: Publish it on your blog.
7. Case studies
Case studies give emphasis to your experience as a service provider or product creator simply by allowing people to know how you improved your services for your client, your content, your website or your business using a tool, service or strategy.
Why case studies work?
- They show the expertise of the brand about certain topics people in the industry would definitely care about.
- Stories make it more compelling for others to share the page or even link to it from their relevant blogs or sites.
- When turned into a visual (e.g. infographics), the content is much more likely to be picked up by media outlets (journalists) and will create stories around it, especially if the data gathered is unique and interesting to their audience.
Here are a few examples of case studies that you can check out for references:
8. Interrelated topics using Wikimindmap
Understanding the depth and width of the topic that you want to cover on your blog can help you create the perfect content theme for your website.
How to do it?
Step 1: Go to Wikimindmap and search for your head term.
Step 2: You can click on one topic and bring it to the center of your mindmap.
Or use the plus button of the phrase/word to see more connected ideas.
Step 3: Discuss those ideas in your blog content or create a spreadsheet of terms/keywords that you might want to include to your posts to increase their relevancy factor.
9. Influencer’s top words in social
If you are new in blogging, one of the best ways to get inspirations for your blog is to stalk your influencers’ social profiles. By identifying their most used words/phrases in their tweets, you can determine what topics they’d like to share religiously on social platforms, particularly on Twitter.
How to do it?
Step 1: Go to Followerwonk and search for head term + blogger/journalist/researcher. Select a social influencer among the search results.
Step 2: Grab his or her Twitter profile to AllmyTweets. Click Hide Replies and Hide Retweets.
Step 3: Copy and paste the page and paste it on the TagCrowd’s Paste Text box.
Find interesting words/phrases in TagCrowd and write blog posts around those ideas.
10. Success and failures
Transparency is one of the key factors to succeed in niche blogging. The more transparent you are to your audience, the more likely they will trust you and your works as well (content).
A few things to keep in mind when sharing success and failures on your blog:
- Add disclaimers to your content if necessary, such that, saying that you’re not an affiliate marketer or promoter of a certain product or service – if in case, you will include any to your post.
- Provide actual data to your content – never add or remove things/elements just to add colors to your page.
- Content with more words in length (thousands) gets more attention than simply publishing a 500-word article.
Let’s take a look at this success post by Matthew Woodward.
The post earned a lot of attention from the internet marketing community (encouraging more people to start their own blogs from scratch).
Things that make Matthew’s post work:
- Emphasize learnings instead of just bragging about his strategies that worked effective for his blog (the first section What You Will Learn adds value to the readers).
- The post ended by asking feedbacks or shares to his readers, which put more eyeballs to the content when people started to share it to their followers.
- Provide more ways for new visitors to see his content by making the post sticky on the top side of the website.
The focus of the success post is on your blog, website or brand alone not on specific products or services you are offering, otherwise, they are considered as case studies already.
There is no step by step guide on how to do this because this is a case to case basis – if you succeed, then you can write about your success on your blog.
11. Twitter hashtags
Twitter is the best source of trending ideas in the community, whichever industry you are in.
Because people usually engage with other folks on Twitter, you can find a lot of questions, comments or updates that will inspire you to write your next blog post.
How to do it?
Step 1: Go to Twitter and search for #headterm (e.g. #parenting)
Step 2: Skim for interesting ideas, links, articles, questions or comments about that specific head term.
Step 3: Check out related hashtags and prospect for more status updates on Twitter.
12. Common mistakes in your niche
In any industry, there are mistakes to commit. For parenting, not spending too much time for kids is a huge mistake for them already. For SEOs, blocking your important pages in your site’s robots.txt file is a mistake to be considered by many folks.
The point here is to use mistakes as a topic for your blog.
How to do it?
Step 1: Do a Google search for [niche] mistakes (e.g. parenting mistakes).
Step 2: Visit each page in the search results and skim to what specifics you can discuss in your post. For my above example, parenting mistakes can be classified into two: parenting mistakes with kids and parenting mistakes with teens. In this case, you can either focus on one type or discuss both topics.
Step 3: Gather all the points (mistakes) you’ve found in your research (Google search).
You can also ask questions to niche bloggers in order to get more information for your blog post.
