If you’re a blog content writer and have ever struggled to generate blog content ideas, you’re not alone.
Thinking up blog topics that readers are looking for can be challenging at best and beyond frustrating at worst. Add a dash of writer’s block, and you may find yourself considering other job opportunities.
Well, maybe it’s not that bad.
Still, you want to create quality content that’s helpful and relevant to your target audience — and that starts with a solid idea. Here are 13 ways to come up with creative blog content ideas:
1. Take a Survey
Your content should serve your readers’ needs, not your own. That said, how do you know what readers are looking for? Ask them.
There are several easy ways to conduct customer research via surveys. Here are three easy ideas:
- SMS surveys: Get feedback from your customers where they are. With a 98% open rate (considerably higher than email), SMS surveys are a powerful way to tap into customer interests.
- Social media surveys: Whether you conduct an actual survey or just monitor your social channels, people are talking. Are you listening? Take the opportunity to interact with your customers online and ask how you can serve them better.
- Review chat transcripts: If your website has live chat enabled, you can bet it’s a source of current customer concerns. Scanning your chat transcripts is likely to reveal many topics worth exploring.
2. Get Inspiration From Competitors
Struggling to select your next blog topic? Research competitors to get blog content ideas — and better yet — see which topics perform best.
Doing a domain overview of your site on Semrush will give you an overview of who your internet competitors are. Look at their top-performing keywords and visit their sites to evaluate the kind of content they’re writing.
Address topics that are ranked highly — and do them better. Make articles longer, add more detail, long-tail keywords, better quality images, optimized meta descriptions, etc. I’m always amazed to see content and web pages that aren’t SEO-friendly.
Sometimes it seems like internet content is just feeding on itself, doesn’t it? Remember, if you’re checking out your competition, they’re probably checking you out, too.
That’s why it’s essential to consider what others are doing but adding your own twist. Same ol’ same ol’ doesn’t help anyone. Plus, it’s just boring.
3. Look for Gaps & Overlaps in Your Existing Content
By considering your existing content at a 30,000-foot level, you may be surprised to see gaps and overlaps.
What opportunities exist that you haven’t covered — or beaten to death? Organizing your blog posts into topic clusters is a helpful way to see these content gaps and overlaps at a glance.
4. Spruce Up Existing Content
When you’re stuck, revisiting older blog posts that have declined in traffic reveals pieces of content you could update. Peruse your Google Analytics to determine your heavy hitters and see how you could spruce them up with new information or reformat them for a new audience.
“Polishing the past” is a great tactic to update content that has already proven successful. Why recreate the wheel when some spit and polish could suffice? Just make sure the updates you’re providing are helpful and offer a fresh perspective on your topic.
Pro tip: Link to your optimized content from related posts to add depth and context.
5. Write a Case Study
If you’re marketing a product or service, sometimes shouting your success from the rooftops (or at least politely whispering about it) can add credibility and social significance to your business.
Don’t let the words “case study” scare you. There are plenty of online templates you can follow to easily complete your case study (just make sure to have your data ready!)
6. Consult Internal Subject Matter Experts
Are you or a member of your team a subject matter expert (SME) who could create a valuable resource?
Meet with internal SMEs to pick their brain about new blog content ideas.
Offering guides, whitepapers and how-tos from a unique or experienced perspective adds value to your brand as well as your business.
7. Comb the Comments
People love to offer their two cents. Do you have a comments section enabled? If so, are there issues, questions, grievances — anything that stands out — that you could address in a new blog post?
Pro tip: If you do have blog comments activated, make sure someone is monitoring them. I’ve often seen valuable feedback and engagement opportunities ignored, which reflects poorly on your brand.
8. Get Trendy
A great way to create content that’s of-the-moment is to discover what people are searching for. How do you find out what's trending online? Here are some idea generators to consider:
- Autofill: Really? Yes. Since it’s based on current search trends, Google autofill is a quick way to get suggestions, especially for long-tail keywords to include in your posts.
- Google Trends: Visualize and assess global search trends happening in real-time.
- BuzzSumo: Enter a keyword to discover who ranks for that keyword and what they’re saying. Or, enter your competitor’s URL (or their blog URL) to identify their most-shared content.
- AnswerThePublic: Enter any keyword and get a list of related search queries that real people type into search engines.
9. Evergreen Is Keen
When in doubt, go green! Evergreen content never ages or should at the very least be relevant for extended periods.
Brainstorm topics that will be relevant to your audience for years to come. These could include industry education or best practices that are unlikely to change anytime soon.
Site content that remains relevant continues growing organic traffic over time, building page and domain authority.
10. Go Calendar Diving
Funny holidays and industry events (Fashion Week, Academy Awards, Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show) offer opportunities to capture short-term traffic that may lead to new eyes on your blog.
You could also use these opportunities to make social media posts that will link to older content to drum up new interest.
11. Try Social Scouting
Twitter, Reddit and Quora can reveal blog post ideas based on what real people are talking about.
Follow Facebook pages dedicated to your topic or industry to engage in conversations, then share your content with those groups (subject to page rules, of course).
12. Brainstorm With Your Team
Running low on inspiration? Schedule time with sales or customer service to get input on common customer questions, concerns or education gaps.
Effective brainstorming sessions can yield tons of good ideas. Set an intention for your session to stay on track and keep ideas focused on the subject at hand for the best results.
Once you’ve created a list of potential ideas, start whittling. Delete duplicates and refine overlapping ones. You'll begin to spot all kinds of ways to format your ideas and give each a unique layout and spin, like evergreen content, holiday content, how-tos and DOs and DON’Ts.
Do your due diligence, put them into your topic cluster “buckets” and start assigning due dates.
13. Create an Idea File
You never know when a great idea will strike. With that in mind, I often have ideas in the middle of the night that I’m convinced I’ll remember in the morning, and I never do. D’oh!
Record all your thoughts in a central location, ideally in your content calendar, and sort them into your topic clusters.
Another method to try is the voice-to-text feature.
The benefit of using voice-to-text is that you’re less likely to edit yourself, and it’s much faster than writing or typing.
Just let ideas flow no matter how ridiculous they sound. As you review and edit your list, you’re liable to come across a lot of garbage — or at least have a few laughs!
Organize Your Content With Blueprint SEO
How do you know what you need if you don’t see what you have? Organizing your existing content into topic clusters is a great way to get your thoughts organized.
But tracking down content ideas, notes and outlines is a pain, right? Not anymore. Blueprint SEO is a content strategy tool that lets you organize content around relevant topics while measuring SEO performance to keep you ranking.
Try Blueprint SEO free to organize your content ideas and streamline your writing process — you won’t know how you lived without it.