If you’re a content writer, you have a blog or work for a company, you might have struggled with this question before: How do I find good blog topic ideas? There might have been situations when you didn’t have any ideas and you had to write something just to keep your users engaged.
For everyone that has stumbled on this, I understand you. I know what you’re feeling. And you’re not alone. For somebody who writes on a daily basis, you need to be like a factory of fantastic ideas and give valuable information to the audience, because they need it. They are looking for guidance in every possible way.
I bet that not once it happened to you to remain stuck and don’t get any inspiration for an article. The desire was there but the playground was empty.
Most of you have to become factory ideas overnight, but there are solutions for you during the day. That’s why we thought about the following effortless ways and platforms to find topic ideas:
- Look for Q&As on Quora
- Use BrandMentions to Spy Your Competitors for Content Ideas
- Uncover Trends and Identify Influencers on BuzzSumo
- Search for Question Topics on cognitiveSEO’s Keyword Tool
- Generate Niche Keyword Ideas Using Ubersuggest
- Get Inspired Using Pinterest
- Follow Influencers’ Articles on LinkedIn
- Search Through Thousands of Courses on Lynda
- Get Ideas from Discussions in Facebook Groups
- Use Reddit to Find Questions Related to Your Topic
- See What Other People Are Sharing on Zest
- Explore Medium Posts
- Check out What’s Popular on Flipboard
- Explore Trending Stories on Trend Hunter
- Search the Internet Using AllTop
- Check Google News for Current Events
- Stay Updated With Google Webmaster Hangouts
- Look Through Shared Articles on Academia
- Find Stats and Case Studies on Statista
- Explore Global Development Data on World Bank Open Data
Finding the right content topic is essential, but the way you write it is also important. Good content writers will always be in demand, just like Joel Klettke points out.
“We don’t need to hire a writer. We’ve got formulas and a template!” pic.twitter.com/HREhKHCimw
— Joel K (@JoelKlettke) September 18, 2018
1. Look for Q&As on Quora
Quora is an abundance of information and continuous resource for content writers, users, noobies and people wanting to find specific answers to their problems. The information is organized and edited by users, which makes it easy to understand the user behavior. Quora is so famous that even the former U.S. President Barack Obama is on it.
Besides all the ideas, you get the advantage of seeing what language and vocabulary people use, the way of writing and asking questions. And after you got some inspiration, you can write the article. Then you can answer questions by pointing people to your article.
Quora is a great space for keyword research and headlines/titles inspiration. For example, if we use the screenshot below and we want to write about keyword cannibalization, we can see if most people use a focus keyword such as – avoid keyword cannibalization or the question type such as – what is keyword cannibalization.
The site is divided into topics, which makes it easy to search for blogging ideas and get insights on what people are looking for. There is an entire community on Quora where a lot of people and experts on every subject you can imagine are actively contributing with knowledge.
If you are focused on a specific topic, use the newly launched Spaces and follow the community that interests you.
Besides all the ideas we’ve talked about, there are other things Quora is good at. Only by using a few clicks you can:
- find what people are looking for. Search for general keywords on Quora and see questions regarding your topic.
- get updates on trending topics right on the homepage.
- read sourced research from experts and get their permission to quote them in your new article.
- find every influencer that you can contact for outreach.
2. Use BrandMentions to Spy Your Competitors for Content Ideas
Wouldn’t it be a shame to miss an opportunity to talk about something that has great traction and create a massive, evergreen blog post that will get a good social media score and links 3 years after you’ve written it?
We’ve previously talked about the advantages of using a social monitoring tool, such as BrandMentions, that gives insights based on what finds online. You can spy on your competitors to see what are they writing, what type of content gets more engagement. And based on the response they get from the audience, you can see the topics of interest and try to create a better piece of content than theirs.
You can monitor fresh topical content related to your business and create better content in your niche. You just have to search for a topic and the tool will show you the results.
Whenever your brand is being brought up on the web, a marketing opportunity is rising and that applies to your competitors as well. If you know what people are talking about them and find their strengths and weaknesses, you’ll know what to offer to the audience and steal them from your competition.
Using a social monitoring tool such as BrandMentions helps you manage the mentions and go right on the spot by offering live support. You can find what people are saying about a specific brand and not necessarily to it, because there might be lots of untracked brand mentions, without any direct link to the brand.
For example, people might talk on social media but not place the @ before the name of the brand. And we must remember that it’s not only influencers in your industry who mention brands on the web, but there are also lots of other people that are consumers.
