How To Get Blog Post Ideas

by Bob Nunn September 23rd, 2010 

The deadline for this blog post was approaching and I couldnt think of anything else to write.

blogpanic

No, seriously.

Google lovvvvves the fresh, authoritative content that blogs bring and theyre a great foundation for a Social Media strategy. However, a question were constantly asked by is how do you come up fresh ideas for blog posts?. After all, the information highway is littered with abandoned blogs. A 2008 Technorati survey said that of 133 million blogs they tracked only 7.4% had been updated in the last 120 days. So heres 8 ideas on how to get ideas:

1. Start with your keywords.

When it comes to mining for insights Google is the mother lode. So dont overlook the obvious and start by putting your top keywords into the Keyword tool. Scroll down to the long tail and youll see real intent. And real problems. Alternatively, use Googles suggested search. If you were marketing a new blogging service, for example, you can just start to write the word blog post and Google shows you what people are looking for. Heres three different ideas alone.Google Instant Search for Blog Post IdeasA quick check of the Keyword tool reveals good search traffic for blog post ideas.Blog Ideas via Google Keyword Tool

2. Move from the need to the needs state.

Take your top keywords and put words on the front or back that reflect how people might state their need like want, need, how, love and hate. Then search again with Google or Twitter. The results provide valuable insight into the problems people have. I favour Tweetvolume.com for this because I can continue to try different phrases until I have a Twitter stream with some volume. Then I can watch the stream, see problems people have and be inspired to provide a solution in the form of a helpful post.

Monitoring Twitter toolHere, for our fictitious blogging service, we can see possible posts on catchy blog domains, blog headlines and new ways to come back to blogging. Nice.

3. FAQs

If you dont have a FAQ section on your site wander down the hall and talk to customer service (theyll be surprised to see you) and ask them for a list of top questions they get asked. Compare that list to a search of your top keywords on Q&A sites like Ask.coms Common Questions to verify which of the questions that you get are also being asked out in the world wide web.Yahoo Answers for Blog Ideas Also if you want to dig into your own site some of our Search Engine People have written some fine posts recently on how to find out the questions your website visitors ask and potential visitors ask.

4. Traditional Research

While youre walking around, go see the market research people too. Often overlooked by online people, surveys and focus groups can provide you with deep insight and inspiration for blog posts. A recent presentation of highlights from a clients research in a panel discussion provided me with a number of post ideas for their calendar.

5. Stumble Around

Next, take your top keywords and put them bookmarking / thumbs-up sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious and Reddit. By studying whats proven popular in the past youre bound to get different ideas for posts in your own area of expertise.image

6. Hot Topics, Rising Trends

Now take your keywords and other top words youve seen on social sites and use a tool like Googles Insight for Search. Youll find whats hot in your area. Nothing like catching a wave while its rising. Again, its a good idea to capture a good result into Google Reader for continual inspiration.Google Insights for Blog Post Ideas

7. Dont Wait Until The Last Minute.

Start building lists. Something that catches your eye may not be a post right away but can be built into something quite remarkable over time. e.g. 12 Weirdest Blogs.

8. Dont Write Just One Type of Post.

Jack, be nimble because to appeal to different folks you need different types of posts. So to get out of your rut start by thinking about all the different types of posts you could do. Theres the News post. Long-lasting traffic-drivers like Educational Resource posts. Lightening it up with an Entertainment post. Or getting on top of the mountain and trying to change the world with an Opinion post.

Once youve got your inspiration, follow this great article on 12 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid when creating and posting.

Hope this helps.

Bob Nunn

Bob Nunn is an Internet Marketing Consultant in Toronto and the founder of BrandMechanics. Bob has a successful track record of helping companies fine-tune their online marketing and getting their brands revved up. He has won over 40 marketing awards for his work in advertising, new media, email and more for clients such as Yellow Pages Group ‘The Find Engine’, Blockbuster ‘Guaranteed To Be There’, FutureShop ‘You’ll like what the future has in store.’ and 3M ‘Innovation’ among others.

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6 Responses to “How To Get Blog Post Ideas”

  1. These are all good ideas and tips, some use Google Trends but most trending topics tend to be about the entertainment industry so don't fit for some blog niches.
    .-= Justin Germino recently posted: Negative Results of Google Instant Search =-.

  2. Arnie Kuenn says:

    Solid research, always love supporting data. Readers might also be interested in a post Kaila wrote on our blog some time ago. 50 topic ideas for your corporate blog
    .-= Arnie Kuenn recently posted: Expert Interview on Content Strategy with Margot Bloomstein =-.

  3. Will Quin says:

    Didn't know that so many people have problems with finding ideas for posts.It depends on topic of your blog. If you are writing just about one thing (gadgets, hosting,…) then you need to research your niche and you will find many ideas. One place where I like to search for ideas are Q&A sites (answers.com, answerbag.com, yadda.com,…) where people are looking for answer and I give them by writing a post about it.
    .-= Will Quin recently posted: Reasons for Purchasing Oak Dining Table =-.

  4. Great ideas for writing blog posts, will be using this when I get writers block.
    .-= sara @ local marketing recently posted: How to Market Your Business on Facebook =-.

  5. Jason Acidre says:

    Great ideas Bob! I particularly liked the stumbleupon idea, since it gives a good concept on what types of entries get aggregated the most through these channels (digg, stumbleupon, etc). As for me, what I usually do is the first tip you've given, other than that, I mostly base my posts on my own case studies and experiments. I always go for highly resourceful posts, since they are generally good in generating natural links (link bait materials).

    Regards,
    Jason
    .-= Jason Acidre recently posted: One Week Marketing Action Plan Review =-.