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How to Source Blog Topics

woman blogging on computer

If you ever write blogs for your brand (which you hopefully do), you likely often find yourself asking this question: “What on earth do I write about?” It happens. Finding blog topics isn’t easy — especially if you’re blogging on a consistent basis (which, again, hopefully you do!).

In today’s digital world where search engines are saturated and competition for attention in Google increases on a daily basis, it’s no fun to feel like you’ve literally run out of things to say. There’s no denying that we feel a lot of pressure in knowing that blogging isn’t just simply writing about stuff we’re interested in. What you write about is so, so important.

And as we go through our blogging journey, there are other lessons we pick up along the way. We learn that it’s important to write blog posts that offer value. We learn that we need to pay attention to improving our SEO so that we can rank better. Additionally, we learn that there are millions of websites out there who struggle for their voices to be heard. We understand that we have to make our blogs stand out. We learn that we need to consistently come up with good ideas for our next blog post and the next and then the next.

notebook, pen, paper, glasses

When everything’s said and done, we can all agree that the first step always pushes us out of our comfort zone. In our case, it’s to come up with good blog topics.

While there’s no magic formula in wrangling ideas for your next blog entry, we compiled a list of recommendations that may help you the next time you’re pulling your hair out trying to come up with a relevant topic.

Here are seven excellent ways to source blog topics.

7 Ways to Source Blog Topics

1. Revisit Your Top-Performing Posts

You don’t always need to look for inspiration elsewhere because you might already have it in your own published content. One brilliant strategy is to leverage your own blog’s top-performing posts to generate new blog topics.

Using Google Analytics, you can identify your most viewed content on your blog based on metrics like page visits and the time spent on the page. 

Since our industry is fast-paced and evolving, reviewing older posts will spark new and relevant ideas that you already know will work well with your readers. These ideas are useful for more content suggestions.

write ideas notebook

Once you’ve identified your best posts, then what? Well, you have a few options. You can do an updated version of the original content, or you could do a “sequel.” Additionally, you might be able to pull a sub-topic from the original topic. For example, if the original blog was about gluten-free food, you might do a new blog on gluten-free bread specifically.

2. Research Popular Ideas Using BuzzSumo

There are several online tools that allow you to find viral content circulating in your industry and popular topics that people are totally eating up.

BuzzSumo is one such tool that lets you check out hot topics that are tied to your niche. Based on these topics, you can then pin down a concept or idea for your next blog post.

By entering a keyword or domain, BuzzSumo will yield a list of similarly published content. You can also borrow ideas from your competitors based on their most shared pages and best performing content on social media. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that you get to plagiarize or steal! Instead, use it as inspiration to see what your audience cares about. Then, write on that topic but do it better.

buzzsumo homepage

BuzzSumo is so cool because it tells you how well content is doing across each social media platform. So, if your brand is active on Pinterest and you find an article that did really well there, it stands to reason you might reap the same rewards.

Aside from BuzzSumo, other tools such as Google Trends can also be of great help in finding hot topics in specific geographic locations over a particular timeframe.  

3. Explore Forums

Another effective way to source blog topics online is by finding out what issues people are actually experiencing around the Internet.

Forums are places on the internet where people flock to share their ideas and vent about their problems. To start, just go to your preferred search engine such as Google, and type in “[niche] + forums.” For example, you can search “pre-planned meal + forums” or “photography + forums.”

Open the first forum you see and you’ll start to see various discussions that people are having. Don’t stop there, though. Narrow down your search to other, more specific topics that seem connected with your blog’s niche and you might find all new forums.

Other forums where you can find and dig valuable blog topics include Reddit and Quora. These are known as “monster” forums and are excellent for learning what your target audience cares about. Read through relevant posts and people’s comments in return. Reddit and Quora are never-ending sources of blog topics.

ideas

Reddit also has smaller communities called “subreddits,” or micro-forums that are topic-specific. Quora, on the other hand, is a goldmine of blog topic ideas as well as opinions, facts, and stories in the form of answers to questions. The questions are user-generated, which offers huge potential when it comes to sourcing blog topics. When you dig deeper into interesting and highly specific questions related to your blog niche, you’ll be able to transform them into blog posts.

4. Check Out Blog Comments

We know, we know. The comments section can be very scary. Sometimes, it feels like your best bet is to avoid it completely.

But before you do that, hold up.

The comments section usually contains a lot of engagement from readers. These comments can provide insight and current perspectives for new ontent topics. Try drawing out every single comment and turn it into a question or topic to write about for your next blog post. You can do this with your own blogs but also content from related brands or competitors.

And while you’re at it, make sure you’re getting back to your commenters and keeping them engaged. You’ll learn a thing or two about the problems and goals that they share. It’s good for your brand reputation, and it’ll also be good for sourcing future blog topics.

person holding lightbulb

5. Ask Your Readers Via Social Media or Email

The people who best know the most suitable content for your blog are, of course, your current followers.

On your website, create a contact form that will serve as a “suggestion box” where your readers can leave their feedback and ask questions. You can also set up small polls or surveys inside your website.

Outside of the website, choose a channel to interact with your audience and ask them directly what they want and need. This might be an email newsletter where you ask for their feedback, live Q&A sessions (via Instagram, Facebook, or Linkedin), social media polls (like on Facebook or Twitter) or a survey tool (like Google Forms). The point is to include them as part of the process.

You’d be surprised how valuable this information can be. Not only do your followers get heard (which is super important to them), but you get new blog topics based on what they truly care about. It’s a win-win. How could sourcing blog topics get any easier than to simply ask people what they want to read about?

6. Use a Random Blog Topics Generator

When you feel like you’re starting to run out of ideas, why not try using a random topic generator?

think outside the box sign

These generators are tools specifically designed to make it easy to generate content topics for blogs. But these ideas aren’t completely random. Just input subjects or keywords related to your industry and the generator produces new and fresh topics for you to write about. Some of the topic generators you might want to try are Portent and the Blog Title Idea Generator from Inbound Now.

These tools will help you get multiple content topics in an instant. However, there’s a catch. The ideas that they generate are only as good as the keyword or term that you enter. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your target audience so that you can cater to the type of content they’re interested in and the topics that excite them.

7. Use Google Auto-Complete

This is one of the simplest and fastest ways to find new blog topics, and you can do it for free.

Do you ever notice how when you start typing a search term into Google, a little dropdown appears with searches that finish what you’re typing? Believe it or not, these are related popular searches that other people have already looked up. Here’s an example. When I start typing in “gluten-free,” this is what I see.

gluten-free google search auto-complete

Google is telling me that these are things people care about. Therefore, it serves as a goldmine of potential blog topics. Play around with different ideas, themes, and keywords to see what Google spits out.

Know Your Target Audience — This is Crucial

As your research new blog topics and before you starting writing blog posts, remember this: You have to truly understand your audience. Their goals, hopes, dreams, problems, obstacles. Everything. This is the only way you can deliver content to them that they care about. Your blog isn’t about you. It’s about them.

You could write the best blog content in the world; but if it doesn’t tell your readers something that they want to know, nothing matters. Providing value that they care about should be your priority.

Don’t stop at simple qualities like the age ranges and gender. Your audience’s basic demographic information is just the tip of the iceberg. Brands and businesses need to dig deeper into the attitudes, habits, lifestyles, interests, and pain points of their target audiences. All of these insights should shape and influencer your blog topics.

Don’t forget that one of the best ways to promote your blog content is to post it across all of your social media channels. And one of the fastest, more efficient ways to do that is with a social media management tool like e-clincher. Start your free trial today!