Over the years, I’ve run several blogs. Some were personal, others belonged to my customers. And every now and then, I’d reach a point where inspiration simply eluded me. What new thing could I write about? What awesome bit of content will inspire or be of use to my audience? Oh mighty gods of inspiration, please send me some new blog post ideas!
If you’ve ever tried this blogging thing, then you may already know that brainstorming new blog post ideas that people actually care about isn’t exactly a breeze. And when you’ve been doing it for long enough, you might have had (at least) an episode when you felt like you’ve told every story in the book.
I kid you not, sometimes I even feel like I’m in a couple that’s been married for so long there was nothing new to be said. I’ve been stuck brainstorming new blog ideas several times. And every single time, there was a mix of tools and data that helped me move forward and discover some great new content ideas that people were actually interested in learning more.
1. Look at the auto suggest results provided by Google
Google Suggest was developed to help users of its search engine find what they’re looking for faster and easier. Google’s suggest feature displays search terms and phrases that could be related to what you’ve typed in its search bar. Thanks to its auto complete feature it can also spell check your search terms.
While these two features are awesome on their own, this Google feature can provide some great ideas for new blog posts. Basically, with auto suggest results you can test your keywords and see what other people are asking or searching about that specific query.
2. Ask www.answerthepublic.com to see what people want to know about something
I’ve only recently started to use this platform to brainstorm new content ideas, but I’m blown away by it. In fact, I can easily say that Answer The Public is a great blog post idea generator!
It works in a similar way to the auto suggest results provided by search engines, but it compiles that data into comprehensive one-page reports that provide writers with SEO keywords and a bunch of new blog post ideas. Basically, the platform shows you what questions and queries your potential audience might have in relation to a specific topic.
In a one-page display, Answer The Public will outline web searches related to your query by the variations used to create them. Basically it separates the why, the how, the where and what in one visually-appealing image.
3. Use AdWords’ Keyword Planner to see what keywords are approachable
Yes, even if you’re not using AdWords for Google search or display ads, you can still make the most out of one of its coolest tools for developing new blog content and identifying competitive keywords.
Sure, this one is a pretty obvious tool for brainstorming new blog post ideas, and there are very good reasons why. With Keyword Planner you can search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category, get search volume data and trends or multiply keyword lists to get new keywords.
If navigating the Keyword Planner dashboard feels a bit too much, stick with the basics.
Use the Search new keywords using a phrase, website or category to get started. You can use only one or all three of them.
Describe your product or service using specific terms. So you’re selling flowers, but if you’d use only “flowers” as a keyword, you will end up with a broad list of keywords that might just be a bit too general. Consider using “wedding flowers”.
Personally, I go to Keyword Planner to get search volume and competition for the keywords I identify with Google’s auto suggest or Answer the Public.
I choose keywords that have over 1K monthly searches and are marked as Low or Medium under competition. I figured that the stronger the competition, the harder it will be to rank content in top 10 Google search results. However, if I go with long tail keywords with sufficient monthly searches and low competition I could easily turn the tables.
4. Take a look in Google Analytics to get new blog post ideas
If you’re not a big fan of Google Analytics, head over to Skillshare and take one of the many courses available. Whether you like it or not, when you’re focusing on content marketing to grow your brand and website traffic, you need to make this sucker your friend.
There are many, many benefits to knowing how to use and interpret Google Analytics data, but one of the best is discovering new content ideas for your blog. There are several ways to do that, but here’s how I use Google Analytics to brainstorm new ideas for my blog.
Behavior, Site Content, All Pages.
This report is super useful as you can see exactly what are the most popular pages in your website. This gives you an idea of what’s your strongest content and should give you some direction on developing new content. I use it to come up with content that relates to the topics of my most popular website pages (or blog post articles). It’s also a good way to see what content isn’t performing well.
Use the search box to filter for /blog urls to see exactly how popular your articles actually are.
Behavior, Site Search, Search Terms.
If you have a search box on your website, you can use this report to see what your visitors are actively interested in finding in your pages. Look for the search queries that have no results to develop new content.
Acquisition, Source/Medium, Pinterest, Secondary Dimension: Page
Pinterest has become a well established way to generate website traffic. You can check this report to see which website pages have been visited by visitors coming from Pinterest. Use it to generate related content that could appeal to this type of audience.
5. Use Pinterest to discover what people are searching for
If you think Pinterest is just for crafts, home decor and food porn, think again. Recently, I’ve been using Pinterest more and more to research content ideas and even keywords for my blog. And it’s a blast.
Much like Google’s Suggest feature, Pinterest does a similar thing. When you start typing keywords in its search box, the network suggests related keywords based on what people are searching for. Even when it displays results for a specific query, Pinterest sweetens the deal with a list of related ideas.