Okay that’s a bit extreme. In fact, there’s a lot that I enjoy about blogging—mainly connecting with you guys.
But what does suck is having to constantly come up with new ideas for blog posts.
It’s a grind that can be quite exhausting, especially if you’re simply coming up with ideas off the top of your head.
Research from The Content Marketing Institute found that “57% of B2B marketers say that producing content consistently is their biggest struggle.”
And the struggle is real.
If you’re like me and writing up to eight posts per week while juggling multiple businesses, it can be seriously draining.
So out of pure necessity, I’ve experimented with a plethora of different tools to aid me in the process of generating new content ideas.
Some have been home runs and some have been strikeouts.
But there are seven in particular I really like and want to share with you.
Using one or more of these tools will allow you to generate an infinite number of content ideas for your blog—without having to do any heavy lifting.
This is one of my favorites for generating a handful of ideas quickly. Five to be exact.
I love it because it’s incredibly easy to use.
Literally within seconds, you’ll have five legitimate blog post titles at your fingertips.
All you have to do is enter up to three nouns in the search boxes:
In this case, let’s try “content marketing.” Here’s what happens:
Voila! I instantly get five viable blog topics.
If you want more, click “Try Again,” and it will take you back to the home screen.
From there, you can perform another search using the same keywords, or you can experiment with different keyword options.
I will say that HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator isn’t ideal if you need to come up with dozens of ideas right out of the gate.
But it’s a great starting point.
You may have heard me mention BuzzSumo before.
I love this tool and have been using it to guide my content marketing efforts for a few years now.
It’s awesome because it does more than just provide you with content ideas. Much more!
It also does the following:
- tells you the number of shares and social engagements content receives
- identifies key sharers
- displays backlinks
- shows you top trending content
In other words, you can quickly tell how well content is performing and what’s resonating the most with readers.
This information is helpful because it lets you know which angles to take with your blog and makes it easier to strike while the iron is hot when topics are peaking.
Here’s what happens when I search for “content marketing” on BuzzSumo:
Notice that it provides me with an in-depth glimpse of the content that’s crushing it at the moment.
More specifically, I can see the number of:
- Facebook engagements
- LinkedIn shares
- Twitter shares
- Pinterest shares
- Google+ shares
- Total shares
If you look to the right of this info, you’ll notice two more features: “View backlinks” and “View sharers.”
Both add a whole new dimension to the content prospecting process.
But let me give you a heads up.
The free version is fairly limited and won’t necessarily show you the big picture. You also can’t take advantage of all the features.
That’s why I recommend using the Pro version if you’ve got the budget.
As of early 2017, it costs $79 per month.
I know this may seem steep to some marketers, but it’s a worthwhile investment in my opinion.
This is basically a news aggregator that lets you know what’s happening online.
Alltop runs the gamut in terms of topics and covers everything from science and religion to photography and fashion. It’s all there.
Here’s what you see when you first land on the Alltop homepage:
It’s basically a hodgepodge of different content.
Skimming through the homepage may help you generate some ideas, depending on your niche.
But what I recommend is searching for a specific topic in the search box.
Here’s just a fraction of what I get when I search for “content marketing:”
Alltop displays five posts from relevant blogs, and you can simply browse through the list for ideas.
Or you can take it one step further and click on a specific blog and scan it individually.
I’ve found this to be helpful, and you can potentially find some epic new resources you haven’t been aware of before.
The bottom line is that you can usually come up with a ton of ideas in a short period of time.
You can also get a feel for overarching trends to gauge what’s popular at the moment.
Using this tool is simple.
Enter a keyword, and UberSuggest will supply you with dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of phrases that include your keyword.
Here’s a screenshot of what popped up when I used “content marketing” as a keyword:
It’s kind of like the Google Keyword Planner but more streamlined.
UberSuggest won’t provide you with info such as search volume, competition, etc., but it’s perfect for coming up with content ideas for your blog quickly.
Another cool feature is “Expand this keyword,” which you’ll see after clicking on a particular keyword.
Here’s what happens when I expand “content marketing strategy.”
Notice that it’s a more comprehensive list of keyword phrases based on “content marketing strategy.”
In theory, you can use one simple keyword to generate thousands of content ideas with UberSuggest.
I’m sure you’re at least somewhat familiar with Google Trends.
I use it for several marketing purposes, mainly to perform market research and determine interest in a particular topic.
But did you know that Google Trends can be used for generating content ideas as well?
Now let me say that this isn’t nearly as comprehensive as the previous tools I listed, but it definitely serves a purpose. Three to be exact.
Again, let’s use “content marketing” as an example.
First, you can browse through “Related topics” to see what’s popular.
This can help you identify other influential resources you may want to check out, which can potentially give you additional ideas.
Second, you can scan through “Related queries” to see which search queries are most popular on Google at the moment:
Third, you can use Google Trends to determine whether a topic is trending up or down.
Here’s what the interest in content marketing looks like at the moment:
When you put it all together, Google Trends can be quite handy for generating ideas.
If you’re looking for a super quick way to come up with a click-worthy blog title, look no further than this tool.
While it’s by no means as robust as, say, BuzzSumo, it works great for generating a title that your audience will eat up.
Here’s an example:
For more ideas, click the refresh button.
I like Portent’s Content Idea Generator because it’s an easy way to come up with cool and catchy titles.
It’s particularly good if you’re looking for a dash of humor.
So here’s the deal with link bait.
It can potentially be detrimental to your marketing campaign.
I mean it may drive some initial traffic to your blog, but you’re likely to have a high bounce rate and a minimal number of return visitors if your content doesn’t actually measure up.
For that reason, I don’t recommend using titles purely intended for link bait without actually having high quality content.
That being said, Content Row’s Link Bait Title Generator is still a pretty awesome little tool to have.
The concept is simple. You enter a subject, and a handful of relevant link bait title ideas will appear.
Here’s what pops up when I enter “content marketing.”
Not too shabby.
This isn’t to say you’ll want to use every single idea this tool suggests, but you can definitely use it to streamline your brainstorming.
Most of the time, you can come up with some pretty catchy titles that will bring in considerable traffic.
Just make sure your content hits its mark.
I think we can all agree that coming up with fresh content ideas is a pain at times.
If you’ve been blogging for over a year, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
But fortunately, you don’t have to sit around brainstorming on your own, trying to come up with new ideas from scratch.
There are numerous tools available (many of which are free) that will assist you with this process and enable you to come up with pretty darn good ideas.
In fact, it’s tools like these that have enabled me to make continual progress and establish the audience that I have.
If you’re a serious blogger, I suggest at least checking out each of these seven tools and doing a little experimenting.
This should make it much easier to populate your blog with killer content without driving yourself crazy in the process.
Can you suggest any other tools for generating content ideas?