8 Easy Ways To Come Up With Great Blog Topics
If you've been blogging for a long time, you've likely had trouble from time to time coming up with new blog topics to write about.
After all, once you’ve written a kajillion posts (or even, say, 50) how on earth do you come out and say something new?
Frankly, this challenge isn’t limited to long time bloggers either. New bloggers also struggle with coming up with topics that people want to read about.
So how do you do it?
Use one of the eight brainstorming tools below!
Tip #1 - Get An RSS Feed Reader
If you don't already have one, you should download an RSS feed reader (sometimes called a "client") onto your computer, iPad or smartphone. or in your smartphone.
I'm rather partial to Feedly, myself, but if you look around you'll find the one that suits you best.
Then comes the fun part - the subscribing spree!
It's easy AND free. Just spend some time browsing the 'net and find sites that are in your industry or niche.
Subscribe to every blog feed that you think is interesting and suitable for your audience.
To compile the best pool of future blog topics, I recommend you subscribe to no fewer than ten different blogs.
When the time comes to write your next blog post, you can just go check out your feed reader and see what sorts of things other people are talking about, blogging about, ranting about or raving about.
You should never copy another bloggers article, or even their title, but you should feel free to use the ideas and topics you see as "stepping stones" to writing your own great content.
If you want, though, you CAN choose to curate another writer's blog post. Just be sure to write an engaging introduction of your own, a good link and attribution to the original source, and then end it with your own personal spin on the subject.
Blogging Advice From Experienced Bloggers
Tip #2 - Use Google Instant Search
Have you used Google's "instant search" tool?
You've been seeing it every time you do a Google search. It's Google's term for the way they "predict" your search and start showing possible search results even before you've finished typing in your full search term.
For the techies in the audience, you can read more about it here: http://www.google.com/instant
What's neat for us bloggers is that you can use the instant search tool to help you come up with loads of ideas for blog posts that you already know people are interested in!
As an example, check out the screen grab below this tip. If your niche is cooking, you could do something like this to come up with various blog topics about the subject of cooking chicken breasts.
This helpful tool can be used for any word or word string - go ahead and give it a try.
Extra tip: There's also a great site Ubersuggest (http://www.ubersuggest.com). It basically takes all the possible Google instant search terms for your keyword phrase and lays them out on a page for you.
Bonus Idea - Use Google Blog Search for Blogging Ideas
Tip #3 - Linkbait Generator
Another unique online tool that will help you out is Linkbait Generator (http://linkbaitgenerator.com). LG lets you create attention catching topic ideas and titles by just clicking a button.
Here's an example - type in "find a job." The resultant generated title might look something like this:
Now since this is a machine-generated title, you'll come up with lots of things that you won't be able to actually use as a headlines or topic - as shown by the screenshot above.
Use of Linkbait Generator should, however, give you something creative to get you started with a blog article.
For example, based on the above sample you might turn it into something like: 7 Bizarre Ways Looking for a New Job Can Get You Fired Instantly.
Pretty cool, huh?
Tip #4 - Browse Old Magazines
Who says that magazines are dead?
Not me - I use them all the time!
Is the industry or topic you write about large enough to have magazines? If so, you should look into get your hands on as many as possible.
If you're looking for print magazines (which I recommend) you have three ways to go - buy them off the rack, subscribe to them, or check them out at your local library.
The great thing about using the library for magazine browsing is that, besides being free, most libraries archive their old magazines and newspapers.
That means you can check out years and years of topical magazine articles in one place! (And did I mention that it's free?)
Once you've got yourself a stockpile of magazines, feel free to spend a nice, long afternoon looking through them.
It's likely that you'll find topics in print magazines that your competitors on the web just aren't covering.
Voila - lots of unique blog topics for you!
You'll Need a Notebook To Catch Your Ideas!
Tip #5 - Subscribe to Google Alerts
Another great tool from our old friend Google is "Google Alerts" (http://www.google.com/alerts).
A free (I just love FREE!) online service, Google Alerts lets you "subscribe" to various keywords or topic ideas. Then, the system will automatically alert you via email whenever your chosen keywords show up in news or on other blogs.
There are actually TWO ways that I use Google Alerts to help me come up with great blog topics:
First - You can use the alerts to provide you with a continuing stream of new ideas.
Just set up an alert for a general topic, like "spring purses," and set the system to email you once a day.
Then, every day until you unsubscribe from that topic, Google Alerts will send you the latest news on "spring purses." All the latest news delivered right to your cyber-doorstep!
Second - I also use Google Alerts to let it help me monitor my industry, my own blogs, or even my own name.