3. Uncover Trends and Identify Influencers on BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo can help you generate new content for your blog and see what the audience craves. You can search for popular topics and see results based on total engagement, evergreen score, number of links and other more. You have lots of filters available to go into deeper analysis and get more accurate results based on your needs.
For example, we searched for video marketing and we wanted to see the pages with the highest engagement.
Another great thing about this tool is that you can get some ideas of keywords based on the results you get. If we look at the search we’ve made for video marketing, we can see that video and SEO, or video marketing tips, or video marketing statistics are valid recommendations we could use in our content.
4. Search for Question Topics on cognitiveSEO’s Keyword Tool
If you’re in search of customer questions use cognitiveSEO Keyword Tool to generate content ideas and monitor question on various subjects and brands.
Based on the keywords you’re interested in writing topics on, you can filter the results and get:
- phrase match;
- search suggestions;
- focus keywords;
- or group topic.
Did you know?
Within the Keyword Tool you can see results based on location, language and device option (desktop vs mobile). So you can see niched topic ideas based on what people are searching and following in a particular place, city.
Besides, you could spy your competition and see which type of content triggers more traction in SERP. Get a sneak peek on what are they writing about, what kind of content is ranking for a particular keyword (product page, homepage, blog post, YouTube video and so on), the subject line.
With just a few clicks, you can get valuable insights on some keyword and topics ideas, plus do a short competitive analysis on any keyword you are interested in ranking for.
5. Generate Niche Keyword Ideas Using Ubersuggest
Ubersuggest is a keyword suggestion tool that lets you perform keyword research and also give you common phrases and some articles inspiration related to the keyword. With just a scroll you get a list of keyword recommendations plus some important metrics (search volume, SEO difficulty, paid difficulty, CPC, volume search) and in the end some articles along with social shares from Facebook and Pinterest.
Below you can see an example for blogging. if you haven’t considered using Ubersuggest for content ideas now is a good time.
6. Get Inspired Using Pinterest
Another free way to find content marketing ideas is by using Pinterest. The motto of the platform describes it very well: Discover recipes, style home ideas, inspiration and other ideas to try. So inspiration is at its place on Pinterest.
If you’ve never used Pinterest until now, then you did miss on lots of great opportunities. The social media content you get here, might not be found on the other social channels. You can use Pinterest to:
- get free ideas for blog posts.
- create content that your audience actually wants.
- find keywords you should use in your blog post to help with SEO on Pinterest.
The process is very simple and very intuitive for beginners. Just search for a keyword, such as blog and see the results:
Then look in the search suggestions box for other keywords that are used for searches and get topic ideas and headlines that intrigue the user. Look at the most popular keyword suggestions, such as marketing (blog marketing), for beginners (blog for beginners), ideas (blog ideas), tips (blog tips) and so on.
That means there are a lot of new bloggers looking to learn about blogging or bloggers that are in the marketing field and search for ideas and so on.
Getting those recommended keywords means that those are what your audience is searching for. Use those keywords into your titles tags and description.
If you decide to use Pinterest, then those keywords should be into your pin description and heading to boost your Pinterest “SEO rankings”. So that when people are searching for those keywords, your post gets a higher chance of being on the top. That’s how easy it is to get creative content marketing ideas using Pinterest.
7. Follow Influencers’ Articles on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that you could use to connect with experts and people that write valuable information. You can comment and create connections and, most important of all, you can get inspired by what they are writing and talking about on LinkedIn.
You can find the posts they make and the questions they ask by scrolling on the homepage:
You can go deeper and look at their published articles. LinkedIn Pulse is the platform owned by LinkedIn where influencers write their articles.
If you get an idea and write about it, then you can contact the influencer and let them now that you quoted them in one of your articles and they can check the blog post once its published. After that, you can ask them for a share or you can share their post by tagging them.
It will create a snowball effect and you can get more people to share your content afterward and get new contacts that you can ask for their ideas in your next piece of contact. For example, you can create a blog post asking a single question to industry influencers where you could quote their answer. And then repeat the sharing process to build a strong online presence. It works very well as a growth hacking technique, too.
LinkedIn is a great source of inspiration. And it makes it easy to get exposure for yourself and your business if you decide to share your articles there.
8. Search Through Thousands of Courses on Lynda
Lynda is a platform with online courses on lots of work fields for people that want to receive a certificate or want to learn software, creative, and business skills to achieve personal and professional goals.
No matter the topic, there is some valuable information that you can find on Lynda. Find and learn new content writing tips in one shot. You can even find information for any difficulty level. For example, if you search for some photography related content, select the photography category or search for a niched topic.
