Coming up with new content ideas usually isn’t a problem for me, the whole process of writing is a lot harder, but there are a lot of bloggers who struggle to generate ideas for content and these days, if you want to run a popular blog you need to publish regularly so, you can’t take weeks thinking what to write about next, you need to come up with new ideas daily.
Now, everyone is different and everyone has different techniques to come up with content ideas. So, I interviewed a ton of bloggers and asked them to share their strategies, what do they do to generate ideas. Here’s what they shared:
New Blog Post Ideas
I get my new blog post ideas mostly by reading other blogs. If I read something that leaves questions in my mind, I’ll research and write the answer as a blog post.
I also try to answer what I think my target market would want to understand, especially when it comes to specialized knowledge they’d need to know about a specific business practice.
A blogger by choice can come back with a lot of ideas every day after meeting people, communicating, and observing the surroundings. It could be business mixers where people can ask questions, pain areas, and a blogger wouldn’t mind turning these questions into awesome blog posts with answers.
Asking ideas directly on social networks is another good and easy way where you make your followers feel important.
A tool I’ve used in other areas is the Editorial Calendar. It’s basically a list of ideas laid out in priority. I used it to help my colleagues at a former job to begin a podcast. They had to brainstorm a list of topics that would take them through the first six months of podcasts (2 per month). This exercise can be painful, but once started, it’s invaluable.
Start off with writing all your pertinent keywords. Then expand on what it is about those keywords that is intriguing and that you think your audience wants to know.
Another thought: if you have a good email list, or FB following, set up a SurveyMonkey survey to get their interests.
Sure there are other ways to gain ideas – like observation and just thinking about what to write. But, the best ideas, at least in my own experience, comes from what we do outside [of blogging/writing].
Try different activities, different tasks. New things, every day. Think about ways you can connect those to your blog (or your niche).
It can be something as simple as trying a new dish or maybe just drawing/painting. The best thing about new experiences is that they can inspire us. Inspire us with even newer ideas (the more we enjoy our life as a whole, the more productive we can be).
And besides, trying new activities can be really helpful in living a healthy (and perhaps, longer) life.
Anyways, here are some examples:
I am learning languages right now. One thing I plan to do is write about my experience, the tools and tricks I have tried to learn new languages and how it affected my life as a whole.
Photography – taking better pictures, apps that can help to take better pictures, learning the basics of photography and editing (not tutorials, but the experience as a whole).
There are thousands of tutorials online..no need of that. People are, however, interested in reading about experiences – your failures and successes. So, give it to them – tell the story.
(In a nutshell, try new things, gain experience, and tell stories about those experiences!).
My website deals with more viral/news type information, so this won’t work for everyone, but I look for places where viral things originate (Reddit, Imgur, YouTube) and try to find things as they are rising. I put my own spin on that thing, hopefully while it is still rising, and try to jump on the bandwagon of what is rising. This is also known as “newsjacking” and many people have found success with it in a variety of industries.
I have to admit that I’m not all that scientific, if something occurs to me as a good topic, then I make a note of it.When I get to a point of needing a topic, then I can pull out these ideas and turn one of them into a post.
Sometimes I get good ideas from readers. This is another reason why it is important to read and reply to all comments. I am currently working on a time management post that was suggested by a reader.
Also, people are starting to approach me with guest post ideas.
In addition, a round up or gratitude post is always good in a pinch. Several of my blogging friends do a monthly round up of posts or of favorite bloggers. Other bloggers are starting to do monthly posts on the most active commenters.
If you pay attention to the news both general and that specific to your niche you can get some good ideas. For example last year I wrote a great post on how to make a bounce house party safe after we had a couple incidents of children being hurt by them. This has turned out to be an evergreen post that I need to revisit.
Usually, I follow up from (on- or offline) conversations I’ve had with readers or people who fit my ideal reader profile. Ot something that happens in my life leads me to a life lesson that is relevant.
When I’m completely stuck, I go for a walk. I set my intention that I’m looking for inspiration for a new blog post, then I trust that the idea will come to me and I let the intention go (I don’t think about it anymore). I listen to a podcast or simply look around and think about whatever comes to mind. Something inevitably sparks a thought that leads to a blog post idea or a dozen of them. It works every single time!
