Content ideation — the process of coming up with trendy or interesting topics week after week for your blog readers’ pleasure — can be a downright brain drain. Developing a strict routine of idea gathering and brainstorming is commendable, and sometimes even profitable, especially if you don’t want to drop the blogging ball. Here’s how to score great topic ideas to keep your content game strong.
Finding ideas for your blog can be as straightforward as typing a relevant subject into different online tools. For instance, sites like AnswerThePublic can create endless options for where you can take your content. By searching something as simple as “plants” or “concerts,” the site will generate everything from questions and comparisons to alphabetical lists.
For current ideas around your blog subject, use a browser’s “News” feature, and zero in on the day’s biggest stories.
As you scroll through generated results, look for titles that appeal to you or current events that you can put your own spin on. Open interesting sites, and use the best ones for research, or borrow similar topics from them, and reword your search accordingly to see what other workable ideas for your blog might pop up.
Most days, your brain is the sharpest tool available for producing blog topics and articles, but sometimes, it needs a break. Try using a blog title generator (such as the one by SEOpressor), a keyword tool, a hashtag tool, Google Trends, or a content idea generator to help with content ideation and associated tasks.
Content idea generators produce ideas or topics from whatever subject you ask them to search. Some of these tools even analyze topics for you. For example, if you type a word or subject into the Buzzsumo Content Analyzer, it spits out existing related content on the web, along with the total engagements (visits) received by each story. Engagement numbers tell you which topics are most popular, which is useful when planning your next post.
Occasionally, even the best bloggers feel a bit stretched or overwhelmed by the constant demands of content ideation and other requirements of the blogging gig. Try asking readers what they’d like to see.
Typically, folks are happy to help by offering suggestions or letting you know what they really think. Ask them for their constructive criticism in a survey or poll. For example, if a blogger often posts about calming herbal teas on her Hot Drinks of the World blog, she might discover that her coffee-loving followers wish she’d write more caffeine-forward content, or vice versa.
For survey ideas, take pointers from your peers:
- Linda Formichelli, freelance journalist and content writer, explains on SmartBlogger that your survey questions should be broad, as in “Which type of post do you want to see more of? Puppies/Cat videos/Gossip/Scandal/Other (Choose one),” rather than “Do you like when I post about puppies? Yes/No.”
- Kiersten, a guest blogger on the Blog Clarity website, suggests performing an annual survey to keep tabs on what your readers want.
Check out the Feedback menu on your WordPress.com dashboard, where you can add a poll to your blog.
Sometimes, we struggle with content ideation simply because we’re trying it during the wrong time of day. Demanding creativity from yourself when you’re tired, like during an afternoon slump, or before nodding off at night, is ineffective and unrealistic. Try to leave the creative, heavy mental lifting for the morning, when your imagination is fresh and energized.
With a savvy routine and the next batch of content ideas ready for action, you’ll be as sharp as ever and ready to bring your best to the blogging game.
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