Brainstorm Better Blog Topics With These 5 Resources
By Carly Stec
Creating blog content can often times feel like a double-edged sword.
Sure blogging consistently helps you become a stronger, more seasoned writer, but it also drains the blog topic bank fairly quickly.
Whether you like it or not, you're not going anywhere fast with a bone-dry blog topic reserve. At best, you're looking at a few frustrated hours filled with hair pulling, beard stroking, and pencil tapping. This is writer's block at it's finest.
But it doesn't have to be this way. The next time you feel a topic drought setting in, start devising a plan for how you're going to overcome it before it consumes your writing process entirely.
I'm not asking you to pull ideas out of thin air, but rather check out these 5 resources. I've got a feeling they'll help ease blog topic brainstorming a little.
Perhaps one of these most underrated resources for blog topic generation is Yahoo Answers, or any Q&A style website for that matter.
Why? Well, websites like Yahoo Answers serve as a gold mine for uncovering questions that people are seeking answers to. Writing content that responds to the questions and challenges that consumers are faced with will not only boost your credibility, but increase the likelihood that they will return to your website the next time they're looking for a solution.
By simply entering a few keywords, Yahoo Answers will churn up the most popular questions being asked. For example, I entered the phrase "social media marketing", and managed to come up with the following blog titles in less than a minute's time:
X Reasons Why Social Media Marketing is Important for Business
What is Social Media Marketing?
X Must-Have Tools for Social Media Marketers
How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business
While we don't recommend snatching a blog topic verbatim, scrolling through the work of others is a great way to get the creative juice flowing. That's how I justify my sick obsession with Pinterest anyway. I don't see it as procrastination, but rather an online ritual that helps to trigger's some of my most brilliant ideas.
Facebook's new Paper app is favorite new way to window shop for blog topic concepts. The app makes it easy to explore top stories from some of the most influential news sources. Not only will the app turn up the latest from your friends on Facebook (who share some idea-sparking stuff every so often), but you can also add sections based around your interests like: Tech, Headlines, Ideas, and Enterprise.
Quick Tip: Looking for something a little more niche-friendly? Check out Feedly. This news reader functions similarly to Paper, but it allows users to add their favorite blogs for a more organized blog browsing experience.
While the latest movements on Twitter might not always suite your business, it's easy to search for relevant hashtags to dig up the latest from people in your industry.
Checking in on industry-friendly hashtags helps you stay on top of the times, and in tune with the events and changes in your industry as they happen. That's the beauty of real-time.
Through a quick search for the hashtag #inboundmarketing, I was able to pull up a ton of relevant articles and insights from content creators in my industry. With a whole list of link to interesting new blogs, you're sure to find a source of inspiration to get the gears turning.
What better way to generate blog topic ideas than to uncover the keywords and phrases that are performing well in terms of search volume?
Those are the concepts we want to get after, and Google Trends makes it easy to bring them to light.
Broken up into three different sections, Google Trends provides users with an opportunity to uncover the goods they need to get the ball rolling on their next blog article.
The Hot Searches option allows you to view the top searches by day, while the Top Searches option allows you to view the top searches conducted in Google by category (Business, Entertainment, Sports, etc).
If that doesn't do it for you, the Explore feature utilizes visual graphs to investigate where specific topics of your choosing stand in terms of search volume, and compare up to 5 different topics at once.
Your Own Analytics
Take a minute to look back at the blog articles that you've published in the past. Which ones received the most views?
It's likely that these topics are the ones you want to mirror. If these articles are continuing to see views even months after they've been published, it's clear that their is still a consumer demand for this type of information. Start thinking about how you can spin the topic differently for an entirely new post.
Revisit the blogs and check to see if there are any comments containing clarifying questions that you can base a follow post off of. Or reread the article to see if all of the information is still up to date. Did a change in your industry alter some of the information you provided? Write about it.
Wondering where to begin?