In order to continually bring traffic to a website, it needs to receive regular updates and fresh content. One of the best ways to do this is with new blog posts. However, over time, those in charge of creating content for the blog may begin to see their idea well run dry. Although some topics occur naturally, the ability to come up with new content ideas on a regular basis remains a challenge most content creators run into. In order to help with such a situation, here are the top 10 ways to come up with new content ideas for a blog.
1) Keep an Ideas Journal
Whether writing the ideas into an actual journal or on a Word document, the inspiration for new content ideas doesn’t just come when a content creator sits down in front of a computer screen. Staring at a blinking cursor doesn’t do much for anyone other than waste time.
Instead, it’s far better to write down ideas whenever one hit. Whether it is at another job, sitting on the subway or in the middle of the night, having something nearby to write on is important.
The beauty of random thought ideas is often times these ideas churn out secondary ideas as well. This is why it is important to write the idea out when it first comes. If the content creator forgets the idea they are not just forgetting one, they are likely forgetting the waterfall of additional ideas that would have followed.
As RankXL points out, the number of monthly blogs published has a direct impact on the amount of traffic a website receives. Three posts per month see an indexed traffic of around 100 per month. However, when pushed to 10 this increases to 150, and over 16 per month has 350. So the more ideas a creator can write about, the more inbound traffic the site will generate.
2) What’s Worked in the Past
One of the best ways to come up with new content is to piggyback off of what has worked in the past. Go over previous posts and look at reader engagements. Whether listed on LinkedIn, Facebook or anywhere else the post was shared, by looking at total engagements, likes, and comments, it’s possible to see what readers have connected with.
From there, it becomes possible to produce content based on this previous success. Whether simply updating the content to meet the current needs of a reader (versus when it was first published) to altering some of the keywords and focusing on a slightly different topic, by looking to the past it provides a window to the future and new blog ideas.
According to Website Strategies (2017), the best way to update and reuse an old post is to reset the date, update old information, pin images to social sites (like Pinterest) and repost the links. This instantly makes the older post new.
3) Offer Personal Insights and Stories
A quality story sells. Marketing is all about connecting with the consumer. An authentic story shows the business isn’t just some faceless entity, but instead there are people behind it.
With personal stories, readers can often relate. This helps generate a newfound interest and even promotes reader interaction. So whether writing about a cross-country road trip, trying to fit into pants that no longer work or dealing with health concerns, personal stories sell, while also generating a stronger bond between reader and writer.
As Customer Think (2017) indicates, the best way to sell with a story is, to begin with, a “change” story, which causes the shift in the idea. This puts the customer or reader directly in the shoes of the writer.
When creating a blog post the writers looking to generate the most attention and traffic will post it onto other social platforms. The same is true when creating YouTube videos. However, the YouTube and blog entities of a business do not always cross paths. That needs to change.
Sharing a YouTube video in a blog post helps drive more attention, more views and more subscribers to the website’s YouTube profile. The written blog post can center on the video, provide background insights or use it as a reference for a portion of the blog post.
As this continues the creator should promote the blog on the YouTube channel. By mentioning the blog, posting links in the video description and on the profile page, it offers YouTube subscribers an extra incentive to go to the blog for additional insights.
Taking advantage of YouTube will drive new viewers to your blog. With over a billion users spread across 56 countries, as the University of Brighton (2017) points out, there’s massive appear to cross-post and promote your content.
5) Enroll in the Competition’s Newsletters
A company will not generally buy products from the competition. However, it does help to stay up on what the competition is doing. This includes signing up for the newsletter.
The newsletter doesn’t just provide insights into the latest products and services. It likely also offers headlines for new blog posts. There’s nothing wrong with borrowing a topic idea for a similar post for the company website.
It is important to make the information differently. It shouldn’t offer carbon copy bullet points and information. It’s possible to focus on a similar topic or to provide different answers. For example, a company specializing in audio equipment might publish a blog post on the top 5 most influential albums to ever come out. Naturally, this is opinion based but it should give the subscriber ideas for new blog posts on their own. It even makes it possible to one-up the competition. Instead of writing about the top 5 most influential albums, they could write about the top 10.
There’s nothing wrong with borrowing ideas from the competition. In fact, it is one of the best ways to beat the competition at its own game.
Inside Intercom points out, this also helps you determine who the competition is, whether the business is a direct competitor, secondary competitor, or indirect competitor.
6) Turn to Google
Google has come to more or less run the Internet world. Seemingly every day it comes out with a new service or a new technology designed to push the world forward. So when struggling to come up with new ideas, one of the best ways to do this is with Google.
All a content creator needs to do is to type in a set keyword into the search bar. Underneath, Google shows top search results associated with the keyword. When Google Reveals the popular searches based on the keywords, it’s best to either snapshot it or to write the examples down, as each one of these will likely give you more possible ideas.
7) The Guest Post
Guest posts help in a number of ways. It puts a blog in front of the followers of another writer. Having someone guest write on the blog brings with it a number of perks. For starters, it offers another publication option, which can generate added traffic. It also brings in the followers of the writer, many of whom may begin to follow the website the writer guest blogged for.
Typically this is a give a little, get a little setup. When requesting for someone to create a guest blog, it’s usually expected to offer the same courtesy in return.
As BloggerJet (2018) indicates, a guest blog post will bring in up to 100 new visitors 50 percent of the time and may push referral traffic up by 539 new visitors from a single guest blog post.
8) Turn to the Topic Generator
Sometimes there’s a creative writer’s block that just can’t be bypassed. This kind of a creative block happens to the best writers, entertainers, and musicians the world over. One of the best ways to avoid the dreaded writer’s block is to work on two projects at once. When one article or story runs into a wall it’s possible to step away and work on the other. In the time away from the first story there’s a greater potential of brainstorming and coming up with a way to continue and improve open the first project.
Of course, blog posts are generally smaller in size, so unlike a professional writer working on multiple books at once, a blogger online won’t have this opportunity simply because their blog posts are only a few hundred to a couple thousand words. This is where the Blog Idea Generator is so helpful.
HubSpot has a free to use Blog Ideas Generator directly on the website. All someone needs to do in order to use it is to input three different nouns and click “Give Me Blog Ideas!” The generator will then reveal potential topics to write about.
When the idea tree is no longer bearing fruit, it’s time to start looking for another tree. With the help of the idea generator, you’ll always have topics to write about.
9) Look to the Comments
Comments on an article can be a nasty place. It’s never advised to look toward the comments of news articles or socially relevant topics. However, what may prove insightful is looking at the comments posted on a company’s articles. Some of the comments posted may offer better specifics on identifying possible new topics.
10) Ask Social
Much like looking at the comments, asking social followers for insights can prove especially beneficial. Whether asking members of the Facebook community or by promoting the latest post on YouTube, as the blog gains success and additional visitors. This can be done by directly asking social followers or by establishing a poll to generate new information. Social media can provide suggestions for the foreseeable future; all a blog writer needs to do is ask.
Over time, every content creator will struggle to come up with new ideas for blogs, posts, videos and every other form of media. However, this creator block doesn’t need to last. By taking advantage of these top 10 ways to come up with new content ideas, it’s possible for anyone, regardless of the niche, to constantly identify new posts designed to generate new backlinks, boost website visitors and keep readers and viewers returning to the website.