Need blog post ideas?
Want to start blogging to grow your business, but don’t know which blog topics to write about?
I’m going to show you a step-by-step method to finding a year’s worth of blog post ideas that people actually want to read.
But first, let me tell you a story.
I once knew a business owner named Dale.
(That’s not his real name, but I like the name Dale.)
Dale heard from all sorts of marketing “gurus” that he should start “leveraging great content”.
(Quotations = sarcasm)
So he started a blog.
Then he came up with a few topics he thought people wanted to read about. Blog post ideas that seemed cool to him.
Blog topics in hand, he started paying a writer to write these blog posts.
He expected one article per week.
Why? He had no idea. That’s just what he was told.
Guess what happened.
No traffic, no leads, no sales. (Also no comments, social shares, or backlinks.)
All of the things he was promised by marketing gurus – poof💨 – gone.
Why did that happen?
Because he did zero research.
He had no clue what people were actually interested in reading about or searching for online.
He jumped in head first without a plan.
You are nothing like Dale.
You’re here, looking for a sensible way to come up with blog post ideas.
Not just a random list of blog post ideas you think will work.
An actionable plan you can replicate over and over and over again to come up with great blog content.
(And yes, then you can “leverage great content” to “drive more traffic, leads, and sales” because people will “know, like, and trust you”.)
Okay, so now that we’re on the same page and we’ve dropped some marketing buzzwords, it’s time to start finding some blog post ideas.
So here you go: How to Come up with Blog Post Ideas People Actually Want to Read…
Step 1: Go to Google Keyword Planner to get a preliminary list of what people actually want to know about
Enter the main category (keyword) of your business into the top text box and click “Get Ideas.”
Click the “Keyword Ideas” tab just under the bar graph
Optional: At the top of the list of keywords, not the individual keyword you just search for, click the heading of the “Avg. Monthly Searches” column. This will sort by search volume so you see the most searched keywords first. KEEP IN MIND: Higher search volume = more competition.
Scroll down and write down every keyword that could be turned into a blog post.
– For example, when I entered entrepreneur as my main keyword, I got things like:
– What is entrepreneurship
– Entrepreneurship ideas
– Young entrepreneurs
– Successful entrepreneurs
– Entrepreneurship development
– Social entrepreneurship
– Small business entrepreneurship
– And so on
Now click the “Ad Group Ideas” tab and scroll down until you see more keyword ideas.
For example, I see things like “Business Ideas” and “Online Entrepreneur”
Now go back to the search bar and type in your main category or keyword for your business, but this time get a little more specific. So for me, this time I typed in “young entrepreneur”.
Do the same thing you did before and check out the keyword ideas tab
You should see more specific keywords this time, like:
– Starting a business
– Top 10 entrepreneurs
– Characteristics of an entrepreneur
– Becoming an entrepreneur
– Entrepreneur skills
IMPORTANT: I recommend looking for keywords that have over 1,000 searches a month and under 10,000 searches a month. Sometimes I look for keywords with under 5,000 searches a month, just because anything over that amount of search volume typically has a ton of competition.
Once you have a list of 20-30 keywords, move to Step 2.
Step 2: Go to KWFinder.com to check competitiveness
KWFinder.com is a site that will show you how hard it is to rank for certain keywords. This is an awesome resource when you’re trying to decide what to write about, but you only get a handful of searches each day with a free account.
So, unless you want to pay for KWFinder, you may want to use it wisely. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to pick back up where you left off.
SIDE NOTE: If you’re not sure about your keywords yet, skip to step 3. If you have a couple of keywords that look appealing, go ahead and finish this step.
Type in the main category/keyword for your business (use the more specific one, like “young entrepreneur” instead of just “entrepreneur”).
Once you’ve should see a button that says “Filter results” just below the search bar. Click that and specify that you only won’t keywords with over 1000 searches per month.
Now in the far-right hand column you should see a heading that says “DIFF”. That’s the keyword difficulty score – or how hard it is to rank for that keyword organically. It ranges from 1-100, with higher numbers being more difficult.
Play around with this tool for a while (it probably won’t take long because you’re limited on the number of searches you can do for free), then when you’re ready, move on to step 3.
Step 3: Use Quora and Google to seal the deal
This is probably the most important part.
Now that you know what people are searching for, and what you can rank for fairly easily, it’s time to see what people actually asking about those topics.
Head over to Quora.com and type in one of your keywords in the search bar at the top of the page (you’ll have to create a free account if you never have before).
I typed in “starting a business”, because that’s one keyword I found that I like a lot.
When you type in a keyword in Quora’s search bar, a drop-down should pop up, and you’ll have to click the bottom option that says “Search: ____” in order to do an actual search.
Now on the left hand side click the “Questions” link (under “By Type”), and you should see a list of questions about your keyword.
Under each question, you should see the word “Follow” with a gray box next to it that has a number in it. That number is the number of people who are following that question. In other words, that’s how many people are interested in that question.
Look for questions that have a large number of followers, and boom, there’s a list of blog post titles for you to pick from.
The beauty of using Quora to find popular questions people are asking about your topic is you can also use the blog post you right to answer that question to paste an answer into Quora itself with a link back to your website.
So Quora actually serves as a place to generate ideas and a place to generate traffic.
Keep in mind, once you get some ideas from Quora, it’s perfectly okay to bounce back-and-forth between Quora, Google’s Keyword Planner, and KWFinder when you find people using keywords that weren’t on your list at first.
For example, one of the most popular questions about starting a business had to do with low cost business ideas, so I would head over to Google’s Keyword Planner to make sure “low cost business ideas” is getting searched on a monthly basis.
And of course it is. It’s getting searched 2,400 times a month.
Now I head over to KWFinder.com, where it looks like “low cost business ideas” has a difficulty rating of 55. Not great, but I’ll go with it for now. “Business ideas with low investment” is on KWFinder’s list of suggested keywords, and it actually gets searched about 4,400 times a month, so that might actually be a better keyword to go for. Same content, just a slightly different target keyword.
So “low cost business ideas” and “business ideas with low investment” are both going on my list of keywords and I’ll probably write an in-depth post about the topic of low cost (or low investment) business ideas.
Now that we’ve come up with some keywords and hopefully a few blog post ideas, it’s time to scope out the competition so we can make sure our post will actually be good enough to actually rank on the first page.
So head over to Google and search for the keyword you’ve decided to write your post about.
For example, I would search for “business ideas with low investment”.
Now read through the top 3-5 articles, paying particular attention to the very first one. What’s missing from this article? Is it too short? Did they skip something? Maybe it’s an old post and the information is outdated.
Read the comments, too. See what people are saying and notice what they’re adding to the conversation. Most of the time you’ll have at least one or two people asking questions that they feel the post didn’t answer completely.
Take what you learn from examining those posts, and use it to outshine them and leap-frog them on Google.
Now that you have your blog post topics, it’s time for the hard part: actually writing the posts.
What do you think? Tweet at me @mpeetee and let me know your thoughts!