Let’s be real: as much as we love getting our creative juices flowing, some days might feel like we’ve bled our brains dry.
We’re all just humans, anyway — we can only think up of so many great ideas before we’re threatened by a blank Google doc again.
This is especially challenging for content marketers.
An easy way around this problem is to have a step-by-step process in finding the best ideas online. And that’s exactly what we’ll tackle in this blog!
This guide will teach you where to look and how to spot the best topics for your business. And by the end of it, you’ll have a spreadsheet full of interesting content ideas your audience will love!
But first, a few notes:
- Make sure you’ve already defined your reader persona. This will help you zero in on the content that would really matter to your audience.
- Take note of the top blogs within your niche. A little bit of competitor research doesn’t hurt.
- Download our Blog Ideas and Content Calendar Template for a more organized note-taking!
Ready? Let’s get into it!
Step 1: Look for the best posts from your blog.
Generating blog post ideas can be tricky. If you’re not careful, you’ll get hit or miss results.
The safest route is to find the blog posts that are already successful among your audience.
So first, let’s go check out your best content! An easy way to do this is to use BuzzSumo — just key in your domain in the search bar and run the search.
Note: Unless you’re subscribed to BuzzSumo, you only have a limited number of search queries. So be extra careful to avoid misspellings or incorrect keywords!
Use this list of top performing blog posts as inspiration for new ones. Then, improve upon them by doing either of the following:
- Re-publishing content that needs updating. The post may no longer be relevant or updated. You can revise it with the updated information and publish it again, tweaking the title to reflect the changes.
- Doing a total rewrite of a post that needs extensive updating. Revising and republishing might be out of the question if it requires a complete overhaul.
The good news is that you can write it as a new post instead! Just make sure you link to your newer, updated post from the outdated one.
Step 2: Look for your competitors’ top posts.
Since you practically share the same audience with your competitors, it’s smart to see what’s working for them, too. Just type their domain into the Buzzsumo search bar and hit Search.
Tip: You can also use Buzzsumo to discover the trending topics in your niche. To do this, just run the search using your niche as the keyword (e.g. ‘digital marketing’).
And like the previous step, think of how you can improve upon their best content by:
- Taking a new perspective. Give your readers a point-of-view by writing from the other side of the coin.For example, if one of your best contents is “Ultimate Tips for Managing your First Virtual Assistant”, you can work on a new blog about “10 Mistakes I Made in Managing My First Virtual Assistant”.
- Making a more comprehensive version. If you think there’s more to be added to the blog, go right ahead and make a longer version! Just make sure it’s not just longer, but more valuable than the original too.With this approach, you’re essentially doing the Skyscraper Technique. You found a well-performing post and made it 10x better by adding more valuable information.
Step 3: Ask your best friend… Google.
Honestly, what can’t Google do?
This beast of a search engine has several features you can use to mine for more blog topic ideas. And these features tell you two things:
The most relevant content for your query, and other related queries that people are searching for.
Basing a blog topic on these Google features is a great starting point. Why? Because it validates the need for such content. Meaning… people are literally looking for it!
Option 1: Google Keyword Planner. Keyword research is also a great way to get ideas for the types of problems your readers actually want you to solve for them.
This free tool provides plenty of valuable keyword data such as related search terms, keyword suggestions, keyword trends, and search counts.
Option 2: Autocomplete
Option 3: People Also Ask
Option 4: Related Searches
Option 5: Google Trends. This tool lets you check the seasonality of your topic and compares it with other terms you’ve keyed in. It also suggests topics that are rising in popularity.
Step 4: Browse forums to know what people are talking about.
You’ll also get ideas on the challenges they’re facing and problems they’re trying to solve. For example: To look for relevant posts on Quora, you can either search by keyword or by topic.
Here are the results for each!
- By keyword:
- By topic. Select the FAQ section of the results page to get better ideas:
Step 5: Organize your topics based on relevance and popularity.
By now you’ve probably got boatloads of articles, reports, and blog posts to choose from.
Now you have to sort them according to their relevance and popularity. For this part, consider social proof as your biggest indicator of success. If it’s hot in other areas of the web, it could also become popular with your audience.
Alternatively, you can also consider the following questions:
- Which topics are most relevant to your audience?
- Which topics covers the most common problems of your readers?
- Which topics could potentially help your readers towards having a buying decision?
- OPTIONAL: Which topics could help us rank higher in the search engines?
Once you’ve finalized a number of post ideas, plot them in a Content Calendar. (We already prepared one for you in the spreadsheet you downloaded earlier! 😏)
Basically, a content calendar is where you can organize, plan ahead, and stay on top of your content schedule. It helps you anticipate and prepare for timely marketing opportunities, too!
Now you know the exact steps to take in looking for your Next Great Blog Post!
No more helplessly squeezing your juices and picking a fight with blank docs…
Just a steady stream of awesome content ideas that will attract and make your audience love you more!
Enjoyed this guide? We’ve got more! Watch out for our next blog post which will cover doing research for your blog post!
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