“What should I write about on my blog?” and “How do I find content ideas for a blog?” are two things every blogger struggles with at some point or another after making a blog.
You cannot afford to sit and wait for inspiration to strike.
Use the tips from this guide to find content ideas and blast away at a new blog post with a sense of purpose. They will get you into the writing zone and you will not get stuck for ideas to write about.
- Keep a content ideas doc
- Content ideas generator
- Identify ideas that work for competitors
- Let Google inspire you
- Answer questions real people are asking
- Browse the best-selling books
- Get inspired by the online courses
- Put yourself in the shoes of your audience
- Do the keyword research
- Look at visitor searches
- Get ideas from the most shared content online
- Look at the memes and trending topics
- Structure your blog content by theme
- Simply read a lot and learn constantly
- Comment on and document the world
- Attend meetups and conferences
- Update your old content to make it relevant again
- Get offline and let the muse come to you
- Write every day
Keep a content ideas doc
The worst thing that can happen to an idea is to let it slip through your fingers like sand. Inspiration comes and goes in a flash so make sure to capture it.
Be well-organized and keep an ideas document. These content ideas can be in the form of irresistible sounding headlines, questions you were asked, a quote or a paragraph that you read and that created a spark.
Keep the document synced between your devices to look it up or use it for on-the-spot note taking when something new comes to your mind.
Is it time for you to create a new piece of content? Don’t just start with a blank screen and an empty page. Now is not the time to brainstorm and think of great content ideas.
Starting from scratch without a reserve supply of ideas, you will get stuck and create a rushed, inadequate job.
When it’s time to work on a new post, you simply open your ideas document as a reference. Your ideas are ready to be put into action. Pick the idea you want to work on and off you go.
Content ideas generator
If you’re always posting the same kind of post, the easiest way to get creative and bring fresh content ideas is to switch up the format. Are you stuck always posting how-to guides and have no more ideas?
Try something different. The creative options are limitless when you leave your go-to format behind. Here’s a blog post ideas generator for you. Just pick one of these topics and start writing:
- Success/failure stories. Look inwards and tell about your past success/failures and what you have learned from the experience.
- Quote. Quote someone and add your own commentary to the quote.
- Infographic. Create an infographic with a bunch of facts, stats and quotes on a topic.
- Leaderboard. Create a leaderboard ranking of people, blogs, locations, events and similar.
- Behind the scenes. Be open and show people what’s happening in your life.
- Ask me anything. Answer reader questions in a complete post.
- Link out. Link to a post from another blog and add your opinion to the topic.
- Guides and tutorials. Write how-to guides and tutorials where you lead the visitor in the step-by-step instructional process.
- Video it. Create a YouTube video where you talk directly to the camera or record your computer screen explaining a certain process. See my how to start vlogging guide.
- Record a podcast. Do a podcast show reading out one of your old posts for example.
- Webinar. Do a webinar, record it and publish it on its own.
- Listicle. Do a top list post, focus on long lists as those top 3 or top 5 posts have lost their novelty.
- Curated link/resources post. Collect a list of interesting links, articles and resources on a topic.
- Rant. Be controversial. Write a rant about a topic, an event or a person.
- Post series. Create an engaging post series by spreading a story or a guide over several posts.
- Reviews and unboxing. Review a product or a service that is relevant to your audience. Do unboxing videos too.
- Comparison. Do a detailed comparison between two or more competitive products in your niche. Benchmark multiple items against each other and crown a winner.
- Book review. Read a book and write your opinion about it, include lessons learned from reading it.
- Quotes from a book. Collect best quotes from the book you’ve read and publish them with your comments.
- Ultimate or top list post. Aggregate your best content on a specific topic, put an irresistible headline on it and publish as the ultimate guide or a top list of places, tools, or people in your niche.
- Influencer list. Collect the most influential people in a field.
- Cheat sheet or a checklist. Create a cheat sheet or a checklist list to help people go through a specific topic.
- Quiz. Create a quiz and allow people to take your quiz.
- Stats/revenue post. Write a post with a summary of your visitors, sales and earnings.
- Survey. Do a survey, collect all the answer, analyze the findings and publish them.
- Contest. Do a contest on your blog and give away a prize.
- Comment. Take an interesting comment from a visitor and publish it as a full post, this also gets people incentives to comment more.
- Ebook. Collect several of your posts on a topic, style and edit them and publish them as a free e-book download.
