Want to know a secret?
I never run out of article ideas.
In fact, my main struggle is usually choosing between a myriad of topics I would love to write about.
You may think it’s because I’m very creative but the simple truth is that I simply use 4 simple strategies that guarantee that I never run out of blog post ideas.
#1 Hang out with your prospects
Your blog is not about you. It’s about your audience.
And you can’t write articles people care about if you don’t understand them.
So before trying to come up with article ideas, start by hanging out with your prospects.
Read the reviews of your competitors’ product
Product reviews are full of awesome information about your readers’ fears, dreams, hopes and pains.
If you don’t have a product yet, simply head to Amazon and read the reviews of books in your niche.
I recommend focusing on the 3 and 4 star reviews as these tend to be the ones with the best information.
Here are just a few interesting phrases I found while reading the reviews of a vegan cookbook called Vegan for Everybody.
This reviewer seems to want vegan recipes that are not just copies of famous non vegan recipes. You could write an article about vegan recipes that don’t rely on meat substitutes.
Here the reviewer complains about the fact the recipes are hard to make or feature ingredients that are hard to find. This means an article featuring “10 easy recipes with ingredients you already have in your kitchen” could work well.
Be active on the forums, Facebook groups and subreddits where they are active.
Your readers are passionate about your niche and probably spend lots of time posting in Facebook groups, forums and subreddits on the topic.
Spend a few minutes reading and participating in these communities every day and you will quickly identify some frustrations, pains, problems and dreams that you could easily turn into article ideas.
This post has 1,379 comments, a clear indication that it’s hitting a nerve. This means an article talking about the dififculties of inviting people over as a vegan could be pretty popular
Talk to your readers and potential readers
Reading reviews and finding the places where your readers hang out is a great way to get lots of blog post ideas but I find that talking to people directly helps uncover deeper pain points and learn about topics they may be ashamed to discuss in public.
That’s why I recommend going to events and talking to your readers as often as you can.
- Send an email to your email subscribers and ask them what their number one struggle is.
- Go to events and meetup groups.
- Talk to readers and customers on the phone.
The more time you spend with your prospects, the better you will understand their fears, struggles, hopes, and dreams.
Once you know what your prospects struggle with, finding article ideas becomes easy.
All you have to do is choose a problem to solve or a question to answer.
#2 Use keyword-research tools
Keyword-research tools show you what people search in Google, Bing and other search engines.
They allow you to find keywords and article ideas you may not have thought about but also help you better understand what your readers want and expect.
Here are a few strategies I use to uncover article ideas with keyword-research tools.
Note: I mostly mention Ahrefs because it’s my favorite keyword-research tool but you could also use WordTracker or Google Keyword Planner for basic keyword-research.
Spy on your competitors
This helps you get article ideas and find interesting blog post topics but also helps you see what works and what doesn’t for your competitors.
If you search “https://pinchofyum.com/” in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and then click on “organic keywords”, you will see that Pinch of Yum ranks for 298,609 keywords.
If you are a food blogger, there are likely hundreds of these keywords you could use as future blog post ideas.
And if you don’t want to manually check your competitors’ keywords every month, Ahrefs allows you to set up weekly or monthly alerts so you can receive an email with a list of new keywords your competitors rank for.
Find keywords you already rank for
By looking at the keywords you already rank for, you learn more about the intent of readers who arrive on your website.
For example, you may notice that people find your list of the best coffee shops in Brooklyn by typing the name of a coffee shop you didn’t actually mention in your article.
You can then update your article to mention this coffee shop or write a brand new article dedicated to it.
This process helps you not only come up with article ideas but also improve your existing articles so they rank for keywords you may have initially overlooked.
Find similar keywords you may not have thought about
Simply typing a few keywords you think you could write an article about will help you uncover dozens of great blog post ideas because you will see all the similar keywords people search.
Type American cheese in your keyword-research tools of choice and you will find plenty of new article ideas.
Here are just a few of the keywords/article ideas I got when I typed “American cheese” in Ahrefs keyword explorer:
- White American cheese
- What is American cheese?
- How many calories in a slice of American cheese?
- How is American cheese made?
- American cheese nutrition
That’s the power of using keyword-research tools to uncover article ideas. Type one keyword and the tools will give you lots of great article ideas in return.
#3 Take breaks
Several of the greatest scientific discoveries happened by accident.
Percy Spencer discovered the microwave while working on a radar-related project.
Gunpowder was discovered by Chinese alchemists trying to make men immortal.
George de Mestral got the idea for the velcro after hiking in the Alps and wondering why Burdock seeds were clinging to his clothes and shoes so easily.
Similarly, I find that the best blog post ideas often appear in my head when I least expect them to.
Reading a book about Stoicism gave me an idea for an article showing how Stoicism can make us better business owners.
Eating brunch with my wife gave me an idea for an article about French cakes.
I find that the more new activities I try, the more connections I find between topics and the more article ideas I have.
So if you are stuck and unable to come up with article ideas, simply stop and do something else.
Doing something unrelated is not only great for mental health but also a terrific way of coming up with original article ideas.
#4 Start a Trello board with all your ideas
The 3 strategies you just discovered will help you find article ideas but this is by far the most important strategies because it will guarantee the ideas you uncovered don’t get lost.
I present to you, the most revolutionary strategy of all time:
Write down your article idea.
As simple as it may sound, it’s something I wish I had been told to do when i started blogging.
When an idea comes to mind, we tend to think it’s so awesome that we won’t forget it.
Then life happens and we do forget it.
So write down your ideas
I personally use a Trello board because I love the visual aspect of having a wall of article ideas but you could also use a note-taking app like Evernote or Bear.
When the time to pick an article idea comes, I don’t need to think hard. All I need to do is open my Trello board, pick my favorite idea and work on it.
And you, what are the strategies you use to come up with article ideas? Do you still find yourself wondering what to write about from time to time?