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Blog Topic Ideas: 9 Free Strategies for Finding Your Next Best Topics

This post was originally published in May 2018 and updated in August 2020.

Coming up with new blog topic ideas is tricky.

In fact, the actual writing process is easier than racking your brain for fresh and exciting blog topic ideas!

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In this blog, I’ll show you nine proven-and-tested ways to make brand-new blog topic ideas appear like magic when you say the word.

Just kidding. As content creators, we want math, not magic. 🤓  

But I’ll show you the methods I’ve used over and over again in my nine years as a content marketer to come up with a huge bank of blog topic ideas.

These methods are easy, free, and (most importantly) super fun.

Ready to dive in?

blog topic ideas

How to Come Up with Relevant Blog Topic Ideas

First things first.

Before we dive into the specific strategies for coming up with blog topic ideas, I’ll show you how to make sure each one of them fits into your overall content strategy.

You see, you can’t just publish blog after blog and hope everything magically works out and you achieve:

  • SEO rankings
  • Increased sales
  • Brand awareness

Instead of guessing, hoping, or praying, you need to take things into your own hands and PLAN for these results.

The way I do it is through an original concept I developed: The Three Bucket Strategy.

To use this strategy, you need to make sure every single blog topic idea you come up with fits into one of these goal buckets.

three bucket topic strategy

No matter how brilliant and unique a new blog topic idea seems, DITCH IT if it doesn’t fit into any of these buckets.

Trust me, creating content around it will simply be a waste of time.

blog topic ideas quote

Now, what kind of content should you write for each bucket?

Here’s a general idea.

3 bucket topic strategy

Keep this in mind as we dive into the actual strategies of coming up with blog topic ideas.

Want to dive deeper into content strategy? Sign up for my FREE 60-minute masterclass. 

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9 Awesome, Easy-Peasy Strategies for Finding the Best Blog Topic Ideas

These nine amazing methods help me come up with 200+ new blog topic ideas at any given time!

1. Discover Blog Topic Ideas Your Audience Wants

This seems pretty obvious, but do you really KNOW what your audience wants to read?

Follow these three steps to find out.

A. Ask Your Audience Directly

This works great if you already have an online community. All you have to do is post a question in your group and wait for members to fill you in on their struggles, hopes, and fears.

In fact, that’s exactly how I came up with the idea for this post.

When someone new joins my Facebook group, Profitable Content Strategists & Marketers, I ask them:

“What’s your #1 struggle with content marketing or strategy?”

The answers I’ve received:

  • “I get stuck coming up with new and exciting content!”
  • “I struggle coming up with ideas of content focused around my product.”
  • “New ideas…”
  • “How to find the most appropriate content to target my audience.”

What did these answers tell me?

That’s right. My audience is hungry to find their own hot blog topic ideas.

So I decided to write about it. 

B. Run Surveys in Other Facebook Groups

Don’t have a large enough audience yet?

No problem.

You can always ask questions and run surveys in groups related to your product or service.

To start, go to Facebook and type your keyword into the search field.

Let’s say you go for “content strategy.”

Here are your results. (Cool! There’s my own group at #3. 😀)

content strategy groups on Facebook

Source: Facebook

Request to join groups of your choice, and make sure to engage with users for about two weeks before requesting to run a survey.

Here are four tips to follow when creating your surveys:

  • Use the right tools. SurveyMonkey and Google Forms are excellent choices.
  • Ask open-ended questions. Skip the yes/no questions to get specific instead of vague information. (Example: “What is your biggest marketing struggle?” instead of “Do you find marketing difficult?”)
  • Keep it brief. Don’t go on and on with your questions. Remember, every single question you add increases your respondent drop-off rate.
drop-off rate for survey questions

Source: surveymonkey.com

  • Offer an enticing incentive. But remember, be specific. Offering a free iPhone will get you tons of respondents, but maybe not the right ones. Instead, offer something that only the audience in your niche will appreciate (e.g., free marketing ebooks for marketers or 10 customized guitar picks for guitar fans).

C. Check Your Blog Comments

Blogs are amazing.

Not only do they answer a ton of questions…

…they spark up new ones as well.

Yup! No doubt your readers are asking questions as they read your content.

Like in this post: 3 Reasons a Digital Marketing Certification Means Nothing Without Solid Results

3 reasons a digital marketing certification means nothing blog post

Scrolling down below the content, I found this comment.

comment on blog

Checking your blog comments is an excellent way to find out what your readers want to hear from you.

