Blogging is hard. Really hard.
You have to post on a consistent basis. You have to have great headlines. You have to be provide valuable content to readers. You have to find proper references for your post. You have to (or should) provide relevant media to your content. Then you have to promote your content.
But none of this gets started without having a great topic to write about.
What a pain huh?
To be honest, I actually sat here for an hour and twenty minutes trying to think of a topic to write about and I totally missed until right now. Then I thought, why not write a post about how to generate great blog post topics? DUH!
Blog topics aren’t easy to come up with. Especially if you’re in a “dull” niche. Here are some common concerns from people in “dull” niches:
- I run a plumbing company – there’s nothing interesting to write about!
- I sell health insurance – what can I possibly write about?
- I’m a dentist - my niche isn’t nearly as interesting as the entertainment industry… they have tons to write about!
Fear not! Here are 8 ways to come up with interesting blog topics to write about… for any niche!
For this blog post, we’re going to take on the task of generating content ideas for plumbers.
Quora is a question and answer site similar to Yahoo answers. Users ask questions and experts do their best to answer them. Often times you’ll see executives from large companies participating in this discussions. Great answers gets up voted and moved to the top.
Let’s give our plumbing example a shot. By typing in ‘plumbing’, we see 8 questions pop up – that’s 8 possible content ideas already!
Try exploring different keywords and phrases and you are sure to find many great topic ideas on Quora.
With over 100 million+ professionals and growing, LinkedIn is the largest business social network and there are abundant opportunities available for you. But we’re talking strictly blog topics here so we’ll focus on that.
Right next to the search bar at the top right corner, click the tab and click on ‘Answers’. After you do that, type in your keyword and click search. LinkedIn will then pull up relevant Questions/Answers to your keyword.
Here’s what we get for ‘plumbing’ – over 500 search results. Not everything is going to be relevant but you’re sure to find some gold nuggets here and there:
3. Yahoo! Answers
Yahoo Answers is another Question and Answer website with plenty of content ideas for your niche. The site has been around for awhile so play around with the different sorting options to see what else you can find.
4. Google Keyword Tool
Google’s very own keyword tool provides some topic ideas. For our particular example, however, we might have to dig a little deeper to find what we’re looking for. Here’s what happens when we query ‘plumbing’ in the keyword tool:
To dive a little deeper, we need to select a relevant keyword and query it in Google’s search engine to see what we get. In this case, I decided to look for ‘plumbing questions’. I clicked the first response and viola – more topic ideas for plumbing!
KISSinsights is a survey tool that you can use on your website to get feedback from your visitors. To get blog content ideas, you can simply ask your users questions like:
- What content would they like to see more of?
- What did they come to your site to do?
- What is their biggest pain point?
There’s a lot of clever methods to use this tool so play with it to see what you can get out of it. Use this with your Analytics data and you’ll have a powerful combination. There’s a free version and a paid version.
6. Google Alerts
Google Alerts is monitoring tool used to track queries and send alerts to your inbox or RSS feed. You’ll get results like this after you set it up:
7. Google Insights
Google Insights is primarily used to track how a keyword is trending over a period of time. However, if you scroll to the very bottom of each query page, you’ll see a list of keywords that can trigger new blog post ideas:
Delicious is a site where users can share their favorite bookmarks. The top results are popular pages – topics that have proven to perform well. Here’s what comes up when we search for ‘plumbing tips’:
9. Monitor Your Niche
Monitoring your niche to see what topics perform well is a great place for topic generation. An example would be creating a list of your competitors in a spreadsheet and then noting down which topics perform well. You’ll then have multiple options in terms of what you want to do with these topics.
BONUS: Content Ideas Links
If you’re still running low on content ideas, you’re sure to find some packed information in the following links:
What are some other methods you use to come up with interesting blog topics?