Creating blog post ideas is something that everyone struggles with.
From beginner bloggers to the pros who’ve been doing this for years. Although, I’ve read that Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income has blog post ideas and content ready four months in advance!
Don’t let that intimidate you. He’s a machine and has an entire team behind him. As a new blogger, you probably won’t have the experience, time, or resources to accomplish such a feat.
However, you can get there and it starts with generating a list of ideas. Get in the habit of writing down blog post ideas as they come to mind. What are some ways to do this you ask? Continue reading to learn more.
Start with experiences
You have so much knowledge in that head of yours and you may not even realize it. Sharing what you’ve learned, experienced, failed at, plan to do, etc is one of the best ways to create blog post ideas.
These ideas have headlines like, “How I paid off $_____ of student loans”, “What NOT to do when starting a blog”, “How I lost 30 pounds by doing these 3 exercises”, or “What I learned from doing ______”.
Your personal experiences are one of the easiest ways to come up with content ideas.
For starters, it’s unique and specific to your situation. Although you may be writing on a topic that’s been written about dozens of times, you can differentiate by sharing your unique experience.
Personal stories make you relatable
Don’t be afraid to share your story throughout your blog posts. It’s important to reinforce your story to connect with your audience, help them remember that you’re a person too, who’s gone through similar circumstances, and it just makes for a good read.
Information has been passed down through the generations through storytelling. Become a great storyteller.
Plus, it’s rare that a reader will start with your first post (which is where you may have shared your story for the first time) and read all of your posts in sequential order.
So, threading your story throughout your blog posts helps new readers connect and understand who you are. Someone who does this really well is Michelle from Making Sense of Cents.
Almost every blog post, if not all, that I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot) reference her personal story about how she starting blogging. If you need inspiration or want to see how it’s done, check out her blog.
Reviews are a great way to come up with blog post ideas. I’ve seen niche blogs drive a TON of traffic and earn a significant amount of affiliate income through reviews.
Choose several different products or services and provide your recommendation. Kick it up a notch and provide a video review for the ultimate experience.
People (me included) love product/service review and “how-to” videos. I want to know that someone has touched it, smelled it, used it, and/or has tried to break it before I choose to purchase. I want to know all the pros and cons so I can make an informed decision.
A well-written review post should bring value to your audience. Be sure to include:
- Specific details of what the product or service does and the value it brings
- WIFM: What’s in it for me?
- How this product/service is different from the competition
- Things you like/dislike
- Any hidden fees or tidbits of information that bring additional value
- Where the product/service can be purchased (include affiliate link where applicable)
A few review ideas by niche:
- Personal Finance
- Best Credit Cards for…(travel, points, cash back, etc)
- Best Money-saving/management apps
- Best Checking/Savings accounts
- Health & Fitness
- Latest equipment/workout gadget
- Best clothes/shoes for workouts
- Latest workout craze
- Latest diet craze
- Top restaurants
- Baking equipment
- Baby toys
- Baby clothes
- Any other baby item
- Dining Experiences
All of these introduce an opportunity to include affiliate marketing. As you review each product/service, include an affiliate link where your audience can sign up or purchase. It’s a win-win, you help your audience make an informed buying decision while making a small commission.
Reviews are an easy way to both create blog post ideas and generate affiliate sales!
Solve a problem
You don’t have any problems and never try to learn how to do something, right?
I hope I got a chuckle from someone because what would we do without Google, Siri, or Alexa?
I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly searching for answers. In the past few years, I’ve started performing my own car maintenance. I got fed up by the “10-minute oil change – 50 point inspection” promise that never delivered.
So, what did I do? I went to Google and YouTube and learned how to change my oil, brake pads and rotors & more. What keywords did I start with, “How to…”.
What’s your audience searching for? What problems are they trying to solve? Find out and provide solutions and do your best to anticipate future needs too.
Google is one of the easiest resources to help figure this out. Start typing in “How to… (then fill in the blank for your blog/niche topics) and Google will attempt to complete that long-tail keyword.
Typing keywords into Google is a great way to learn what your audience is searching for.
Let’s look at an example. If I want to know how to change my oil and I search for the keyword “oil change”, I’m not going to get the search results I want because it’s too broad. The entire first page displays oil change services and locations.
Now, if I search for “how to change my oil” or get even more specific like, “how to change the oil in a 2013 Nissan Altima”. I get better results.
How to change my oil search results
How to change the oil in a 2013 Nissan Altima search results
As you can see, I was very targeted with these longtail keywords and got exactly what I was looking for. I even got Youtube videos with the last one which was nice. You may or may not get that targeted when looking for blog post ideas.
However, you may want to if you’re trying to rank for a specific keyword or if your niche requires it. When you’re just starting out, I recommend you start with 2-3 words and let Google generate the rest for your blog post ideas.
Which leads me to keyword research. This is one of the best ways to find out the problems your readers are trying to solve.
Here are a few other resources to perform keyword research.
- Google Trends (free)
- Google Adwords: Keyword Planner (free but need Adwords account)
- Ubersuggest (free)
- SEMrush (paid, with limited free results)
Once you have the keyword nailed down and an idea of how to solve the problem, turn that into an eye-catching title.