2. Build a Blog Topic Idea Bank

You don’t want to wake up every morning panicking with zero unique blog ideas.

To avoid this, build a blog topic idea bank you can pull from whenever you sit down to create content.

It’s easy.

All you need are these three steps.

Step #1: Use a Keyword Research Tool

Two tools I personally use for keyword research are SEMrush and Mangools KWFinder. (Both of them offer free trials.)

Here’s how to come up with keywords using your tool of choice.

Let’s say you choose KWFinder to do keyword research. (Remember, you can – and should! – use keyword research tools side-by-side. I’m simply sticking to KWFinder here as an example.)

Go to your dashboard and type in a keyword related to your industry.

For example, if you sell guitars or teach guitar courses, simply type “guitar” in the search field.

Here are your results.

KWFinder results

Source: KWFinder

What you’re looking for are keywords that are a perfect blend of high search volume and low keyword difficulty. A good rule of thumb is to go for:

  • A search volume above 1,000
  • A keyword difficulty score below 40

Based on your results, here are great keywords to go with.

guitar related keywords

List 20 of these keywords.

Remember, it doesn’t matter if they don’t make sense right now. You’ll refine them later on.

Step #2: Set Aside 10 Minutes a Day to Add to Your Idea Bank

This is a must. You don’t want to sap your creativity by cramming hours into building your idea bank in just one day.

During your 10 minutes, pick a keyword from the list of 20 you’ve created. In the example above, these keywords are:

  • Guitar price
  • Telecaster
  • Guitar online

Remember, you don’t have to stick to your list from top to bottom. Be spontaneous and go with the keywords that jump out at you first.

Step #3: Brainstorm 10 Blog Topics around Each Keyword on Your List

Let’s say your chosen keyword for the day is “guitar chords.”

With a search volume of 1,180,000 and a keyword difficult score of 39, it’s pure gold for your blog.  

guitar chords keyword

Now, start brainstorming blog topic ideas around it.

Here are examples.

  • The First 4 Guitar Chords You Should Know
  • 4 Guitar Chords to Spice Up Your Playing
  • 7 Easy Guitar Bar Chords
  • Guitar Chord Exercises that Will Make You Play Like a Pro

Go on until you have a list of 10.

Soon enough, your 20 keywords will turn into 200 amazing, high-demand blog topics.

3. Use Free Blog Topic Idea Tools

If you’re in the brainstorming process and you’re racking your brain for fresh blog topic ideas, why not use AI technology (i.e. a blog topic idea generator)?

Here are three I recommend.

#1. Answer the Public

With Answer the Public, you can generate hundreds of blog topic ideas with a single seed keyword.

To start, simply type your keyword into the search field on their homepage.

Answer the Public homepage

Click Search to view a ton of blog topic ideas.

Blog topic ideas from Answer the Public

Source: answerthepublic.com

You can search for topics based on common questions people are asking…

  • Can guitar strings be recycled?
  • What guitar does Santana play?
  • Are guitar cables balanced?

…prepositions…

  • Guitar for beginners
  • Guitar for sale
  • Guitar without headstock

…comparisons…

  • Guitar vs. piano
  • Acoustic guitar vs. electric guitar
  • Guitar or ukulele

…and more!

#2. HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator

With HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator, you can get 250 blog topic ideas from a single keyword.

To start using it, type your seed keyword into the search field.

HubSpot blog ideas generator

You will need to provide some personal information (name, address, phone number – don’t worry, no payment info), but once you do, you can download a spreadsheet of 250 creative blog topic ideas for free.

spreadsheet from blog topic idea generator

#3. Impact Marketing’s Blog Title Generator

Impact Marketing’s Blog Title Generator is a super cool tool to use if you’re feeling burnt out and uninspired.

What’s great about it is you don’t receive pre-constructed blog topic ideas.

Instead, you awaken your own (maybe sleeping) creativity by filling in the blanks of potential titles.

When the title is to your liking, click the heart to add it to your notebook.

Impact blog topic idea generator

4. Check out Quora

Quora isn’t only a platform for questions like “Why is he online all night but not responding to my DMs?”

It’s a platform for serious business people as well (not that dating questions aren’t serious, but you get the point 😉).

The best part about Quora is it lets you ask (and answer) questions from real people.

