A blog has no doubt become an integral part of any successful website these days. If you own a website and haven’t started a blog for it yet, it’s time to start. If you have been hesitant to start a blog (or don’t update your blog regularly) because you just can’t think of any good topics to write about, that’s not a good excuse.
Sure, even great writers sometimes run out of ideas for new blog posts, but with the plethora of online tools and resources available at our fingertips these days, there really is no excuse for running out of great topic ideas for blog posts. It’s really just a matter of using the right tools to help get the creative juices flowing, and outlined below are some of the best tools I have found for generating new blog topic ideas.
Alltop was co-founded by legendary business advisor and author Guy Kawasaki, and as stated on the Alltop site, their goal is to help answer the question “What’s happening?” in topics that may be of interest to you. It is basically a list of recent posts from all the best blogs around the web. From finance and marketing to hair and fashion, Alltop covers pretty much any topic you can imagine. Simply select your topic, and you’ll be shown posts relating to that topic from the top blog in that industry. It’s a great way to quickly see what the top blogs in your industry are writing about and inspire some ideas of your own.
Tweak Your Biz Title Generator
Just enter a word or phrase, and the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator will produce a great list of potential blog post titles for you. The title ideas are grouped in various categories from questions and lists to secrets and motivation. If you’re not real creative when it comes to titles for your blog posts, this free tool can really come in handy. I often find that I have to tweak the title just a little for my posts, but this tool is sure great for generating a lot of catchy titles to work from.
Content Strategy Generator Tool
I love Daniel Butler’s nifty Content Strategy Generator Tool for generating new blog topic ideas. Simply enter a word or phrase, and the tool will scan the web for all the latest news and articles related to your search. In the example below, I entered the keyword “mortgages”, and the tool instantly produced a host of great topics from popular sites such as Reddit, Twitter, Google News, Yahoo Answers, Fark, etc.
Topsy allows you to enter a word or phrase to search and find recent tweets, blog posts, G+ posts, etc. about your search term. If it’s a trending topic, you can sort results by past hour, past day, past 3 days, etc. to just display content that has been posted during that time frame. You can even filter to display just tweets, videos, experts, etc. You’ll find that skimming through the results will help generate some great topic ideas for blog posts.
While Ubersuggest isn’t the best tool for coming up with actual blog titles, it is an excellent tool to help generate general topic ideas for new blog posts. Simply enter a word or phrase, and Ubersuggest will produce a long list of results containing the word or phrase followed by some related phrases. These suggested phrases are grouped from A-Z, and below you can see the results for the keyword phrase “mortgages” + f in Example 1. In Example 2, I entered “how do mortgages” and Ubersuggest produced a long list of suggested topics based on this phrase instead of just the word “mortgages”.
When it comes to blog topic ideas, many people overlook one of the most popular social networking sites. You can run a Twitter search using your keyword proceeded by a hashtag (#mortgages for example) to come up with a list of tweets containing your keyword. The great thing about Twitter is that the conversation is probably the most up-to-date conversation you can find on the web. If you want to write a post on some trending news in your specific industry, Twitter is a great place to start for potential topic ideas.
As shown in the example below, a Twitter search for #mortgagerates brings back tweets that mention this topic on Twitter. From these results, you may get the idea to write a post about how buying a home is still cheaper than renting a home - for now anyways.
A great way to drive traffic to your site and gain loyal followers is to answer common questions asked by online users about your industry, and Quora can be a great resource for discovering these commonly asked questions. Enter a word or phrase into Quora, and see what questions users are asking related to this topic on Quora. After your results are displayed as seen in the example below, you can also click on “Top Stories”, “Trending”, and “Questions” to dig a little deeper into questions relating to your topic.
A great way to keep an eye on topics that top blogs in your industry are writing about is to sign up for an RSS Feed Reader. There are a lot of great RSS readers out there, but Feedly is one of the most popular and easy to use. It is very easy to tweak the interface to look exactly the way you want, and since the death of Google Reader, Feedly has been adding great new features almost daily, or so it seems. You can use the general topics that other top blogs are writing about as stepping stones for developing your own content ideas.
Scoop.it is a great tool for finding interesting content ideas around a particular topic that has been curated by others. Find topics that industry leaders are talking about and adding their own opinions and insight to. With Scoop.it, you can also easily curate content yourself and post it to your social media accounts or even add a feed on your blog that includes topics of your choice.
Google Keyword Tool
The Google Keyword Tool is not only useful in generating some general blog topic ideas, but it can also be used in conjunction with the tools mentioned above to help you identify blog topics with high monthly search volume. In the example below, I entered the term “mortgage” into the Google Keyword Tool, and based on this information, I might decide writing a blog post that lists and reviews the top mortgage and financial calculators might be a great post because there is so much search volume in this area. It could also generate a lot of natural links to your blog post.
Okay, so this is not an official tool, but searching your competitor’s blog can be a great resource for new topic ideas. What’s great about this strategy is that you can see which blog topics actually generated the most social shares and comments. Focus on similar topics for your blog posts, but tweak them a little and make your posts even better than the originals.
- Talk about your own personal experiences. For example, “The 10 Biggest Mistakes I Made With My First Start Up”.
- Inspire your readers with your blog topics. For example, write a post for your business blog about “The Top 10 Entrepreneurs in America Under 30”.
- Critique something of interest to your audience. If you have a technology website, critique the latest smart phone to hit the market.
- Interview someone on their personal experience with the subject. For example, “John Smith: How He Increased Sales by 300% Using These Creative Strategies”.
As you can see, coming up with great new ideas for blog posts really is not hard if you take advantage of the many wonderful free tools and resources available online these days. What other tools do you use for generating blog topic ideas?