6 Ways to Think of Blog Content Ideas (for FREE!)
Updated: Sep 23, 2020
"What am I going to write about today?"
Having to come up with new and interesting ideas to write about can be a challenge, and one I faced when I first started blogging.
But after doing some research, I found a 6 ways to generate and write content based on what people are searching for!
The 6 free ways to generate content ideas are:
Google Auto-Suggest + Related Searches
Answer the Public
Forums, i.e Quora + Reddit
One of the best ways to develop your content marketing strategy is to start with the end in mind.
We want to create content that educates people, helps them solve problems and answer their questions
So, let's get cracking and I really hope that these tips will no longer have you scratching your head trying to think of topics to write about!
What better place to generate ideas than the the MOTHERSHIP of search engines - Google!
It makes sense, right? Millions of people use Google to search for information, so why not use it to our advantage as content marketers!
You can use Google to discover potential content topics by using:
People Also Ask
Searches Related To
It sounds obvious, but one of the best ways to get ideas is to simply look at what people are searching for.
Let's take a look!
3 Tips for Google Auto Suggest
There are 3 ways that you can use Google's auto-suggest feature to generate ideas for blog topics...
Auto-Suggest A - Z
Insert a 'space' before your keywords
Use an * to separate keywords
When you've started entering a search into Google, have you ever noticed that Google begins to complete the search query before you have actually finished typing?
That's because Google is basing their auto-suggest on what most people have searched for previously.
Google Auto-Suggest Tip #1
This technique we'll call Google Alphabet Soup!
Take the following example.
Imagine I want to come up with some content related to related to 'triathlon training' (my favourite sport!)
Begin by typing ' triathlon training ' into the search bar followed by a 'space' and then the letter 'a'.
You'll then begin to see a list of the most popular search queries...
From the list above, there are a couple of topics that sound interesting, for example 'triathlon training at home'.
Continue doing this through the alphabet from B to Z, and note down any suggestions that grab your attention.
I like the sound of 'triathlon training at home' - something that was probably searched for quite a lot during the Covid-19 lockdown!
Now you want to do some search analysis. You want to find out if:
this search been covered many times by reputable and high-traffic websites
this is a topic that you can create new content about, and give a more direct answer.
Enter your topic into Google and scroll down the first page to see what kind of posts are ranking for this search term.
If the top answers are from well-known websites, and appear to diretly answer the question, then it's going to be hard to rank for this keyword.
On the flip side, if the top ranking answers don't answer the search query directly in the title tag and description - then this could be an easier topic to rank for.
Here is the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) for 'Triatlon training at home'
We can see that the top ranking post directly anwers the question.
But when we scroll down the page, we see that the following answers aren't really directly answering the question.
So, this could be a good topic to write about.
Google Auto-Suggest Tip #2
The second way we can use Goole auto-suggest is to enter a 'space' before our keywords "triathlon training".
Doing this will return some auto-suggest results where other keywords are positioned either before or after your search.
In the example below, we can see that a lot of the topics are for triathlon training plans.
Once you have this in your search results, go back and do the search analysis outlined in 'Step #3' above.
Google Auto-Suggest Tip #3
The third and final tip is to use an * to separate your keywords.
In our example, by entering 'triathlon * training' into the search box we get the following results.
This time we can see a set of different results - with some new keyword being auto-suggested.
Again, note down interesting topics and do your search analysis.
Google - People Also Ask
A second option available with Google is the "People Also Ask" feature.
This box will pop up just below the top answer and Featured Snippet, with related questions that are often asked. Another fruitful way to gather up some content ideas.
As you can see, the content in this section are common questions that people search for related to your initial search query.
Therefore, the posts you should write for these topics are "response" style posts.
Response style posts answer a specific question and should be aim to be around 1200-1500 words in length.
These can be very powerful types of blog posts to write to help you rank on Google as these topics may not have been well covered in the past.
Again, choose a question that you like the look and do your search analysis!!
Google - Searches Related To
A third way you can use Google is to scroll to the bottom of the page and look for "Searches Related to ...." section.
Some of the content here may be similar to what we found in our Google Auto Suggest research, but you might 1-2 new and interesting topics using this method.
And once you find some new ideas, you'll find yourself coming up with even more new topics!
Phew! I'm sure that seems like a lot already, but that's only 1/5!
Let's roll on to number 2.....
Ubersuggest is a great free tool from SEO wizard Neil Patel.