Simply type your keyword into the search field to view the questions around it.

Quora user questions

Source: quora.com

Another great thing about Quora is you can see answers from other experts, which you can use to spark up even more blog topic ideas.

To start, click on one of the questions.

Let’s say you decide on “What is the best guitar for a beginner?”

Here’s one of the answers from a guitar teacher.

Quora expert answers

Source: quora.com

Read it carefully, then list down the blog topic ideas that come to mind.

Like these:

  • How to Build Your Own Guitar
  • How Much Should You Spend for Your First Guitar?
  • Acoustic vs. Electric Guitar: The Best Choice for Beginners
  • How to Choose the Right Guitar for Kids

Normally, there are hundreds of answers to each popular question on Quora.

Which means, you’ll never run out of inspiration and steaming hot blog topic ideas!

5. Spy on Your Competitors for Fresh Blog Topic Ideas

As Brian McBride once said, “Competition helps people figure it out.”

So remember, you’re not alone in your niche.

If you’re selling guitars or guitar lessons and blogging about it, there are others doing the same.

The key is to take inspiration from them without directly stealing their ideas.

To get started, visit your competitor’s blog and choose a topic your audience cares about.

Like this one from Guitar Tricks.

Guitar Tricks blog

Then, go through the content to gain inspiration for new blog topic ideas.

For example, look at one of this blog’s subheadings.

Guitar Tricks blog content ideas

From it, you can come up with blog topic ideas like:

  • How to Tune Your Guitar (With and Without a Tuner)
  • How to Tell if Your Guitar is Out of Tune (So You Never Again Embarrass Yourself in Front of Your Audience)

Do the same for all subheadings in the blog.

Guitar Tricks more blog content ideas

Blog topic ideas:

  • The Top 10 YouTube Guitar Tutorials
  • 50 Guitar Blogs and Magazines You Absolutely Must Read
  • Taking a Guitar Course Online: 30 Reasons It’s a Great Idea

Now, if your competitor has thousands of blog posts and you aren’t sure which one to use as brain fodder, BuzzSumo can help you find out which posts their audience loved.

All you have to do is type your competitor’s URL into the search field on BuzzSumo’s homepage.

BuzzSumo homepage

Click the search button to get a list of the top-shared content from their blog.

BuzzSumo results for guitar

Source: app.buzzsumo.com

Note: The free version of BuzzSumo only gives you three results for every search. (But that’s super OK if you’re just starting out!)

6. Use the Cosmo Headline Technique to Generate Unique Blog Topic Ideas

In Copyblogger’s famous post, they talk about using catchy headlines from Cosmopolitan magazine to spark up blog topic ideas.

Here’s how it works.

Go to Cosmopolitan magazine and list the headlines that catch your attention.

Here are three that caught mine.

  • 15 of the Best Raincoats So You’ll Still Look Stylish When It’s Raining
  • The Secret to Never Being Ghosted Again
  • The Shady Student Loan Practices to Watch Out For

Now, tweak each headline to fit your niche.

  • 15 Ways to Market Your Business Even in a Pandemic
  • The Secret to Never Being Ghosted by Your Audience Again
  • 20 Shady Marketing Tactics to Watch Out For

Sound fun?

It is!

Note: You don’t have to stick to Cosmopolitan magazine for this. Use your own favorite blogs or magazines for inspiration. I personally love using Smartblogger’s blog headlines to fuel up my own ideas.

Smartblogger headlines

7. Use Your Own Experiences for Unique Blog Topic Ideas

Being an entrepreneur and marketer is a never-ending journey.

As you grow in your chosen field, you’ll keep coming up against industry problems…

…and crafting your own solutions to solve them.

This is exactly what happened to me two years after I started my brand, Express Writers.

I had 215 published blogs, 500 site visitors a day, and $29,000 in gross income per month.

But I couldn’t scale from there. I felt like my agency was hitting a glass ceiling.

My solution?

Content strategy.

Nope, I didn’t invent content strategy. (Wish I had, though. 😎)

But like everyone who’s ever used it, I tweaked it to fit my own brand…

…and got my own unique results.

The point of all this?

I had a problem and solved it, making me an expert plus giving me a ton of blog topic ideas.    