9. Get Ideas from Discussions in Facebook Groups
Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers and get new content ideas. Facebook Groups is an underrated asset. It a strong base for an active community. You can see new trending topic discussion, recommendations, tips, new insights from business owners and specialists.
You can use communities in case you have any doubts about a specific topic. Let’s say, for example, that you heard lots of times that multiple links coming from one and the same domain are considered to have lower value, so unique linking domains are typically a more reliable metric than link count. And you’d like to know if anybody experienced a situation when this statement isn’t true and get some examples that you could use in your article (of course, after asking for permission).
Or you can ask for tips on client retention and see what comments and answer you get and use them in creating a new piece of article. The combinations are endless. You just need to be on the right community, where people comment and are active.
There are lots of types of blog posts that work differently on every business page or group, so make sure you get ideas and adapt the message to the type of audience you target.
10. Use Reddit to Find Questions Related to Your Topic
Reddit is a resourceful collection of data, or as they promote themselves “the front page of the internet”. And they don’t call like it that for no reason. Reddit has hundreds of groups named reddits which are designed based on lots of domain of interest/typology of content. They promise to give you the best of the internet in one place. You can find inspiration on many topics no matter the form – text, video or visual content.
There is a highly active community with over 542 million monthly visitors (234 million unique users), ranking as the No. 6 most visited website in U.S. according to Alexa.
One of the most famous subreddit is r/IAmA where you can find Q&A series. AMA means “ask me anything” and attracts all sorts of characters, and personalities that answer to the people’s questions. They are a great way to get firsthand knowledge about what it’s like to be a firefighter, a corporate whistleblower, get better at sales, content writer etc. Or you can join niched subreddits such as r/SEO, r/marketing, r/science, r/CrazyIdeas, r/GetMotivated and more.
Moreover, you can select your topic and type of content by choosing “Popular” posts or “All”. For know-it-all people I would recommend using RedditList or RedditMetrics to find up-and-coming subreddits. Follow people discussions and generate your next content topic.
11. See What Other People Are Sharing on Zest
I usually use Zest for finding new blog post ideas. Right after you enter the page, you’ll see each article in a box format which includes the title, the cover attached and a short description.
The friendly design works very well to skim through the content and makes it very easy to share and save it in your account for future inspiration.
There are other ways than scrolling to search for content on Zest. You can apply specific tags and get the articles that are related.
Other options for filtering results are by the type of content (audio, video), shares, clicks or latest posts.
There are lots of experts that share their articles here. You can follow people and get instant notifications. It is very easy to use and easy to share content, as well. This comes in hand if you want to amplify your content and give it a boost after publishing.
If you haven’t used it before, you should definitely start now because it is a gold mine.
Don’t miss all the Zest from the content marketing juice. Your content needs all the zest and personality you can get.
12. Explore Medium Posts
Medium, just like Zest, collects lots of articles that people share, write and appreciate. The content is engaged and maintained by its users. It is a good source of inspiration because you can see what content is resonating with readers around specific topics. Needless to say that Medium is a solid platform for finding hundreds or thousands of content topics.
Based on what you’re reading, following and liking you get recommendation “From Your Network”. People appreciate the articles by using “claps”, so the more claps a page has the more likely audience is interested in that topic.
Besides the recommendation you received based on what you read, you can also select the topic and the domain of interest: art & entertainment, industry, innovation & tech, life, society.
13. Check out What’s Popular on Flipboard
Flipboard is a great source for curated content. Search through technology, news, entertainment, design, and health topic around the web. It has a collection of articles just like Zest, where you can search, read, save and share stories yourself. Create an account and share interesting stories to be a part of the community. There are lots of authors and people that share stories on various topics.
If you install the mobile app you have all that information at your finger. Swipe left to flip pages and get to stories that interest you and get instant inspiration whenever you are.
If you want to search for a specific topic that you’re interested, type in and look through the results. Follow that topic to receive notifications based on new articles shared on Flipboard. For example, if you want to see what’s new regarding Huawei and US issue, search and scoop through the results.
14. Explore What’s Popular on Trend Hunter
Trend Hunter is the world’s largest, most popular collection of cutting edge ideas, fueled by 233,000 people, big data & Trend Hunter AI as they mention on the website. Select from lots of domains of interest and filter type of content by searching ideas, lists, videos, photos or insights. If we look at the business category these are the trends right now:
If you want to deliver quality content and always be the first informer for your audience, it is recommended to know the trends and write evergreen content including the trends.
