Have you ever run out of ideas for your next blog post?
It can be terrifying, especially when your list of loyal subscribers is waiting for your next update.
But the truth is, there are always masses of topics to write about.
That's what I’m going to show you today – a list of 21 tried and tested ideas for your next blog post.
1. Find a Topic You Want To Know More About
Is there something you know you should be doing, something you know you should understand better?
Write a blog post about it! There's no better way to understand a topic than to write a blog post about it.
Take Google Analytics, for example.
If you’re like most people, there are large parts of it you aren’t using and don’t understand.
Perfect opportunity! Write a blog post about it.
Or maybe you’ve been meaning to put a feature box on your header but it just seemed too complicated.
Perfect – write a tutorial!
2. Develop a Niche Topics List
One of the keys to coming up with new ideas for your next blog post is to develop a ‘Niche Topics List’. This is simply a list of all the topics within your niche.
I’ve found the best way to do this is to use mind-mapping software. I use a free program called SimpleMind.
Create a central topic labelled ‘Topics Within My Niche’ and just brainstorm the topics within your niche. These are the topics I identified within my niche:
Some topics may be a sub-topic of another topic.
For example on my mind map ‘auto responder sequences’ is actually a sub-topic of ‘email marketing’.
But don’t worry about that – all we are interested in a list of standalone topics that could be the subject of a blog post.
If you’re having trouble doing this, visit major websites within your niche and see if they list categories of blog posts. These categories will be the sub-topics for your mind map.
You can usually find these list of topics or categories in the sidebar, as in these examples:
Or you may find them as drop-down menus in the main navigation:
Another technique for coming up with more topics within your niche is to do a search in Google on a topic you’ve already identified, followed by the term 'definitive guide'.
For example: "email marketing definitive guide'
Click on the first result you see and look for sub-topics.
Here’s an example.
In the footer of the first search result, you can see a number of sub-topics:
Once your mind map is complete, copy the topics into a Word document and sort them alphabetically. This will be your "niche topics list".
Here's an example:
- ad monitoring
- affiliate marketing
- auto responder sequences
- blog post titles
- collaborative content
- content marketing
- content promotion
- creating graphics for blog posts
- creating infographics
- creating online courses
- creating lead magnets
- email marketing
- finding topics for blog posts
- finding your niche
- finding your tribe
- forum commenting
- guest posting
- influencer marketing
- link building
- list building
- monetizing blogs
- optin popups
- sales funnels
- seo espionage
- social media espionage
- wordpress plugins
- writing blog post titles
- writing blog posts
We’ll be using this list as the starting point for some of the other techniques in this article, so make sure you complete this step before going any further.
3. Spy On Your Competitors
Follow your competitors on social media and see what they are writing about. One way to do this is to make a list of 10 Influencers in your niche and then go to Twitter and create a ‘List’.
Log into your Twitter account and then click on your account picture. In the drop down menu, click on ‘Lists’:
Click ‘Create New List’:
Give your list a name:
Hit ‘Save list’ and then use the search box on the next screen to add your 10 competitors:
Once you’ve added the 10 competitors, you can just check on this list once a day and see what blog posts they’re tweeting.
Another way to monitor the content that’s being produced in your niche is to use Feedly.
On the Feedly dashboard, click on the cogwheel in the left sidebar and then click on ‘New Collection’ in the main window:
On the next screen, type in the name of the blog you want to follow:
On the next screen, click ‘Create a Collection’:
Then give your Collection a name and hit ‘Create’:
Add nine more blogs to your ‘Influencer’ Collection and check the feed in that Collection every morning.
You don’t need to read each blog post in the feed – just look at the titles and see what topics people are writing about.
You can be pretty sure that these key Influencers know what’s in demand in your niche. So these are going to be trending topics.
As you scan the titles, ask yourself: could I write on this topic? Is there an angle they’ve missed?
4. Use BuzzSumo to Get Ideas for Your Next Blog Post
Another way to come up with ideas for your next blog post is to use BuzzSumo.
Go to BuzzSumo and type in the topic or sub-topic of your niche. Check the ‘Past Month’ radio button (left sidebar) so you know the results are up-to-date:
The free version of BuzzSumo gives you 10 results, which should be enough to trigger some ideas for your next post. Scan the listed posts and see if there’s an angle they’ve missed.
Alternatively, could you bring together information from all of the posts to create something that’s bigger and better than any of them (i.e. Skyscraper technique)?
5. Use Ahrefs
Find the keywords of your competitors’ top ranking web pages and you’ll get some great ideas for your next blog post. What's more, you can be certain these are topics that are in demand.
It’s easy to do.
Just go to Ahrefs and either sign in or start a free trial. Type in the URL of your competitor or an Influencer in your niche and then click on the ‘Top Pages’ tab in the left sidebar:
On the next screen you’ll see the top pages on that website, ranked by volume of traffic. The free version of Ahrefs will give you the first 20 results and that should be enough for this exercise.
In the right side column you’ll see the keyword associated with that page:
In this instance the top 10 keywords for this URL are:
- how to increase download speed
- starting a blog
- how to create an ebook
- about us page
- how to start a fashion blog
- blog hosting
- what should I blog about
- seo for blogging
- blogs for sale
You're now armed with the some very valuable information - the most popular topics on this blog. If you write about any of these topics, you can be sure of an eager audience.