Here are a few examples:
- “X things you MUST do right now to…”
- “How I went from ______ to ______ in X days”
- “The Right Way to…”
- “X Reasons Why You Shouldn’t do _______”
There are dozens of iterations of these phrases you can use. The primary goal of the title is to lead potential readers to click.
Once they click, then you can engage through your content, capture their email with your opt-in, and show them why they need to continue reading more posts.
See what others are writing or talking about
Another easy way to find content ideas is to look through blog comments on other sites.
For instance, readers ask questions all the time at the end of blog posts. I’ve found dozens of blog post ideas from blog comments!
It’s important that you be involved and actively engaged in other blogs and communities, like Facebook community groups.
If you’re a new blogger and aren’t involved in any communities or don’t read other blogs, then start getting involved. Not only will it help you create content ideas, but you’ll also start to build relationships and learn new things.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few facebook communities that are perfect for new bloggers:
- Blogging with Purpose
- Making Sense of Cents
- Millennial Money Blogging Club
- Do You Even Tribe
Are you already involved in a vibrant community? Ask your readers for ideas. Social media is one of the best channels for this. Pose a question on Facebook and your community will provide a thorough list of content ideas.
It’s ok to write about topics that other bloggers are writing about. What are other bloggers in your niche creating? What’s the trending topic?
Let me be clear though, I’m not advising to plagiarize someone else’s post! That’s not cool and the search engine god’s will find out. Seriously though, Google knows who holds the true Domain Authority on the subject.
Search engines know whose content was written first. Don’t try to fool them…it won’t improve your SEO and you’ll lose credibility among your readers.
Now that’s out of the way—figure out what others are writing about and write it better.
Better yet, develop a competitive advantage over their content. Go more in-depth, include more data, or add a video. Just always be sure to give credit where credit is due and link to referenced content.
Listen to Podcasts
I listen to podcasts on the regular. Not only have they helped provide tips and new strategies to help improve my blog, productivity, and organization but have also given me tons of content ideas.
Since I work full-time and make sure to spend quality time with my wife and kids, I try to maximize any other available time I have. One, in particular, is commute time. I use this time to listen to podcasts. Here’s who I currently listen to and would recommend that you do the same:
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On the Fly
Sometimes you just have to fly by the seat of your pants and just write. I’ve found that some of my best posts were written on the fly. Something I saw or read spurred an idea so I wrote it down.
Take this post for example. I was listening to a podcast and they talked about how they, as seasoned bloggers, still struggle with creating blog post ideas. So, I thought to myself, “I need to write a post on that”.
When I got home, I wrote the idea down and a few days later, wrote this post. It took me a little over an hour to write (initial thoughts. That doesn’t include proofreading, editing, links, images, etc).
Which type of blogger are you?
At some point, you’ll have to figure out what type of blogger you are. Are you more of a researcher and planner or more spur of the moment?
Do you like to write in-depth, research-driven posts on specific items or prefer to write about personal experiences that don’t require much research? You may be a little of both and write both.
The researcher approach helps you develop authority over the particular content. This is helpful for your on-page SEO. If you’re more of the “on the fly” personal experience blogger, then you’ll connect with your audience really well and will likely succeed in building a large community.
If you’re more of the researcher and like to cover topics in great detail with specific “How-to’s” then you’ll likely perform well in SEO and may drive more organic traffic.
These aren’t independent of each other. You can easily be and do both. The more research-driven posts, or what I like to call “Epic” posts will take longer to write. Whereas the “on the fly” can be written in a matter of an hour or two.
Take the time to be an expert in certain topics but also share experiences and write what your feeling. It’ll help drive traffic, build a community, and connect with your readers.
In closing, one of the most important things you can do is capture your ideas. Mine always seem to come when I’m driving, in a meeting, or some other inconvenient time when I don’t have my laptop nearby. That’s why I always make sure I have a way to get the idea down.
If you’re driving, Evernote has a voice recorder that comes with the free version of the app. I personally use Evernote and probably need to go consolidate some of the ideas I have on there, come to think about it…
Be sure to download one of these apps so you won’t risk forgetting the idea.
Let’s recap how to create blog post ideas:
- Start with experiences = share what you’ve learned
- Solve a problem = figure out your audiences’ pain points. Use keyword research to help
- See what others are talking about = read blog comments, community group threads, etc. They’re littered with blog post ideas
- On the fly = Just write what’s on your mind
Challenge: Sit for 1 hour and write down as many blog post ideas as possible.
Try to shoot for at least 100 ideas. That’s an arbitrary number and may seem crazy. But it’s a brainstorming exercise to help get your creative juices flowing.
Only 10-20% of your ideas may be worth pursuing, but you’ll have this list to reference when you’re stuck and have no idea what to write.
I’m hoping this helped you come up with some ways to create new blog post ideas. What other methods do you use? Let me know in the comments.
Don’t forget, if you found this post helpful, please be a pal and share. The blogging gods will reward you.