Coming up with new blog post ideas can be difficult. While at one point you probably had hundreds of ideas you could’ve written about, those ideas are all gone and now you’re left with nothing. Don’t worry – it happens to all of us at one point or another.
However, it’s extremely important to have a reservoir of great blog topics, so you can spend more time writing and less time brainstorming. Here is the ultimate guide to coming up with great blog post ideas, so you’ll never be without an article topic ever again.
1. Find Out What Your Audience Wants
Make a habit of writing down every single question that you get asked by someone in your audience. Dig through your old emails. Look for the common topics people are asking about.
Before I started this website, I ran an offline business helping other people start their own websites. I gave each client my email address, letting them know that I’d answer any questions they had about making money online. Eventually, I got so many questions that I decided to launch this site and write about them. These questions became the topics of my earliest blog posts, and it was a lot easier to simply send a link to a post I’ve written than answer the same question 30 times.
Why not adopt the same strategy? If people are asking you about something, they’re probably doing so because they can’t find the answer they’re looking for on your website.
Of course, you can certainly go beyond the questions you’ve been asked personally and dive into some of the questions people are asking others.
One great place to look for blog post ideas is on Yahoo Answers. On Yahoo Answers, people ask specific questions about specific topics and get answers from the community. Because it takes longer to type the question into Yahoo Answers than it does to type it into Google, you can bet that most people asking questions can’t easily find the answer they’re looking for and the topic is relatively untapped. If you decide to write an article based around answering the question, chances are you’ll be ranking for search terms that nobody else is competing for.
After you finish writing your blog post on the topic, you can come back to the original question, answer it briefly, and leave a link to your new blog post in the “sources” section of Yahoo Answers. This is a great way to get quick, targeted traffic to your new article.
2. Tell A Story
No matter how saturated your niche is, the one thing that will always make your blog unique is you. There is nobody in the world like you. You have your own story, and you should make a habit of sharing pieces of it on your blog when applicable.
Stories are an incredible way to build a connection with your readers. They allow your visitors to get to know you on a more personal level, and they engage your reader more than usual. This boosts the relationship between you and your reader, encouraging them to go out of their way to connect with you further.
3. Refresh One Of Your Old Blog Posts
Blog posts you write today may not be relevant forever. Even if they are based around evergreen topics, that does not guarantee the information will always be relevant. Industries change. More efficient ways of doing things replace old ones. The world today isn’t the same as it was even just last year.
Instead of coming up with a completely new blog topic to write about, it may be a better use of your time to refresh an old piece of content, especially if that old piece of content is still ranking well in Google.
Remember that it’s your job to provide a helpful and up-to-date resource for your readers. Search engines will still send visitors to your old content, and if that content is no longer relevant, it will do nothing but frustrate your new visitors.
If you want to maintain your rankings, you can always redirect the old blog article to the newer one, or simply leave the old one in-tact and simply make the reader aware that an updated version is available.
Taking this idea further, you could even compare and contrast the old piece of content, making your readers aware of how things have changed over the years!
4. Steal Ideas From Your Competitors
One of the easiest ways to come up with new blog post topics is to simply visit one of your competitor’s websites, find some of their old articles, and write about the same exact topic.
Here’s the thing: You’ve got to do it better. You can’t just paraphrase what they have already written. That is plagarism, and the content will come out horrible. Instead, you’ve got to add your own spin to it and make your article unique.
Ideally you’ll only actually use ideas that you actually have a thorough knowledge of. This allows you to take the content in an entirely new direction, allowing you to add your own voice, your own thoughts, your own ideas, and your own story.
Be honest with yourself. If you can’t create a post better than your competitor did, than you should probably move onto a different idea until you can.
Of course, you could also use your competitor’s blog posts to inspire a completely different article topic. For example, if I ran an iPhone blog and my competitor was writing about “5 Ways To Market Your Mobile App,” I could take that, spin it, and write an article called “5 Ways NOT To Market Your Mobile App – Common Mistakes You Must Avoid.”
While you should always be looking to come up with unique blog post ideas, stealing a few from your competitors is never a bad idea. Competition is great for the consumer.
5. Write An Opinion Piece
Opinion pieces work wonders for building the relationship you have with your existing audience.
Every one of us has unique opinions about any given topic, and opinion pieces are some of the quickest articles you can write. They engage your audience, allow them to get to know you better, and allow you to brand yourself a certain way.
Best of all, opinion articles tend to go viral far more often than information articles. I don’t know about you, but if I’m browsing Facebook I’m far more likely to click on a rant than an article teaching me how to craft good blog headlines.
Remember, people use Google primarily to search for information, and social networks primarily for entertainment. As bloggers we may use social media for business, but that does not mean our audience also does.
6. Read News Related To Your Niche
For example, a few years back when I was working on my iPhone blog, there was a news article that leaked Apple’s plans for a gold colored iPhone. I took that and instantly came up with a wide variety of potential articles to write about:
- Why Would Apple Make A Gold iPhone?
- 10 Best Gold iPhone Mockups From Around The Web
- Will The Gold iPhone Become The Most Popular Choice?