13. Amazon Book Search
Amazon is one the most popular book stores today, bringing millions of visitors to their website every month.
Digging into online book stores is one of the untapped content ideation techniques. Topics discussed in books and subcategories in book stores are inspirations that you can take advantage of for your blog content.
How to do it?
Step 1: Go to Amazon Book Search. Search for your target head or secondary term/keyword.
Step 2: List down ideas from news & notable section. You can also check out book titles that are unique and interesting to your audience.
Step 3: Populate your list by adding ideas from subtopics section of the Book (left side of the page).
Collecting content contributions (insights) from influencers or experts in your industry is one of the best ways to generate a blog post these days, given that the collaborative content can create a detailed explanation of the topic chosen to be discussed by the blogger.
Tips from subject matter experts can bring out untapped knowledge to the community, which will make the content unique and outstanding to its audience.
Below are some good examples of crowdsourced content from two industries.
Actionable tips to collect content contributions from experts:
- Choose a very specific topic and bloggers whom you think could provide valuable insights to your question (the more they’re interested to the subject; the probability of earning highly valued tips is higher).
- After collecting tips from experts, invest in making the collaborative post attractive to readers (add some visual designs if necessary to entice visitors to share or link to it from their blogs).
- If it is possible, provide incentives to contributors to encourage more participation from them in the future.
15. Entertaining images
Images when compiled can also be turned into blog content. A good example of this is the link building process in GIFs post on TripleSEO.
How to collect entertaining images for your blog?
Step 1: Choose a topic that is related to your industry. Prefer it to be a process or flow that can be logically presented through images.
Step 3: Arrange images with creativity and publish as one blog post.
16. Advanced Twitter Search
Searching for trending or hot social topics is easy with Twitter Advanced Search.
Step 1: Do a Twitter search for your head term or keyword. Then click on Advanced Search in the left side of Twitter screen.
Step 2: Use available features in Twitter Advanced Search to look for specific tweets, questions or comments about a certain topic or keyword.
A few tips to maximize the use of Twitter Advanced Search:
- Enable the location feature to find localized tweets or topics.
- For international searches, it is better to choose the specific language you only want to see in the search results rather than the default option (any language).
- Check the Question option to find only question tweets in your Twitter search.
17. Emphasizing benefits and features in products
Product reviews had been the common type of post for many affiliate marketers in almost every niche today. Aside from the monetary benefit it can provide for bloggers, product review is a great way to demonstrate their authority about a certain topic by adding benefits or value to their readers (showing how the product can make their readers’ lives better).
Here is a good example of a product review in the parenting category.
Things to make your product review earned the desired attention from community:
- Use your own screenshots and not just grab existing screenshots of products being used.
- Add disclaimer sentences to your post to make your audience aware that links pointing to product sites are affiliate links.
- Don’t add many external affiliate links (at least two within the body of the content is enough to be noticed by your readers).
- Categorize your product reviews and use subcategories in URLs like this example below.
Curation removes mental blocks of writers because doing it only requires them to organize things under the same category in one big post.
Examples of curated content are:
- Social influencers in the industry (e.g. Top 10 Parenting Bloggers You Should Start Following)
- List of recommended products
- List of companies sorted by highest to lowest revenues
- Favorite blogs or bloggers you should start reading or following now
Now, let’s focus on the last example.
How to curate your favorite industry blogs or bloggers?
Step 1: Do a Google search for niche blogs (do it in case you still don’t have any list of popular blogs in your industry). But if you already have a list, just grab your notes and just start researching more info about your favorite bloggers.
Step 2: Think of how you will organize your list of blogs/bloggers. You can try any of the following:
- Organize according to the highest to lowest traffic potential (use Alexa Rank).
- Organize according to their engagement levels (use # of comments per post and social shares as your basis).
- Organize according to their number of social followers (e.g. Twitter followers).
Step 3: Choose whether you want to make your curation weekly, yearly or in no-time (evergreen). For yearly curation, your only disadvantage is that you need to publish curated post year after year while for evergreen, you’ll just need to update the post (add new popular blogs or remove non-existing sites from the list).
Keywordtool.io is one of the effective keyword research tools that can provide instant long tail keywords as well as topical terms that you can target for your blog content.
How to do it?
Step 1: Search for your head term in Keywordtool.io.
