Everyone finds themselves stuck from time to time, searching for something to write about. We all want to create content that’s meaningful, helpful, and if we’re honest, popular. Brainstorming only goes so far, especially if we’re a one-person show. How can we create blog topics, blog ideas at scale? Let’s look at 4 of my favorite methods.
Google, as you may know, records every interaction you have with it. One of the easiest ways to generate blog topics is by looking back at your search history for all the things you’ve searched for. What questions did you ask? What topics were of interest to you, especially in your daily professional life?
This is one of the most powerful methods of generating blog ideas and content topics, because you likely not only asked the question, but found answers which others would find valuable.
Other People Asked, Part 1
A second method for finding content marketing topics is to look at questions other people asked. Examine the contents of dozens of Q&A sites online for your industry or field, then start browsing the questions. How many questions do you have an authoritative, useful answer for?
If you’re really good at things like perl regular expressions and lightweight scripting, it’s trivial to extract thousands of questions from a category, then start writing based on your knowledge and expertise.
Other People Asked, Part 2
Another method of identifying what commonly asked questions are in your field is Answer the Public. Ask the search engine for a broad term or keyword in your industry and it will categorize by question types:
Conveniently, you can extract the questions simply by hitting the Export CSV button, and now you’ve got a great list of questions and keywords for starting your blog post ideas.
Other People Asked, Part 3
The final method for generating timely, topical blog posts is to monitor social media for a known context in your industry. For example, Hubspot’s INBOUND conference was held recently in Boston. By using social media monitoring software, I extracted a list of questions asked via Twitter at the event:
From here, I could identify questions I have answers to. Social media, particularly around conferences in your domain, is a never-ending well of blogging ideas.
No Shortage of Questions
Blog ideas, content marketing topics, content marketing ideas – we’re swimming in the raw data every day. We’ve got more access to more questions than ever before. Dive in and start providing answers!
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Also published on Medium.