Now look at the blog posts that correspond to these keywords and see if these are topics you could write about. Is there any angle they missed? Could you cover the same topic but in greater depth?
6. Use UberSuggest
UberSuggest is another great way to find ideas for your next blog post.
Have you noticed when you start typing a search query, Google starts making suggestions before you’ve even finished? That’s Google Auto Suggest.
These suggestions are not random ideas pulled out the air – they are based on the most frequently searched terms.
UberSuggest is based on Google's Auto Suggest - so when you find a keyword in UberSuggest, you can be confident real live people are actually searching for that term.
Just go to UberSuggest and type in a broad keyword that represents the general topic you want to write about and then hit ‘suggest’:
In the list of suggested keywords I can see eleven keywords that could form the topic of a blog post:
Put a check mark against each of your potential blog post ideas and then click the ‘View as text’ button:
You can then just copy and paste these blog post topics into a Word document:
Now just go to Google, copy and paste your chosen topic, and start researching your next blog post!
7. Interview a Key Influencer in Your Niche
Like roundup posts, this is fantastic blogging technique because you get a fascinating blog post and you build vital relationships with Influencers in your niche.
And like roundups, the success of your interview will depend to a great extent on the questions you ask. Research the topic well and spend some time crafting your questions.
If possible try and conduct the interview live, not via email. One advantage of this is it allows you to ask follow-up questions.
For some great tips on writing interview blog posts, see this article by Nicholas Tart.
8. Do an Expert Roundup
For beginning bloggers this is the most powerful type of blog post you can write.
Just contact some experts in your niche and ask them their opinion about something that your readers are interested in. For example: “If you could only use one technique to promote your next blog post, what would it be?”
The post consists of their responses to the question and a brief analysis and summary by you. Simple!
For a detailed guide to writing Roundup posts, see my article The Definitive Guide to Writing Roundup Posts That Go Viral.
The reason this kind of post is so powerful is that most of your experts will share the link to your roundup post amongst their followers. And those experts usually have large followings!
If you have 40 experts sharing out your article, that’s a huge audience reach!
9. Do a Content Roundup
A content roundup is like an expert roundup. But instead of gathering together opinions of experts you assemble a collection of blog posts on a particular topic.
Let’s say your content roundup consists of 10 blog posts on affiliate marketing. All you need to do is summarise each article in 2 or 3 paragraphs, pulling out the most valuable tips. Mention the author and include a link back to the article.
These are great posts for getting shares because once the article is live, you can tweet the authors of each of the 10 articles. There’s a good chance that they will tweet it out to their followers.
10. Write a Review of the Best Books in Your Niche
Another way to get ideas for your next blog post is to use Kindle books.
Go to Kindle and get the top 5 books in your niche. Read them and then write a brief summary of each.
If you’ve never done a book review before, head over to GoodReads and type in the name of your book(s). You’ll quickly get an idea of the style and format of a book review.
11. Profile Key Influencers
Take 5 Influencers in your niche and write a post that sets out:
- What they do on the Internet
- How they started outHow many years they’ve been blogging or running an online business
- What they were doing before
- What’s their most recent business venture
You’ll be able to get some of this info from their ‘About’ page or from their Bio at the end of their articles.
If you need more information about them, search on Google and see if someone has interviewed them.
When the article is live, send them a Tweet with a link to the post. There’s a good chance they’ll share it out to their followers!
12. The Best Advice You Ever Received
At one time or another we’ve all been given a piece of advice that has changed the way we approach blogging.
When I started out blogging I firmly believed that success in blogging depended on writing skills and knowledge of marketing techniques. Until I took a course by Jon Morrow, who explained that connections with other bloggers are actually far more important than anything else.
What’s the best blogging advice you ever received? Great topic for a blog post!
13. Review a List of Tools
Take a category of online tools, such as:
- backlink checkers
- search engine optimization tools
- content marketing tools
- email marketing tools
- conversion rate optimization tools
- web analytics
Then write a review of each tool. This kind of post can become evergreen content. Sprinkle your post with affiliate links and it could generate some passive income for years to come.
14. Read Blog Post Comments
Go to one of your competitor’s blogs and read the comments at the end of the posts. What sort of questions are people asking? What are the problems people are asking about? Blog post comments are often a gold mine of ideas to write about.
15. Your Worst Mistake as a Blogger
This is always a great topic for a blog post because people love reading about other people’s mistakes. There’s so much hype and spin on the Internet, it’s a relief when people are honest and open up about their failings.
In fact, failure is a precondition for success. Albert Einstein once said: “Failure is success in progress.” Some of the most innovative companies in the world actually seek out employees with resumes that contain both failure and success.
Take my most recent failure, for example.
I wrote a 4,600-word guest post and submitted it to a leading blog with an Alexa Rank of 49,600 (that’s very high by the way!). Ten days later I still hadn’t heard back from them. In my impatience, I submitted the same guest post to a much smaller blog.
The smaller blog snapped up my guest post within 24 hours.
