With more than 1 billion websites on the internet, it gets hard to come up with unique content topic ideas for your blog. The posts you place on it help distinguish your blog from dozens of others in the same niche.
Good content teaches readers and inspires them to do something, and has the power to turn casual readers into unique visitors.
You want to make sure that the content leaves readers with a lasting impression, and you want them to share your content consistently.
We understand that you may struggle with finding topic ideas that deliver value to your business and grow your audience.
Read on for tips on how you can come up with topic ideas for your future blog posts to ensure your marketing success.
10 Tips to Generate Great Topic Ideas
1. Make a Habit Out Of Reading
The online world is often changing and sometimes, it happens so fast that we can’t wrap our head around it.
Constant reading of great books and blogs helps you learn something new every day but even more importantly, it gives you the chance to come up with so much more topic ideas.
What did you think about the article you saw in the New York Times? Did the book you picked up last week make you think about anything specific? Did your favorite blog write about a topic that you disagree with?
When you read something new each day, you’ll never run out of topic ideas to write about.
2. Take Notes
As you start to make a habit out of reading something each day, make sure to develop another habit – taking notes of everything that might turn into a blog topic.
You may think that you’ll remember, but there’s a big chance you won’t. There are plenty of different systems for taking the notes on your smartphone or desktop, so as soon as you think of something, jot it down. It could be a title, a premise, or even a single sentence.
You never know what can spark a new post.
3. Attention-Grabbing Headlines
The aim of a headline is to grab the attention of the reader to read the first sentence and a paragraph of your article.
If you fail to do it you’ll lose them, and you’ll have wasted your time and effort in writing the post, no matter how good it was.
On average, 55 percent of users spend less than 15 seconds on a page.
There are many reasons why a good headline works, but the core reason is that many readers share the content based only on the headline.
Excellent headlines consist one or more of the following:
- The headline needs to be unique. If it’s not, readers could think that the content is same to the one they saw earlier on another blog. Be sure to include important keywords, but make sure you put your own twist on it.
- It needs to be specific. The headline should offer enough information for the reader to show why it’s valuable for them to read the post.
- Headlines may convey a sense of urgency. Such articles compel the reader to read it and not miss out. Think of how the articles that get shared on Facebook look, and try to emulate that.
How to Create Great Headlines
To create a benefit-driven headline, follow this formula:
Number+Adjective+Keyword+Rationale+Promise=The Ultimate Headline.
89 percent of the content on the internet is never shared more than 100 times. And the most shared article category is list posts, which only make up 5% of the posts published.
Therefore, include specific numbers and data in the headline if possible.
Here is an example of a good headline: 5 Quick Weight Loss Tips to Make You Slimmer in Two Weeks.
If you are stuck with coming up a headline, here is a great fun tool to help you out. Try Portent and refresh the page to see better suggestions.
Once you decide on your headline, there is another tool from CoSchedule called Headline Analyzer. After you put in your headline, the tool summarizes the quality and gives you the score. It also shows you how you can improve the headline. Aim for a score of 70 and above.
Another great tool to test your headline is Optimizely WordPress Plugin. The free plugin allows you to put three different headlines and test for various goals. The default setting shows a number of visitors and engagement you’ll get with the headline. Choose the one with best results.
4. Ask Your Current Users
This may seem simple, but it’s an excellent way to generate topic ideas.
You have direct access to your users via social media, posts and email communication. You can quickly reach out for opinions and problems they want to solve. When you have established a relationship with your readers, you’ll not only get fresh ideas, but you’ll have a more engaged community.
If your current readers are struggling with certain issues or want to know more about the topic, then it’s most likely that your potential readers will have same problems. Thus, by creating content that answers those concerns, you’ll attract new readers who match the criteria of your ideal user.
Short emails tend to deliver best results. But don’t write too many questions. One open-ended question is enough.
Remember, not to ask them about their opinion about your blog or quality of the content. These questions don’t offer actionable insight to how to come up with topic ideas. Moreover, your response rate will be low.
5. Research Your Audience
This strategy delivers equally good results as asking the question to current readers. Thus, it requires some analytical skills.
First, define the target audience you want to attract with your new topic ideas. And if you come up with several groups, place them by importance to your growth strategy.
Once you determine your audience, you need to do following steps:
Look at Quora.com
Quora is a sea of excellent topic ideas. There are two ways to use the forum – either ask a question or browse through categories for inspiration. Both methods are time-consuming when you need answers fast.
Luckily, there is another way. Ask good old friend Google to show you Quora questions.
Type something like this ‘”topic”+”your audience” inurl:qoura.com’ to find these issues users have posted in the forum.
Buzzsumo is an awesome tool to see the insight of what content drives traffic and engagement. You can research and assess the content ‘s popularity using different search methods: keyword, domain or combination of both.
You can filter the results by date or content type. You can identify the websites your audience visits often and see their most viral content. You can look at the older and most recent posts.
Using Buzzsumo can open up another set of topic ideas right under your fingertips.
6. Do a Keyword Research
You need to optimize your content for SEO purposes. Therefore, doing a keyword research is an essential part of your content creation. However, don’t base your topic ideas on the keywords. Do the opposite. Come up with the ideas and then do your research.
People no longer think of keywords. They search for problems instead. Observe your own search behavior. Previously you focused on a particular phrase that was very close to what you were looking for.
Today, we ask questions to search engines and expect to receive relevant information. We choose sites based on its relevance to the problem we asked. We don’t put generic terms in search engines; we ask specific advice. Therefore, short tail keywords rarely deliver good results.
Use keyword research tools to find keywords that indicate a particular problem. For instance, ‘content ideas for a newsletter.’ Now you have several topic ideas along with an interesting and unique keyword to rank for.
Afterward, go back to Quora and research if your audience faces the problem and write a post about it.
7. Look at Social Media
This is another obvious way to get topic ideas for your blog. Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are a great source.
You can do a keyword search with a hashtag on Twitter to come up with a list of tweets containing your keyword. The great benefit of using Twitter is that those tweets are most up-to-date information you can find on the internet.
Groups on Facebook are also beneficial to think of new topic ideas. There are dozens if not hundreds of different groups for various industries and niches. Find the ones that are most relevant to your blog and join. Members often post about problems they face or ask for recommendations.
You can also use the search field in those groups to find topics members discuss.
8. Use Feedly Reader
Sign up for RSS Feed Reader to be up-to-date on topics top blogs in your industry write about. There are many different RSS readers, but Feedly is the most popular one.
It’s also straightforward to switch the interface to look exactly the way you want. Use those general topics other websites write about to generate your own topic ideas.
9. Do Stuff Other’s Are Scared to Do
Users love to read about things they’re afraid to try themselves.
It’s natural. Before we try something, we want to know if it worked for someone else.
You can get double the benefit if you take those risks yourself and write about them. This method has a potential to grow your business or website and position you as an expert in the industry.
This risks may include deleting a Facebook page of your business or turning down funding. This will probably scare you too, but you can teach others with your experience.
As mentioned above, real-time examples are an excellent way to increase readership.
10. Ask for Comments and Emails
For each post, you write, put a Call To Action phrase and engage your readers in commenting or emailing you with a concern they have. You can also incorporate tip number 4 from this list and ask them to say what would they like to read on the site.
Coming up with great topic ideas can be tough if you don’t know where to start. But don’t worry we all get stuck at sometime!
You may not be able to avoid getting stuck but you mustn’t let it stop you. The good news is there are plenty of tools to assist you in creating excellent content topics for your business website or a personal blog.
It will take some time to get the hang of it, but once you understand the basics, it will come naturally.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any other tips for coming up new topic ideas.