Generating a consistent flow of new content ideas is one of the most difficult aspects of running a blog. If you write one blog article per day, seven days a week, you’ll need to generate 365 ideas per year — all of which are unique, valid, and interesting. And that’s not counting the ideas that don’t make it and get left on the cutting room floor.
If you own multiple blogs, those idea generation numbers double, triple, or more. There are only so many ideas available in the world, so you’ll need to get creative to keep the ideas flowing.
You can create ideas, sub-ideas, repurpose content from long-form posts, and break it out into niche concepts that expand on sub-topics within those longer posts.
There are many different ways to boost your content idea production. We’re here to help you boost your idea generation so you can increase traffic to your blog and grow your website and your business. Let’s take a look at eight super-effective ways you can source new blog topics and increase traffic.
Table of Contents
Keyword Research Instruments
Keyword research tools can help you source topics by gaining insight into what people are searching for and what problems they’re looking to solve. There are both paid and free keyword planning tools available to fit your budget. While there are free options, as we mentioned, there are also paid packages. These range from $99 per month for the most basic plan to $1,000 per month for the most expensive depending on which option you choose.
You can choose from a plethora of online tools that can help you generate new ideas and create content that rises to the top.
Keyword tools are highly recommended as they add an extra feather to the cap. You might be an established writer, but with the help of certain tools, you will be able to create an impact that will be beneficial for you in the longer run. Using technology is always wise in today’s increasingly digital world.
Tools to help with keyword research
There are tons of great tools available. Below you will find eight of my favorite tools to help you get started digging around to figure out which option is the best for you.
- Keyword Surfer
- Keyword Sheeter
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator
- Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
The above-mentioned tools are free and can be used by anyone to make your blogs stand apart from the crowd. Some of the tools limit your number of searches and require payment to do more. If you do opt for the paid options, you can gain a solid amount of value from what’s available with the free options.
If you don’t have an in-house SEO or content team to help you with keyword efforts, signing up for a paid subscription can help boost your resources. $100 (or even $1000) per month can seem expensive, but consider the cost of hiring a full-time person to focus on this. You can also hire a digital marketing agency to help with the work and outsource some of your SEO work to boost your content idea production. Your blog posts can increase lead generation, so the more targeted ideas you’re able to generate, the more opportunities you have to connect with potential buyers.
The paid versions of these websites come with a slew of added features that you won’t find in the free versions, making the extra cost well worth it.
Site audits, competitor analysis within your topic, link tracking, traffic analytics, ranking index, and so many other tools are available. I recommend checking each one out to determine which might be the best fit for your business or blog.
People Also Ask
When you search for something on Google, you’ll probably notice a helpful tiny box named “People also ask” followed by a list of questions relevant to your search query after the first few links. This is another excellent resource for generating blog topic ideas. This tool allows you to dig a bit deeper beyond the initial question. You can see what related questions people are asking and come up with new content ideas based on your findings.
Conduct a traditional Google search to get started. Maybe a question related to a blog topic you’ve been considering. The results shown in People Also Ask could lead you down a new path, allowing you to create a more in depth post or even leading to the generation of multiple new concepts.
We’ll use the “metal building” search as an example here. When I search this term, you can see the additional questions that are served up. These are the questions Google says people also ask after typing in “Metal Building”.
From this simple search, I’m able to uncover relevant searches being conducted. Maybe I could write a post entitled Is It Cheaper to Build a Metal Building or Wood? Or, I could create a post exploring the different cost options for sourcing metal for building. You can see how this can take you down different paths and lead to lots of new ideas.
In other words, if Google says these are the questions people are asking, you want to be the one to answer them!
Answer the Public
If you’ve never heard of Answer the Public, you’re missing out on a great resource for coming up with blog ideas. I’d venture to say that this is perhaps the simplest option on the list, so check it out for sure.
Simply visit Answer The Public’s website, and type in your query. Hundreds of questions from actual people will appear. You’ll be met with a visual like you see above that spins off tons of excellent questions you can leverage to generate new ideas.
As you can see, I simply typed in “best chocolate”, and all types of questions popped up. Things like:
- How to make delicious chocolate frosting
- Who makes the best chocolate?
- What chocolate is best for melting?
- What’s the best chocolate chip cookie recipe?
- What is the best chocolate cake in the world?
If you’re a food blogger, let’s say, this list is absolute gold for you. There are over 300 blog ideas right here in one search. Let me stress that point. Just. One. Search.
It gets even better. As you scroll down below the question tree, you find questions broken down by alphabet, comparisons, and more.
Blog comments are a great way to source ideas as well. A blog comment results from someone reading through an article, and then in some cases having a question that expands on the topic. Take these comments and turn them into answers in the form of a blog post on your own website or blog.
