Blogging is (or should be) an important component of any digital strategy. It is also a critical component of any business website that wants to attract visitors to convert them into leads and customers. Blogs are the place where we nurture our prospects and delight our clients; it’s where we show our expertise and learn new things.
I’ve been blogging since 2008 and most of my knowledge and expertise are a product of research activity done while blogging. If you don’t blog yet or are scared to blog, I suggest you to read 10 Inbound Marketing Statistics about Blogging.
The only problem with blogging is that it is often very difficult to find new ideas and content for posts, especially when you have already written more than a hundred. You feel like you’ve already covered every part of your business and have answered all your readers’ questions.
That’s why today I want to list 5 tools that I use to find new ideas for my blogs; tools that have helped me not only finding the best ideas but also to optimize old published posts with new information.
5 tools to generate content for your blog
Feedly is the best alternative to the old Google Reader. It is a news aggregator that allows you to funnel news from all relevant websites and blogs.
Any website can be added to Feedly, and you can follow updates without going to visit it.
The idea of any news aggregator or feed reader is to be one of the resources you check in the morning to get all the latest news about your business sector.
You can add an unlimited number of websites and organize them into folders, utilize tags, market them as favorites, and more.
So how do we use Feedly to generate content ideas? Start by adding all relevant websites to it, then go and check their updates every day. You’ll find new ideas for your own posts.
TIP: If it turns out that the website you are following on Feedly just wrote the perfect post that you wanted to write on your blog, don’t be sad. Instead, go ahead and research how you can actually improve that content and write a better post on your blog. You can research on Google or try looking at their comments section to find questions that weren’t answered in the original post.
2. Keywords Planners
Another very good resource for blog post ideas are keyword planners. By starting with a keyword, these tools let you find related keywords that users are searching, helping you to generate questions that they might have and that can be answered with blog posts.
For instance, let’s assume we have a blog about paleo diets. Let’s use a keyword tool to find some related keywords. We know know people are looking for recipes, menu, reviews, breakfast, weight loss, etc., providing plenty of ideas for new content that is SEO optimized.
Another (more common) tool is the Google Keyword Planner, which requires you to create an Adwords account and offers free data on the amount of searches and traffic volume.
3. Google Trends & Google Alerts
Another Google service which I find to be very helpful is Google Trends (formerly Google Insights for Search). This service analyzes the search volume of any keyword, and finds related keywords that you can use to generate ideas.
Here’s the previous example.
You can also compare two or more keyword to understand their relative interest (amount of searches).
Similar to point 1, Google Alert can monitor the web for specific keywords and send you a list of new posts/pages that are talking about your company or about your blog topics. This can be very useful to discover new content, such as blogs and websites that you can then follow with Feedly.
Quora is the online answers database. It covers almost any topic and it’s full of questions, many of them unanswered.
Your job is to search for your blog topics and find the best questions. These can then be turned into new posts on your blog, or can help improve the optimization of existing ones.
5. Your Users (Google Analytics, Messages, Questions)
Lastly, your users, prospects, subscribers or clients are tools you can use to generate new ideas. Pay attention to their messages and questions. Oftentimes a reply can be integrated into a blog post or a new blog post could address issues they raise.
Also, I like analyzing Google Analytics Data to understand where visitors came from, which search terms they used, and what pages/websites they have visited.
You have now learned that getting new ideas for your blog posts is not that difficult. You can continue to write interesting articles that are going to be read by your buyer personas, are key to attracting the right audience and to grow your blog views and revenue.