Are you struggling to come up with articles for your blog?
Are you looking for ways to generate new content ideas?
Gone are the days when you could create content around topics you want to speak about, or ideas you think your audience will love. Nowadays, to keep your blog audience engaged, you need to continually generate new content.
With thousands of new articles, podcasts, videos, and social media updates shared every day, getting discovered becomes difficult. What you need is the right content strategy in place to get in front of your target audience.
In this article, I’ll be diving into the ins and outs of finding new ideas for your content plan, as well as explaining how to approach this process strategically.
Stay up-to-date in Your Industry
You already know a lot about your industry — or at least you should, if you are writing about it. You might even consider yourself an expert. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop learning!
If you’re in an industry like marketing or technology, you know that the landscape changes on an almost daily basis. Even if you aren’t in one of these industries, there are still new developments happening and events taking place.
So you need to stay informed about what’s going on — otherwise, your content won’t give you the opportunity to connect with your audience.
Blogs & Articles
Considering that 83% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy, it’s more likely than not that other people are already writing about your field. Blogging is one of the most popular forms of sharing industry knowledge, so blogs can be an excellent way to gauge what topics are being discussed.
If you know who your competitors are, take a look at what they’re doing with their blogs. This isn’t to say that you should steal their ideas, but you should see what works and what doesn’t work for them.
More importantly, see if you can figure out what’s missing. If you can identify a gap in the information they are providing their readers, that could be an excellent opportunity to address a topic that hasn’t already been discussed.
If you’re not sure who the popular bloggers and sites are in your industry, Feedly can be extremely helpful. It’s essentially an aggregator of RSS feeds, and you can choose specific topics or individual blogs that you want to appear in your feed. This will help you identify the top sites writing about your field.
The comments sections of blogs and articles can also be a great resource. After all, the people who care enough to leave comments are the people who are active participants in the discussion surrounding your industry. These are the ones you want to interest with your content, so reading what they have to say can provide you with valuable insight.
Look for commenters who disagree with the author, and especially for ones who raise additional questions. If you can come up with a way to answer those questions, or simply to explore another side of the topic, that could make for a great piece of content.
If you have your own blog, you should also be sure to keep up with your own readers’ comments. You can use them to gauge interest in particular topics, and also to get ideas for future posts.
Research Social Media
Social media is another good place to source content ideas and you can do so in many ways:
Audit your audience — For additional content ideas, see what your audience is interested in. You can do so by checking what they publish and which other people they follow and interact with. Alternatively, talk to them directly. Ask what they are currently struggling with, what they are into at the moment or some concrete questions about different topics.
Take part in Facebook Groups — By joining groups in your topical area (or even founding your own), you can find a lot of potential topic ideas. Follow the discussions to see what people are struggling with, which questions they have etc. That way, you can find a lot of problems to solve for your audience, which is always a great basis for a blog post.
Check Twitter — Tweets offer lots of information about what people in your niche are thinking about. Plus, the platform is easily searchable. Even better, you can subscribe to important hashtags and search terms via Tweetdeck. That way, you have a live feed of people’s thoughts and can even filter them by engagement and other factors.
Hang out on Quora — This is literally a platform based on people asking questions. Just search for any keyword or topic idea and you will find plenty of things your audience seeks help with. This will give you lots of input for what to cover on your site.
Of course, there are many more platforms out there that you can mine for content ideas such as Reddit, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. For more ideas, check this article.
Ask the Internet
Many-a-noble-blogger has been stuck for content ideas before you, and while that has been an insurmountable hurdle for some, there are many more who have conquered it and documented the process.
Here’s a few in-depth articles that we enjoyed:
103 Blog Post Ideas That Your Readers Will LOVE – OptinMonster
Beyond reading other guides filled with ideas, you can go hunting on the internet yourself. Try exploring relevant communities where your audience like to hang out. Find out what people are talking about.
Find eBooks in Your Niche
I’m an avid eBook reader.
Lately, I’ve had a real attachment to educational books. Before you make that face, let me clarify a little. I’m not talking about Business 101, or Biology 101.
I’m talking about excellent books like Everybody Writes by Ann Hadley, or The Art of Work by Jeff Goins.
There’s always so much packed into these books, that it’s hard not to take something away from them.
Books are not just awesome at providing educational value and teaching you something new and profound, but they’re also awesome at providing you with blog topics to write about.
Here is a 4 step process for using eBooks to find blog topics:
Step 1: Find a popular eBook in your niche on Amazon
Step 2: Open up its content page
Step 3: Make a list of all the topics the book discusses
Step 4: Find a unique angle for each of the chapter topics and write about it
Voila. You have a ton of blog topics ready to go!
Do Keyword Research
To me, content marketing isn’t about stuffing keywords into a post.
I don’t like to play that game. First and foremost, content marketing is about delivering value to people, solving their problems and building relationships.
But doing keyword research is a good way to come up with ideas for the types of problems people actually want you to solve for them.
To do this, I sometimes start with a general topic I’m thinking of writing about. For example, remote working.
I head over to keyword research tool and type in the topic. The tool spits out a big list of the different Google searches that people do that relate to remote working.
Analyze Your Existing Content
Before you start running in a million directions with your new content ideas, take a moment to understand how well your current content performs.
Use Google Analytics to find best-performing articles on your blog. Then take a good look at them and try to identify how these articles are different from the rest of the content on your blog.
Pay attention to the structure, format, and language of these articles. You might learn that your readers enjoy detailed tutorials and interview case studies. A deep dive into your best-performing content can give you an idea of what topics your target audience is most attracted to.
Do a similar content assessment on your social media accounts too. Don’t just celebrate good performing content, try to understand what makes it special. Doing this will help you shape your content strategy and understand what type of content you should concentrate on more.
Writer’s block can happen to anyone. Not every day is an inspired day for writing. However, one of the best antidotes is to have a list of topic ideas already at hand. That way, you are ready to go at a moment’s notice.
To achieve that, above your have learned effective strategies to come up with fresh content ideas. These should be enough to keep your blog well populated. The key is to just put together a large list using good old-fashioned keyword research and market research. Then there are no excuses left.
What is your favorite way to come up with new content ideas? Let me know in the comments section below!