Content marketing can be an extremely efficient, low-cost method of growing your business.
But if you’ve ever thought about starting up a content marketing strategy for your business, you’ve quickly encountered a tough question: what should I blog about?
Whether you’re just getting started with content marketing or you’re a professional blogger who has created so much content that the idea reservoir is running dry, you need to come up with some great blog content ideas. You also want unique blog ideas that aren’t just a rehash of what everyone else is writing.
And if you use email marketing or marketing automation, you need to have enough content on-hand to deliver to your audience at the right moments. As one article from the Content Marketing Institute pointed out, marketing automation without content leaves opportunities on the table.
Fortunately for people wondering what to write a blog about, there are tons of places to get ideas for interesting content for your website.
Here are 23 of our favorite ways to find great blog content ideas:
- Talk to your audience
- Your best content: The sequel
- Your best content: With a twist
- Your competitors’ best content
- Improve on your competitor’s work
- Google Trends
- Your sales/support teams
- Your pet peeves
- Disagree with conventional wisdom
- Word association and brainstorming
- Answer the Public
- Google footer
- Use BuzzSumo to find popular social media topics
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Ubersuggest and Keywordtool.io
- Google AdWords
- Write about influencers
- Interview an influencer
- Interview a team member
- Highlight a customer case study or success story
- Conduct original research and publish the results
- Write reviews of books, products, or courses
- Your email sent folder
1. Talk to your audience
Who knows your audience’s struggles better than your audience?
Providing value to a specific target audience is one of the core tenets of effective content marketing. It stands to reason that doing marketing research and conducting customer interviews are great ways to find topics to blog about.
Whether you use online market research channels, put together a simple survey, or actually sit down with your audience for face-to-face conversations, your audience is an outstanding source of blog content ideas.
2. Your best content: The sequel
What content are you most proud of? What content is getting the best results for your business?
It’s time to come out with the sequel.
Ever wonder why it seems like every other movie is a sequel or prequel or spinoff? Because, from a marketing perspective, it’s easy to know that those movies will perform at the box office. There’s an established brand and proven concept.
True, your best piece of content might not have its own brand, but you can still learn from it to create more great content.
Have the times changed? Publish an update. Have the times not changed? Explain why old advice is still relevant.
Come at an idea from another angle or perspective. Your best content, what Yoast calls cornerstone content, deserves to be seen again. A sequel will help its longevity—and might even perform well on its own.
3. Your best content: With a twist
Maybe your best content wrapped up nicely, and there’s really no room for a sequel. Or maybe you’ve already written a sequel and still need more blog content ideas.
That’s cool. There are other ways to repurpose content.
Try publishing similar content that targets a different keyword—the same topic from a different angle.
Try republishing the same information in a different format. Can you turn a blog post into a video? What about an infographic or a SlideShare? Even if you don’t have videography or design skills, smartphones and tools like Canva make it easy to repurpose content.
If you’ve published content on your blog, can you publish similar content on someone else’s website? Submit it to a publication or news outlet? If it fits your industry, you could even republish it word-for-word on Medium.
4. Your competitors’ best content
Maybe you’re just getting started with content marketing, so you aren’t yet sure why content marketing works or what your best content is.
Steal from your competitors.
Chances are you’re not the only person producing content in your space. Look around your industry for ideas. Who’s creating great content? Who’s getting great results with content?
Create a list of influencers, then see what they’re writing about. Use your experience to identify content that really hits the mark.
You can also use online marketing tools to help find top-performing content.
A tool like BuzzSumo can show you which pages get the most shares on social media. SEMrush can show you how competitors are ranking in search engine results pages—and what they’re ranking for.
Unless you’re pioneering a new invention in a new industry, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Use your competitors to find great blog content ideas.
5. Improve on your competitor’s work
You’ve browsed through your competitor’s content for topics to blog about. Now you want to take things a step further.
There’s a lot of great content already out there. Even if you know what to write about, it can be hard to get your content seen.
Brian Dean of Backlinko came up with a fix: what he calls the Skyscraper Technique.
Instead of starting with a blank piece of paper, seek out your competitors’ content—and consciously beat it.
What keywords are your competitors ranking for? Are there gaps, or more information you could add to their articles that rank in search results?
Of course you can’t just plagiarize the competition. But taking their work, building on it, and making it better is a great way to compete—and do successful content marketing.
6. Google Trends
If you’re really strapped for blog content ideas, head over to Google Trends and see what’s popular.
Riding a wave of conversation on a topic is a great way to get your content seen. This idea of “newsjacking” has been covered in popular books by David Meerman Scott and Ryan Holiday.
Instead of trying to drive a new conversation, join an existing one. Content on trending topics might even go viral—and can quickly raise awareness of your brand and business.
7. Your sales/support teams
How well do you know your customers?
Even if you’ve already done some market research and customer interviews, there’s value to having conversations with your sales and support teams.
Sometimes customers don’t realize they need answers until they have a problem. What are the most common problems they encounter? What questions to they come to your team to ask?
These questions are a gold mine for blog content ideas. Talking to your sales team could uncover new opportunities to create valuable content that improves customer experience.
8. Your pet peeves
What’s something you’ve always wanted to say about your space, but have never had the guts to publish?
Of course there’s no point in being controversial for the sake of being controversial. But if you have pet peeves in your industry, sharing them in well-reasoned content is absolutely fair game.
Especially if you run a small business, your thoughts and personality are a huge part of your brand. Take the phrase “tell me what you really think” and make it yours.
9. Disagree with conventional wisdom
Every industry has conventional wisdom. But what about when the conventional wisdom is wrong?
What do you believe that goes counter to the rest of your industry? Everyone has thoughts on everything, and you almost certainly have a perspective that someone else would find controversial.
Publicly disagreeing with conventional wisdom can be a powerful form of content because it spurs debate and conversation.
Again, you don’t want to disagree for the sake of disagreeing. But sharing your beliefs and supporting them with strong arguments is totally fair game when you’re looking for things to write about in a blog.
10. Word association and brainstorming
When was the last time you actually sat down just to brainstorm blog content ideas?
A lot of people getting started with content marketing assume that they won’t know what to write about. But sitting down and simply listing out ideas can be a surprisingly powerful method of finding interesting content for your website.
In his book Zen in the Art of Writing, science-fiction author Ray Bradbury outlines how he uses list-making to come up with creative ideas. By listing out a string of nouns to see what images they evoked, he was able to create some of the most inspired writing of the 20th century.
As you build a list of nouns or topics, remember that there are no bad ideas at this stage. Write down as many ideas—good or bad—as quickly as you can. Even if many of them are impractical, chances are you’ll find a gemstone hidden in the coal.
11. Answer the Public
So much of great content marketing is answering questions. If you have a list of questions, you have a list of blog content ideas.
Your sales team, your audience, and other items on this list are one way to source questions for content marketing.
Another great tool to find questions quickly is Answer the Public.
The slightly odd home page notwithstanding, Answer the Public is a great tool to find questions people are asking on a specific topic. Enter the phrase you’re interested it and Answer the Public will scrape questions tha