So often my head is full of blog post ideas — until I sit down to actually write one. Then my chicken scratch idea list looks like a pile of garbage and I feel like my brain has dried up and blown away.
Has that ever happened to you? If so, then you are in right place.
You started your blog because you are passionate about that topic. You have lots to say! You just need a little inspiration to get those juices flowing again.
So here are my tried and true methods of generating blog post ideas. Never stare at a blank screen again!
Googling stuff is a great way to come up with topic ideas. Search Google for one of your main topic ideas. Anything, even if you've written about it 100 times already on your site. Give it a Google.
Before you hit enter Google will pop down some auto fill suggestions. These are real things people Google! Any good ideas there? You can get new suggestions here by starting a search and then typing “a” after and seeing what comes up. Then “b”… then “c” and so on.
Each new letter at the end of the search will bring up new autofill suggestions. For example, if you have a site about pets you might Google “best dog a”, “best dog b”.. .and so on to get different autofill suggestions.
This brings up things like “best dog accessories”, then “best dog breeds for kids”, then “best dog collars” and you could go all the way to Z with this. This could give you potentially hundreds of article ideas.
Once you have a keyword figured out take a look at the ranking articles. Any new ideas there? Maybe there is a new angle or an answer to a question you haven't tackled on the site yet.
Scroll down to the “People also ask” section of Google. Any good questions there sparking any ideas? Click on them and see what else pops up.
Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. There is a “Related searches” section down there. Anything there striking your fancy?
I have guide that goes even deeper into how to use Google for topic ideas here.
Check Out the Competition
Who are the big players in your niche? What are they writing about? Check out their sites, search around and find some topics that you haven't written about yet.
While you're there, make notes on how you can do it better! If you don't feel like you can do it better consider taking my course on how to create amazing content.
Search Social Media
Social media is a great place to find blog posts. Every blogger in the world is promoting their stuff on social. All we have to do is go look for it.
Start with Pinterest. It's basically a search engine. So search it for a main topic idea and see what comes up. You'll get pin after pin after pin about your topic. Take a look at all the titles… could you write a post about that same topic?
Twitter is another great place to look for topic ideas. Again, search for your topic — or follow a popular hashtag in your niche — and see what comes up!
What I like about Pinterest and Twitter is that you get a lot of post titles without being distracted by the actual article. I think this is great for coming up with blog post ideas. I use this method all the time. I'll find a post title that I thought was interesting and then I'd write what I think is in the article.
Afterward, I check the source article, and never once have I come close to the original. But I do end up with a new blog post.
Check out Current Events
Anything news worthy going on in your niche?
Talking about current events on your site can generate a lot of short term traffic. If something important is going on people will want all the information they can get about it. It will be highly searched on Google and very clickable in social media.
One thing to consider about these articles is that they likely won't be “evergreen”–meaning they will become outdated fairly quickly. I wouldn't build a whole site around this type of article but they can be fun articles to write and really can pull in a lot of traffic.
Seasonal articles are a nice blend of current events and evergreen. Sure Christmas articles are only going to get traffic for a few weeks a year — but they will do very well during those weeks and can go around again year after year. You can slowly build out your holiday and seasonal articles over time and eventually, you will always have something you just refresh and republish.
You can really get a lot of mileage out of seasonal articles.
Do a Product Review
Product reviews are awesome. There is always some new product or service no matter what niche you are in. Besides the fact that there is so much stuff to review that I don't think anyone could ever run out of things in this category.
Plus if you are an affiliate of the item then it also makes money!
Think about the products or services that will be the most useful to your ideal reader. Don't stretch for ideas here. Your readers buy stuff. What should they be buying? Keep it super relevant and useful to your reader.
Some notes about writing product reviews
- If it's a physical item – buy it
- If it's a service – try it
- Always be 100% honest even if the company is an affiliate
- Discuss who the product is for (everything has a target audience – reveal who the target audience is for this product)
- Give a pros and cons list
- Use screenshots or video to display the item
Most of all, really think about your reader. How will they interact with the product? How will the service fit into their life? What problem does it solve for them?
Also, decide if you are going to do negative reviews. I personally do not do them simply because I think the biggest blow to a brand is to not have anyone talking about them. Talking about something, even if what you are saying is negative, brings attention to it. As they say, all publicity is good publicity.
Plus–it's bad karma.
Listen to Your Audience
I originally had this section titled “Ask Your Audience”. But then I realized that if you do ask, they won't answer. And if they do answer they'll be wrong.
What? I know that sounds crazy but I've seen happen over and over. The audience always asks for X but when I publish X it gets no traffic. Yeah.
So don't ask. Instead, listen.
If you have an active Facebook group go check out what questions people are asking in there. What are people complaining about? What are they struggling with? What are they worried about? Those are all great topics!
If you don't have your own Facebook group then join someone else's! Join some Facebook groups on topics in your niche. Join your biggest competitor's group. Join and listen.
And you aren't limited to Facebook. Check out Reddit and Quora for ideas too. Anywhere people are talking about your topic is a great place to hang out. Keep reading until you find a question or topic so juicy you can't write fast enough.
Refresh an Old Post
If you've tried all of the above and you just aren't feeling inspired, take this time to refresh an old post and republish it as new.
No one will notice. And if they do notice, that's awesome! That's a very engaged audience. Good for you!
Typically, I will only republish something if it's been over year since it last went out. So look back. What did you publish last year that's looking a little stale?
Or, better yet, what is something that is almost ranking? Do you have an article on page 2 of Google? Do some research and figure out how you could improve it to bump and it up into the top 10.
Now Get Writing!
There's no way you went through these exercises and still have nothing to write about. So start typing!
If you are struggling to write content that drives traffic check out my course, Hit Publish. It will walk you through all the steps to create the best content on the internet.