Coming up with new content ideas for your blog is easy at first, but once all obvious articles have been published, finding new content ideas requires a lot more research. You do not want to write about the same keywords all the time to avoid keyword cannibalization.
Depending on the type of blog you are running, the content strategy will differ. A solo blogger is the only one in charge of the website’s content planning, while a brand’s blog will have a team of writers, editors and marketing executives in charge of the entire content production. Finding blog title ideas won’t be the same in both scenarios.
Regardless of your content production pipeline, someone is going to have to find new ideas for the blog, one way or another. Well, we’ve got you covered with nothing less than twenty-two ways of producing new content when you have already published the easy ones!
Narrow Down Your Top Posts
When you are running out of new content ideas for your blog, you should remember the basics of business. “Do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.”
Go to your Google Analytics, navigate to
Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. This gives you a table with your most popular pages and blog articles. Copy and paste the top 10 to a spreadsheet or text file.
For each of these top performing blog posts of yours, focus on how you could narrow them down:
- Pick a section title (e.g. H2, H3) and write an entire article about it
- Use an already-covered keyword and write in a different format (e.g. listicle, FAQ)
- Create a definitive guide to the main topic related to these pages
The point is that you must take articles that work, and break them down into new, more focused and narrowed down, blog posts. The resulting pieces of content may end up shorter but they will tackle a very precise problematic.
Once your company’s blog reaches a certain comprehensive stage in which most of the knowledge has been covered already, new articles should focus on being structured hubs. Instead of writing new blog posts, summarise the wealth of content on a particular topic you have covered in-depth already.
A pillar page is a topic-specific page sitting atop part of your content. It is designed to become an entry point for a particular topic for your future prospects. The pillar page summarizes a lot of articles you already have published. It also includes links to these existing articles for readers interested in deepening their knowledge.
Pillar pages should attract readers interested in a topic. While reading a pillar page, users should find links to more narrow-focused articles.
For topical SEO purposes, pillar pages must be very comprehensive and generally over a few thousand words long. Do not write one if you haven’t yet covered your core topics thoroughly. Hub pages like these are meant to replace the old category listings on WordPress blogs. Instead of displaying a list of blog posts about a particular topic, you structure, outline, and summarize the entire topic with links to relevant pages.
Monitor Your Competitors’ New Blog Posts
An obvious one and hopefully, you have already done that before reaching desperation. You are not alone in the content marketing game, and you are not alone working your socks off to find exciting new article title ideas for your blog. All of your competitors are doing it, too.
Use your competition’s RSS feed or an online tool like Feedly on which you can add all your competitors’ URLs and see at a glance their latest blog posts. Make sure you also visit each one’s archives and top performing articles.
Lastly, go on Google and check all the articles it has of a competitor’s website using the site operator, e.g.
site:moz.com. You can also use a keyword along with the site operator to list all their blog posts related to the keyword, e.g.
new content ideas site:moz.com (see here).
One glitch with competition analysis is that you are de facto always behind if you layer your strategy on their content. You should definitely follow what competitors are doing, and try to beat it, but you should also aspire to be the one that gets monitored.
Books and Magazines
Inspiration for new content ideas does not always have to come from online sources. Whatever topics are covered on your website have most certainly been covered, already, in some books, magazines, or research papers.
Now you have a couple of options available to you:
- Buy a bunch of books and subscribe to a few magazines
- Buy zilch and use Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature on book pages
Purchasing books and subscribing to related publications will allow you to have an in-depth feel of what has been written about your topic. Books are more thought-through than other blogs, so you generally end up gaining a new perspective. Magazines, on the other hand, are a lot easier to read and are more in line with what a blog would publish. In both cases, you can find a lot of new blog post ideas!
If you are on a shoestring budget or in a rush to find new blog post ideas for your blog, just go to Amazon, search for books and then click the “Look Inside” call-to-action above the book cover. It allows you to preview the first pages of the book which include the part we are interested in, the table of contents. Have you covered on your blog all the ideas conveyed by each chapter and sub-section on all books in your field on Amazon? Probably not.
Use the “Look Inside” feature on every book related to your domain to build a list of article titles you must write about in the near future. Buy and read the books for new perspectives and even more blog post ideas!
Most people use search engines because they have a question they need an answer to right away. Nothing more, nothing less.
- What makes a credit score low?
- How is the weather on the Amalfi Coast in December?
- When are the new Google Pixel phones released?
- What are the best dog breeds for apartment living?
You get the gist. Additionally, with the rise of voice search, actual question-search queries are incredibly more common than they used to. Therefore, questions are great content ideas for your blog, as long as you know where to find them.
Quora is a question-answer website in which experts respond to questions in their field of expertise. Quora’s mission is to be a place to share knowledge and better understand the world. Very ambitious, and they definitely succeeded.
