6 Ways to Find Blog Topics When You’re Stuck

Blog post ideas - light bulb and paper scrunch

You’re out of ideas.

Everything you could possibly write about in your niche…. You already have.

Well at least it feels that way.

Even worse, your readers are expecting consistent content because that is what you have delivered in the past.

You’re paddling upstream, and the boat’s going nowhere. (Sometimes, when you stop paddling, it feels like you’re going backwards)

The harder you try to fill your calendar with killer blog topics, the worse it gets.

No blog posts = no site traffic = no business = back to the 9-5 corporate grind.

What choice do you have? 

As a freelance blogger my bank account, and all those gorgeous shoes waiting for me on their respective shop shelves, depend on an editorial calendar packed full of kick-ass blog topics.

Which, I admit, is hard.

At times it is pulling-my-hair-out-in-frustration-and-banging-the-laptop-screen hard.

So, over time I have come up with a way to avoid these frequent bursts of non-productiveness.

I’ve made a list of 6 ways I find blog topics when I’m stuck – hopefully you spot a couple that will help you in times of panic.

1. Find eBooks in your niche

I’m an avid eBook reader.

Lately, I’ve had a real attachment to educational books.

Before you make that face, let me clarify a little. I’m not talking about Business 101, or Biology 101.

Ugh. No.

I’m talking about excellent books like Everybody Writes by Ann Hadley, or The Art of Work by Jeff Goins.

There’s always so much packed into these books, that it’s hard not to take something away from them.

Books are not just awesome at providing educational value and teaching you something new and profound, but they’re also awesome at providing you with blog topics to write about.

Here is a 4 step process for using eBooks to find blog topics:

Step 1: Find a popular eBook in your niche on Amazon

Step 2: Open up its content page

 Ann Handley eBook in Amazon for blog post ideas

Step 3: Make a list of all the topics the book discusses

Step 4: Find a unique angle for each of the chapter topics and write about it

Voila. You have a ton of blog topics ready to go!

 2. Ask Quora

If you’re a general knowledge geek, then chances are you’ve heard of Quora.

Quora is a platform where you can ask a question and people will answer to the best of their abilities.

But if it’s a Q and A platform, how do you find topics to write on?

There’s actually an easy 5 step process for finding blog topics on Quora;

Step 1: Make a list of terms\keywords associated with your niche

Step 2: Enter each of those keywords in the Quora search box

Step 3: Go through the conversation and discussions that pop up

Step 4: Highlight parts of the discussion which you feel you could write about

Step 5: Write an awesome blog post on the content you highlighted, and bask in your readers appreciation

 Quora for blog post ideas

I searched for the word SEO, and this question popped up.

I can easily write a guide on the best SEO plugins for WordPress.

Plus, I won’t have to do a lot of research for the post, as most of the plugins are mentioned in the Quor discussion (in the pink and blue box).

And if you see the list of questions in the ‘Related Questions’ sidebar, you’ll notice this is a fairly popular question.

How many birds are we killing with this one method?

Quite a few, I’d say.

 3. Tap into social media groups

When I initially started a blog, I was very uncertain about EVERYTHING.

I didn’t know whether my ideas would convert, why anybody would visit my blog, whether I’d ever get traffic, and so on.

So I did the one thing I was sure about. I joined a Facebook group for bloggers.

While primarily, it was only for support purposes.

Weeks later, I figured that there were a ton of struggling bloggers in the group (how I was initially).

They would ask questions and discuss their problems, and I did my best to help them.

When a couple of people started asking the same questions and running into the same problems over and over again, I decided to write a blog post about it.

At the start, it was only to help the struggling bloggers find solutions to their respective problems. Then I started scavenging for queries and problems related to my niche.

It quickly gave me a ton of ideas and topics to write about, and I made a whole list of titles based on just the queries and problems people faced in this Facebook group.

