9 Tools to Never Stop Finding Great Content Ideas
Everyone runs out of content ideas. This is the inescapable truth of working on a blog, and it is 1000 times worse for anyone who also uses content for marketing. You are not only competing with other blogs, but other brands as well. Having to come up with constant new titles, topics and things to keep your audience interested is utterly exhausting.
Having some tools on hand that lighten the load is a major help. You can use these nine tools to make finding new content ideas a breeze, no matter how many you need in a month.
There is this horrible trend on websites that are more or less advertising platforms. They will go to an AskReddit thread that has been popular and create a slideshow or post a number of responses. It is nothing but regurgitated content that drives views to their site. Does that mean Reddit isn’t a good tool? No!
It is an excellent way to find out what people are discussing, what is popular in the collective consciousness and what you should be writing about. Just make sure you are writing your own work, not snatching up low hanging fruit that gives nothing to the reader that they couldn’t get from the original source.
Good old keyword research is one of the best ways to brainstorm content ideas. Serpstat is the most content-marketer friendly solution, giving writers lots of content ideas. In fact, when using it, you may get overwhelmed, so try and organize those ideas carefully: don’t try to write on all topics as fast as you can!
I always use these two sections of the site:
- Related keywords: This option allows you to see some topics you wouldn’t even think about.
- Search Questions: This section finds all the popular questions within your topic and lets you download the whole list. This one is the most powerful ways to find ideas!
The tool provides filters for you to get the most relevant data. So you can see how high your future competition is going to be and/or how popular the topic is.
The reports are straightforward and helpful, not relying on a lot of SEO jargon that won’t help you find content ideas. You do have to have an idea of your direction first, but hopefully, you have at least a general understanding of your audience at this point.
3. Google’s “Related Questions”
Google has a neat little feature: If there are many questions about the word you are searching for, the tool will show a “People Also Ask” box somewhere within the regular search results. Once you start expanding those questions to read the answers, Google will add more and more questions to the box, so you’ll find yourself scrolling through more and more cool topics for your blog.
Let’s say you have a gardening blog. You look up keywords and notice a lot of people are confused about the perfect time to begin planting tomato plants when they live in a dry climate. That is a potential topic for you to cover, one that is going to be time relevant (Spring/Summer).
4. Twitter Search
Twitter search engine is an excellent means of keyword research: Learn what people are talking right now by checking Twitter daily.
Use Cyfe to monitor and archive Twitter results. It provides a minimal dashboard for monitoring an unlimited number of Twitter searches.
MyBlogU is a free blogging community that’s all about collaborative brainstorming and inspiring each other. Anytime you feel stuck, you can create a new project and ask fellow members to submit ideas. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing it is to have an outside perspective on your topic.
Access to people who can see your niche from ‘the outside,’ is the best way to get inspired.
6. Title Generators
Sometimes random ideas are decent ones. HubSpot has a great random blog title generator tool that lets you put in three nouns to create a title. For example, I put dog, chair, and lemon. This gave me five topics:
- 14 Common Misconceptions About Dogs
- The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Chairs
- The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Lemons
- 10 Signs You Should Invest In Dogs
- 10 Quick Tips About Chairs
The funny thing is, the ideas will be different each time you run the tool:
As you can see, you will need to tweak the titles, but they give you a list of combinations that can spark ideas based on the nouns you choose.
Content Row is very similar to HubSpot’s title generator, except it is formatted like clickbait to create more shareable titles. Of course, I would never suggest anyone make real clickbait, but what is the difference between that and linkbait?
Linkbait delivers on what it promises in the headline. According to Google Dictionary, it is “content designed to attract attention and encourage those viewing it to create hyperlinks to the site, with the aim of improving the site’s position on the list of results returned by a search engine.”
You have probably come across Buzzsumo before. It is a marketing application that allows you to both analyze what content performs best (and where), while tracking down the best influencers who would be able to promote your content. It basically cuts out a lot of the middleman work that comes along with content marketing.
But it can also be used to see current content trends, so you are able to find the best content to reach your audience. It can be a little steep in price, starting at $79 for the first pro package. But if you want to really improve your content, it is worth paying the price for the professional tools. Otherwise, you can use their search function to find thousands of content ideas.
I love using Buzzsumo to find experts to interview on my blog too. You can run a search, check the box to only see “interviews” and find people who don’t mind being interviewed:
Quora is one of the most helpful websites that not nearly enough people are using. It is a social network for experts to get together and answer questions about their topic of expertise. I am a frequent contributor on marketing, SEO, freelancing and other related topics.
Others go to share their programming knowledge, recipes, even personal advice which gives you a place to go looking for topics people want to know more about. What makes this such valuable data is that not only are you seeing what people are asking, but you can also see how many people are offering answers (i.e. competitors).
Latest is a Twitter aggregation tool that monitors what people are talking about. Think of it as a better version of Twitter Trends, as it monitors more than just a small collection and instead, sees all current popular topics across the entire site, then picks the top ten without any interference from paid sponsors pushing their content into the limelight.
This isn’t the most targeted way to find content ideas, but you may find something you wouldn’t have considered covering that has a quick — but intense — shelf life that can give you some quick traffic injections. These boosts in organic traffic can lead to readers getting hooked, so make sure you are linking back to other content around your site.
You should also take advantage of these topics to get some traction on Twitter, where interactions may show topics that could work in the future. Read more about how keeping track of trends can boost your audience here.
Do you have any tools that can help to find content ideas when suffering from creativity-fatigue? Do you have a system for coming up with amazing titles that you want to share? Let us know in the comments!