5 Ways to Instantly Generate Blog Content Ideas

"How do you come up with so many ideas for your content? Don't you run out after a couple months?"

We get asked something like this quite often. When you first have an idea for a niche, it certainly can seem hard to come up with consistent content ideas for blog posts, audio and video. Yet, consistent content creation is one of the most dependable ways to build a profitable business.

The irony is that I have been stewing for two days to come up with an idea for a blog post. Sometimes you just get blocked. So I thought it would be helpful to remind myself (and share with you) of proven tricks for generating instant content ideas.

1. The 5 and 5 Method

Imagine you're sitting in a coffee shop with you ideal audience member -- the kind of person that you would really like to do business with. This person really wants to know more about what you do and how you do it. It helps to even think about someone that you know (e.g. a client, friend, colleague, family member). It might even be a "past version of yourself."

What are the five questions this person is likely to ask you? Write those down.

What are five questions they should ask you, but don't know to ask. These are five questions that you wish they would ask you. Write those down.

You now have ten questions. The answer to each of those ten questions is a blog post, audio or video for your site. You'll notice that I started this post with a question.

2. The Amazon Stealth Swipe

This is s fancy name for a simple idea. Here's how it works.

  • Go to Amazon
  • Search for your topic
  • Click on a book that looks interesting (make sure it is one that has the Look Inside logo)
  • Click on the book cover (where the Look Inside logo appears) and this will bring up a table of contents
  • Copy down the chapter headings
Each chapter heading is a topic that you can create content about.

3. Call Up Your Avatar

One thing we teach in depth in the Academy is how to create a specific definition of your ideal customer. This make it a lot easier to attract an audience and to do business with them. Your avatar is a description representing this ideal audience member and customer (like the person you use for idea #1 above).

Think of someone that you know that fits this description. It should be someone that you know is interested in the topic that you have chosen. Call them up and have a 30-minute conversation. Listen to the things they ask and the words that they use. You should have at least one, if not several, ideas for content come up in the conversation.

4. Visit Similar Blogs in Your Niche

Use Google or a site like AllTop to find a popular blog in your niche. Blog will often have a list of their most popular content. If not, do some browsing and look for posts that have the most comments. If it was popular for them, likely it would be popular for you. You don't want to copy their post word for word. Just note the topic and title. Then come up with your own title and start creating a post of your own.

5. Survey Your Following

This one works well if you have developed a regular readership (even if it is a small focused group), have a Twitter or Facebook following or an e-mail list. Send out a simple message or e-mail asking them what topics they would like to see talked about on your site. You can also ask them what their biggest questions are about the topic or what roadblocks they are currently running in to.

This provides a list of questions to be answered and problems needing solutions -- perfect content for your site.

What Else?

What other tricks do you have for generating blog content ideas? Share your suggestions and questions in the content below.

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Comments

  1. Good blog, and I can see the benefits of comments to this one, to get more ideas for more blogs. How about a blog about a review of your very first blogs, when you started.

  2. great tips. I have often thought about what to do when I run out of topics to post about and that step #2 with heading to amazon is a great idea.

    thanks,

  3. PopURLs.com does a great job of telling what’s current. I search for my keywords and then see what’s being written about that subject. I also use Alltop for this. Especially if there’s a page dedicated to my subject area (like education.alltop.com).

    Another place to get ideas is by searching Digg. I enter my keywords and then sort by “Most Dugg.” That gives me an idea on whether or not I’m on the right track.

  4. Excellent resources. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I like these! And check Quora for things people are asking about your business or industry.

    Also, I think creativity comes from just absorbing stuff that’s all around you. For example, I recently saw a little article on how people in Australia are knitting sweaters for penguins to protect them from cold after being cleaned of oil spill gunk and to prevent them from preening oily feathers. Nothing to do with online marketing, right?

    But then think about it in terms of email marketing, how businesses are always trying to predict what their customers want and need and then bend over backwards to show them why. Does a penguin really need a sweater? All sorts of marketing concepts come to mind — testing, surveying, educating, etc. Go with one concept that’s new to you and blog about it.

    Sounds silly, but that’s the way I think. I call it “squinting at a story.”

  6. Jen,

    Great point. Taking some time to read new books and articles does provide fodder for your own creativity.

    I often get ideas for my own content when reading or listening to something.

  7. Dont forget Google trends!

  8. If your website is already pretty well established then your analytics could be a great source og blog content ideas. See what people were searching for to find your site, what questions they were asking etc.

  9. I have read a lot of content ideas but have never heard of the Amazon stealth swipe! Such a creative way to get your thought process going and share new material with readers. Great idea!

  10. Great suggestions!

    One method I like is to notice when something I’m doing is not working and share how I either solved it, or all the things I tried and did not work, then ask for help. Experience sharing adds authenticity.

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