This tactic had two benefits;

  • It provided me with topics to write about, so that my content calendar was full
  • It provided me with an insight into what my target audience would like to read about

Follow the following 4-step process when hunting for ideas in Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ groups:

Step 1: Decide on the social media platform you feel most comfortable with

Step 2: Search for groups where your target audience hangs out

Step 3: Search for keywords related to your niche in those groups

Step 4: Go through the conversations and discussions that pop up to find topics that you can write about

 Linkedin discussions for blog post ideas

 4. Blog comments

For the longest time, I just used social media to find topics and subjects to write on.

It never crossed my mind to go through blog post comments of leading blogs (in my niche) and read what the audience was talking about.

The chances are that their target audience is somewhat similar to mine, if not entirely the same, so the questions readers ask in the comment section are pretty darn useful.

So, here’s the 3 step-process you can follow for blog comment topic bliss:

Step 1: Search for blogs that are popular in your niche. You may even have a few favorites already, so just go with them

Step 2: Read their latest blog posts that discusses a topic in your area of interest

Step 3: Go through their comment section and write down the consistent queries people are talking about. Then choose the blog topics you haven’t covered before

 Blog comments for post ideas

5. Do the opposite of everyone else

It’s frustrating.

Everything you want to write a blog post on has been covered to death by others.

Doing the same thing over and over will hold no appeal for your audience.

So what do you do?

You take the alternate route.

If you want to write a post about ‘how to lose that stubborn belly fat’.

Instead of going for – ‘10 ways to lose that stubborn belly fat’, go for – ‘10 ways that will NOT lose that belly fat’.

It provides readers with useful information with a fresh perspective.

 6. Leverage BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is an excellent tool for doing blog topic research.

Most of the big names in the writing industry use this tool to generate viral-worthy topics.

It shows everything; from the posts that readers went crazy over, to the social media shares they garnered.

 BuzzSumo for blog post ideas

Therefore, it can become the most powerful weapon in your blogging arsenal if you use it correctly.

And again, a 4-step process you can follow to find blog topics on BuzzSumo:

Step 1: Go to Buzzsumo.com

Step 2: Type in a keyword related to your niche

Step 3: Make a list of all the popular topics, and add them to your editorial calendar

Step 4: Give your own spin to those topics and get writing

Everyone gets stuck at some point in his or her blogging career.

The trick isn’t to avoid getting stuck, but to find a way to get over it and not let it stop you.

So go on, take the first step.

Start with the first way and make a list of all the topics you discover.

You’ll be surprised how quickly you fill up your editorial calendar with fabulous topics.



Podcasting provided by Odovox.com

Guest Author: Maham Chappal is a ghostwriter and word lover. She will weave her word magic and gently nudge readers into getting comfortable in your comment box. You can reach her at mahamschappal@gmail.com and visit her at mahamschappal.com.

Comments

  • http://www.2015-rugby-worldcup.com/ Lynda Smith

    I love to read your Blog Sir… Thanks for teaching us how to build content list..

  • http://sandcurves.com/ Vernon Swanepoel

    Interesting ideas. I find that the real problem isn’t coming up with ideas to write about, but rather finding the time to write and edit blog posts.

  • http://custommobileappdevelopment.iblog.com/ Praneed

    This post is hugely helps me. I was struck at once. Its made me annoyed. Here its all been an effective ideas. Thanks a lot.

  • http://www.agriya.com/services/yii-development jennifermorrison

    Really its vey helpful information. Thanks for share this.

  • http://www.pulpstrategy.com Anchal

    Very informative blog. Amazingly portrayed. Thanks for sharing the ideas to find blog topics as it’s a very tedious task to do.

  • Erin

    Perfect timing as I am completely stuck when it comes to content! Great article.

  • Crysta

    Good ideas. But I’m still stuck. But reading an ebook does sound like more fun than sitting here hoping something awesome pops out of my…. keyboard.

  • http://www.preciousnewstart.com Stephanie

    Very helpful tips, I’m already filled with lots of topic ideas! Thanks