It hurts… a lot.
You want to write a new post for your blog or a guest post, but nothing comes to mind.
You don't know what to write about.
You even fear you came up with the wrong topic, spent countless hours writing the most epic post out there, but then nothing happens.
Worse, you could hurt your brand if you consistently come up with the wrong topic.
So, if you're wasting your time and hurting your brand, it's better not to write, right?
On the other hand, you see bloggers who always get it. Every post they publish is exactly what their audience wants to read. Every post is a hit and it goes viral.
You see raving comments, a lot of shares and tweets, and most of all, a lot of traffic and clients.
So how do they know that their audience will love this topic? How do they pick the right topic that saves them time and is always a hit?
A lot of bloggers are blogging about your main topic for years now. It's hard to come up with a working topic that has not been written about before.
If it were to be a great hit, they would not have done it themselves.
And it will take you a lot of time to come up with a gap in a big topic that thousands of bloggers are blogging about for a decade or so.
It's better to save your time and not to risk anything.
Even if you spot a gap, maybe the topic you will write about won't resonate with your readers, so you're wasting your time.
The best thing you could do… find out what worked for others and emulate it.
SERIOUSLY… this is how you succeed.
John Lee Dumas saw how podcasting was effective for Pat Flynn. He did what works and guess what…
It's all about finding what works and doing a lot of it.
It's the same here.
Find out what topics are popular in your main subject, and then write the most epic post about it.
With the right promotion, I'm sure your blog will take less time to be popular than most of the popular blogs in your industry took to build their brand.
And you know what… it's easier than ever to know these popular topics.
There are a lot of tools to make this job easier for you.
This tool is outstanding if you haven't heard this before.
Put just one keyword in its search box and it will open an ocean of the keywords for you.
In this example, I searched blogging, and it gave me all the questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabetical and related search queries.
Once you scroll down little bit, you can see all the keywords in a nice circular form.
You can jot down many ideas with this tool and write your next awesome blog post.
This is one of the great tools that Ahrefs provides to its users.
It has a lot of great features that you need, so give it a try.
It's better than Social Crawlytics because it can search for the most popular content on your topic, but not in a particular site.
You can filter results by searching for a specific language, or even on certain blogs (but Social Crawlytics may be better here.)
And you can also sort results by tweets or likes or pins or +1 or overall. It's up to you.
If you see that traffic from one social network is better for your business, then see what works there.
Here is how to use it:
It's that simple.
In this example, I use Facebook ads.
Yep, you heard it right.
Google is still the best place to find popular content in your topic.
If a site could make it to the top of the keyword search, that is a good indicator that the post did well.
On-page optimization and all this stuff matter, but in Google's updated algorithm, it is considered one of the 200+ ranking factors.
Actually, social signals are more important these days than on-page optimization. It shows Google that people love this content because it's shared by more people so that more people would be interested in it.
So don't undervalue the results you get from Google.
A simple strategy you could apply to find the top performing content in your niche without doing all the research is finding content resources.
Content resources are posts where people link to others' great content.
Here is an example from Kristi Hines of Kikolani, The Top 100 Content Marketing Articles of 2014
To save you some time, you could use some phrases like:
You get the idea. Mix and repeat and you'll get a huge list of popular content to give you an idea of what gets popular.
The Harsh Truth About Writing Popular Posts
It takes time to know what resonates with your audience the most.
Popular bloggers always have popular posts because it took them a lot of time before to know what works best for their audience.
Your job is easier. With all the tools available nowadays.
They took the risk to test things out, but you don't need to.
All you need is some time to do the research and dig into these posts.
There are tons of ideas out there but still, at one point, you will face writer's block. So how do you come up with cool ideas when you have writer's block?
For me, I just did it by exploring different places where you can find many ideas lying around in the open for you.
And that's why I have written this post. To help you find blog post ideas when you have nothing to blog about.
I am sure by the end of this article, you'll have many resources where you can look up for ideas.
The places or methods that I have mentioned below helped me find some great ideas for blog posts.
The first place I go when I'm out of ideas is Udemy. There are thousands of courses on Udemy.
This means that you can turn those courses into blog posts and give to your audience for free! But that's just the beginning.
When you explore a course, you'll find a table of contents or the course content. That itself can be used to generate 5-10 extra ideas for blog posts.
Let me show you:
I have searched for ‘Instagram Marketing' on Udemy and here is the list of courses available:
Let's check out the first course from the list.
Here's the curriculum of the course:
So, these are some more ideas inside just one course. And if you open each of these course content, you'll find more ideas.
