9 Tools to Help You Come Up With More Blog Topics
As a content developer, figuring out what to write about is a complex task. You have to know what people want to read about if you want to keep your SEO rank up and your site traffic high. There are several ways to do this, including being knowledgeable about what is going on in your industry, but it can be next to impossible to know exactly what will get readers’ attention without help. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that you can use to find good blog topics to write about.
In this article, we discuss nine of the best options, which include:
- Google Trends
- HubSpot Blog Idea Generator
- Search Response
- Portent Idea Generator
- Content Writers Topic Pitching Service
Here are nine tools to help you come up with more blog topics.
One of the best ways to identify what to write about is to look at what people are already searching for. Google has several ways of showing you what people want to read about now, and one of those is Google Trends.
Google Trends aggregates the search data of Google’s users to show you how popular different topics are. For example, during election season, people often search for election-related news. You can use Google Trends to see what specific topics people are searching for.
Google Trends is perfect for writers that cover trending topics, such as news or sports. For example, a writer focusing on a specific sports team can always find trending questions about that team by using Google Trends. Google Trends keeps you up-to-date and makes it easier to stay relevant and continue to get paid for your work every month.
On a more granular level, you likely need to search for topics that involve specific keywords as a part of your content creation strategy. To do so, you need a keyword research tool. Semrush is one of the most well-known keyword research tools available on the market.
Semrush gives you a large suite of content research tools so that you can find not only the right keywords but also the best topics and trends to look into as well. It can be a very powerful tool for identifying what to write about. If done correctly, Semrush shows you where the competition is focused and where you should focus to stand out. Writers in highly competitive spaces, such as political writing or pop culture writing, can benefit from having the SEO research tools that Semrush offers since it makes it easier to outrank the competition on specific search terms.
The one limitation of using Semrush for your keyword research and content ideas is that you have to pay for it. At the time of writing this post, Semrush costs $119-$450 per month, based on what level of service you choose. However, that does give you access to automation and other tools to make keyword research much easier.
If you want to know what to write about, you need to know what questions people are asking. Tools like Google Trends do the same thing, except they only provide you with aggregate information. An alternative is to go straight to the source and see what questions are being asked on Quora.
Quora is a site where people go to crowdsource answers to their questions. Anyone can post, and anyone with an account can post an answer. It is a great way to see what specific questions people are asking that you might be able to answer in a blog post.
The drawback to using Quora for topic ideas is that you only see the individual questions being asked, not the aggregate. This makes it harder to see trends in the data and determine what popular topics you should focus on. However, if you are looking for a much more specific topic to write about for a very targeted audience, this can be a more effective way to see what your target audience wants to know. Writers trying to create informative and educational pillar posts can use Quora to find the essential topics in a field to write about. It’s a great place to get ideas for a niche like medical writing, where the answers are typically matter-of-fact and don’t change often.
Ahrefs is another option that lets you aggregate search engine results to see trends. Ahrefs takes it a bit further, though, by letting you enter a topic and then analyze the best-performing content about that topic. This tool is available through the Content Explorer feature, which is accessible alongside all of the other SEO tools.
It greatly simplifies the process of doing SEO research for a topic and shows you how well other writers perform in that space.
Ahrefs is a paid option that costs $199-$1000 based on your plan choice (the lowest plan does not include Content Explorer). However, it can be worth the cost if you operate in a highly-competitive space. Having the ability to search content areas for new topics, have the top-performing content identified for you, and being able to access SEO research tools all in one place can be your secret to success in highly competitive fields like finance and investing.
HubSpot Blog Idea Generator
HubSpot is well-known in the content creation space for its list of SEO and content development tools. The HubSpot Blog Idea Generator is a great little tool to help you generate new ideas quickly.
HubSpot takes some of the best-performing blog headlines and works in your content ideas. All you have to do is enter the subject area that you need ideas for, and it will give you suggestions for related blog posts you could write.
Overall, this tool is very simple (and completely free). What it lacks in sophistication, it makes up for in availability and speed. This tool is a good fit for writers in the pop culture space, where they need to generate a lot of posts about relevant pop culture that doesn’t require a lot of complex research. It allows you to generate ideas quickly and crank out a larger number of posts.
For a slightly more robust but still free and easy-to-use tool, you can try Search Response. It is a keyword research tool similar to Semrush, but it focuses more on Google’s People Also Ask algorithm. Those are the follow-up questions that people ask about topics that they’ve already searched for.
With a data aggregation tool like Google to back it, Search Response makes it easy to find new topics to write about based on what people are looking for. It’s a good choice for anyone that needs to ensure that their posts are highly competitive and rank well every time because it gives you more qualified data than other free options. It is also a good way to learn how to use a keyword research tool before investing in one of the other major brands.
Similar to Google Trends and Search Response, AnswerThePublic is a simple tool that aggregates search results so that you can see what is popular. In a nutshell, it uses autocomplete data from search engines to show you what people are interested in.
Autocomplete data consists of the suggestions that search engines make when people are typing in their search topics. The search engine tries to guess what people are looking for based on what others have already searched for. You can use this data to identify topics that are already in demand.
The big difference between AnswerThePublic and Google Trends is that AnswerThePublic uses data from multiple search engines instead of just Google. This gives you a more well-rounded set of answers to work from. It can be especially useful if your target audience uses options other than Google for their online searches.
Portent Idea Generator
If you are relatively new to all of this, or you are tired of the more complicated options, try Portent Idea Generator. It’s just about the simplest option that you can choose. All you have to do is type in your subject, and it will create headlines for you.
Just like HubSpot Blog Idea Generator, it’s not clear if the results are backed by any research, but that is not the point. Portent Idea Generator is designed to help you create ideas quickly and get your creativity flowing. That way, you can get to writing or quickly plan a calendar of posts. Business owners in fields like self-help could use this tool to quickly come up with a year’s worth of post ideas, develop those ideas, and build YouTube and other channels around them.
Content Writers Topic Pitching Service
Online content tools can do a lot, but just having a topic may not be enough to make an informed decision. Sometimes, you need a more fleshed-out pitch to see if your idea is a good one. That’s where a tool like ContentWriter’s Pitching Service can help.
ContentWriters helps you explore blog topic ideas and develop them so that you can get a better idea of how your blog post will end up. Simply provide some basic information, like what industry you need content for and how long you need it to be, and the ContentWriters team will pitch ideas to you for new blog posts. This is a great option for companies that want longer-form content but need some assistance with topic generation.
It can also be a great option for companies without teams of writers, as ContentWriters can help you come up with content ideas and then develop the content from start to finish. Whichever path you choose, there are plenty of tools out there to help you.
These are just some of the tools available to help you come up with blog ideas. To find a balanced approach, you might want to utilize all of them to help find new and interesting topics for your readers. As you add more content to your blog, it can be more challenging to find new topics.
Melanie G. is a freelance writer and editor living in Tampa, Florida. She’s freelanced full-time since she left her writing job at Nielsen in 2012.