Most Effective Blogging Brainstorming Strategies
By far the hardest part of being a blogger is the daily content-creation grind. It’s not easy to continuously brainstorm new ideas and topics both on your own blogs and blogs for clients.
To that end, here are five quick strategies I use personally and which I train clients to use as well. I hope it’s helpful:
Brainstorming Tip #1 – Blog Post Idea Formula: “What [EXAMPLE] can Teach you about [SUBJECT]”
“Lessons on [SUBJECT] from [EXAMPLE]”
This is pretty simple. [EXAMPLE] can be anything or everything, whereas [SUBJECT] is very specific. For results, make your [EXAMPLE] as unrelated as possible to your [SUBJECT].
Brainstorming Tip #2 – Use the Portent Content Idea Generator! The brainchild of Seattle-based internet marketing firm Portent.com, the Content Idea Generator is a fun and easy tool that makes brainstorming fun. Just enter a keyword, and the tool comes up with possible titles for your content or link bait piece that you probably never even thought possible.
Brainstorming Tip #3 – Ask Ubersuggest Questions! Ubersuggest is a great keyword research tool that allows you to enter a keyword phrase and through keyword stemming and auto-completion, return a long list of possible queries. These queries can in turn be used as possible blog post ideas.
Brainstorming Tip #4 – Find Trending Topics: What’s a great way to drive traffic, links and “buzz” to your blog? Write about timely topics or trends that may be connecting with the general consciousness at a specific time. One of the best free tools out there to do this isTrendsMap (to see what is trending on Twitter). Another great option is Google Trends (to see what is trending on Google).
Brainstorming Tip #5 – Use Google Related Searches: We all use Google for our brainstorming activities. But most don’t realize that in addition to Google Suggest there is a great built-in idea generator on the results page. Type in any query, then scroll down and review the “Related Searches” at the bottom of the page. Those queries are goldmines for both regular keyword stemming AND blog brainstorming purposes.
I often find a million ideas by inserting my competitor’s URL into SEMRush.com and finding the different keywords that send them traffic. Then I insert those keywords into Google’s Keyword Planner to find other similar, but maybe more profitable keywords to focus on.
I think my method is pretty standard and old-school, so it probably isn’t very exciting, but it works well for me. I simply keep my mind open all the time, thinking about what I can blog on. I read a lot – relatied blogs, books, magazines, etc. – and if a thought related to what I’m reading goes through my mind, I write it down and see if it blossoms into a full-length piece.
Sometimes it’s simply putting things in your own words, and adding your own opinion or viewpoint, but even that can create some really good blog posts.
I read books and get inspired mostly. At the moment I am reading Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod – In 5 minutes reading I came up with 6 blog post titles. I have other self-help books on my PC Kindle App, but this one is amazing for inspiration.
I also get ideas from real life, like finding out my Dad is very ill. If I do a paid contract post then I can usually use the same research from a different angle on my own blog.
I try to keep my mind open and receptive to ideas whatever I am doing.
Another way you can come up with blog ideas is BuzzSumo . This tool allows you to type in different topics and see what some of the more popular articles are surrounding those keywords. Unfortunately, there are fees to it, but you can search a few and have a short list of results. I would suggest this if you’re looking into generating content that are generally searched or viewed the most.
Of course, another great way to generate blog ideas is Pinterest! It’s got lots of infographics and articles shared that. I’m sure it could get your brain juices flowing.
One of my personal strategies to come up with new ideas is taking a nap, but before I do that I spend half an hour or an hour reading relevant content, maybe even thinking about new ideas and then when I lay down trying to get to sleep out of nowhere my brain starts shooting ideas.
Make sure to have a pen and paper next to your bed because you don’t want to fall asleep and forget the ideas. Warning, this technique can cause insomnia.
So, there you have it. Hope you learned a ton of new techniques to get your creative juices flowing. I’m guessing your head is already boiling with ideas so, go and get them written down, but before you do make sure to share this post with your friends.