As a beginning blogger, when you search for ways to come up with blog post ideas, you’ll read tips like:
- “ask your followers”
- “email your list”
- “read your blog comments”
And instantly become frustrated because you don’t have any of those things yet.
Your well of inspiration eventually runs dry, and you find yourself staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page instead of sharing your knowledge and building your following.
How can you figure out what your audience wants when you’re not sure who they are yet?
In this post, I’ll show you five tools I use to come up with blog post ideas when you don’t have a huge following to draw inspiration from.
I get the impression that a lot of bloggers are afraid of Reddit. They avoid it because it’s not “pretty.” That’s a mistake!
Reddit’s design is simple on purpose: because it’s about the content. Which is exactly what you need when you’re trying to generate blog post ideas. It’s a goldmine of information, and a lot of smart people hang out there.
I could write a whole post on using Reddit, but the general idea is to find subreddits in your niche and look through the comments for questions.
Subreddits are like forum sections. They’re a space within the larger site where people interested in one topic can go to have discussions, ask questions, and share ideas.
As an example, I jumped on the blogging subreddit this morning and had two blog post ideas in less than a minute:
Here are some great subreddits to get you started:
Tools like Keyhole are great for searching hashtags and keywords related to your niche. I use it find out what hashtags people are using and what content they’re posting and sharing.
You can search by hashtag, account, keyword, mentions, or URL.
For example, I searched “blog design” and got a list of related hashtags, top posts, recent posts, and influential accounts.
You’re a bit limited without a paid plan, but it’s a great tool to get your brain moving when blogging block strikes.
Answer The Public
When you search for something in a search engine like Google, the autocomplete feature makes suggestions for you based on things other people have searched for.
Answer The Public is a tool that pulls together autosuggest information from search engines and breaks it down visually. Search for a keyword or short phrase and let Answer The Public do the rest.
Once you know what questions people have about your topic, you can start answering them on your blog. Writer’s block, busted!
Blog About Generator
If your brain is totally busted, this tool starts you off with popular topics. If you have a little bit of brain juice to work with, you can type in your own topics.
When you click next, you’ll be provided with a blog post title template with blanks you can fill in with keywords related to your niche.
Save your blog post title ideas to the provided notebook and have them emailed to you to use later, or copy and paste them into your favorite note-keeping app.
Right Relevance is a service similar to BuzzSumo. Right Relevance will allow you to see more results with a free account while BuzzSumo limits you to the first ten.
This tool can help you determine the people who are influencers in your niche, what content they share, and what types of content are most popular.
Search for a keyword and you’ll be presented with a list of related articles, conversations, and influencers in that area. You’ll also be able to see a list of related topics for even more brainstorming fodder.
Search around Right Relevance for a while and swap out words in blog post titles for things you have expertise in. For example, when I searched for “wordpress,” an article from Hostgator named “What is a Website Builder” showed up.
If you blog about WordPress, maybe you could write a post like “The 5 Best Website Builders for Bloggers” or “Do Bloggers Need A Website Builder?”
Woo hoo! Just like that, you have two blog post ideas just from reading someone else’s article title.
I hope this post turned you on to some brainstorming tools you’ve never considered. Now go fill up that editorial calendar and get to blogging!
I’m a Tucson, Arizona-based web developer. I’ve been blogging since the mid-1990s and I’m knowledgeable in all aspects of maintaining an online presence from design to code to SEO and content creation. I live in an RV with my husband and in my spare time I enjoy photography, hiking, drawing, and playing video games.