Take a look:
This way, you can browse through different Udemy courses and find ideas for your next blog post.
Reddit is just as good as Udemy when it comes to finding blog post ideas. You can browse through different subreddits and explore what's being shared.
And if you look at the comments on the posts in a subreddit, you'll get an idea of what people want.
Then you can use this to create content for your blog.
Quora is the largest Q&A site in the world and this means that you can find blog post ideas from people who can potentially become your blog readers.
Just head over to Quora and search for any topic you write about on your blog. I'm searching for ‘SEO'. Click on the answer tab to find questions that are unanswered.
Now, you can turn these questions into blog posts and grow your audience using Quora. So simple!
Forums are also a great place to find ideas when you have nothing to blog. Find forums in your industry and get an idea of what people are discussing.
But most importantly, find the gaps. What's missing and what do people want? These are the two big questions that will help you uncover many unique ideas for your blog.
You can search for forums in your industry by entering your keyword or topic and adding forum at the end. For example –
To find SEO forums, Google – “SEO” + “Forum”
Yahoo Answers is not as active as Quora but still, people go there to find answers to their questions.
This means that you can find good content ideas from Yahoo Answers. I searched for ‘Skin Care' on Yahoo Answers and here are the results:
These are some good ideas to write on a health blog or a skin care blog. Similarly, you can find ideas from Yahoo Answers just by entering your keyword or topic.
Search for the topics you write about on your blog and see what comes up. You can get ideas using YouTube too.
To get more ideas, watch those videos to find out what they're talking about. This way you can get a glimpse of what's discussed about the topic and what you can write about it on your blog.
I love reading articles on Medium. It's the place where you can search for something and find top-notch quality content.
And this is why I have mentioned Medium in this list. You can get some really helpful ideas that your audience will love to read on your blog.
Slideshare is the best place to find presentations. These presentations are usually resources filled with content ideas that you can use on your blog.
Here are the results that show up when you search ‘guest blogging' in Slideshare:
As you can see these are some good ideas for blog posts and if you explore these slides, you'll get more ideas within the topic ‘guest blogging'.
Buzzsumo is the holy grail when it comes to finding blog post ideas that are proven to work. Why?
Because with Buzzsumo, you can find content along with how many shares it received. You can also see who shared that content.
I'm searching for the term ‘content marketing' here. Here are the results:
These are the most shared content pieces and have around 30k shares. This is proof that these blog posts worked and performed well.
Now, you can use these ideas and create your own content.
Ahrefs Content Explorer is similar to Buzzsumo. Here also, you can get ideas for content that were shared the most.
All you need to do is to enter your search term and it'll give you the most shared content of that topic.
I have used it several times to find ideas for my blog and it never let me down.
AllTop is a content aggregator site and this place will give you tons of content ideas in just a few minutes.
Select your topic and it will list the top blogs under that category along with the 5 most recent blog posts published on those blogs.
Here are the top blogs and their posts in the blogging category:
Google Trends is an underrated tool when it comes to finding ideas to write. It's a very handy tool to find out what's hot.
Here are the trending searches at the time of writing this article.
But that's not it. You can enter your own term and find out its trend and the related searches.
Here's a tip for you: Whenever you're searching for a term on Google Trends, go to related queries and related topics and sort them by rising. This will show you the terms whose searches are increasing.
Your blog comments are your biggest source of ideas. Why? Because your audience is telling you what they want to read next on your blog.
Here are the comments on my recent YouTube article:
That's a blog post idea I got from my reader. And I can find many by just going through all the comments on my other posts.
And you can do this too! It's very simple and the best part is that your audience is helping you come up with your next blog post.
UberSuggest is a keyword suggestion tool that can help you find blog post ideas in just minutes.
I searched for ‘home workouts' and found so many ideas.
And another extra delight is that it also shows the monthly volume for each keyword along with its competition which just makes finding new ideas even easy.
You can conduct surveys on Facebook or just with your email list to find out what people want to read on your blog.
This strategy will help you uncover ideas you never thought of but will be helpful to your readers.
You can create simple surveys using Google Forms or TypeForm. Ask around 6-8 questions in your survey to learn more about what your audience wants from you.
There are many content idea or blog post topic generator tools out there. At first, I thought these tools make no sense.
But boy do they come up with great content ideas! One such tool is Hubspot's Blog Post Idea Generator.
You can enter up to 3 nouns. But I used one and that was ‘graphic design'. And here are the ideas this tool came up with:
These topics are not bad and can be used to create really helpful content.
You can find many gorgeous infographics on any topic on the internet. And some of these infographics provide really valuable content.
