I used to struggle to come up with blog post ideas. I didn’t have a plan or a schedule or any idea what I wanted to post on this blog.

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Blog Post Ideas: 7 Ways to Create Timely, Meaningful Content

Original photo by dhe haivan 

Times have changed, and I gotta say, I am currently the complete opposite now. I plan my posts months in advance, I have a specific time I post, and I always know where it will fit in the grand scheme of things I have created.

Before I continue, I do want to say that you don’t have to approach your blog this way. For me, my blog is a platform. While I have used it in the past as just a place to post some writings or to fire off a random post here or there, that’s not how I do it anymore. For what I want to achieve with my online presence, I knew I needed to get my proverbial shit together. This doesn’t mean that if you’re approaching your blog the way I used to that you don’t have your shit together. It’s your shit. You do with it what you will. Ultimately, you need to establish your purpose. And if that purpose includes building an online platform and increasing your traffic exponentially in order to build a following, then you may be interested in what I have to say.

If you don’t want to do those things, then that’s totally cool. You do you.

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And if you think maybe there’s something more to online content creation and you’re missing something, check out today’s video.

Now, with that out of the way, I’m going to share the top 7 ways I come up with blog post ideas. While some of them I use more than others, I can say that all of them are great ways to come up with content. And even if you aren’t a member of the Church of the Editorial Calendar, you can still use these methods to come up with post ideas. So with that, let’s get into it.

Blog Post Ideas

001: Post Analytics

I use both Jetpack (a WordPress plugin) and Google Analytics to see how posts are doing on my blog. This is a great way to see what resonates with your audience, and what is bringing in new visitors. So while I don’t recommend that you recycle your content by completely reposting the same thing, you should definitely generate new ideas based on the older, most popular posts.

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So, for example, the most popular post of all time on my blog is this post about how I feel down the Midori traveler’s notebook rabbit hole. And because that post does so well (we’re talking like 50k more views than anything else) I created these posts about using a personal-sized traveler’s notebook, my Passion Planner traveler’s notebook setup, and my 2019 bullet journal traveler’s notebook.

You don’t have to do this with everything, though. For whatever reason, another one of my most popular posts is about Dollar Tree drug test kits. I wrote a one-off flippant post, and it brings in some traffic. But I don’t want to be known for that, so I won’t be creating reviews of Dollar Tree drug test kits or anything like that.


002: The Calendar

There are a ton of holidays and seasonal content that can be a good way to drive traffic to your blog because you can capitalize on the increased search traffic for that specific thing. This won’t work for everything, and can definitely make more sense for craft and food bloggers. For example, people search for Christmas cookie recipes around Christmas, or they want fun Halloween crafts around Halloween.

I make this work for me and my writing focus by posting about NaNoWriMo at the start of NaNoWriMo. I have this post about how to win NaNoWriMo, a post about books for NaNoWriMo, and a post about why you should try NaNoWriMo. I even created an entire 31-day video playlist for Preptober over on YouTube. So, it doesn’t have to be a national holiday that you’re creating content for. Find something that fits with your niche and use that to get you some of that sweet, sweet search traffic.

003: Keywords Everywhere Chrome Extension

I think the hardest thing about SEO, other than getting quality backlinks from big deal sites (YOU STINGY BASTARDS), is finding unique, long-tail keywords that you can easily rank for, and integrate into your content easily. But I’ve found it’s gotten a lot easier since I installed the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension.

This extension shows up on a search results page and shows you similar long-tail keywords to what you’ve just searched, and gives you the search volume, cost-per-click, and competition for each of those keywords. If you’re used to using Google Adwords to pick long-tail keywords, then this may seem a little simplistic. But if you’re like me and do not enjoy Google Adwords, this is a great way to find search terms and how they rank.

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004: Pinterest and Tailwind Analytics

I have a Pinterest business account, and I like it because it shows me how my pins are doing. (Are you following me on Pinterest? You totally should.) I also use Tailwind to schedule my pins, and this also shows me some data about how my account is doing. Both show me things that people are interested in.

