I’ve been there before.
You want to write a new blog post either for your site or a client. Perhaps, the post should be published the next day and you only have a few hours to make it available, or you’ll miss the timeline.
You quickly opened your laptop to check what topic you should write about, what did you see?
- Empty editorial calendar
- Empty Evernote
- Empty Google Docs
- Empty WordPress Posts
You practically checked every app, software’s and notepads you know that you usually write down blog topic ideas, but all of them are just empty.
Now, you’re tired, weak and confused because you don’t even know how to start brainstorming for other fresh ideas, and the worst part of it is that time is no longer your friend.
What next? You just sat there, staring hopelessly at your computer without a clue of what to do.
Let me tell you something, sometimes, content marketers and bloggers have to deal with lots of emptiness. Going through different seasons of creativity is normal. There are times when you’ll feel positively loaded.
You find yourself so filled with ideas that you can’t even start to put them all to use. But then there are harder seasons, ones in which coming up with new content ideas feels very impossible.
Suddenly, all of your ideas seem stale or bizarre or just nonexistent, and while you can’t be so certain, you’re damn sure someone stole your brain while you were sleeping. I mean, isn’t that the only logical explanation?
Since the success of a blog practically depends on the content, it’s common to panic once your brain seems to be on break. However, I want you to understand that your brain isn’t stolen, it’s still right there on your head waiting for you to make use of it.
Now, if you’ve been battling with this content idea emptiness for long, rejoice because I’m about to put an end to it. By the time you’re done reading this piece, you’ll no longer have a problem coming up with good content ideas which will keep on driving targeted traffic to your site. Let’s dive straight in.
1. Use BuzzSumo to Find Trending Ideas
If you’ve been in the internet marketing circle for a good number of years, you must have heard about Buzzsumo. It’s a tool that no marketer should ignore. Now, one of the ways to make your blog very popular is to form a habit of writing trending topic, at least, once a while.
However, one of the hardest sides of doing this is coming up with the topics that are already popular. That is where Buzzsumo comes in. With this tool, you’ll never run out of trending topics in your niche.
Here’s how to go about it.
Visit BuzzSumo and enter a topic or URL in the search bar.
BuzzSumo’s focus is on the most popular topics over the past few hours, days, weeks, months, or over some years.
For example, let’s enter smartblogger.com to see what comes up:
In the upper left-hand corner of the page, you can filter by time, date, month, or year. For this example, we’ll choose one year.
Now, on the right-hand side, you can see the social sharing metrics across many of the popular social networks.
Do you want to see what’s trending the last month? Just go back and change the original filter as you can see below:
Similarly, searching by topic will show all of the most popular formats for that search term. For instance, let’s check the results for “content marketing strategy.”
Most of the results that come up are epic and got lots of shares. With that, you already have a bucket list of ideas to write on.
Now, if you want to compete with these, you could try a different format to be different and stand out from the crowd. A massive list post with big data will definitely go well.
Most importantly, you should pay attention to the headlines of these highly shared blog posts. This is because 59% of people will share your content even without taking time to read it!
That’s crazy, right?!
That’s why you have to spend a lot of time crafting the best headline before publishing new blog posts.
With Buzzsumo, I assure you that you will no longer have a problem coming up with excellent blog topic ideas.
2. Browse Quora For More Content Ideas
Marketing becomes very easy when you narrow all of the complexities down to the basics.
Typically, the key to marketing boils down to two aims:
- Discover what people want
- Hand it over to them
The perfect way to tackle number 1 is to check what questions people are often asking. For example, what are the common problems people are always having? What are they often struggling with?
Finding these questions is not always easy. They’re not always that visible. Most times, you have to meet these people and ask them directly and still follow up until they give you all the information you’re looking for.
But if there’s customer service department in your company, that’s an excellent place to start as they listen to peoples’ problems and questions every day.
However, for the rest of us that do not have such department, you can just visit Quora.
Within a few seconds of searching Quora, you’ll find tons of interesting questions and problems on different subjects that you can utilize for new content creation.
Once you’re on Quora, the first thing to do is to sign up and then fill out your profile’s “Knows About” section with all the topics you’re interested in, like below:
Once your profile is organized, you’ll get notified whenever new questions that are related to your topics pop up from other Quora members.
For instance, here’s a recent one that just notified me on my second account:
See? That’s a great blog post title already!
You can dig deeper by figuring out the questions that have the most views and following. This popularity will immediately tell you which ones to start with first.
Apart from that, clicking on a question also gives you a list of other related questions people are asking. You can equally view the (Question Stats) in the bottom right corner.
A great example of this tactic comes from Brian Dean of backlinko.com.
Brian came up with a TrustRank content headline based on a Quora question initially. For example, here’s what the original post looked like on Quora:
Here was his reply that instantly dominated the search engine result pages.
3. Use Keywordtool.io
Keywordtool.io is a very excellent online tool, and it’s free (although it has a paid version which will unlock more features). To use this tool, simply visit the site, and you’ll be presented with a page like this:
Once on the homepage, type in any keyword that’s related to your industry and several keyword suggestions will pop up. Here’s what I got when I searched for “Affiliate Marketing“:
But that’s not where the main inspiration lies.
Now, click on “Questions” located at the top, that’s where you can get some serious blog post ideas.
These are some of the questions that people are asking about “Affiliate Marketing.”
What are affiliate marketing programs?
Can affiliate marketing make you rich?
Can you do affiliate marketing without a website?
How to do affiliate marketing step by step?
And the list goes on and on. Now, give this method a shot with your own keywords to see what topics you can come up with. It doesn’t require any creativity.
4. Google’s Autofill
Ever notice when you’re typing a keyword into Google’s search box, and a form drops down trying to guess the next thing you’ll type? That’s called Google Autofill, and it can help you unveil blog post ideas you never know existed.
Just type in your chosen keyword and see what related search terms come up.
For example, when I tried typing “skin care treatments” in the search box, below are the suggestions Google came up with:
Now, with this approach, you’ll be able to generate lots of content topic ideas for your blog and that of your clients.
5. Utilize AllTop Platform
AllTop is a content aggregator. That all.
It basically helps you to know what’s happening on the internet by letting you follow specific topics, categories, or terms (on everything such as photography, religion, fashion, science, etc.).
For instance, here’s what you’ll see once you visit the AllTop homepage:
The screenshot shows the most recent content from some of the top websites on the internet.
You’ll have to dive a little deeper to discover sites or content specific to your industry.
For example, you can begin by searching for a particular topic in the search bar.
Here are some of the results I got when I searched for “affiliate marketing.”
You’ve started seeing some cool stuff already right?
You’ll find a list of the most popular recent stories at the top of the page, in the shaded box.
Again, one of the simplest ways to get some fresh blog post ideas is to check what’s already popular or trending and slightly tweak it.
Then you can equally go a little deeper to discover what some of the top websites are publishing.
I believe that by now you should have no issues coming up with new content ideas. Following these five steps will ensure you will always have a topic or idea on your calendar to write about.
However, remember that it takes consistency to succeed at blogging. If you truly want to create a successful blog and make money like other bloggers, you should always keep your blog fresh and useful content.
Is there any other step you take to generate new content ideas? Let us know in the comment section. And please, don’t forget to tweet and share this post with your friends.