Being faithful to a blogging schedule is a tough job. And it gets worse if you hit writer’s block.
At a certain point, the only question on your mind is, “What am I going to write about?”
Blogging on a regular basis has also become increasingly more important, with 90% of leading marketers publishing to a blog at least once a week, according to Curata’s Business Blogging Study.
The good news is, there are blog post ideas everywhere, you just need to discover the topics that will resonate with your audience.
The content you create also has to contribute to your lead generation efforts. We’ll make this post very practical by breaking down 11 methods of discovering blog topics. These 11 methods will be further split into these three content categories:
- Awareness Content: This is at the top of the lead generation funnel and it helps you get lots of traffic and social shares.
- Consideration Content: This comes in the middle of the funnel and refers to in-depth content that engages your audience on your blog.
- Action Content: This comes at the bottom of the funnel and includes content like case studies or marketing eBooks that are gated and help convert your audience into customers.
For the purpose of this post, we’ll work with keywords around ‘bake’ throughout the post, so if you’re a baking company, you’re in luck.
Let’s dive in…
Use the following methods to generate post topics that’ll help boost your traffic.
1. Research Keywords Using Google Keyword Planner
To use this tool, you’ll have to sign up for a Gmail account if you don’t have one. The good news is you don’t have to be an advertiser to use it. Simply login and select it from the Admin menu at the top of the screen.
For the keyword “cake baking”, there are about 800 suggestions. That’s a ton of ideas already.
2. Spy On Competitors Using SEMrush
You can find out what topics your competitors are ranking for using this tool. Enter the competitor’s web address and you’ll see a list of keywords.
With the free version, you’ll get up to 10 phrases. That’s already enough ideas for your next 10 blog posts.
3. Look Up Your Existing Keywords
Still using the Google Analytics tool, check which keywords your site already ranks for. Most websites already have keywords they are ranking for, but many website owners fail to check on this. If you haven’t, now is the time.
To get this data, go to the left sidebar of Google Analytics and click on Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries. If you don’t see any data on that page, then connect your Analytics account to Google Webmaster Tools.
4. Use A Google Suggestion Tool
You’ll notice that whenever you type a query into Google, you get a small number of suggestions to auto-complete that query. To scale this process, head over to keywordtool.io.
Enter the search query into the search bar and you’ll discover a ton of other phrases pulled directly from Google.
5. Get Ideas from FAQs
Would you like to know what your customers are frequently asking your competitors? Instead of going through the FAQs of all these sites individually, FAQ Fox scrapes a ton of sites based on your search. Simply enter your keyword, pick a category and you’ll see a list of questions on your topic, scraped just for you. Create a blog that answers one of these frequently asked questions.
Use the following methods to create content that’ll help you get more engagement through comments and shares.
6. Discover Proven Topics Using BuzzSumo
With BuzzSumo, you can see which topics have the most shares based on your keyword. This tells you which topics are performing very well on social media. Create blog posts surrounding these topics in order to achieve similar social media success.
7. Use Great Headlines Formulas
There are tons of resources on how to write great headlines for your posts, but here are some credible, tested ones:
8. Find New Topics with a News Aggregator Like Feedly
Search for your keyword using news aggregators like Feedly or Alltop and you’ll see a ton of headlines. Scan through them and you’re sure to get a few ideas.
Sieve through the posts using the share counter so you know which ones worked well on social media, similar to the process described in method #6.
9. Leverage Event Dates
First, take a look at your editorial calendar (download an editorial calendar template here). What date are you planning on publishing the post? Tie in your blog post with an event happening on that date. Is it going live on December 27? Well a few things happened that day:
- Charles Darwin set forth on a voyage in 1831 that helped him form his evolution theories.
- James Barrie’s play “Peter Pan” premiered in London in 1904.
- The World Bank Group came into formal existence in 1945.
You can use a site like this to look up the day and find lots of ideas for your next post.
A simple search on Google with the date as the keyword, e.g. December 27, would also work.
10. Check Questions On Quora
This is a goldmine for finding out what questions people need answered. On Quora, you can follow specific topics and people.
You could also invite experts to answer your question and use that in your post.
If you have lots of traffic, shares and comments, but low conversion on subscribers or clients, use the following method.
11. Use Questions From Your Audience
The purpose of your blog is to really answer the questions your audience has. So listen in on their conversations, check their replies to your emails, on social media and your blog comment section.
Listening to your audience is the ultimate source of blog topics.
There are several ways to come up with blog post ideas, but this list should get you started.
For more ideas on blogging best practices, download Curata’s eBook, Business Blogging Secrets Revealed.