For non-english blogs, you can choose your International Google search and language in the drop down menus.
You can copy all the terms in search results by clicking on the Copy All button, then paste those terms to your document (e.g. spreadsheet).
Step 2: Populate your list using secondary term keyword research.
Step 3: Identify two or more related terms talking about the same topic and target them all in your high quality content (don’t keyword stuff, just optimize for the topic you want to rank for).
Soovle is another keyword research tool that you shouldn’t miss when doing content brainstorming, particularly for high-end researches.
Soovle can provide niche-specific terms from Wikipedia, Amazon, Answers.com, Google, Youtube and Bing, which makes the tool a one stop keyword research arsenal.
This will help you create a better high quality content through the context that you can write for your audience (e.g. the use of LSI terms).
How to use Soovle?
Step 1: Go to Soovle.com and search for your headterm. The website will automatically provide a list of relevant terms coming from different sources.
You can collect these terms straight from Soovle by downloading the list in .csv format.
Step 2: You can also use the Top Internet Keywords feature of Soovle to prospect for more keyword research terms.
Strive for better marketing lies on improving the brand’s content marketing campaign. This includes producing only high quality content on the site that can resonate with the community being targeted by the brand as well as improving older pages that can potentially rank in search results and bring more new targeted visitors to the site.
In the skyrcraper technique on Backlinko, Brian Dean shared three basic steps to increase search traffic through content creation:
- Find link worthy content
- Make something even better
- Reach out to the right people.
This is a very simple process but will require huge time and effort to master this content approach.
I’m going to talk about the second step – make something even better.
One way to surpass the quality of someone else’s content is to understand what lacks within its context, its design and structure and most importantly, the information that a reader in your community should obtain from the post.
Here’s how to do it?
Step 1: Do a Google search for a target keyword (you can grab one term from your keyword list gathered from the methods I’ve shared with you earlier).
Step 2: Identify what’s lacking in the pages listed in search results. It could be the design, structure and information provided by the page. List all these important notes in one document so that it will remind you as you create your content.
Step 3: Make your content the most comprehensive resource targeting your keyword.
Using the above example page, below are a few things that a parent blogger can add/remove:
- Featured/customized image.
- Experts’ insights/tips (tips from popular parent bloggers)
- Actionable step by step guide for each tip in the list.
- Remove distractions in the sidebar such as images and image links to make the content standout (you can customize the page format in your WordPress dashboard).
Questions are great sources of ideas for blog posts because they directly tell you the deepest needs of your audience.
Commonly, those questions are the exact phrases people use to search for references or resources in search engines.
And with the introduction of knowledge graph, the more direct, useful and authoritative your answer to a specific question, the possibility of earning the top spot of search results for the exact phrase or question is higher.
How to look for frequently asked questions (FAQs)?
Step 1: Go to Faqfox.
Step 2: Type in your head term/keyword. Select the category of your choice or if there are no categories to choose from, simply select Generic. Then click the Search button.
Step 3: Create a list of questions by simply downloading the spreadsheet from Faqfox.
Email subscribers are the most engaging audience you would really want to connect to for content ideation. Because they are already familiar with your brand, you can easily ask for feedbacks and get their responses quickly via email.
If you already have existing subscribers, you can send them an email, asking for a topic that they’d like to discuss on your blog.
If you want to apply this blog ideation technique, you can replicate this email by Pat Flynn.
Why this email works?
- The question is straightforward, Is there anything you want me to write a blog post about?. The email also includes that question in its subject line.
- There is an indirect call to action at the end of the email (All you have to do is reply to this email)
You can do the same technique for your brand and make it easy for your team to create a content discussing a topic that your followers are looking forward to read on your blog.
24. PR Distribution Sites
PR Distribution sites can be sources of inspirations for brand asset creation (stories) and for blog posts that can potentially become viral in your community.
How to do it?
Step 1: Go to any PR distribution site.
For this post, I’ll use PR.com.
Step 2: Type in your niche term in the search box, then choose Press Release from the drop down menu list. Then click on the search button.
Step 3: Visit each news page in the search results. Skim the post and look for relevant terms/keywords used in the article. You can also look for content-led stories like new infographic produced by a certain brand and learn how they obtain real data and create content from there.
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