You can look at the comments on your own blog to start. Since these people are commenting on your blog, they are already interested in what you have to say, and by creating a blog post to answer their questions, you show that you are listening. You can also source lots of great ideas from other blogs as well and then bring those question askers back to your blog.
Consider how you would respond and what the answer would be, then craft a fully developed post that answers the question thoroughly.
One of the things I like about this strategy is that the questions come from people who are already a part of your target audience.
If you’re new to blogging and don’t have a lot of old articles or comments, consider reaching out to your audience and asking them what kinds of themes they’d like to read about.
You can accomplish this using Facebook, Instagram, email, and other social media platforms. Having social media in addition to your blog has its advantages. You’ll be able to communicate with your audience much more quickly and gain some insights that you can turn into blog post ideas as a result.
The Hub and Spoke
The Hub and Spoke approach, also known as the content hub method, is based on the idea of producing a primary post and then linking it to several other posts. Each of those posts will focus on topics that expand on more niche areas of the overarching topic. The spokes essentially dive deeper into the themes addressed in the main post.
A content hub is made up of three parts:
- The hub
- Hyperlinks connecting it all
The hub is usually a long, but wide, introduction to the topic you’re writing about.
The subpages will expand on the ideas presented in the hub post. Then you utilize hyperlinks on your hub page to link to each of these sub-posts, as well as hyperlinks inside the sub-posts to link back to the hub.
For example, you could use the post you’re reading now as a hub post and then construct a subpage for each of the eight methods. Each of the techniques presented here would then receive its own treatment in the form of a separate article that expands on each concept.
Creating Something Viral
People are always looking for something to share online. It’s the whole social proof thing. We crave acceptance as human beings, and when we find something we deem to be amazing online, we want to share it. This is the essence of content going viral. Think about the Tweet Oreo sent out during the Super Bowl back in 2013 when the lights went out in the stadium.
The brand’s social media team was on top of it. They were just waiting for inspiration for that big idea to formulate. And then the lightbulb came on…or should we say “switched off”.
The Tweet from Oreo was retweeted over 15,000 times and received over 20,000 likes when posted on Facebook. By taking advantage of current events, your brand can make a huge impact. This was a rare occurrence to latch onto something this quickly as Oreo did, but your brand can grab attention. If you’re able to come up with ideas on the fly to produce new content quickly to respond to what’s trending, you can thrive.
Selling is an art, and you can raise your level only by staying updated and understanding what is going on around the world. We can directly connect with the end consumer if we can create content that the masses want and is produced in a timely way.
Producing a long blog post can be timely, and you can miss out on the trend if you can respond quickly. So, coming up with ideas for short-form, quick-hit content is important. You can use several techniques for that such as creating memes, GIFs, and other such content. Then, make sure you publish the content on the right channel, where your audience hands out, to gain the biggest impact.
Setting Up a Trend
These days, you look around and notice people doing new things, making money in new ways. They’re creating new content formats, and developing innovative products and practices. People love new stuff, so think about what’s missing in the market and fill the gaps with new options to grab attention and stand out.
When you’re able to create something new, whatever that is, you stand to differentiate your brand by coming up with ideas that turn into new trends.
This requires deep research and introspection. The ideas that pop and stand out aren’t typically generated on a whim. They take time and research to understand what’s missing and exploit that.
Develop a Strategy
Strategy is critical in taking your brand from the bottom to the top and helping you stand out. As you think about generating ideas for your content marketing, you need to have a strategy in place. Coming up with a ton of great ideas is wonderful, but it’s critical that you have a way to execute and actually create that content.
What resources do you have to produce content? Are you the sole content producer in your organization? Do you have a team at your disposal? Can guest contributors help? Or maybe you need to outsource content creation to an agency.
Think about all of the above tools, as well as platforms like Quora and BuzzSumo, and determine the best ways and the resources you’ll need to source content ideas for your business or blog.
You’ll want to plan to create content that has a purpose and is designed to drive your business’ mission forward. Figure out how the content you create leads to your ability to more easily achieve your goals and grow.
Be careful not to exhaust your idea bin too quickly. Keep your best ideas stored away in a spreadsheet or other database. Then you can go back to them as need. If you have ideas that require timely production to leverage any benefit from the trend, focus on those first. Then have a stable of more evergreen content ideas ready to publish. Those are important as well, as they have staying power on your site.
Consistently generating new ideas can give your SEO a boost and help your blog or business grow.
What other types do you have for generating content ideas? Leave your ideas or comments below.
Shiv Gupta is the Founder and Head of Growth at Incrementors. Incrementors is an Award-Winning Digital Marketing Agency that helps clients to grow their business online by generating more traffic, leads, and sales. Incrementors specializes in providing customized, tailored online marketing solutions highly specific to the needs of the clients.