Ubersuggest can be used in 2 ways:
enter keywords to see content suggestions
look up a competitor's domain to get better keyword ideas
1. Content Suggestions
On the left-hand side of the screen you'll see a menu bar of options.
Start off by selecting "Keyword Ideas" and entering your keywords, again we'll search for triathlon training.
We'll go deeper into how to use Ubersuggest in a separate post, but the main idea here is to help generate some new ideas that maybe weren't suggested by Google.
Go in and have a play around - it's a very intuitive platform :)
If you have any specific questions about Ubersuggest, drop us a note!
2. Competitor's Domain
Another awesome feature of Ubersuggest allows you to do a bit James Bond-esque spying on your competitors!
You can use Ubersuggest's domain name feature to see:
the total number of keywords which your competitors are ranking for
the specific keywords they are ranking for
the pages which are driving the most traffic to their website
organic monthly traffic
their domain score (how authoritative their site is ranked by Google)
This should be sued as a guide for more topics only, i.e. don't use it to simple copy what they are producing!!
The goal with Ubersuggest is to identify your competitor's most popular content is, see where the gaps and then create your own content to fill in these gaps. KAPOW!
3. Answer The Public
This is the intro on their website...
It's quite similar to Google's auto suggest in terms of the results it shows, but the suggestions are easy to view and can be downloaded as a *.csv file.
After searching for the keywords, you'll be able to see literally hundreds of search related terms categorised by:
We want to be creating content that educates and answers people's questions, so using Answer the Public is a fantastic free resource for this
Scrolling down the page you'll be able to view other suggestions based on prepositions.
As with Google and Ubersuggest, note down any interesting topics and do your search analysis.
4. Competitors Websites
Doing competitive analysis is important in any line of business - so why not do it for content marketing as well!!
Although we kind of did this when we used Ubersuggest earlier, going to the actual website can allow you to see more posts and get a better feel for some of the content that your competitors are creating. First you need to identify your competitors. Try to think of around 5-10 - any more than this and you'll be spending hours upon hours!
After you've come up with your competitors, visit their website and look for their most popular content.
On some blog posts you'll be able to see how many comments and shares each post has - you can find this info above the social media sharing icons.
Look for blog topics that not only have traffic but also the highest engagement -- that means comments and social shares.
Going to popular online forums like Quora and Reddit are another way to provide a goldmine of content ideas. People visit forums to join in discussions and ask questions, which makes them a great resource for content ideas!
Simply search for the topic you're looking to write about, and then analyse what people are actually asking about.
Let's check out what happens when we enter "triathlon training" into Quora
We can see that some of these questions are slightly different from what we discovered in Google and Answer the Public.
I really like the second question, "what is it like to train for a triathlon". This would make a great post as it would be based on real-life experience and shareable content (if written well !!)
As well as using these questions to generate ideas, you can also get involved in the conversations yourself and show off your knowledge and expertise!
Quick Tip - if you come across a question or topic that you've already written a blog post on, you may wish to drop a link to that article or post to help promote it :)
A bit further down the line you can also direct people to blog posts that you've written which answer these questions.
When you do get involved on Quora or Reddit threads, don't directly promote your product or service. This will turn people off, give you a bad rep and can even lead to you being banned from the group!
6. Buzz Sumo
I've put this one last as although it has a free feature, it does also have a sign up cost to unlock the full features.
Buzz Sumo is a powerful online tool that allows any user to find out what content is popular by topic or on any website. In order to provide the content that people want to know, you need to know what it popular.
On Buzz Sumo you'll be able to get data on content such as:
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest shares
Use this to give some insight into popular topics.
If you're interested in making Youtube videos, Buzz Sumo also has a feature which allows you to see the most viewed videos for your keywords :)
So there are 6 different ways I've used to brainstorm ideas and resolve any writer's block problems.
Here's a quick recap:
Answer the Public
If I were to leave you with one key take-away, remember this.
It's almost impossible of you to write a post which hasn't been answered before. but what you can do is write a post that fills in the missing gaps of other content, and give it your stamp of individuality with your voice.
If you need help generating content ideas, or writing content, our team of certified copywriters are here to help give you the Words That Win!
James G Media is a copywriting and content writing agency based in Bangkok, Thailand. It's our mission to support your business growth by turning your vision into the Words that Win through copywriting for sales and advertising, social media marketing, SEO content writing, and website design.