Everyone knows these days how important blogging is. It’s clear that producing high-quality content on a regular basis increases organic visits and rankings, and helps your business or brand become an authority on the topics you write about. The question is, though, what do you write about?
If you’ve ever tried to blog on a regular basis, you know how easy it is to get a little lost while trying to find or come up with ideas. We’ve all been there. Luckily, there are multiple tools that have been created just for that purpose, and websites that are for something else, but are also awesome for content research.
Here are our top 10 tools, websites and resources to use when you need a little help scouting for content ideas and getting inspired.
SEMRush has multiple tools that can help with content research and inspiration. Their Topic Research tool, currently in Beta, is a great resource! Typing in a topic will bring up “cards” of relevant, grouped topics found around the web. Open one of those cards to click on well-ranked content examples from around the web to get an idea of what other people are writing about, and what’s relevant and popular.
Another SEMRush feature I’ve had success with is actually not meant for content research, but rather for keyword research/planning. Also in Beta, the tool I’m talking about is the Keyword Magic Tool. Not only can this tool give you content ideas, but it can help you be really strategic about what you’re writing about. A search for “content strategy” in this tool brings up a list of relevant keyword phrases with their volumes, plus a whole sidebar of related keywords I can click on to get MORE lists of keyword phrases.
Answer the Public (Free)
This awesome tool is designed to give you ideas in the form of questions. What is the public asking about your topic? Typing in a keyword phrase (such as “content strategy”) will deliver you multiple webs of questions (which you can switch into list format, if that’s easier to look at for you) that are being asked online about your topic.
BuzzSumo (Limited Free)
This tool will show you what content related to your topic has been getting the most shares on social media. Having access to this information really helps you keep your finger on the pulse of your industry or topic. What are people interested in right now? What’s been the biggest subject over the past couple years? What do people want to read about my topic?
A search for “content strategy” brings up the top most shared content on that subject within your search parameters (past year, past week, etc.).
Quora resembles a social network where people can ask questions and anyone can answer. It’s really very diverse, with people asking all sorts of questions from all different subjects. You may even find several categories of subjects related to your industry! Just do some searching and quickly see what kinds of questions are being asked about your subject.
A “content strategy” search immediately gives us some ideas for what we could answer on our blog about the subject.
Twinword (Limited Free)
Twinword is similar to SEMRush’s Keyword Magic Tool in that it’s focused on keywords and volume, not necessarily topics. However, you can still find ideas here for topics you hadn’t considered before when you type in your keyword phrase. This tool also gives you some fun ways to filter off on the right side of the search area, so you can play around with the topics of your keywords and see groupings. It’s definitely worth a look!
Again, we’re talking about a keyword research tool here, but like I’ve said, these can be great for spurring content ideas, too! What I really like about Ubersuggest is that it’ll pull in related keywords from Google Keyword Planner and suggested (autocomplete) ideas from Google. For instance, in this screenshot of my search for “content marketing”, you can see “social media marketing” as the second keyword (I’ve arranged them by volume). So, not only are you getting topic ideas for what you type in, but also closely related ones.
Yep, you can definitely use Twitter to look for content ideas. This one will definitely work better for some industries than others, but it’s totally worth a try! Just open Twitter, type in your topic, and look at the top tweets that mention that topic. What are people talking about? You can also try toggling to the “News” tab to see what’s been making the news in your industry/topic.
Personally, this is one of my favorites. It takes some time to put together, but once you have it set up, it’s a content inspiration gold mine! Feedly is an RSS aggregator. So, you use it to take a bunch of blogs and websites that are relevant to your industry and follow them all in one place. It’s an awesome way to not only get content ideas based on news or other blogs in your industry, but it’s also a great way to keep an eye on your competitors. What are they publishing? What are they talking about?
Keyword Tool: Autocomplete (Limited Free)
When you’re typing in a search in Google and a list of suggestions pop up while you’re typing, that’s Google’s autocomplete feature. It’s based on not only your past searches and what other people are searching for, making it a nice way to look at what might be a popular search in your industry. Now, there’s a tool that scrapes that autocomplete data! Simply called Keyword Tool, you can also search YouTube’s autocomplete, Bing’s, Amazon’s, and more.
Your Own Sales or Customer Support Team (Free)
There’s a gold mine of ideas just waiting to be gathered from the minds of your own team! Go to the team that works with customers or clients most often, and have them write down questions they hear often. Chances are, you’ll find a whole host of targeted, strategic content ideas right there.
There you have it! Ten awesome tools to try out to find some new content ideas. Need help with your content strategy? Let’s chat!