In fact, I put off writing this introduction for a day because I had simply hit a creative roadblock.
While a fresh pair of eyes the next day will often times do the trick, it's not guaranteed.
For those times of desperation when it feels like there's no end in sight, content creators need more forthright solutions. Tried and trusted resources and tools that they can turn to when word drought sets in.
This list of 11 resources has set out to accomplish just that.
1 - Google Trends
What better way to generate blog topic ideas than to uncover the keywords and phrases that are performing well in terms of search volume?
Broken up into three different sections, Google Trends provides users with an opportunity to uncover the goods they need to get the ball rolling on their next blog article.
The Hot Searches option allows you to view the top searches by day, while the Top Searches option allows you to view the top searches conducted in Google by category (Business, Entertainment, Sports, etc).
If that doesn't do it for you, the Explore feature utilizes visual graphs to investigate where specific topics of your choosing stand in terms of search volume, and compare up to 5 different topics at once.
2 - Google AdWords Keyword Planner
If you're struggling to uncover topics that are heavily searched for in your particularly industry, the Keyword Planner is the tool for you.
Essentially the tool allows users to conduct keyword research, and propogate related keywords that are relevant to thier product or sevice, their landing page, or a variety of product categories.
The statistics and traffic estimates will help you determine things like search volume, which will help you come about a keyword or keyword phrase that is highly searched.
Once you've located a keyword with some demand attached to it, you can then work towards crafting a unique angle for your next blog post.
3 - BlogAbout
We'll have it be known that we're no strangers to the "I have literally exhausted every blog topic possible" feeling.
Most weeks I'm tasked with creating 7 different blog posts, and while there's certainly always a subject to blog about, it's nailing down the unique angle that stumps me.
As a result of this frustration, our marketing team brought BlogAbout app into being.
Designed with people like you and I in mind, BlogAbout is a blog topic brainstorming tool that does more than simply propagate titles.
Aware that the brainstorming process requires cross outs, backspacing, doodling, song skips, and a changes of scenery, we've created a tool that allows you to actively participate in the creation of really awesome content ideas.
4 - Yahoo Answers
Perhaps one of these most underrated resources for blog topic generation is Yahoo Answers, or any Q&A style website for that matter.
Why? Well, websites like Yahoo Answers serve as a gold mine for uncovering questions that people are seeking answers to. Writing content that responds to the questions and challenges that consumers are faced with will not only boost your credibility, but increase the likelihood that they will return to your website the next time they're looking for a solution.
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5 - Blog Comments
In most cases, blog comments are an underutilized resource for blog topic generation. Believe it or not, your next blog article might lie in an unanswered question or small bit of reader feedback.
So go back and look through some of your old blog posts and read the comments. It's a good idea to start with some of the most popular ones, as it's likely that they've generated the most discussion.
Make a list of all of the suggestions and questions you see come through in the comments and use it as a resource the next time you find yourself staring at the blinking cursor.
If one person had the question, it's likely that they're not the only one looking for an answer to that question. Turn these questions into "how-to" posts or use them to prompt a sequel to the post in which they commented on.
6 - Social Media
While the latest movements on social media might not always suit your business, it's easy to search for relevant hashtags to dig up the latest from people in your industry.
Checking in on industry-friendly hashtags helps you stay on top of the times, and in tune with the events and changes in your industry as they happen. That's the beauty of real-time.
Through a quick search for the hashtag #inboundmarketing, I was able to pull up a ton of relevant articles and insights from content creators in my industry.
A detailed account of the success one of your customers has seen with your product or service will serve as a worthwhile resources for some of your middle-of-the-funnel leads who are looking for valuable content that positions your company as a solution to their pain points.
If you're looking for an alternative way to spin the story, consider bringing their case study to life using more visual content. Whether it's a video or an infographic, readers love to engage with and share pieces of content that go beyond the written word.
8 - Webinar Content
If you've just wrapped up a webinar, or have one in the queue, you have a perfect opportunity to squeeze some blog topic inspiration out of the situation.
Webinar content can be repurposed and revisited in a number of ways in order to generate new blog content or prompt new ideas.
If you've already completed the webinar, play back the recording and pull out the key takeaways. This outline can be used to guide a webinar recap.
As an added bonus, you can add a CTA at the end of the blog post to access the full recording of the webinar in order to facilitate conversions from readers who want to know more.
If the webinar prompted a Q&A session, or drummed up a lot of social media engagement around the hashtag, make use of it. If you didn't have an opportunity to answer all of the questions during the webinar, look on the bright side, you can turn these unanswered questions into a blog post for added valued.
How the tool works is it asks the users to input three terms (preferably nouns) that describe their product or service, the problems it solves, or the keywords they are trying to rank for.
From here, the tool generates 5 potential blog titles based off the user's input.
So let's say you plug in the terms "social media", "blogging", and "inbound marketing."
You can expect to turn up titles that sound a little something like this:
The Worst Advice We've Ever Heard About Social Media
10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Inbound Marketing
14 Common Misconceptions About Blogging
10 - Your Own Analytics
Take a minute to look back at the blog articles that you've published in the past. Which ones received the most views?
It's likely that these topics are the ones you want to mirror. If these articles are continuing to see views even months after they've been published, it's clear that their is still a consumer demand for this type of information. Start thinking about how you can spin the topic differently for an entirely new post.
Don't forget to reread the article to see if all of the information is still up to date. Did a change in your industry alter some of the information you provided? Write about it.
11 - Forums
While this source depends on your industry, it can be incredibly valuable if it is applicable.
Essentially forums serve as digital watering holes for marketers looking to uncover conversations going on in their niche.
These online communities provide people with a place to reach out to like-minded people in their industry in order to seek out feedback or answers to their questions. With that being said, can you imagine the number of ideas you could collect from a resource like this?
The possibilities are seemingly endless.
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