“Bloggers who utilize blogging for marketing purposes see 13 times the ROI of businesses that don’t.” This stat from HubSpot underscores why so many marketers and business owners include blogging in their content marketing strategies. They hope to see this kind of impressive ROI.
Yet, it’s not uncommon to see company blogs collecting cobwebs with new blog posts published few and far between. Why? Because it can be a challenge to consistently come up with interesting, high-value blog topic ideas. However, it’s not impossible.
12 ways to build up a backlog of blog topics
Here’s a cheat sheet to help you compile a backlog of appealing, audience-approved content ideas that have the potential to become successful blog posts. No hacks needed!
1. Keep in touch with your audience
Who better to tell you what you should create blog content on than the people who you want to read it? Ultimately, if the topics you choose are not appealing to your audience, you’ll have nothing to show for your investment in content creation.
So use surveys, start conversations on social media and, yes, have actual, one-on-one conversations with your audience to learn about their interests, goals, and challenges. And don’t forget to ask what types of posts and media they prefer—list posts, roundups, tutorials and step-by-step guides, posts with infographics, and so on. If you do, you’ll pretty much have endless blog post ideas to choose from.
2. Talk to your sales and customer support teams
Talking to the people who talk to your audience often is also a smart move. Both your sales team and your customer support team can likely provide a ton of insight into common questions people have, topics of interest, desires, and so on. So asking for their input regularly can help you keep the topic ideas flowing.
3. Revisit your Ideal Customer Profile
Besides speaking with your audience directly and other teams that communicate with them regularly, revisiting your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) can also be helpful. How so?
You could use the location data of the majority of your target market to share local news related to your industry. Or you could make connections between your core topic and their interests or hobbies for a more personalized user experience.
4. Analyze the performance of existing content
Blog posts of yours that are already performing well can be a good indicator of what your audience is most interested in.
Take a look at your analytics, paying special attention to metrics like sessions and average session duration to see which pieces are the best at reeling in and holding the attention of readers. Once you’ve identified them, all you have to do is spot opportunities to dive deeper into those topics or expand to other related info.
5. Find underserved topics with keyword research
In addition to looking at your analytics data, you’ll want to do keyword research to get a broader idea of what your target audience cares most about.
Of course, you can get a wealth of information from advanced tools such as SEMrush and Ahrefs. But don’t forget about simple but effective methods and tools like Google autocomplete and Answer the Public. These are especially helpful for competitive markets where you need to focus on more specific, lower competition, long-tail keywords as part of your SEO strategy.
6. Borrow from Frequently Asked Questions
Have you covered the most commonly asked questions from your audience in your blog posts? If not, those questions can be a good place to start.
However, you should also check out your competitors’ FAQs and see what burning questions you could address to attract and win over some of their audiences. (Keep in mind that you likely have both direct and indirect competitors. So examine FAQs for all alternatives to your company including products or services from other companies and DIY solutions.)
7. Get personal by sharing your experiences
A lot of blog content, although valuable, is missing the human element. This is probably why posts that share company-specific experiences and findings tend to perform so well. People love stories! Not only can they teach and inform, but they also have emotional appeal, which is great for promoting engagement.
Want to grow your readership, get more subscribers to your email list or encourage more social media shares? Consider sharing the results of your tests and experiments, your findings during research, and how your company is making advancements within your industry.
8. Read industry-related book and product reviews
An easy way to find out what your audience is interested in most, wants to know more about or dislikes? Read the reviews of books related to your industry, look for common threads, and choose blog topics accordingly.
The same goes for product reviews. Look at products comments made about products that are alternatives to what your company offers and see what you can learn. Not only will you be able to identify topics worth covering, but you'll also gain insight into the kind of language you should use to create the most engaging, best blog posts possible.
9. “Steal” from ready-made topic lists
The most popular (or controversial) books in your blog niche can provide great topics for discussion on your blog. Even if you’re not up for reading such books in their entirety, you can get a lot of inspiration from looking through their table of contents and scanning chapters to find interesting concepts.
You can also check out the podcast topics of authorities and up-and-coming voices in your industry to get ideas for your own blog.