Going to Quora, Yahoo Answers! and other Q&A-type websites regularly will give you plenty of blog content ideas that come from real humans. No robot is aggregating anything here — the questions are typed by somebody, somewhere. The answers also can give you a taste of what people upvoted and wanted to read. It’s your job to build on these questions and answers to turn them into an epic piece of content on your own blog. Stay away from plagiarism, obviously.
Wikipedia Page Sections
For any given topic, Wikipedia is one of the first and most obvious sources of information content writers go to. It’s free, 99.99% of the time, it’s correct and humanly updated. Using the headings and sections of a Wikipedia page as tracks helps you stay on the right path for covering the whole topic comprehensively.
Most content marketers focus only on the keywords, sections and blog posts that will generate the most traffic (search volumes, right?) but topical coverage requires a lot more than that. In order to be considered an authority on any topic, a blog should also publish articles about facets of a topic that will generate less direct ROI (traffic, clicks, conversions).
For example, if your company sells fairtrade coffee beans, you want to check out Wikipedia pages directly related to your topic. For instance, the Coffee bean, Coffee arabica, and Robusta coffee pages should be your first Wikipedia articles to scour to find new content ideas.
Additionally, while attentively reading an entry, try to see what questions the Wikipedia article answers. You then a list of relevant questions and the associated correct answers. Now, these are article ideas and you just have to write the post itself knowing that you already know the starting and ending points.
Related Wikipedia Pages
Do not limit yourself to your focus topic Wikipedia entries. Do the extra homework and write about very closely related topics in order to increase your topic breadth. After all, in natural language understanding, a keyword or a topic is the sum of its neighbors. You cannot be an expert on
Coffee without writing about
Caffeine, for example.
Therefore, pay attention to your main Wikipedia pages’ internal links.
Use your main topics’ Wikipedia pages to build a topic-rich universe around them.
By building a list of related topics to write about, you are widening your writing opportunities. A single new topic added to your content strategy means dozens or hundreds of potential new keywords you can write about from now on. Make sure you add topics that are relevant to your business needs. Eventually, people ready those future blog posts would convert, too.
Ask People on Reddit, Facebook & Twitter
Asking your potential audience what they would want to read next is adventurous and a waste of time. This is because they will mention articles you have already written and published a long time ago.
Instead, use social media platforms and domain-specific subreddits to ask very precise questions that won’t yield all the obvious content ideas. Ask for pain points your audience faces in specific situations. Never be vague or you’ll waste your time and theirs.
When somebody responds with an interesting point, ask follow-up questions and try to milk the cow to get more than one article idea from them. Perhaps you could break down each article idea into a series of five blog posts that will be thoroughly written into the tiniest details?
Google Keyword Planner Tool
No SEO expert, content marketer, or blog strategist can live without Keyword Planner. In case you were on a different planet, just signup to the Google Ads platform and spend a dollar or two to have it unlocked for your account.
Although there are dozens of quality tutorials on YouTube on how to do your own keyword research using Google Keyword Planner, the tool is split into two main parts:
- Find keywords – enter seed keywords or seed URLs and receive a long list of related keywords
- Get search volume and forecasts – enter a list of keywords and obtain search volumes and traffic forecast
In order to get new ideas to write about for your blog, focus on the first “Find keywords” tool. Enter a competitor’s top ranking page, a top page of yours, or simply some keyword cluster you want to keep on writing about. Once you validate, you will have a long list of various keywords you can export to a spreadsheet (some relevant, some very much useless).
Each keyword comes with associated metrics that may help you prioritize amongst the entire list. Most SEO marketers focus on the search volume based on historical data (“Avg. monthly searches”). Other metrics have more to do with advertising on Google SERPs rather than actual SEO.
When you run out of things to say yourself, just curate other people’s best content ever on a given topic. Such articles generally round up the best blog posts, tools, videos, or resources about a given topic or keywords.
An upside is that you are giving some website visibility and they will see the stream of clicks from your blog, resulting in new connections and backlinks in the future. Indeed, if your content is good enough, they will be more inclined to link to you.
The problem with roundups is that they need to be glued together and you must absolutely make it qualitative. Avoid laziness at all cost if you do not want to give off that thin content feel! Roundups do not necessarily need to be short, and you need to explain what you picked each one of the selected few. If you are rounding up tools, make sure you try each one and quote some experts in the field to support your statements.
Thinking outside the box is awesome, right? So if you do not find anything new to say, why not just ask other people to fill the void? In an effort to avoid repetition, you can list a few important questions pertaining to your blog’s core domain, and interview experts.
On one hand, you publish one blog post per question in which you interview several experts and ask them the same question. While putting the article together, select the most exciting and informative inputs and credit the authors. Everybody is happy with expert tips: your audience reads quality advice, you have very little to write, and experts raise awareness about their expertise. It is a win-win-win relationship.
