The internet is saturated with content on a daily basis. In fact, over 3 million blog posts are written on a daily basis.
How do you keep up with the “content overload”?
Better yet, how do you consistently come up with original content ideas for your own marketing strategy? When you’re facing writer’s block and can’t for the life of you think of something new, exciting, and truly useful to write about, consider the following six methods.
6 Best Ways to Come up With Better Blog Post Ideas
1) Conduct Brainstorming Sessions
If you’re part of a content team, one method that works for my colleagues and I is to conduct a weekly brainstorming session. These sessions are usually half an hour to an hour long, depending on the flow of ideas. Typically we begin the meeting by looking at what’s currently trending in the news, and trying to figure out how we can create evergreen content that plays off of trending content.
We then create a backlog of ideas. During this time there are no wrong answers. All ideas, no matter how ridiculous, are added to a Trello board, and after we have about 10 ideas in the backlog, we work toward narrowing down the top three contenders and flushing out the details. The great part about this strategy is you will always have a backlog of ideas to turn to in moments where you pull a blank on what to write.
2)Read Other Blogs in Your Industry
Sometimes looking at published works from a new marketing hub, product blog, or major publication can inspire new ideas. Chances are if other people are writing about a certain subject, there is a demand for that topic. One method is to find content that is already performing well on other blogs, and write your own, more in-depth article in the same category.
The added benefit to this is that you can then use a tool like Ahrefs to do a backlink analysis on the content that you referenced to begin with. In doing so, you can reach out to everyone who linked to the initial post and ask them to link to your new article instead. New content and an SEO boost!
Of course, you can also choose to curate content on a certain subject, similar to the way Scoop.it curates a variety of different topics from the web, or AH curates recent android headlines. Many companies will also do this by creating round-up posts of the best articles they read on a given topic, but we will get to round-up posts in more detail later.
3) Think Back to Your Own Experiences
What are your hobbies? Are there any side-projects you are currently working on? Think of what you learned from those hobbies and side-projects. Is there a way those insights can help contribute to new content ideas?
For instance, if you play a sport or do some form of martial arts, what practices from those activities can cross-over to business, marketing, or productivity? I sometimes do Krav Maga, and find that it helps me focus and remain motivated.
Oftentimes you can find a direct correlation between your past experiences that could benefit others in a completely different line of work. Track those experiences.
4) Answer a Burning Pain
Sometimes you just need to ask your customers what they are struggling with directly. Brian Dean of Backlinko does a great job with this in an onboarding email. He simply asks new subscribers to tell him one thing they are struggling with. He then uses those responses to help him prioritize the kind of content he should produce next.
If you answer a true burning problem, not only will you be directly helping a person in need, but you increase your chances of social and search traffic. Most of the time if one person states the problem, at least a dozen others are facing that same struggle and didn’t say anything.
It can also be beneficial to become introspective and think of your own pain points. Are you struggling to come up with new content ideas? Write an article about it! Maybe you’re having difficulty hiring hustlers for your startup, or you’re having trouble identifying new link building strategies. Look into your own pain points and research the solution. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone: a new piece of content and your own problems are solved.
5) Create a Round-up Post
This is one of my favorite methods for identifying new business solutions, as well as producing new content. A round-up post can bring in a whole array of fresh strategies, and it can require less writing on your end but still produce some exceptional content.
By identifying top influencers in a certain industry and reaching out to them, you can provide your audience with a lot of new and valuable insights. You can also repurpose these round-ups as infographics and send them to everyone who contributed to the post, like in the example below. By doing this, you can ask each influencer to include the infographic on their own sites with a link back to you!
6) Use an Idea Generator
Lastly, if you’re still stuck for ideas, use an idea generator. Sometimes all you need is a headline suggestion to get the gears spinning. There are tons of idea generators that exist that can help stimulate your brain. Many of them simply require you to input a noun or theme that you are thinking of writing about, and the tool does the rest.
A few possible choices include:
- Klock.work Idea Generator
This tool only required you to input a noun and spits out 50 possible headline ideas at a time. It also recommends possible infographic templates you can use if you’re planning on repurposing your content in visual form.
- Link Bait Generator
Although this title generator outputs some pretty ridiculous and funny ideas, I’m not sure how many people actually use the suggestions. If you’re looking to create a slightly controversial and entertaining blog post, however, it can be fun to check out.
- Content Ideator
I believe this tool scours the web for existing content based on a keyword you input. This is primarily good for inspiration, but I wouldn’t copy the titles exactly.
I don’t recommend using idea generators for every piece of content you produce, but they can be particularly useful during those times you truly have terrible writer’s block.
With so much content being published on a daily basis, coming up with better blog post ideas is sometimes just a matter of research. Essentially it comes down to researching what is already performing well, and creating content that is more useful and more detailed than that existing content. If you can do this, not only will you have a never-ending backlog of great ideas, but you’ll also up your chances of building high-quality backlinks to those articles.