I have a confession to make. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been a little worried about my creative output for ViperChill. More specifically, I’ve feared that I would run out of blog post ideas. The simple reason for this is because I cover topics in so much depth that I don’t ever really need to write about them again.
You can find blogs that will give you a few link building tips each week and then I go ahead and write 15 in one post. You will find blogs with tips here and there on WordPress SEO, and I go and write what I think is the only guide you’ll ever need. Thanks to a very productive hour I spent last week, I’m now no longer worried in the slightest.
Though my biggest feature (in-depth articles) is my biggest flaw (not needing to cover a topic again) I was able to come up with dozens of post ideas after one quick brainstorming session. Don’t think these are just generic articles that you’ll find on other blogs either; I actually can’t wait to share some of them with you all.
As more and more people realise you can make a living via the internet, each niche online is becoming substantially more crowded. On any given day you can literally find the same type of blog posts on dozens of different websites. I went from having over 150 blogs in my feed reader in the last few years to just 12, purely because I was seeing the same content over, and over (and over) again.
Not only will the following tips help you generate tons of post / article ideas for now, but you can also come back to them in a few months and they’ll almost certainly give you a new jolt of inspiration.
A little known feature of StumbleUpon is their popular (buzz) pages for different subjects. These pages show the most viewed articles that the StumbleUpon audience voted for and enjoyed. I’ve said a few times that StumbleUpon isn’t the best traffic source in the world, but there’s something to be said for writing articles that capture their attention.
If you can occupy the attention of someone who is randomly clicking through websites via a browser toolbar, you can occupy the attention of anybody.
Not only will you see the pages that are the most popular, you’ll also see exactly how many visits StumbleUpon sent to them which is perfect if you have lots of ideas from this source but just want to focus on a few. I obviously don’t recommend that you copy titles or ideas directly, but instead think you should use this as inspiration for titles that work well, angles that people in your niche are taking, and the type of subjects that people want to read about.
You can find ideas in literally any niche, with some examples being their marketing, finance, gadget and humour sections. Simply change the tag in the URL to whatever you write about and you’ll find popular content around that topic.
When I wrote a post about the 28 items in my internet marketing toolbox, I covered a nifty little service called Postrank Analytics which lets you see your most shared blog posts on sites like Digg, Delicious and Twitter. While the service was a little too basic to pay for, I do still enjoy the company’s Postrank tool.
Head on over to their homepage and enter the niche that you’re writing in or even the RSS feed of one of your favourite blogs and you’ll instantly see their blog posts which went viral. Though some blogs do show off their most popular posts for you (mentioned below), it’s very useful to see what other bloggers are writing about that is grabbing their readers attention.
As an example, you can see the most posts you all enjoyed the most at ViperChill by going here. This tool alone can be very powerful in terms of getting your creative juices going.
Similar to StumbleUpon, Delicious has it’s own popular page which you can sort by tags which are related to your industry. While StumbleUpon shows the pages with the most thumbs up, Delicious shows posts with the most saves (bookmarks).
I’ve had a lot of success with Delicious on this blog, regularly being featured on the popular pages for SEO, Bloggingand Social Media. Depending on what you write about, there’s a great chance you’ll find inspiration by searching for relevant phrases to your niche and finding the most resourceful content.
What I noticed when I looked through the Google Analytics account of PluginID last year was that most of my popular posts were ones where I was not only sharing actionable content, but also talking about my personal experiences.
One of the most viewed posts was on the topic of public speaking; something many people are afraid of and want to get better at. I was too, and I totally fine with sharing this on the blog. I also shared the story of how I signed myself up to a speaking club and gave a speech once every fortnight which helped me to overcome this fear.
Not only does honesty and personal experience help readers connect to your work and encourage them to engage via the comments, it’s also a great way to generate new ideas for your blog.
What is something you’ve struggled with in your industry that you’ve managed to overcome?
How did you succeed with managing finances, overcoming anxiety, making money online, becoming minimalist or whatever else is relevant to your niche?
I took some time out to write down the whole process of me going from someone who knew nothing about domains, hosting or SEO at 15 and managed to build a very successful internet empire now at 20. Each step on the way has given me a post idea I can write about.
When I removed the categories from my sidebar and instead replaced them with the most popular ViperChill posts, the amount of pages each visitor viewed and the time they spent on the site here greatly increased. Many bloggers are finding similar results, so they proudly display their most popular posts in their footer or blog sidebar.
For example, in the internet marketing niche you can head on over to sites like Copyblogger (sidebar), Problogger (homepage, center box) or Quicksprout (sidebar) to see the posts that their audience engaged with and shared the most.
While it’s more common to see this on marketing blogs, there are probably tons of blogs in your niche too that make it clear which content resonated with their readers. If you can write more posts that people are going to love and be the signal through the noise, you can be sure that you’re on your way to building a very popular blog.
As with StumbleUpon Buzz, I’m not suggesting that you steal post headlines or article ideas directly. Simply use them as a way to get your creative juices flowing and as an indicator to what your audience probably wants to read about.
When Google came out with this tool a few years back and internet marketers could stop guessing which phrases were popular online, it changed the game forever. Especially in regards to my own affiliate marketing strategy. But it’s not only search volumes I use this tool for; it’s also great for content ideas.
Let’s say you have a blog about social media and want to know what topics you can write about. Typing social media into the tool will give you, among others, the popular phrase ‘social media strategy’. Now you know people are looking for actual tips on a strategy they can implement when using social media — probably to get more brand exposure and increase their site traffic.
If you know what you’re talking about, you can then simply go and write a post about around this term.
Note: I wrote my post on social media strategy involving 9 experts before I found this phrase. It’s a nice coincidence though.
Simply enter the type of niche you’re in or even the phrases from some of your most popular posts and see what else people are looking for. If people are searching for it in mass on Google, it’s probably safe to say that your blog readers would like to know about it too.
If you don’t want to ask your readers directly what they would like to read, you could browse a popular site like Yahoo Answers and see what related questions people are already asking. If you run a health blog then you can easily see the types of questions have regarding losing weight, sticking to a diet and keeping track of progress.
If you write about finance then you can see people asking which tools are the best to track your money, whether investing in homes is a good idea and how they can teach their loved ones to be more responsible with their cash.
If you take some time on this site, you can literally find dozens of post ideas in just a few minutes by writing on topics that would answer these questions.
Be careful though, your readers might just think you’re reading their minds.
You may have noticed that for two days I had a link in the sidebar here asking people what you would like me to write about. Because I really feel like I’ve come such a long way on my own online adventure I can sometimes forget what people struggle with on their path to internet success.
Google Forms, which is a tool found in Google Docs, allows you to easily capture data that is entered into a form. I simply asked people the question “What would you like to see me write about?”
Because I didn’t require an email address, I received some requests for me to write about chicken and male genitals so be prepared for some irrelevant answers. To prevent this you could require an email address or ask more questions, but note that this will decrease the amount of responses you receive.
I only needed the link there for two days as I received some great suggestions which I’m going to use as inspiration for future posts. You could also ask your blog readers for post ideas directly in a post and see what they suggest in the comments. I like the forms option as it’s discreet and all answers are instantly inserted into a spreadsheet for easy viewing.
Now, who can tell me which one of these 7 suggestions gave me the idea for this post? (Hint: read the intro)