Just as the guest post was about to go live, the editor of the first blog replied and said they wanted to publish my post. I had to tell him that it had been accepted by another blog.
Really bad for me. For two reasons:
- I lost the chance to have that epic post featured on one of the biggest blogs in my niche with a massive readership
- That blog will probably never accept another guest post from me.
The lesson I learned? Be patient and never, ever, submit the same guest post idea to two blogs.
Very painful lesson!
But in my experience, the more painful a lesson, the more valuable it is! That’s why failure is part of every success story. I could have read that as a tip in a course or been told it by someone else. But it’s not the same as learning it first hand.
Anyway, it’s a great topic for a blog post.
So keep a record of your fails and use them as ideas for blog posts.
16. Use Quora
Another great way to get ideas for your next blog post is to do a search on Quora.
Go to Quora and type in one of the topics from your ‘Niche Topics List’ and click on the ‘Questions’ tab in the left sidebar:
Now just scroll down the list of questions that people have asked in relation to that topic.
These questions could all be turned into a blog post topic, or at least sub-topics of a blog post:
17. Use Reddit
Reddit is a goldmine of ideas for your next blog post.
Consider the following:
- Reddit is an entire eco-system within the Internet. Currently (in 2017) it gets about 542 million visitors a month.
- It has nearly one million subreddits, each of which is a niche forum.
- Reddit users are very active and they are constantly upvoting and downvoting. That means it’s an easy place to find what topics are trending at any given time.
Here’s how to find your next blog post topic on Reddit.
Search for a subreddit within your niche or close to it: https://www.reddit.com/subreddits
In this example, I went to the ‘blogging’ subreddit, r/Blogging.
Type ‘How To’ in the search box at the top right of the screen and check the box that says ‘Limit my search to r/Blogging’:
On the first page of results, the following questions could all be used as blog post topics:
Here are some results from doing a ‘How To’ search in the r/content_marketing subreddit.
Again, these could all become topics for a blog post:
Here’s a list of subreddits loosely related to blogging:
If you want to take your Reddit research to the next level, there are various online services that will track specified keywords on Reddit, such as:
18. Write About Your Favourite WP Plugins
One of the most powerful aspects of WordPress as a blogging platform is the ability to extend its functionality by adding on plugins.
Everyone has their favourite WP plugins that they couldn’t do without. Many bloggers won’t know about some of the plugins you are using – it’s information that they may find very useful.
This kind of post is extremely easy to write – it’s essentially a list with a one- or two-paragraph introduction.
19. Attend a Free Webinar
This is a fantastic way to get ideas for your next blog post.
Free webinars are usually packed with valuable blogging tips.
Before the webinar begins set up a folder and name it with the title of the webinar. If you’re like me, you won’t have time to take notes so just take screen shots as the webinar progresses.
The great thing about free webinars is that Influencers and industry leaders know that they’re only going to keep your attention if they give away tons of valuable information. And some of that information is absolutely cutting-edge.
When the webinar is over you’ll probably have anywhere from 50 to 150 screenshots sitting on your desktop. Select them all and move them over into your webinar folder. Because the screenshots are time-stamped they’ll always be in the correct order, so no need to rename them or anything like that. Then just take the main points and write a blog post on that topic.
Always credit the webinar presenter at the beginning of your blog post and include a link to their site.
Here’s an example, a blog post I wrote about a free webinar given by Neil Patel.
20. Do A Weekly Roundup
A weekly link roundup is simply a list of new blog posts published by your fellow bloggers in the previous week.
It’s a great option if you’re running out of time to meet the deadline for your next email broadcast. They’re easy to put together but at the same time, they contain valuable information.
Just summarize each blog post in 2 or 3 sentences and include a link back to the post.
Doing a weekly link roundup is a good discipline as it keeps you abreast of what other bloggers in your niche are writing about.
21. Compile a List of Definitions
This is an easy source of ideas for your next blog post. And these posts are easy to write because they're just a list of technical or jargon words, together with a defintion.
Take the key terms or jargon in a particular niche and provide a definition for each.
Here’s an example by Jeanne Hopkins titled The Ultimate Glossary: 44 Email Marketing Terms Marketers Must Know
A variation on this is to take the same term and provide definitions by different experts.
Here’s an example by Heidi Cohen titled 72 Marketing Definitions.
Here again are the 21 ideas for your next blog post:
- Find a Topic You Want To Know More About
- Develop a Niche Topics List
- Spy On Your Competitors
- Use BuzzSumo to Get Ideas for Your Next Blog Post
- Use Ahrefs
- Use UberSuggest
- Interview a Key Influencer in Your Niche
- Do an Expert Roundup
- Do a Content Roundup
- Write a Review of the Best Books in Your Niche
- Profile Key Influencers
- The Best Advice You Ever Received
- Review a List of Tools
- Read Blog Post Comments
- Your Worst Mistake as a Blogger
- Use Quora
- Use Reddit
- Write About Your Favourite WP Plugins
- Attend a Free Webinar
- Do a Weekly Roundup
- Compile a List of Definitions
These 21 ideas are all you’ll ever need to create a constant flow of quality blog posts.