Are you one of those people that is always wondering what to write about next? Uh huh, I hear ya! When I first started blogging many moons ago I was exactly the same, scrambling week to week trying to come up with what to write. But, my friend, there is a better way. Become an organisational blogging wizard and come up with a year’s worth of content as quick as a tick with these ideas. You’ll never run out of ideas again and have a lovely full content calendar in no time. How nice!
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Research Popular Content Shared by Your Niche
It is always a good idea to do some sleuthing. Pop on your investigator’s hat and have a look around your niche to get a feel about what type of content is being shared and what content gets the best results. You can also use this sleuthing to get inspiration from your competitors and other relevant bloggers.
Start your research by using tools like Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Flipboard to keep track of the latest content in your niche. You can subscribe/follow top influencers and bloggers in your niche as well as relevant topics and hashtags.
Tools such as BuzzSumo and Google Keyword Planner are great to discover the most searched for content based on your keywords. Many keyword research tools allow you to filter results by date, content type and other filters. BuzzSumo also lets you order the results by the number of total social media shares or even shares by a particular social media platform. You can then use this information to help you understand what types of content tend to generate shares on social media.
When examining the content in your niche, make sure to look at:
- What subjects your niche is covering
- What value is being provided to the reader
- What needs are being met
- What types of headlines they’re using
- The word counts of articles and how they’re structured
- The types of articles being created
Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner can help you come up with blog post ideas. These tools can help you understand how people search online and what keywords they use so you can improve your headlines and your blog’s overall SEO. To begin your keyword research, you want to search for keywords you normally use. Make a list of 10-20 keywords and longtail keywords (groups of 2+ keywords) to research.
Many keyword research tools let you sort the results by search volume to see the most-searched-for keywords first. If your target audience is in a specific country, you can filter your results to that country to see how relevant your keyword is. You can also search for keywords within your results or remove any results that contain specific keywords.
You can then use the keywords you’ve found as inspiration for new blog posts.
The ideal keywords have a moderate to high search volume and low competition. Not the other way around!
Action Step: Create or download my keyword planner example and start filling it in with post ideas. Note that the keyword planner example is view only so you will need to make a copy. Once you have made a copy you can edit and add your own keywords to your heart’s content.
Top Tip: Add only keywords with a moderate to high search volume and low competition.
Related Post: SEO for beginners
Using Social Media To Find Topics & Keywords
Pinterest, YouTube and other social media platforms can be great sources of knowledge when it comes to seeing how your audience behaves. You can see real-time views, shares and repins which gives you valuable insight into learning what type of content your audience is drawn to.
Pinterest is my go-to for content research. It is easy to see how popular certain content is and I always come away with loads of new ideas for posts.
First, type in your keyword in the search bar to generate relevant results. Next click on any pin that you are drawn to, has a catchy title or stands out. You can see immediately how popular that pin is by looking at the repin count (the little pin symbol followed by a number). However, just this metric doesn’t give you the whole story, you also need to look at the date that the article was published. For example, you may see two pins with a repin count of 2k. One might have been published in 2014 and the other in the last few months. The second one would be a better topic to look further into.
Action Step: create a new spreadsheet or download my post research template and make a note of any potential topic including the headline, URL it links to, repin count and age of pin. You now have yourself a nice wee list of content ideas.
Note: You don’t want to copy anyone’s work, that’s not cool. You can take ideas, make them your own and put your own spin on them.
Another Note: The repin count will only show for that particular pin. There may be duplicate pins out there from multiple pinners so the actual repin count could be much higher.
Research on YouTube is very similar to Pinterest research. However, instead of looking at repins, you are going to look at the number of views. You can see this clearly without even clicking on the video, it is displayed under the title of the video along with when the video was published.
Action Step: create a new spreadsheet and make a note of any potential video and it’s headline, URL, views and age of video.
Other Social Media Platforms
Other social media platforms can give you insight into what content is proving popular with audiences in your niche. Have a nosy around Twitter and Facebook to see share counts, comments and other engagement on posts and make a note of the topics that seem to get the most attention. On Instagram have a look at likes and comments.
Cover Popular Topics From a New Angle
Keep in mind that when you are coming up with new blog post ideas, it’s not just about coming up with any old idea, rather ideas that will work and get you results. You can look to your own content for this. Have a look at your Google Analytics (Find out how to set up Google Analytics here if you haven’t done it already) and check out your best-performing posts and content. Is there a trend? Is your audience mainly looking at a particular topic?
Use this information to create new content that adds a new dimension, angle or information to existing content. In some cases, you might discover that a top-performing post is a bit dated so you can write a new post on the same subject with updated information. You can create different content variations on topics you have already covered by mixing up your content.
Different types of content you can create include:
- Common mistakes
- Beginner guides
- How-to posts
- Case studies
- Real-life examples
- Best tools
Also, look at your best-performing content on social media. Use your social media networks’ built-in analytics to see which blog posts received the most engagement and clicks when shared. You can then use these top-performing posts as inspiration for new ideas.
Related Post: How to write an amazing blog post
Other Place To Find Content Ideas
Review Blog Comments
Often, you’ll find a wealth of valuable information hidden in blog comments. Start with your own blog and check the comments. Look for questions your readers have and find out what they want to learn more about. If you can’t find enough relevant comments or simply want to find more, look at similar blogs that cover the same subjects and target the same audience as your blog.
Survey Your Audience
Another way to get inspiration from your audience is to ask them directly using a survey. Use a tool like SurveyMonkey to start building your survey. Make sure your questions are direct and easy to understand, and that the survey isn’t too long. No more than 5 questions. You can send your survey to your email list, place it on your website and post it to your social media platforms.
Related Post: How to nurture your email list
Set Up Interviews
A good interview can attract a lot of traffic and engagement. And if you interview the right person, it can help boost your own influence by association. Make a list of top influencers and experts in your niche, as well as clients and people you’ve worked with over the years. Then reach out to them to ask if they’d be interested in an interview. The interview can take many forms such as a video or podcast, or even a written article
Forums like Reddit and Quora can give you insight into what kinds of questions your audience is asking. See if there are common questions, concerns or themes that you could cover on your website.
So as you can see, there are many many places where you can find content ideas and it doesn’t take long before you have built up a nice repertoire of potential ideas. Soon you’ll have so many content ideas that you won’t know what to do with them all!
Are there any other places you use for content research? Leave them in the comments below so we can all have a nosy too
*Time for a cheesy plug*
If you don’t have time to create content or curl up in a ball at the thought of it, check out my freelance services and let’s chat. I love creating content
- The benefits of using a content calendar
- How to set up your own content calendar
- 144 fun dates to pop in your content calendar
- How to write an amazing blog post
- Dare to Conquer FREE Creating Killer Content Bootcamp
- Dare to Conquer Content Creation Cocktail Course
- My Blogging Handbook eBook
- My Freelance Writing Services
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