Like this one: Why Developing a Real Content Strategy Leads to Online Success

And this one: Should You Take a Content Strategy Training Course? Here’s My Experience

And of course, this one: Your Next Reading List: The Best Books on Content Strategy to Level Up in 2020

So, here’s how to do it:

  • Dive into an industry problem you solved.
  • Tell your readers exactly how you solved it. (They WANT this kind of content! Not rewritten, spun content they’ve already seen 1000x online.)
  • Be specific. Dive into details. If you created a specific shortcut, roadmap, or unique concept, write about it! Like I did with my 3-Bucket Strategy. (I created this concept so I’d never again waste time writing content that didn’t further my content strategy goals.)
3 bucket topic strategy blog

Source: contentstrategycourse.com

Note: You don’t have to stick to problems when using your experiences for blog topic ideas. Get creative. Write about your unexpected successes, industry lessons you collected, experiments that achieved amazing results, and anything your audience can learn from.

8. Repurpose Your Learning into Blog Topic Ideas

Learn something new. Every. Single. Day.

I’m serious.

It doesn’t matter if what you learn is completely irrelevant to your industry.

(Because honestly, nothing is completely irrelevant to everything else if you look at it creatively. Some people even think pineapples and pizza are a thing. 🍕)  

No matter what you’re learning, you can put your own unique spin to it and make it fit your content.

For example, your magazine of choice is The Economist and you read how Cyril Northcote Parkinson coined Parkinson’s Law.

“It is a commonplace observation that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Thus, an elderly lady of leisure can spend the entire day in writing and despatching a postcard to her niece at Bognor Regis. An hour will be spent in finding the postcard, another in hunting for spectacles, half-an-hour in a search for the address, an hour and a quarter in composition, and twenty minutes in deciding whether or not to take an umbrella when going to the pillar-box in the next street. The total effort which would occupy a busy man for three minutes all told may in this fashion leave another person prostrate after a day of doubt, anxiety and toil.” – C. Northcote Parkinson, The Economist

Any blog topic ideas popping up?

Yup! Me too.

The best part is you can fit your ideas into any industry:

  • How to Beat Parkinson’s Law and Create More Content in Less Time
  • Cramming on that Guitar Song You’re Practicing for Your Girlfriend? (Why You’re Always Cramming According to Parkinson’s Law, and How to Fix It)
  • How to Beat Parkinson’s Law in Business: Accomplish More with Less Spending

Here’s a challenge for you:

Read at least one blog or article a day (on any topic!) and brainstorm 2-3 blog topic ideas from it.

9. Interview Industry Experts to Get Inspiring Blog Topic Ideas

Of course, the biggest benefit of interviewing experts is you’ll get to post the interview in your blog and attract thousands of new followers (especially if you’re interviewing the big names).

Like when we got to interview SEO expert Brian Dean for Content Hacker Spotlights.

Brian Dean interview

But the interview itself is just the beginning.

Imagine the blog topic ideas you can get from the tiniest remarks and mentions from the experts you’re interviewing.

For instance, here’s one of Brian’s interview quotes.

Brian Dean quote

Source: contenthacker.com

Any blog topic ideas coming to mind?

Of course!

Here are three:

  • How to Create Huge Content Pieces
  • The Secret to Collaborating with People on an Ultimate Guide
  • How to Write an Industry Study (10 Tips from the Experts)

Keep going. 🤔 The more you do this, the faster blog topic ideas will jump out at you.

(I bet you’ll soon have to wear blinders and ear plugs to stop the blog topic idea overload. 🤯)

How to Find Blog Topic Ideas the Easy (And Fun) Way

Ever feel stuck with zero idea what to write for your blog?

I hear you.

Blog topic ideas are elusive at best.

But the good news is there are proven and tested ways to capture them.

And if you get really good, they’ll be chasing you instead of you chasing them. 🏃‍♀️💨

Try the tips I mention above and show me your own unique blog topic ideas in the comments below.

Coming up with unique blog topic ideas is only one facet of content strategy. To get the whole package of content strategy skills, sign up for the Practical Content Strategy & Marketing Course and become an expert in 45 days or less.

Enroll in the Content Strategy and Marketing Course

Opinions

  1. Post comment

    This is wonderful, actionable advice. Finding the right topics is my personal Kryptonite. Your post is the first one I can actually act on without any guess work.

    Definitely sharing this.

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    1. Post comment

      So glad to hear you found this useful, Rakiah! Happy content marketing! 🙂

      Permalink
  2. Post comment

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