I would advise that you come up with 100 blog post ideas before you even start your blog.
Hmm, 100 is a lot. Definitely 30 though.
But before you go off and write down 30 post titles that fit in with your niche, I want to think about your goals here.
Let’s assume it’s to make a million on your blog and retire at 40.
Go big or go home, kids.
In order to not give up on our dreams in the first six months, it’s important to get some pageviews. Don’t worry if it’s only a trickle. In the first three months of my plant blog, I got 12 viewers, and they were probably bots. Luckily, they rose from there.
I don’t bother with social media for blog promotion. It’s a nice cherry on top, but it’s not the cake.
Also, it’s a massive time suck, that requires not only creating the content but researching how to get that content seen.
We want search engines to notice us right from the start. And how do we make them see us? By writing the best content for our topic.
And how do we write the best content?
Er, we find out what questions people are asking in our niche (see post above) that aren’t being answered.
Or aren’t being answered well.
Or the search results that come up aren’t *quite* answering what was asked.
Google has to rank you if you’re the only one answering the question!
(This is why niching waaay down is a great technique).
Sure, only 1000 people asked the question, but you still rank number one. Google’ll keep an eye on you.
So, tips for coming up with blog content
- Make a list of articles you can rank for
The object here isn’t to attract millions of views. It’s to get a teensy bit of traction to your site. Answer those queries that are currently only being answered on Reddit and Quora. Answer them well. Get ranked.
Once you’ve made your list, make a start on writing the articles, whilst compiling a list for the next stage.
2. Now make a list of the normal type of topics you expect to find on blogs within your niche.
You probably won’t rank number one on them, but the quicker you get them written the quicker they’ll rank. Again, I favour the question and answer style, because a) it’s easier to write headlines and b) people will click your link if your title is the same as the question they’re asking.
Think up maybe 20 cornerstone blog post ideas — think about the queries you had when you were new to the niche.
Go for long. Go for detail. But don’t waffle. Read through the articles your competitors have written and see what they’ve missed.
3. Scavenge Pinterest
I like to look for blog post inspiration on Pinterest because it's more aesthetically pleasing than other SERPs. Search your niche and see what crops up.
Read a few articles.
Look for areas that aren’t being written about or ideas that are being written about badly. Just looking at your competition can give you ideas for posts.
In particular, look for articles that are a bit clickbaity or clearly trying to fix the users pain point with a paid product (or blatant affiliate plug), and see if you can provide the same value for free. People love free stuff and can tell when they’re being primed for the big sell. They might not mind, but they also might prefer a post that isn’t as, you know, salesy.
4. Check your own search history
What did you need to research when you first came across the niche? What areas were unclear? Could you solve a complex problem with one blog post and an infographic?
If you can find a way to do something more cheaply for a comparable result, you’re golden.
Anyone can conduct their own research, but people want to be spoon-fed. They’d prefer to have one tab open with all the information over having to click between different posts.
Make your posts informative, but easy to understand. Do shorter posts answering simple questions, and longer ones tackling every aspect of a certain topic.
If you can make your blog the one-stop-shop, you can dominate your niche.
And since you’re interested in the subject you know the questions that need answering — you’ve probably already asked them.
5. Look for conflict
Are there any pieces of ‘standard’ advice that just didn’t resonate with you?
The reason I started writing on Medium was that I was sick of reading about how Tailwind is the god-given answer to all blogging woes, how content isn’t enough, and how you need to bust your ass 80 hours a week to get anywhere.
Why Medium? The whole ‘blog-about-blogging’ thing is done. I couldn’t be bothered to wade through all the keyword research, so I didn’t.
I just vent on here.
Christ, imagine if I tried to rank on Google for ‘Is Tailwind worth it?’ I’d be on page 126, unless I did a clickbaity ‘Tailwind is a massive waste of money’ post, which absolutely isn’t true for a lot of bloggers.
6. Write every idea down
I have a notebook on my desk for ideas, and a Google Keep note for each blog. Some ideas never come to fruition, others need to be split down into a series, and some seem incredible until six months after you’ve written them and then you realise you missed a crucial point.
It doesn’t matter. Just make sure you have a system that allows you to capture most (if not all) of your random, half-arsed thoughts. You never know which one will create that spark.
7. Sit down and your desk and try to force a few blog post ideas
Grab a piece of paper and write the numbers 1–30 down the left-hand side of the page. Now don’t move until you come up with 30 blog post ideas.
I used this technique to plot my novel. I came up with thirty chapter ideas and wrote a short synopsis.
Obviously it was pretty crap, but it gave me direction.
As each chapter was fleshed out, I had to make changes to the future chapters, but that’s ok. I knew where I was going, but I could take the scenic route if I wanted to.
I used to subscribe to the notion that a good writer doesn’t have to force ideas, and I’m sure the words just flow out of some of you.
But sometimes taking the time to just sit and think about your niche can generate, if not complete ideas, then fragments that can be joined together later.
This the time when you can get out massive rolls of paper and markers, and create mind maps and brainstorms and all those other things you haven’t done since school.
Write down niche-related words, products you use, YouTubers you have notifications set for, all that information you don’t consciously think about.
8. Don’t worry if this is the hardest part of blogging
If thinking up ideas for incredible page-one-of-Google-worthy blog posts was easy, everyone would be doing it.