When you are starting out you are fully loaded with ideas. But it’s just a matter of time until you run out of all these ideas. This is the phase which every blogger faces whether you are a beginner or an authority in your field.
And if you have landed on this page it means this time has already come for you.
Before we start, which one would you prefer?
Finding an idea every day and then writing about it.
Spending a day on brainstorming and come up with a tonne of ideas for the next 2-3 months.
The second one will save you a lot of time and energy and you don’t have to worry about content ideas at least for the next couple of months.
Let’s delve deeper into finding these ideas.
Once in a while, it is better to take inspiration from trending posts. It can give you an immediate spike on traffic. But it’s easier said than done. First, you need to find the trending posts in your niche. Then you have to create high-quality content that is good than the already written posts. If you are able to produce such content then it will act as a magnet for the readers.
Ways to find a trending topic in itself can be an extensive post but let me quickly give you some best source.
I bet that you’ve heard of Buzzsumo. If you can invest $100/month then go ahead as it’s the best tool out there to find the trending posts. But what if you can’t afford it? There are still some ways to do this.
SmartBrief– The only thing you need to do is to sign up for their newsletters. First, select the topics relevant to your niche and hit the ‘Get Newsletters’ button. Their newsletters are curated excellently for each user. It can be a great way to get trending ideas and topics directly in your inbox.
Buzzfeed– It is again a news publication which publishes content in a lot of areas. Though it’s not necessary that you will find your niche but it’s worth exploring.
Go to Buzzfeed and see the right sidebar of their site. It shows you all the posts that are trending right now. If you want you could also explore their other sections. It has millions of followers worldwide so the source can definitely be trusted.
The thing I love about Q&A sites is that you directly take inspiration from your target audience. People ask questions only when they get stuck in anything. If you are providing them with a solution then they will not only listen to what you have to say but you will also make a lot of loyal customers.
First, we go to quora and search for bodybuilding. I’ve found more than 100 questions related to this niche. Any of these questions can be your next content idea.
Choose a question that requires a comprehensive solution. Needless to say that you’ve to produce high-quality content that will be loved by your readers.
Now let’s see how to leverage Reddit. Once you sign up for Reddit you have to join the communities related to your niche, it’s called subreddit. There is a subreddit for every possible niche.
People love wasting time on Reddit but you will also find some posts or comments that can be an idea worth writing about.
Explore these subreddits and participate in discussions, you will find out a lot of questions that you are missing out till now.
A quick note- Reddit is the meanest social media platform because of its anonymity. If you are using Reddit get used to the abuse that comes with it. AND NEVER EVER SPAM. You will be banned immediately.
Blog or Youtube comments
If you have an established blog then you get plenty of comments. Some of these comments are questions that are left untouched in your blog. Go through these questions and see whether you can write a comprehensive blog post about this.
I hear you! What if you are brand new and don’t receive many comments? Do the same but in your competitor’s blogs. Scan the questions and make a list of these questions. A quick Google search of your niche will pop out all your competitor’s blog.
You could do the same thing with Youtube comments. Search for a few videos in your niche which has the most number of views and scan through the comment section.
You will be surprised to find a gold mine of ideas here. Also, it is a never-ending pursuit as a lot of videos and contents are being uploaded every day.
Your competitor can be your friend if you know how to use them. Let’s again take the bodybuilding example. Search for the top blogs about bodybuilding. Subscribe to their newsletters, see what type of blogs they are writing about.
Take any topic and write a comprehensive guide about it. It should be 5x as good and cover all the parts that your competitor have missed.
Google does what is best for Googlers. When you search something, Google tries to give an answer in the ‘People also ask’ box. So, if it’s a general query user don’t have to visit that webpage. You can get a lot of content ideas from this single thing.
A quick tip- At first, Google will show you 3-5 questions but as you click the dropdown in the right-hand side of any question. It will come up with even more questions.
When you can’t find anything. Pick up a product in your niche and create a detailed review. It’s better to create a review of the product that you’ve personally used. This way you can give a detailed insight to your audience.
The product can be anything- an ebook, online course, tools or a physical product. Just make sure that it is relevant to your niche.
You could also do the opposite. If you know of any product that are scamming people then put that info in front of your audience. You will be doing a great service by saving their time and money.
Forums are similar to Q&A sites. It’s a place where like minded people ask their doubts and questions. Keep an eye on what people are asking.
If you stumble upon a question that is asked again and again. You can be sure that a good reference is not available for that topic. And if you can provide that missing info then you can see a lot of traffic coming from this post.
Here is a great way to find a forum. Do a Google search “your niche” powered by phpbb. In this case, I’ve searched for health and Google showed me all the forums that are related to my niche. (In case you are wondering phpbb is a language used in community sites)
Explore each of them and find the one with the most number of users. It’s also important to only join the forums which are active as many of them are being closed or abandoned.
Medium is a platform to share your ideas on any topic you like. It was founded by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams and has gained immense popularity in the last few years.
Just do a quick search in Medium and they will give you the best articles written in your niche. You can access a lot of articles for free but Medium also has a paid plan for $5/month where you can read quality posts from qualified writers.
You can also find the most read articles by how much clap it has got. Clap is similar to the like button. It will help you to determine whether people are interested in the post or not.
Answer the public
This is an excellent tool you’ll ever need. Answer the public will not only give you content ideas but you could also do keyword research for free. Though it is not exactly a free tool but you will get 5 free searches daily which is more than enough.
It has a simple working, go to their site and enter any term. Suppose I am in the content marketing niche (which I am) I’ll search the term content marketing and let’s see how it has given me a hundred ideas.
It gives me three images, first one is the question term, second one is the preposition and third one is the comparison.
Here is what I mean
If you haven’t set up an alert by now. Do it immediately. It’s absolutely free. You could set alerts about various topics. It will alert you as soon as any new post is published related to the alerts you’ve set.
Saving alerts will keep you updated about your industry and you can also keep an eye on what your competition is doing. You could even set a preferred time to get these alerts by clicking on the setting button in the top right. Here are my alerts-
You might have visited Wikipedia thousand of times but there is one thing that most people miss. It is the reference section at the bottom of the page. It won’t give you a lot of details but you can certainly find some gems in this section. It mainly consists of posts that are published related to this specific topic.
Let’s search bodybuilding in Wikipedia. I’ve found a few references that I might be interested in. Just click the link and see whether you will be interested in writing a more comprehensive guide. You could do that in many different ways. I could even search for supplements or gym or anything that is related to bodybuilding and find some good reference.
Feedly is somewhat similar to Google Alert. Here you can choose the domain relevant to your niche. And Feedly will regularly update you of the new contents uploaded in these domains. It is an excellent tool for examining the type of contents your competition is publishing.
You don’t have to manually enter the domains, just type the topics and it will automatically suggest the domains which publish content related to that topic. And then you only need to add these in your feed.
The starter pack is free where you can create 3 feeds and 100 sources. If you want more, upgrade to their premium plan which cost $5/month.
You now have all the ammunition you need to get hundreds of content ideas. If you follow these tips you might get short of time but you will never again run out of ideas. I never have!
But there is one thing you should always remember, don’t just create content for the sake of creating content. It will be a waste of time and energy. If you choose a content idea then research on that idea and finally write a comprehensive post that no one has written till now. Putting it simply, always prefer quality over quantity.
It might take you a week or a month to write a good piece of content but it will bear fruit for many years to come. Google also give preference to this type of contents. It will just be a matter of time until your content climb to the first page of Google.
Let me know if I’ve missed anything or I would be excited to hear about your own technique.