For example, I can set up an alert for my name and every time Google's little spiders run across a new mention of me by name, I'll get an email about it.
It's also great because whenever something happens in an industry I'm following, I can get the news and publish a blog post within HOURS of the occurrence. This helps me get the lion's share of traffic on hot news!
Bonus Tool: 40 Blog Post Ideas in 5 Minutes!
Tip #6 - Make Sure You Invite Questions
One of the most overlooked methods for coming up with ideas for new blog topics is... letting your readers do it for you!
Many bloggers have told me that some of their very best blog posts came as a result of questions from their readers and not as a result of their own "creativity."
And it totally makes sense! After all, aren't those the very people you're trying to connect with?
A common error made when using this method, though, is to make the mistake of believing that you already know what your readers want. You probably don't...
Sometimes the topics you feel you want to write about aren't actually the topics your readers are anxious to hear about.
So - ASK!. Put the call out to your audience every time you post, and ask them for questions!
An example of someone who uses this technique really well is Bryan at Panthers.com. (See the screen grab below!)
Not only does he ask for questions, he takes it one step further by outlining the types of questions or the topics he DOESN'T want to get (like autograph requests).
In this way, he helps guide his readers to asking very specific and useful questions for him to write posts about!
And isn't that what we all really want?
100 Ways To Find Ideas For Your Blog Posts
100 Ways To Find Ideas For Your Blog Posts will show you how to keep the muse going at all times, meaning you will never be stuck for a blog post again.
Tip #7 - Critique Something!
People love to read critiques and reviews - so be sure to use them on your blog!
You can critique anything - ideas, websites, tools, trends, videos, businesses... The list is endless!
Find something in your topic or industry, but outside of your site, on which you can give your opinion.
Critique that hot new video. Review a new affiliate company. Critique the latest novel.
And again, as mentioned in an earlier tip - ask your readers for things they'd like to you to review or critique.
You can even get more reader engagement by offering to review the work of your readers. This is especially popular if you're blogging in the writing niche.
You can see an example of this technique over at Writerly Rejects. At WR they create TONS of content by encouraging authors to send in pitches for a critique.
Check out this screen grab:
Then, they choose submissions and outline the pros and cons of each pitch, using the critique to provide real-life lessons on their topic.
Check out this format on Writers Rejects here: http://www.writerlyrejects.blogspot.com/2012/07/pitch-critique-3-4.html!
Tip #8 - Use Your Subconscious
Your subconscious can be the best tool of all!
Did you know that scientists say that your subconscious mind is far and away more powerful than your conscious mind?
Your subconscious mind:
- Can read the thousands of small muscle movements on another person's face and determine exactly what they're feeling!
- Keeps a clear copy of every single experiences you've had in your lifetime. Every one!
- Controls your “intuition” by working hard on problems and solutions and new ideas "behind the scenes," while you're doing something else. Even while you're asleep!
And so, it's just logical that the best tool in your toolkit for coming up with new blog topic ideas is your subconscious.
The first question everyone has when I put this tool forward is... HOW? How do I use my subconscious mind?
Well, in my opinion one of the best methods for putting your subconscious to work for you is the one I'm going to outline for you here:
First - Think Hard! Set aside a block of time to think about your blog.
That's all - just think about your blog. Think about the posts you've already written. Think about posts that were successful. Think about posts that weren't.
Just turn it over in your mind.
Completely STOP thinking about it!
By thinking intensely about a subject, then completely letting it go. Take a nap. Go to the gym. Walk around the block. Wash the dishes.
Do anything EXCEPT think about your blog.
This is your subconscious mind's chance to play!
Then - when it's time to think about your blog again, I bet that you'll be amazed to find that blog topic ideas will come to you far more quickly than ever before.
Even better, after a little practice with this method you'll find that ideas will start coming to you unexpectedly and all hours of the day. And night!
Since you never know when those great ideas will pop into your mind, make sure that you start carrying a pad and pencil around with you at all times. Really - at all times.
I even keep a notepad in my bathroom for writing down those awesome ideas that come to me whenever I'm taking a shower!
If you don't write an idea down when it comes to you, you WILL forget it. You think you won't, but you will.
Take it from someone who's been there and don't let your subconscious' hard work go down the drain!
That's It - 8 Great Blog Topic Generating Tools!
If you've read all the way down to the end of this article - Thank You!
I hope that now, with these eight great blog topic generating tools, you won't be spending too much time trying to capture just one good idea.
Give all eight methods a try and find the ones that work best for you!
Then, I'd love it if you'd share your experiences with us here in the comments section below.
Questions? Comments? More Great Ideas? I'm waiting!