- Photo/GIF post. Collect best images from an event and publish them in an image post. Or just do GIF’s. For example fashion blogging is perfect for this. See my how to start a fashion blog guide.
- White paper or a case study. Create a report or a white paper on a topical topic in your industry.
- Challenge. Set a challenge for yourself and your audience and follow-up on the progress.
- FAQ. Collect all the frequently asked questions, answer them and release them as the ultimate FAQ.
- Roundup. Create a roundup post after events, releases and other important happenings.
- Guest post. Publish an interesting guest post from another writer.
Identify ideas that work for competitors
One of the easiest ways to come up with new and brilliant content ideas is to monitor your competitors.
And one of the best ways to judge the quality of their blog content is to see which of their articles are most shared in social media.
If people are sharing their content, it shows that there is an interest and demand for this idea. Use tools like Buzzsumo to search for and identify most shared content of any site.
- Did you know that you can see top content shared on Reddit? Just visit this URL https://old.reddit.com/domain/tesla.com/top/?sort=top&t=all but change the bold part with any domain name that you want to track (http and www are not necessary). It not only lets you see which content of your competitors is shared the most but you can also see which subreddits are interested in that type of content and check out the comments from other Reddit users.
- How about if your competitor uses bit.ly links in social media? Just add a “+” sign at the end of any bit.ly URL that they share and you’ll get the click stats for that link. For example if the bit.ly link they shared is https://bitly.com/2zY9OoD, you would visit https://bitly.com/2zY9OoD+ to see all the click stats. The same trick works for Goo.gl, Smarturl.it and other shorteners.
So you collect all the most shared topics of your competitors and create your own content about those and similar topics too. The key is to make your content much better than the content they already published.
Expand on it, make it more detailed, easier to understand, more educational or more entertaining. Be more visual too. Add graphics, do podcasts on the topic and create videos.
Let Google inspire you
Google is a great inspirational source for blog post ideas for interesting topics to write about.
Search for keywords and phrases relevant to your blog topic and keep an eye on these areas of Google’s search results: “Autocomplete”, “People Also Ask”, and “Searches related to”.
Answer questions real people are asking
The nature of these sites means they’re popular with beginners and newbies to a topic. They have a huge database of questions, and they also give you an idea of how many people are interested in knowing the answer.
Pick up the ones associated with your niche area and those you have expertise in. Respond to these questions on your blog and become a resource on that topic.
Browse the best-selling books
Books and ebooks are not to be neglected. Looking at what type of fiction and non-fiction books people are reading can help you come up with content ideas too.
Look at Amazon’s Best Selling section. Browse through lists such as “Movers And Shakers” and “Most Wished For”.
Amazon also allows you to “look inside” a book. Check out the index list and the different topics the book covers. Get inspired by the different chapter titles too.
Get inspired by the online courses
Udemy and other online courses platforms can be used for topic research too. On top of giving you content ideas, these will also show you which topics people are so interested in that they will pay to learn about them.
- Search for the courses related to your topic
- Click on the courses with many participants enrolled or many high ratings
- Explore the sections such as “What Will I Learn” and “Curriculum For This Course”
- Each course gives you a long list of topics, chapter names and other category ideas for content to create
- Look for topics some of these top course have in common and build content around them
Put yourself in the shoes of your audience
Try to think like a beginner to your topic would think.
- What type of questions do they have?
- What problems are they looking to solve?
- What would they type in the search engine to find content related to your niche topic?
- What sites and other resources will they be looking at?
Try to remember also how your journey went when you were a newbie.
- What steps did you take in those early days and since then to get to where you are now?
- What were your main challenges?
Get all these points into your ideas document and start creating content that helps people get ahead.
Do the keyword research
Use a keyword tool such as Google Keyword Planner to help you identify what topics people search for in search engines. Look for:
- Topics people are searching for and questions they are asking Google
- You can see the demand for these by looking at the volume of people searching for each keyword. The higher the search volume is, the more potential there is in an idea.
- You can also judge the competitiveness of these and the difficulty to rank for the individual term. You want to find something that few of other sites cover in depth
Look at visitor searches
Keep track of what your visitors search for in the search box on your blog. Search Meter WordPress plugin records the searches and whether visitors find what they’re looking for.
Study your comments area. What questions are people asking? What common problems are they discussing? Jot down the problems and give people what they want.