On the other hand, you can interview a single expert per blog post and dive deep into their philosophy, strategy, work ethic, etc. The content of the interview is very domain-related so that will be your work to prepare.
An awesome free resource to find experts to ask questions to is Help a Report Out, often shortened to HARO. Signup (totally free!), and submit questions that will be mailed out to tens of thousands of experts. Expect over a handful of responses each time if your questions make sense. I’ve used this tool a lot for consulting client websites and you will connect with awesome people, too. Check credentials before entrusting any expert, especially in within critical domains (medical, financial, etc).
“People also ask” on Google
The “People also ask” box on Google search results is a list of questions related to your search query. Clicking on any question will toggle a summary of the answer along with a clickable link to the source.
Honestly, if you have not exploited this way of generating new content ideas, you need to do this first. I am serious. Stop reading this article and go do it for your top 100 keywords. Generally, Google will display a handful of questions at most, but click the last question and more will automatically load and append. That way, you can get very relevant questions a lot of people ask (generally through voice assistants) and each one can literally be a new article to write and publish.
Example of “People also ask” and “Featured snippet” boxes on Google.
Quick warning though… Do not write answers to these questions hoping to take over that existing spot currently held by a competitor. Google needs to trust whoever they use answers from, and it takes a lot of time to get there. You may get there and love the traffic spike this comes with, but even if you are not the featured answer, you will still get a lot of traffic!
Keyword SEO Tools
A huge economy was born to answer search engine optimization needs of content marketers. These tools are generally very expensive (several hundreds of dollars per month) but to some large companies, they are worth every cent.
They help you understand what keywords you rank for, what keywords you have targeted on your website (knowingly or not), and what potential opportunities you have if you blog about these. The most popular keyword platforms are SEMRush, Ahrefs, SpyFu, and Moz. They all keep track of your backlinks and competitors.
The downsides of such tools are that they tend to be very keyword-focused rather than topic-driven, and they cost a lot of money to be used which does not make sense for smaller businesses. They also have a long learning curve due to the multitude of features they all have.
Some free tools are available like UberSuggest and will have very limited accuracy but can remove your writer’s block when searching for inspiration.
Topical SEO Tools
Complementary to keyword research tools are topic research tools. These are focused on the future of search engine optimization. Topical SEO describes a blog post as the overlapping of several topics (that are expressed through words, phrases, and keywords).
Such topic modeling is what modern search engine algorithms like Google Rankbrain use to classify, filter and score the web. Keywords are too literal and therefore are easy to game. On the other hand, topical authority cannot really be cheated since with the rise of the concept of a “topic”, search engines understand the meaning behind the words found within an article. They can compare such words and topic to the billions of web pages they index, and see whether or not your article is more comprehensive than the next.
So yes, keywords still play a role in SEO but not the literal role they used to play.
Topical SEO tools like topicseed are new and use AI-powered algorithms to analyze your content library and your competitors’ in order to find content gaps for you to fill. That way, you grow your topical authority and jump higher in the search rankings – not for a single keyword, but as a whole!
Use a filter term or keyword to view a list of variations found within a given document. That way, you can pick one and use it as a focus term for your next blog post.
Brand blogs, especially when it comes to online B2B content, are full of “definitive guides” and other skyscraper content. Although these are extremely informative and educational, not everybody has the patience or the will to go through a 10,000-word blog post. (Even if it is enticing and well-written.)
Sometimes, readers want bites that they can quickly scan and consume. And nothing beats listicles for quick-read cravings. These blog posts are so easy to consume, and they often appear as featured snippets, at the top of Google search result pages. The concept of a listicle is simple, build a decently long list and add a short description below each heading.
Top 10 Best Apps for Content Writers to the
12 Cities You Never Knew Existed, listicles can be as click baity or as informative as you want them to be. They simply are less text-heavy, and a little easier to read. Listicles are not black or white, you can have a text-heavy listicle like the one you are currently reading, for example
The main upside with listicles is that readers are not always here to read and learn stuff, they often want one or many solutions to a given problem. So give it to them clearly!
A case study is an effective way to show how your product can impact your customers. Case studies often include videos, drawings, charts, and tables. It is not your usual blog post since it is very specific to the company and scenario at hand.
Case studies are often very long blog posts dissecting how a company operated before using your product. Then, how your product was implemented and used. And eventually, what improvements have been generated thanks to using your product.
To me, the best examples of solid case study strategies are HubSpot and AWS (Amazon Web Services). Sure, they have a lot of money for it but we can all learn from how they are doing it. First, they publish very detailed blog posts for their case studies. But they do not stop there. AWS also publishes very short to-the-point videos on their YouTube channel as a playlist called “This Is My Architecture” where customers explain how they build software using AWS.
