I won’t lie. Until recently, creating content for my blog is something that I’ve always struggled with.
Not because I can’t write or because I don’t know my topic. Nope.
Because I struggled to come up with blog post ideas, or rather, blog post ideas that I thought people would actually be interested in.
I emphasize the words I thought because looking back, I now know that I have had LOTS of great ideas in the past, and I’m sure you have too.
But I lacked self-confidence which made me second guess my ideas all the time. And to be honest, I was scared.
Scared of failing. Scared that people wouldn’t like my content. Scared people wouldn’t find it useful. Or even worse, scared people wouldn’t like me.
Maybe you can relate? Fear of failure is a very real and common thing.
To stop second guessing myself all the time, I needed reassurance that my blog post ideas are indeed exactly what my target audience want to read.
So, I turned to my trusted friend Google and my awesome mentor, David Risley, for help. And I’m sooooo glad I did.
Because now, I have 3 super simple ways to find blog post ideas that I know without a doubt my target audience want and need.
And just having the certainty of knowing that what I am writing is of real value to people, has made me a much more confident writer.
In this post, I will share my super simple strategies with you, to help you find blog post ideas people actually want to read.
Give them a try. You’ve got nothing to lose, right?
Oh, and btw, just so you know, I’ve saved the best for last. 😉
I’m sure you’re familiar with keyword research.
It’s nothing new. But it flat out works. And Wordtracker is a simple tool you can use. And, you get 11 free keyword searches each day.
Just enter a keyword and let the tool tell you exactly what information your target audience is looking for.
Here’s a screenshot of what came up when I entered the word blog – which is one of the top level keywords for my online business.
As you can see from the first 7 results that are visible on the screenshot, there’s two potential blog post ideas already.
And if I scroll further down the page, I see at least 5 more, just for this one keyword. 🙂
These are all questions that your target audience are asking, that you as an expert in your blog topic can (and should) answer.
And if you ever find yourself second guessing an idea you have for a blog post, just go to Wordtracker and enter a related keyword to confirm that people are actually interested in the topic you plan to write about.
2 Answer The Public
Answer The Public is another free tool you can use.
Again, you simply enter a keyword, and within seconds, you’ll have dozens, sometimes hundreds of blog posts ideas.
Unlike Wordtracker, this tool doesn’t provide keyword data like search volume and competition. Instead, it gives you a list of suggested searches from Google and Bing based on keyword searches.
In this example, let’s use the keyword ‘blog’ again.
Boom! I get 188 suggested searches I can use to come up with blog post ideas.
Looking at the screenshot above, right out of the gate, I can see people want to know ‘how to make money with a blog’. With that insight, I can now go back to Wordtracker and search for that question.
And voila! There’s 14,800 monthly searches for that long tail keyword, and competition is fairly low at just 1.96.
With this kind of data, you can be absolutely certain that this is a good blog post idea, and you’ll know which keywords to target for best SEO results.
But let’s not stop there. 🙂
If I scroll down to view more suggested searches given by Answer The Public, there’s loads more content ideas, asking questions like ‘what are the most popular blog topics’ and ‘when can I apply for Adsense’ and ‘how often should you publish new posts’. This list goes on.
If you want to learn more about Answer The Public and how it can help you beyond finding content ideas, read this article.
3 Transformation Map
This is my favourite. It’s such a FUN exercise to do. And it’s something you can repeat periodically as your business grows.
When done properly, it not only helps you come up with TONS of helpful blog post ideas. It helps you come up with ideas for lead magnets, products and services, too.
To create a transformation map, first you must get clear on the transformation that you are in the business of delivering.
In this post, David explains the transformation as: the process of getting a person from point A to point B. And that point B is their ideal scene. That is where they want to be in whatever your market is.
So, in my business, point A is a person who wants to have an online business that makes money selling products and services using a WordPress blog, but they lack the technical abilities to make it happen. Point B then, is a person who has a ‘fully functioning’ online business that makes money.
And all the blog posts I publish. All the lead magnets I create. All the emails I send. And all the services I offer, should be aligned around the transformation I deliver, which we’ll take a closer look at in just a minute.
Now, once you’re clear on the transformation you are in the business of delivering, the next step is to create a transformation map which is a helicopter overview of the transformation broken down in to steps, in chronological order.
To give you an example, I’ll use my business again. For a person to get from point A to point B, at the very least they need:
- A blog
- An email list
- Products & services
Once you’ve outlined the steps, you can break this down even further and this is where things get exciting. This part of the exercise will give you enough blog post ideas for the next quarter, at least.
So, continuing on from the example above, to have a blog, you must:
- Choose a domain name
- Register a domain name
- Get web hosting
- Change DNS nameservers
- Install WordPress
- Install essential plugins
- Choose a theme
- Install and Configure the theme
- Learn how to use WordPress
- Populate the site with content
Already, that’s 10 blog post ideas. But we can take this even further, like this:
- Who’s the best domain registrar?
- Who’s the best web host?
- What type of web hosting account do you need?
- Exactly what plugins do you need to begin with?
- Which is the best blogging platform and why?
- Which is better. WordPress.com or WordPress.org
- Where to buy WordPress themes?
- How do you choose the right theme for you?
- How do you write good blog posts?
- Where do you find blog post ideas?
- And so on. 🙂
Do you see how powerful this exercise is? It’s not the end though. There’s more because, after starting a blog, most people struggle with maintaining it and with ongoing tech issues, like:
- How to properly update plugins
- How often should you update plugins
- What do you need to do to keep your blog loading fast
- How do you fix WordPress errors
- How do you make changes to your theme
- And so on 🙂
Now, I also said this exercise will help you come up with ideas for products and services, too. And it will. Let’s continue.
Looking at my example above, already, I see several ideas:
- Done for you blog setup service
- DIY Blog Setup Video Course
- Done for you website maintenance
- Do it yourself website maintenance course
- How to speed up WordPress course
- Done for you site speed optimisation
- And so on. 🙂
I’m sure you do see the power of this simple exercise by now. Give it a try. You’ll be amazed at how many blog post ideas you come up with.
I like to use Workflowly to do this. But you can use whatever tool works best for you. Evernote. Word. Google Docs. Even pen and paper if you prefer.
Oh, also. When you’ve finished this exercise, be sure to run keywords related to the items on your list through Wordtracker, so you can SEO your content.
I hoped the simple strategies in this article has helped you learn how to blog post ideas. If you take the time to give them a try, I’m confident you’ll find tons of blog post ideas that your readers will love.
If you found this article useful, I highly recommend going through David’s course, Content Marketing Clinic, which you get access to when you join the LAB. It helped me A LOT, and I know it will help you too.
Kerry – The Blog Mechanic