10. Practice social listening
Social media can be a great place to gather information to inform and, more importantly, improve your blogging strategy. You should always be keeping tabs on what conversations are taking place surrounding your industry, your brand specifically, and your competitors. By taking note of what conversations are the most productive, what topics are most popular, and what’s trending, you can choose the right topics for your posts.
11. Use Quora and Reddit
Quora and Reddit are gold mines for research. Both questions asked and answers given there can reveal a lot about what topics are worth creating content around. So whether you look at recent discussions that have already happened there or you start your own conversation, you should be using these platforms.
12. Keep up with industry news
For blogging to be a valuable part of your content strategy and actually contribute to your business goals, you have to be viewed as a trustworthy, go-to source of information related to your industry. And to be viewed that way by your readers, you can’t afford to be behind the times, dishing up outdated (and possibly unreliable) information. Stay up-to-date on industry news.
4 blog topic idea generators you should try
Last but not least, if you need a little extra help brainstorming topics for your upcoming blog posts, you can use a blog topic idea generator. Let’s see how a handful of the most popular generators work by comparing their outputs for the term “SEO copywriting.”
Jarvis has tons of helpful templates for content and copy, including one for generating great blog post ideas. Simply enter your company name, a description of your topic, who your target audience is, and your desired tone of voice.
You’ll then end up with a list of potential blogging ideas that will engage readers and that have the potential to rank well on Google. This is one of the main contrasts between Jarvis and other tools that use the spammy clickbait approach over providing actual optimization for the best results.
Another difference is that you can train Jarvis on the kinds of topic ideas you want by giving it one of more example headings to learn from. As opposed to other tools that only allow you to enter keywords with little to no additional context, you can improve the quality of the results Jarvis gives you.
Pricing: Jarvis’ pricing starts at an affordable $29/month.
Next up is Sumo. In addition to being able to choose the type of headlines you want to be generated—how-to, explanatory, etcetera—you can provide additional context on what you want to discuss. This includes information such as:
- The desired outcome of your target audience
- What your audience values
- A consequence they’d like to avoid
- Something within their power to reach their goal or avoid that undesirable outcome
- Other prompts depending on the content type you select
Sumo then provides a variety of ideas that you can play around with to develop a strong headline. From a copywriting perspective, this is an excellent and more tailored approach to idea generation. However, as you can see, not all of the headline options given are specific about the main topic or include the keyword so you may need to do a little editing to nail down a topic idea that’s both engaging and optimized for search engines.
Pricing: Sumo is a free tool so it’s worth giving a try if you need a little inspiration.
A simple tool, SEOPressor only requires you to enter your content topic and select a description of the keyword you entered from a dropdown. The description provides context on whether your topic is related to:
- A generic keyword
- An event
- A product
- A brand
- A skill
- An industry
- A person
In many cases, SEOPressor returns hundreds or even 1,000 results. While not all of them will be relevant, the sheer volume of ideas available makes up for it.
Pricing: While SEOPressor is free, you will have to enter an email address to continue generating ideas after you hit the daily limit of 5.
HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator is a popular, easy-to-use option. All you have to do is enter your focus keyword or main topic and, based on successful formulas, HubSpot will return a handful of ungated results to give you some inspiration.
You can also download an entire year’s worth of ideas by filling out a short form, which may be worth it because not all of the five ungated results are usable as-is. For example, other suggested titles were:
- SEO Copywriting: Expectations vs. Reality
- Will SEO Copywriting Ever Rule the World?
- SEO Copywriting Explained in Fewer than 140 Characters
- This Week's Top Stories About SEO Copywriting
Most of these would require some tweaking to make them a fit for the topic and content format so having a year’s worth of ideas to choose from might be a faster way to identify ready-to-go topics.
Pricing: Like Sumo, HubSpot’s generator is 100% free.
Never have a shortage of blog topic ideas again!
There are plenty of ways to drum up ideas for interesting blog content that will attract and benefit your ideal customers, as well as benefit your business. One of the simplest, most effective ways is using the Blog Post Topic Ideas template from Jarvis. You can plan a month of content (or more) within the hour. Why not give Jarvis a try for free today and get a head start?