3 separate articles from just one headline. New news articles were out daily, and this alone was enough to come up with a limitless supply of new blog article ideas.
7. Invite Guest Bloggers
If you’re having a hard time coming up with articles to write about, consider bringing a guest blogger on-board. Guest bloggers will write and publish an article on your site, granting them exposure and you a much needed-break from writing. You both win!
If you’ve been networking with other bloggers in your niche, I’m willing to bet that there are a few people who would love to have the opportunity to write on your site. Why not ask? The worst thing that can happen is they say no, in which case you simply ask somebody else.
8. Utilize Proven Post Formats
There are some types of posts that are universally loved by readers. You can’t go wrong using one of these:
How To Posts
How to posts teach the reader how to do something. These types of posts are great for attracting organic traffic and solving your reader’s problems, along with portraying as you as a knowledgable authority in your niche. This article is an example of a How To post.
List posts are everywhere, and that’s because they work. They’re well-organized, easy to read, and readers love them. Best of all, they’re extremely flexible, allowing you to cover a wide variety of topics.
- 6 Ways To…
- 4 Reasons Why…
- Here Are 7 Reasons Why X is Y.
Conducting an interview with an authority figure in your niche is a great way to build your audience and build your brand. By associating yourself with an authority, you portray yourself as authority as well. It’s also worth mentioning that whoever you interview will also likely end up sharing the interview with their audience, bringing you new visitors!
The same sort of thing happens with expert round-ups. Expert roundups are simply where you contact the greatest experts in your niche and feature them in some way. This can be anything from asking them all a specific question to simply featuring all of their blogs within your article.
- 10 Dog Training Bloggers You Should Check Out
- 20 Blogging Experts Share Their #1 Secret For Success
- 7 X Bloggers Give Their Best Advice On Y
Infographics are pleasant to look at, quick to create, and get shared extremely frequently. If you do not want to come up with your own infographics, you may find people who are willing to let you use theirs. You can expand upon the infographic further by writing a bit about the information within the infographic.
Ultimate guides cover one topic in an extreme amount of detail. These types of articles go above and beyond your regular blog posts and aim to become the best resource on the given topic. This article is an example of an ultimate guide.
Bear in mind that ultimate guides really need to go above and beyond the normal quality of content you put out, and should only be published every so often. If you saturate the title, it will have less of an impact in the future.
9. Take A Break
Sometimes it’s best if you do not write at all. Let me explain.
As bloggers, we know that it’s extremely important to put out the highest quality content possible. Putting out junk will frustrate your readers, and prevent new readers from returning. Junk content does not engage your readers and they will not take any further action to connect with you.
Here’s the problem. It’s hard to create good content when you have to force yourself to write. You lose the emotion behind your writing. It becomes boring and sounds forced. As a result, your article’s quality suffers.
If you’re not in the mood to write, that’s fine. Take a break, and come back to it later when you’re in a creative mood.
Ideally, you’ll have a good number of blog posts written in advance, preventing you from having to immediately come up with a topic to write about.
10. Once You’ve Got Ideas, Make Sure You Keep Them!
Coming up with blog post ideas is pointless if you are not able to turn them into fully developed articles. If you forget your article ideas before you have the time to make something out of them, than you’ve done nothing but wasted your time.
Blog post ideas can pop up at the strangest times. Unless you spend most of the day at your computer, chances are you won’t be able to instantly turn them into articles. That’s fine, and the solution is simple: write them down!
Write down every single blog idea that you think of, whether you think you’ll use it or not. If you do not have a smartphone you can write them on, carry a notepad and pen with you. Whenever an idea pops into your head, write it down then and there. It is estimated that our short-term memory lasts only 30 seconds, so do not procrastinate and tell yourself that you’ll “write it down later.” You won’t. You’ll forget it, and what could have turned into a fantastic blog post is now just a lost memory.
A Few Other Tips…
Dedicate Time To Come Up With Ideas
It may be beneficial to dedicate a set amount of time solely to coming up with new blog ideas. This will get you into a creative mood, allowing you to come up with many ideas quite quickly. Be sure to write all of them down!
Look For Common Topics
If there are a ton of other bloggers writing about a certain topic right now, that is probably a sign that there is a lot of interest. Why not hop on board and add your own article to the mix?
Run A Survey
Ask your readers exactly what they want to read about by running a survey. Making your readers feel like their voice matters is a great way to connect with them further.
Consider Cutting Back Your Posting Schedule
If you feel that you’re spending too much time writing, consider cutting back your schedule. This allows you to focus more time on marketing your content, as well as building up other areas of your business such as your email newsletter. (See: 25 Guaranteed Ways To Increase Your Email Opt-ins!)
If you take the time to make use of the information within this article, you should never have a problem coming up with blog post ideas ever again.
Of course, the methods mentioned here aren’t the ONLY ways to come up with great ideas – there are many others as well that we have yet to discover.
We all handle things differently and come up with our own ways of doing things as we gain more experience. If you have a method you use to come up with ideas for your blog posts, it would be awesome if you would share it with all of us!
We are looking forward to hearing from you!