15. Search the Internet Using AllTop
Another free way to find blog content ideas is to look on AllTop, where are collected all the top stories. For example, I searched for sports news and you get all sorts of recommendations you could get inspiration from.
There are lots of A-Z posts you could take inspiration from. As a good practice to use AllTop to find blog content topics, start by searching the topic and look for articles that are similar. Take the next example, I searched for SEO blogging and I got the next results.
I’ve highlighted two articles that interest me. Both articles focus on the same type of content. Use them as a starting point, and divide your search then by looking for “blogging” only and see what results you get.
16. Check Google News for Current Events
Google News can fit very well in your content marketing strategy to see what is trending in digital marketing and other industries. It is the easiest way to look for current events and news in your industry. An interesting news post relevant to your query can be used to write a quick, creative and even controversial content.
You can search for anything regarding digital marketing or business, technology, entertainment, science, sports and many more. Or search for things you might be interested in, based on what you find in other categories and get directions from there.
If you want awareness and have a relevant audience then finding a news hook for your pieces could be the solution. You have the possibility to select the language and the country and get more personalized results, which afterward can be saved in your account.
17. Stay Updated With Google Webmaster Hangouts
If you’re a digital marketing or work in the SEO field then following Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout is a good option to find content topics. There is a big community of SEO experts, business owners, and knowledgeable people, in general, that participate in the meeting. All the Hangouts are hosted by John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, that answers to the questions that are added before the meeting on the Google Webmaster Youtube channel or asked live by those who participate. There are limited seats and people are very keen to learn and set some clear directions on where the SEO world is heading by finding inside tips from John.
If you want to find out more about Google, updates, and SEO, in general, you can follow what do people ask and extract some valid tips. We even wrote an entire article based on the finding from Webmasters hangouts, named 21 Intriguing SEO Facts Exposed by Google on Webmaster Central & Hangouts, which I highly recommend you to scoop through.
18. Look Through Shared Articles on Academia
Whenever you need academic papers, research articles I’d recommend you to use Academia.edu. Not only you’ll find valuable content ideas from well-documented papers written by specialists, professors, students and many more, but you’ll also find references for the articles you’re writing right now. You can elaborate new topic discussions for all sorts of meetings, podcasts, roundups, and get an abundance of new content ideas.
Search for people, papers, jobs and download documents if you’d like. With just a simple scroll you get a lot of smart content to take inspiration and pin down the right topics.
19. Find Stats and Case Studies on Statista
Statista is another source of inspiration for documented data. Here you can find large researches, case studies, stats and graph performed on a large number of participants from lots of locations.
There are all sorts of studies on Statista and you can make great discoveries if you search through them. For example, you can find out that excitements is the main feeling related to discovering new music among adults in Brazil or the fact that most deepwater discoveries happened in South America (315 from 2010 until 2016), or maybe you want to know that most of the people watched Discovery Channel’s Shark Week on TV or may you want to know that 64 percent of people aged 18-24 consume new in online media, people aged 55+ are looking at news on TV and those aged 25-34 are divided between online and TV mostly.
All the stats available on site are a great starting point for an article. Remember that numbers will always add value to your piece. It is very important to know how to use them and how to draw attention to the user’s eye.
- Use numbers instead of spelling them out.
- Don’t start sentences with numerals.
- Spell out “percent,” instead of using the % symbol.
- Use monetary values in numerals ($5,000 or $5K versus five-thousand dollars).
Numbers influence how our readers perceive us and it can have a high power of persuasion if used correctly.
20. Explore Global Development Data on World Bank Open Data
World Bank Open Data offers global financial and development data. It lets you explore through various collections of time series data on a variety of topics no matter if you look for international or local data.
The site has lots of resources and only the data catalog provides access to over 2,000 indicators, solely. Check out all the resources:
- Open Data Catalog;
- Microdata Library;
- World Development Indicators;
- Open Finances;
- Projects & Operations;
- Open Data Toolkit;
- Living Standards Measurement Study;
- Global Consumption Database.
As a farewell message and recommendation after all these tips, I shall leave you with one that can complement the other ideas and it could help you be a better content creator. Grow the skill of becoming content savvy, which means developing the ability to see valuable content everywhere. The content creation process can be hard, but there are lots of ways to make it easier.
Whether you’re in the bus/metro/car and see a commercial ad or somebody reading an interesting book (look at the title), reading useful posts on social media, listening to the radio or podcasts, watching a video/movie, reading something online or skimming through the news, you must see content inspiration everywhere. This way you’ll never run out of blog post ideas again.
When you found yourself a great topic, combine more options that we’ve elaborated here to have a more insightful article and cover all the information.