Regularly looking for new topics to write about is one of the keys to successful blogging. The following are some good places to find inspiration, and it is a good idea to schedule some time to check out each one during the week in order to maintain a robust pipeline of ideas.
Internet Search Trends
Knowing what people are searching for online is a great way to come up with ideas for your blog. This will also increase the chances of gaining more readers, as you’ll be writing content that you know there is a demand for.
There are numerous keyword search tools available online. You can use these to explore topics relevant to your typical blog content. Here are some of the most popular free keyword tools online:
- Google Adwords Keyword Planner - This free tool provided by Google gives some basic statistics on keywords based on their use in the Google Adwords platform. While it is useful, you should know that the data it gives is not based on organic search traffic, but rather paid ad traffic, which does not always correlate.
- Google Trends - Another free tool provided by Google showing the popularity of a search term over time. The data can be useful to you if you need to know whether or not something is “still popular”. The downside of this tool is that it doesn’t actually show you “how popular” a thing is, rather, it compares its popularity against its own past popularity.
- Answer The Public - People that use Answer The Public already know what’s coming, but if you’ve never seen it, just prepare yourself for weirdness when you click the link to this useful tool.
- SEMRush - This is our preferred keyword and SEO tool. While it isn’t free, you'll find that its usefulness value far surpasses the monthly fee.
Exploring trending hashtags on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more is a great source of blog topics. One of the advantages of hashtags is that it can give you a real-time view of what people are reading and writing about. This ensures that your blog’s content will be fresh.
If you want more detailed insights and tools related to Twitter hashtags than what you can find on their actual platform, there are a number of tools available to you. These include:
- RiteTag - This tool automatically recommends which hashtags would be best for an image.
- Hashtagify - Finds statistics about hashtags that you enter, which can be useful when you are creating your content.
- Tweet Archivist - This is essentially a library of all tweets, categorized by the hashtags used. Use it to find out what similar taggers are talking about.
Checking out the competition is another great place for inspiration. While you don’t want to just recreate other blogs’ content, seeing what other people are writing about and then offering your own unique perspective or angle on it is an effective way of coming up with content that readers will be interested in.
Often, if you write about a topic that another blog is talking about, you can spark a conversation with the other blogger. You may be able to use this relationship for guest posts, audience sharing, or other growth strategies!
Your Own Blog
Sometimes your own content can inspire new posts. You already know that these topics will be relevant to your blog’s overall theme. Take a look at some of your previous posts and think about ways you can spinoff new content. Maybe you can take a deeper dive into a topic you already covered or write a separate post on a thought or topic that you just mentioned in passing.
Another option is to think about which posts could be re-written or updated. If you’ve been writing for a while, there’s a good chance that some of your older posts are out of date. If you wrote a popular post before, there’s a good chance that an updated version with the most recent information available will be popular too.
Don’t just publish your posts and forget about them. Find what hasn’t worked, and do less of it. Find what hit a chord, and double down!
Asking Your Readers
One of the best sources for topics is people who already read your blog. They know the types of things that you write about, and getting ideas from them ensures that you’ll be blogging about something they find interesting.
There are a few ways to get reader input. One way would be to simply write a post asking them what types of things they are interested in seeing you write about. Another would be to include this question in an email newsletter if you have one.
Maybe the most effective way to get reader input is to create a survey. You can include this survey on your blog, in an email blast, on your social media accounts, and more. While most readers aren’t going to take the time to fill out a survey, you can still get some useful information from those who do. For the best results, keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t make it too long - LImit your survey to thoughtful questions that are likely to elicit an informative response. Most people are unlikely to complete your survey if it takes an hour of their time.
- Avoid yes/no questions - While direct and easy to answer, yes/no questions usually don’t give you much useful insight.
- Offer incentives - The options here will obviously vary depending on the type of blog you have, but offering an incentive or reward for completing your survey can be a useful tactic. It is a good idea to make the incentive relevant to your blog content, as that will increase the likelihood of attracting respondents who are actually interested in reading your posts, rather than people who just want to win a prize.
Many people love leaving their opinions about your posts. If your blog has a comment section set up, make sure to check it regularly, as it can be a great built-in source of inspiration. You may find ideas about how to cover a topic you already blogged about from a different angle or something entirely new. And the best part is that the ideas are coming from people who you know are already interested in what you have to say.
Talk to People
Yes, we mean real conversations with real people you know or meet. Sometimes real-world social interactions can give you ideas that you might not have found with the various online resources. Talking to family members, friends, coworkers, and even strangers that you’ve never met before (or at least keeping your ears open to the conversations going on around you) is a good way to get insight into people’s opinions without them being filtered through a keyboard.
Brainstorming about new blog topics regularly is one of the most important things you need to do as a blogger. A successful blog depends on a regular posting schedule, and you don’t want to wait until you have no ideas to start looking for one for your next post. Having several blogs already written or in the planning stage at all times is a good practice to keep, and if you keep your eye on these various sources of inspiration, you should be able to maintain a steady stream of content.