Maintaining a blog is hard work. Not only do you have to find the time and energy to write effective copy, you also have to find beautiful images to compliment your copy, optimize your posts to be found through organic search, and most importantly, continue to generate fresh, new topic ideas that keep your audience interested and coming back for more.
But where do quality blog topics come from? They come from learning how to brainstorm effectively. Below I’ve put together some of my favorite ways to come up with fresh topic ideas for our blog:
Capture Ideas in Your Day-to-Day
Some of your best topic ideas will most likely come during conversations with others, in the middle of reading an article that sparks a spin-off topic, or perhaps while your in the shower. Wherever the idea comes from, you need to be sure to capture it before you forget it!
Personally, I keep a running list of topic ideas in each blog’s editorial calendar. Even if we have several months worth of topics carefully planned out, I know that there will come a time when we will need new topic ideas. If I’m not near a computer, I jot down my ideas in my phone or on a nearby piece of paper and add it to the spreadsheet later.
Some of our most popular topics on our website have been results of a conversation we’ve had with a client or an idea that struck us while reading articles on one of our favorite websites.
Use Mind Maps
Remember when you first began brainstorming topic ideas for essays back in high school or college? You probably were required to use a bubble diagram at some point. This method is effective and simple, especially with today’s mind map tools.
If you aren’t familiar with the method, you simply begin with a broad concept like “Digital Marketing” and branch off into smaller, related concepts. The broader you start, the more ground you will cover. If you are looking to generate very narrow topics right off the bat, you might want to start with something more specific, like “Content Marketing” or “Blogging.”
Review Past Content
Knowing exactly what blog posts performed the best in the past is a great starting point for generating new ideas. You can repurpose this content into a new format, think of new ways to approach this topic, or brainstorm similar topics you haven’t yet covered on your blog.
Read Industry Related Books
Okay, you don’t necessarily have to read an entire book, although it may be a good idea if you’re really stumped for fresh ideas. Instead of buying and reading tons of books, you can simply search for books related to your industry or a specific topic on Amazon, then preview the book to get a look at the Table of Contents. Use these chapter titles as topic ideas for your blog.
Of course, you aren’t looking to steal blog titles directly from the book, you are simply discovering important topics that you may not have thought of before. Use these ideas to create copy that reflects your own personal spin on the subject, and tailor it to your specific audience.
Attend Industry Events
Whether it’s an hour long lunch and learn, or a week long industry conference, attending an event related to your business can yield a ton of new ideas for your blog. You could write about the event itself and any key takeaways you learned, or you could highlight items of interest that were discussed and expand them into more meaty blog posts.
Keyword research is, well, key. Using a tool like Google Keyword Planner can be very eye opening when it comes to the types of queries people are searching for and what they are interested in. Google Keyword Planner not only gives you related keywords, but also shows you the average monthly searches. While most of this information is for paid advertising, it can also assist when choosing topics and related keywords that your website can rank for.
Brainstorm with Others
One of my all time favorite brainstorming methods is to set aside some time to meet with one or two other people. This method only works if your fellow brainstormers know the target audience of your blog and are familiar with what has been written before for this blog.
In order to save time during the actual meeting, decide exactly how many topics you need to come up with and ask that participants bring a few of their best topic ideas. They do not have to be polished ideas, but this will get the brainstorm session started more quickly and efficiently, and keep it moving if there are any lags in ideas.
This method is super effective because everyone thinks a little differently which can result in some unique perspective and fresh ideas.
Learning a few new methods for how to brainstorm blog topics can get your creative juices flowing and bring new life to your blog. Finding fresh ideas and perspectives doesn’t have to be difficult!