You can use these infographics to find ideas for blog posts. Just simply Google any term and add ‘infographic' along with it. And then go to image results.
I searched for ‘link building infographic' and here are the image results:
So many infographics! Now, you can select the ones you find attractive and read the content. That's it. Do this for around 5-7 infographics and you'll have around 15 ideas.
And if you can't find good infographics this way, search them on Pinterest.
Head over to Amazon and find books in your industry. You'll find many. Many publishers allow you to look up the contents of the book.
This will help you find many blog post ideas. Here's the content inside the book ‘Twitter in 30 Minutes':
Twitter's advanced search feature is gold if you're looking for content ideas. You can select the words and phrases you want to include and it will show only the tweets based on that criteria.
This helps a lot when you're out of ideas and want to look for ideas on Twitter.
Sign up to email newsletters of big influencers in your industry and see what content they're sending to your email subscribers.
You can get fresh ideas from newsletters and create blog posts for your audience.
Find articles on websites similar to what you have published on your blogs and at the bottom, check the related or “you may also like” suggestions.
This will open up a bunch of ideas related to the content you have already published on your blog.
Your competitors can help you get some ideas for blog posts. Just check what they're posting on their blog.
Then create content on that same topic but better or pick a more specific topic your competitor wrote about.
Social media groups are a great way to find what people want. You can get into discussions and get an idea of what content is missing out there.
Join different groups on Facebook, LinkedIn & Google+ and be a part of discussions. Check out what they're asking for and create content on that topic.
Search for webinars in your industry and find out what's discussed in them. You can get blog post ideas from these webinars and create content easily.
To find webinars, simply enter your topic + webinar on YouTube or Google.
These days many people are doing webinars using Zoom, Demio and Webinar Jam. Just pick your favorite webinar and get the ideas.
Follow influencers in your industry on Twitter and check their tweets. This will give you an idea of what they're discussing and what interests them.
You can then create content on that topic and tweet them about it. This can also help you get your content shared by them which will help you get huge traffic on your website.
This one is really a smart strategy to get content ideas. Make a list of your competitors and read their blog posts.
Many of these posts will include a free spreadsheet, checklist or any other content upgrade. This content upgrade is your next blog post idea.
There are many case studies out there of people who achieved their goals by doing something. Well, you should also do that.
Copy exactly what they did to get the results and then come up with your own case study. People love reading case studies and this is one simple method of creating them.
Whenever you search for something on Google, you'll see some related searches at the bottom of the results.
These related searches can help you find ideas for your blog. Search for the term you want to write about and then scroll down to the bottom to see the related searches.
Here are the related searches for the keyword ‘CPA marketing':
Just like this, search for all the topics in your industry and check the related searches for those keywords. You'll end up having many ideas.
Just like related searches, you can find blog post ideas using Google's search suggestions. While searching for a keyword, Google shows suggestions of keywords.
These suggestions will help you find some good ideas that you can use to create blog posts.
Here are the search suggestions for the keyword ‘SEO':
Resource pages can help you find tons of blog post ideas. Just enter your keyword on Google and add resources at the end of the search.
Then, open any resource page and see what's inside. You'll be surprised when you'll notice that there are so many content ideas that never came to your mind.
Here are the search results for the keyword ‘Content Marketing Resources':
Now, let's check out the first result. This page is a list of content marketing resources and contains many articles and guides which will help you get some content ideas for your blog.
Look for interviews with experts in your industry and read them. It will help you understand what they're talking about and what they recommend to their audience.
Then create content around it and reach out to the expert with an email like this:
Just read your interview on [blog name] and was fascinated by the way you discussed about [enter topic].
The way you explained [something about the topic] was really helpful and it inspired me to create an article on the topic.
Here's the link to the article I published – [link]
Would love to get your feedback.
Sometimes you don't need a topic or an idea to create compelling blog posts. Sometimes it's just the headline formula which will help you come up with tons of ideas.
There are many headline formulas but here are some that you can use to create content for your blog:
1. The Secret Of [Blank]
Example Headlines –
2. The Secret To [Benefit] Is Revealed
Example Headlines –
3. X [Blank] You Should Stop To [Blank]
Example Headlines –
This keyword research strategy will not only help you come up with new ideas but also find ideas that will increase your website traffic.
To understand this strategy, I highly recommend you to watch this video:
So these were 33 different places and methods to find ideas when you have nothing to blog. Remember that each method will help you find tons of ideas which means that you should try each and everything mentioned in this article.
At last, if you have any suggestions or questions, feel free to drop comments below.