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
60 Blog Post Ideas to Fill Your Content Calendar – Sumo
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!
Nice post Ali. I was looking for a way to find new content topics for my upcoming blog posts and this post gave me a lot of ideas. I think that I’ll have a long list of ideas for my next blog posts from now! ; )
It’s nice to hear that you liked this post Sara. Come back to my site and I’ll try to publish more posts like this. 😉
Very insightful and tips shared here.
Thank you again, Ali.
You’re welcome and thank you too for your comment Joe 🙂
Hi Ali, Great Contet Search Ideas! It has helped, Best Regards, Alex
Thank you too for your comment Alex 🙂
Yo .. ali . The man with the vision .
I love your writing skills . You very influential at your blog’s . Glad to knowing you . I have one thing to tell you .
Ali = lead magnet .
Stay clear and help other .
Shalom from israel
Thank you Shalom, nice to hear that my posts are useful for you. 🙂
This is a really useful post Ali-thanks! The whole affiliate marketing world is a bit overwhelming-so much you can get bogged down with like the technical side, it’s easy to lose sight of the nicer aspects like idea generating! I think a post about some basics would really help people like me-what basic things in a website do (like plug-ins, chrome browser extensions and things like that-what headers and footers mean etc-a lot of that stuff is taken for granted and it comes up even when you are a true beginner at all this. Just an idea-your emails are great and I think you would be really good at a post/email like this.
Thanks again! Louise
You’re welcome Louise and thank you for your comment. )
Hi Ali, Thanks for sharing this informative post. I have a new blog website, and as a newbie, I always struggle to find content ideas to write. All the tips you give is inspiring me, I think it is a really good idea to get the information from Quora and the E-book that related to my niche.
You’re welcome Lena. Yes the ebooks and Quora are two great ways to find ideas for writing high quality content. As long as you follow these sources, you have fresh ideas to write articles about. )
I thought that I was doing pretty okay with my content ideas until I came upon your article. Writer’s Block does not happen very often, thankfully, but I like to always have about 30-50 blog ideas in my “tool bag”. That way I will never run out and in case I do get Writer’s Block, I can recover quickly.
Like you, I am not a keyword stuffer. My websites are positioned in MMO and personal growth & development. For my MMO business, my focus is also on personal growth and development and living life well – you define what well means to you. So, they are very specific and my audience loves that my content speaks directly to them and their experiences. Keyword stuffing will not help me or them!
I especially like looking into the contents pages of e-Books. Never thought about that! That is my number one takeaway. Thank you for sharing. I am definitely a lot more informed to tackle my content.
You’re more than welcome. Glad to see that my post was useful for you 🙂
Oh, my gosh…this happens to me all the time and it’s awful. That little voice in your head that says, “Maybe you’ll never have another good idea…ever.” I love your suggestions breaking through that barrier. I bookmarked the OptInMonster and Sumo articles as well as Quora (which I have never even heard of before).
I have found subject matter using Google. When you Google a subject, a section comes up that says, “People Are Also Asking…” That’s a great area to mine ideas. And Facebook Groups? Got 3 new recipes for my website last evening just by chatting with a lady. (I will, of course, give her credit for them).
Lastly, I have a running list of ideas for articles (well, two…one on my phone and one on my ‘puter). If something pops into my head while I’m writing something else, talking to someone or just having issues with something I’m trying to get done, I write it down!
Anyhow, thank you for this article and all the great ideas. I will be sure to keep your website on my radar. Do you have a mailing list? If so, would you please add me?
You’re welcome Cynthia, glad to see that you liked my post. Yes I have and I would be more than happy to put you in my list. Just send me an email to [email protected] and I’ll add you to my list. )
Hi, thank you for this informative and helpful post.
I was running out of blogging ideas when I came across your post.
I find it very informative and useful.
I liked the idea of looking for an ebook in my niche. I never thought of this idea and it’s probably a tip that I will apply in the future.
I am curious. Since you mentioned keyword research as a way for me to find a blog content idea, what keyword research tool do you recommend for that?
Looking for your answer.
Thank you for your comment Sebastian, well I personally use SEMRush but since it’s some experience for beginners, I recommend Free tools like Google keyword planner to start your keyword research.
There is some excellent guidance here. I am about at the point where I need to take a broader view of the content on my site and shift to a more strategic approach. The ideas presented here give me a number of avenues to take different approaches and perspectives. I have 40 blog posts on my site now. Traffic is still low but I am seeing patterns already in the kinds of reactions and responses I am getting. I do find that extensive keyword research around topics I want to write about yields some extremely good keyword phrases some even with more than 1000 monthly searches and 0 competition. It is very hard to resist writing about those. As I say I have come to a point where a more strategic approach to content on my site is needed. I also need to redo the menus and categories. I think this is one of the big challenges. Since there is naturally a significant organic element to content, I mean it isn’t as if we start our websites with a table of contents and then methodically work through from A to Z. We start with content ideas and SEO keyword research and go where our audience wants to take us.
Thanks again. You have given me a lot to think about.
Thanks for your comment Andy ) Glad to see that you’ve found the right keyword research and got result with that.
Thank you for such a well written and informative post. As a blogger, I’m always searching for new content ideas and love some of your suggestions. I often use Amazon books for inspiration, as you suggested, and content pages are great! I’ve not used Feedly, but sounds like a good resource for ideas. I like your idea of checking Google analytics for best performing articles. This is something I haven’t yet done, but will definitely do in the near future.
Keeping new content ideas to hand is something I do regularly and keep a list of potential blog post titles so I never get stuck:)
Hi Kathy, yes I use all these ways to find new content ideas for myself and I recommend it to others always. )
Really enjoyed reading your article as it is very informative and insightful. I have my own blog and at first I was finding it difficult to write blog posts. I didn’t want to just follow everybody else and copy people, which is what a lot of people do. So, as you have stated, the best way for me to write posts was to share my own experiences in a topic that would help people. As long as we have that at the forefront of our mind, helping people and writing from the heart then I think we are definitely on the right track.
I will let you know how I am getting on with my blog and if I need any further help then I will definitely get in touch. If that is OK?
Thank you for sharing and keep up the amazing work.
All the best,
Hi Tom, you’re welcome. ) Sure, you can contact me anytime you need a hand with your affiliate marketing process and I would be happy to help you.