Autocompletes and Suggestions
Content marketers strategize hard to write content that ranks high on Google and other search engines. And search engines try to make it easy to search their huge indexes so people find the information their want as fast as possible. Autocompletes and suggestions are a search engine’s way to get people to intuitively find whatever they want.
Type anything on Google or Amazon and a list of suggestions appears right below the input box. Keep on typing, and it provides you with more accurate suggestions. If these automatic search queries are recommended to you it is. because a lot of people are typing them. Google is telling you these searches happen often and are very relevant.
Try this tip right now by entering some words in your browser’s address bar!
So take notes of all these autocompletes and start writing articles targeting these. If the suggestion is vague, write a single blog post about it. If it is too narrow of a problem to call for an entire blog post, bundle a few of them together!
The website Answer The Public automatically take your seed keyword and returns a list of Google’s autocompleted suggestions for you. It then sorts the entire dataset by question tag and preposition.
Not every blog post needs to be a comprehensive guide to something, or a top 99 best tips to achieve X, Y, or Z. Have a category on your blog with a more laid back and casual blogging style. This is often a commentary section where the founder or a director in the company just publishes a weekly or monthly article where they spit out anything they have on their mind.
Because such articles are more opinion-based, they have a bigger social sharing value than most other educational-type blog posts. People will jump in your comment section and debate you. Make sure you write a lighter trimmed down version of this article on Medium with a link to your full version to generate traction.
Don’t get too hyped too quickly… The first ones will inevitably be read by very few people and your comment section might look more like a graveyard than a stadium at first. Stay consistent to your posting schedule. It takes a few commentaries for people to decide to interact with you.
Underutilized yet free useful tool by Google to explore how trending a particular search-term is relative to the total search-volume across various geographical regions. Select your target country (or state, or city) and enter the topic or keyword of your choice. It will display a chart and even some
What is also great with Google Trends is the comparison feature allowing you to compare two or more search terms to see which one is more promising for the future. A simple feature that can help you decide what evergreen content to write.
Google Trends is free and super easy to access publically (you don’t even need to sign up to anything!) Enter search terms and see if they are worth being written about.
Focus on writing new blog posts that are exploding in popularity, and be one of the first to write about them so you can steal that first position on SERPs as early as possible.
Create a Podcast
Once all is written and published, one can still talk about it all but in a different format. Go ahead and start a podcast if you are sure you will stick to it for the next six months, at least. Daily, weekly, take a pick and stay consistent.
The upside of podcasts is that you can bring in guests to offer your audience different perspectives and ideas than yours. Additionally, you can more easily appear or other podcasts and cross-promote your own website.
Finally, podcasts are audio pieces of content but cheap services can transcribe them so you can publish them in a textual format on your website, too. If you have a developer in your company, they could plug your podcast with an automated transcriber like Google Cloud Speech-to-Text or AWS Transcribe. You then just have to proofread, format and illustrate the whole thing, and hit the publish button!
Do not underestimate the workload that comes with a podcast, though. It will literally take you hours every week to prepare: find guests, come up with topic ideas, prepare your show notes, record, edit the audio, transcribe, promote, and so on. I would recommend starting a podcast to B2B companies rather than solo founders.
Although topicseed is not a video website whatsoever, a lot of brands have the resources to create short appealing videos that would help shuffle up their content offering. Indeed, not every visitor is a reader so catering to watchers may boost your lead acquisition rate and overall growth.
Videos could be ones of you speaking straight to the camera, or they could be presentation-like, or webinars, or animations. As long as they respond precisely and accurately to your prospective audience’s interrogations, you are doing good.
Like any piece of content, be it audio, video, photo, or textual, you want to execute the content creation and promotion perfectly or not at all. It does not have to be perfect at all, but it needs to be clean and compelling. Indeed, poor video production would penalize your brand image and reputation. Do not look cheapish! Go all-in, or refrain from starting a video channel.
Forget About Keywords and Topics, Once in a While
Lastly, you must every now and then let yourself go and write words as they come. Do not plan, do not focus on keyword A or topic Z, just write.
Strategizing is very important but spontaneity is too. Every few weeks or months, when you feel like you need a fresh list of new articles titles to write about, take a day off and write up a piece the way you feel it, without overthinking anything you type. Readers love authenticity and there is nothing more genuine than an unplanned rant or heart-felt blog post. Share it in the right places (Hacker News, Medium, Reddit, Linked In) and forget about it. Trust me, it feels good to be yourself at times.
_To conclude, if you are wondering how to find new blog post ideas, you may need to search for inspiration on other websites, books, magazines, and even podcasts. Surely, there is no shortage of content and even though you may feel a little blocked right now, you will eventually find the right topics and titles to write about and you’ll come back to this blog post in a year or two, when you are in dire need of new content ideas again ! 😉