When I need to get an idea of what people like to see, I get on Pinterest and I see what my top-performing pins are. I also look at what is clicked the most, and what gets the most engagement. When I’m on Tailwind, I see what’s performing well, and what the members of my Tailwind tribes are sharing. That shows me what they think their audience wants to see.

After I’ve done all that, I can then generate new post ideas based off old content. So, if I know that people really like writing retreats, I can create region-specific writing retreat posts, or guides on how to have a successful writing retreat.

(If you’re interested in trying Tailwind to schedule pins and get yourself some traffic, you can use my Tailwind link so you can try it free for a month. If you sign up, I get some kickbacks.)

005: Your Audience

This is probably one that I don’t use as often as I should, and I do plan to change that this year. So know that is coming. Or, if you have something you absolutely need me to write about, let me know in the comments. The comments section of your blog or YouTube videos is a goldmine. People are asking questions based on your content, and those questions could quite easily become the topic for a post or two.

But if you feel like you need a little more, you can always poll your audience. You can easily create a Google Survey and ask your audience some targeted questions, like what they love to read about on your blog, and what they don’t want to see. It’s a good idea to make most of the questions ones you can easily analyze. So give them a list of possibilities and let them choose. But you should definitely have one where you let your audience write in an answer, especially if you really want to get in their heads about what they want to see.

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006: Your Colleagues and Competition

The thing about creating online content is that there are one million people doing the same thing. So it makes sense that more than one person would be creating the same kind of content that you create. So if you’re looking for post ideas, you may see what kind of posts get shares and likes and online traction from those who are in your same sphere. I’m not telling anyone to plagiarize, but I am telling you to look at the posts and keywords that others are using, and see if you have a unique take on that.

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Admittedly, this strategy will only take you so far. I don’t think it will get you new readers, especially if others already follow your competitors. But it will keep people coming back, and will let you have your say in the Google search results. I think you should use this strategy sparingly, and make sure you aren’t undercutting people, because they can do it to you too.

007: Headlines and Google Alerts

There’s nothing quite like getting a good pop of traffic off a big trend. So, if there’s a big news story that would appeal to someone in your niche, you can write about it. And bonus points to you if you can fit some famous names or keywords into your title to get more traffic. I would recommend that you don’t do this super often, just because you’ll seem like someone who is always chasing the trends. But it can be a way to create a timely post and get noticed in a broader conversation.

But what if something happens, and you don’t see the headline? That’s where Google Alerts comes in handy. You can type in pretty much any keyword or phrase, and set up an alert for that. And as soon as that start pinging search engines and such, Google will let you know. From there, you can create your content.

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How Do You Get Blog Post Ideas?

So, these are only 7 ways to get blog post ideas, and there are many other ways that might work better. How do you come up with blog post ideas? Do you generate a lot of content ideas all at once? Will you use any of these methods to create blog posts?

8 Responses

  1. Thank you for these ideas – I know you will always give solid blogging and writing advice! I am more of the “Am I feeling blue or green today?” type of blogger, but I do occasionally have bursts of creativity, where I will go in, plan ahead, and set up several blog post drafts at one time. Then I go back and finish them/polish them much more slowly. Looking forward to seeing you at the Launch Bloggers Conference!

  2. I did have an editorial calendar, and was even 3 weeks ahead. But, that fell by the wayside.
    This a helpful post. I am grateful to you and your youtube and blog, as you share so much great advice and you dont hide anything. I use wordpress.com and i have paid option, a cheap one. I get jetpack as default and stats, but i cant figure how to make that work for content creation. Can elaborate on that in youtube post? Or have you already. Like wise instgram and facebook and pinterest. I just reblog my blog post. For insta i copy a bit of my blog post and post that. But i just so random even though on my blog i say i only post on Wednesday as i busy at work.

    These tips are super helpful and got me thinking. But could you elaborate, how you look at stats and then recreate content? Pretty please.

    1. I’m actually doing a video for Wednesday that goes into how I do some content planning and how I look at stats! So stay tuned.

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