Regular blogging is essential to your digital success, but fresh ideas can be hard to come by. Keep them coming with these helpful tips.
KISSmetrics estimates that those sites that post more than once a day get more than double the unique views and inbound links per month as those who post less than once a day. However, posting that often requires a lot of time, commitment and idea generation. You need an efficient way to come up with content ideas that readers want to read.
Let’s pretend we’re writing a blog about blogging. Here’s how I would come up up with 30 titles for the blog—each tactic will give us a minimum of three ideas.
You can also start your own list of prompts, by asking “What If…?” Try to think of what you wanted to know when you first started blogging, or doing whatever niche your blog is on and answer those questions for your readers.
Related Article: 14 Resources to Reference When Writing a Blog Post
To get you started, here are three prompts:
- Addict: Everyone is addicted to something, what's yours? Relate your addiction to blogging and write a post about it. For example, "10 reasons why addiction to coffee is good for your blog."
- What if X can talk: What if your dog/fridge/car/wallet/mirror starts talking to you? For example, write a list of top bloggers with the title "Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the busiest bloggers of them all?"
- What/how would X do in 2015: Replace X with names that have nothing to do with blogging industry and imagine how they would tackle problems you are having now. For example, "How would Michael Jordan market your blog in 2015?"
Related Article: Inspiration Goldmine: Guide to Creating Effective Content Ideas
Check your competitor's Facebook page—find out recent titles that are getting the most shares and write something better on that topic.
Matthew Woodward is a huge supporter of checking out what your competitors are doing well and doing it even better. He says to watch which articles are being shared to find out what is popular. Follow your competitors’ Facebook pages. Watch the posts and their share count.
Which ones are getting shared the most? Can you write something even better on that topic?
Join a blogging event to help you get going and also to spark ideas. Most events offer idea starters or general topics. For example, 7 Posts in 7 Days allows you to come up with 7 different posts in one week.
You’ll receive email reminders and others post their blog links so you can check out what they’ve blogged on for their challenges. There are many challenges out there that you can join. You could even form a small group of bloggers and create your own challenge.
Hubspot’s Topic Generator
Still stuck for ideas to write on? Make use of Hubspot’s topic generator.
Simply plug in a topic, such as blogging, and the generator will throw up some different topic ideas for you to write on. For example, plugging in the topic “blogging,” results in titles such as "10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You about Blogging" and "20 Myths about Blogging."
Coming up with a great title can also help you get going on your next post. To come up with a great title, use a headline generator. Similar to the topic generator tool at Hubspot, you’ll plug in a topic idea and get sample headlines. The example “blogging” results in headlines such as “Unbelievable Blogging Success Stories" and "7 Unexpected Uses for Blogging."
Related Article: The Secret Strategy for Bulletproof Business Blogging
Use Buzzsumo to find out the five most popular titles on any given subject.
For example, when plugging in “blogging” as the topic, Buzzsumo results included Online Meeting Now's "Build Your Online Blogging Empire in Any Niche by Copying Our 3-Part Blogging Formula" and Entrepreneur's "Writing Tips: How to Come Up with 50 topic Ideas in 30 Minutes."
Sign up for Social Crawlytics and run their free scan, which will tell you what content is being shared the most. You can explore which of your competitors' content is being shared the most. Scan by URL or by topic. You can even monitor social sharing metrics.
Buzz Feed Treding
Make use of Buzz Feed's Trending page. Once you see what topics are trending, think of a way to marry the topic with these trending topics. Using our example of blogging, you might take the March 11, 2015 trending topic “50 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Clueless and turn that around. Since people are likely searching for facts about the movie “Clueless,” you might write a topic titled “50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know that Blogging and the Movie ‘Clueless’ Have in Common.”
Check out latest trends on Twitter with Hashtags.org. Same as above, choose one of these topics and relate it to your topic. Let’s say you choose the trending topic #happyvalentine. Now, you’ll need to come up with a title on blogging that ties in. Example: “How Bloggers Can Create a Happy Valentine’s Day for Readers.” Be sure to tweet out the post and use the trending hashtag.
Word of Mouth
Ask your contacts for ideas. Ask on your blog for ideas to write about. What do people want to know? Ask your friends and family for help. Ask questions like: "What's your biggest struggle in blogging?" and "If I could help you with three things in blogging, what would they be?"
As you go through these steps, jot down a few ideas for each one as quickly as you can or copy and paste into a document and save for later use. By the end, you should have a minimum of 25 ideas to choose from and possibly many more.