Get ideas from the most shared content online
Many other people are doing it right in the online publishing world. Identify them. Monitor them for new blog post ideas. There are valuable things that you can learn.
Figure out how they do it. Analyze what makes an article shareable. Look at headlines that work. Look at how they format and present the content.
See what people are saying in the comments area. Get inspired but don’t copy them. Model your posts on things that work and put your personal spin on things.
Look at the memes and trending topics
Publishers such as BuzzFeed regularly scour the web for ideas, figuring out which are worth pursuing. They discover stuff that is already a minor trend in a niche community, make it better and make it a bigger hit.
Keep an eye on the latest happenings within your field. Explore memes, trending topics and other relevant trends to discover what people are interested in.
What your potential audience is talking about. See how you may be able to take advantage of these in your content.
It’s not only about following the trending topics on Instagram and Facebook. Subscribe to relevant topics via Google Alerts. Follow search trends via Google Hot Trends. Here are some more interesting resources:
Structure your blog content by theme
Be creative and come up with different themes that can become regular features in your content calendar. Then you don’t always have to start from scratch.
What could the equivalent be for your community?
- Friday could be “the preview of the weekend” post.
- Wednesday could be “the user of the week”.
- The first week of a new month can be the time to review the previous month and notable things that have happened.
Simply read a lot and learn constantly
Reading helps you get fresh ideas, a different point-of-view, and another perspective.
A quote from Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood novel tells it like this: “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking”.
Look out of your field, and use the fresh outside perspective to find inspiration for your content. Read a variety of sources both online and offline.
Expose yourself to entirely different, random viewpoints to truly spark creativity.
As I read, ideas for new posts just fly from the pages into my mind. I highlight words, phrases, and quotes that I can later use. Think how you can turn these into meaningful posts and capture it all in your ideas document.
Summarize the best-selling books on your topic. Take your favorite concepts from these books and write about them from your perspective with examples from your own experience.
Keep reading and learning. Do a lot of research. Read about the same subject that you’re covering too.
Read the blogs in your field. Find examples to inspire your own stories, make notes on topics so you don’t miss anything out on your own blog.
Comment on and document the world
Sometimes it’s useful to document the world rather than having to create new content from scratch.
Your content doesn’t always have to be all about your thoughts and advice. You could talk to the world and facilitate the conversation on your blog too.
Get in touch with interesting people and interview them. Get them to answer some popular questions.
Publish the answers on your blog. Feature their stories and lessons learned. You could also combine the answers from more than one person into one larger story.
Attend meetups and conferences
There are many conferences, seminars, and other events you could attend. All the time. Both online and offline. For free even. Look at exploring Meetups in your area.
All you need to do is attend, listen, reflect, talk to people and then act. The topics discussed at these events center on people’s problems, questions and how to solve them. Exact content ideas that you need.
Update your old content to make it relevant again
Just because you already published a post on a particular topic last year doesn’t mean that you have to leave it outdated and irrelevant. You can rework the article.
Update your existing post and make it timely and relevant again. Improve the content, add fresh information to it, include complementary imagery and video. Then republish the post and share it with your audience again.
Don’t be afraid. Most people haven’t seen it the first time around. Those that have might have forgotten about it. In any case, updated, relevant and useful content is always attracting to everyone.
Get offline and let the muse come to you
Sometimes you just cannot force inspiration. You might not have anything to say. You may not be in the mood for creating content.
Let your procrastination be the natural filter. Rest in the fact that it helps you relax and eventually find the inspiration you need.
Disconnect, live, and experience things. Get out among people and find stories. They are everywhere.
Be aware of your environment. Look at the world with the “I’ve got to post about this” mindset and blog post ideas will come.
Train your ear to know when something of interest has happened or has been said. Note it all down in your valuable ideas document.
Write every day
The best way to make progress is to make a commitment to write every single day.
Sit down, open an empty text file or your WordPress editor and make sure to write. Just write. Write 500 words, even 1,000 words. Write them every day, consistently, no matter what.
Writing is like any other skill. The more you do it, the better you are going to get at it. Don’t be a perfectionist.
Don’t worry about the quality of the things that you write. It’s better to write anything than to write nothing at all.
Just write. Write like you talk. You will edit later. You can add extra explanation later too.
Get into the habit of doing a bit of writing every single day and new ideas will flow. All of the ideas in this article boil down to you developing a momentum.
Once you hit your stride, you will see that coming up with new content ideas is not all that difficult. You will never look back.