Are you a content manager or business writer looking for new blog ideas? Are you a freelancer with deadlines to meet but an unfortunate case of writer’s block?

One of the most challenging aspects of blogging regularly is coming up with topics — especially if you are running your own business. If writing and marketing are an addition to your other management work, you may feel stuck when it comes time to hammer out a new post for your audience.

So what can we do to make the process of finding good content ideas easier? If you’re looking for guidance on beefing up your process of mining for topics, you’ve come to the right (write? Ugh, we’re sorry) place!

Use a Generator

Did you know that there are online topic generators? Some will ask only for a noun, others allow you to input a series of words into their engine. The generator will then spit you out a topic idea immediately. Hooray for AI!

If, for example, you input “content marketing” into Portent’s Content Generator, it might give you a creative headline idea like “The Only Content Marketing Resources You Will Ever Need.” Hit the refresh button, and you get another option: “Why The World Would End Without Content Marketing.”

Not happy with what Portent suggests? Here are some other popular topic generators:

  • The Blog Post Idea Generator from Build Your Own Blog post, which is “ready to serve when your brain is out of service.”
  • The Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule, which aims to give you more clickable headlines through constructive feedback.

Some more elaborate choices also include Buzzsumo and Content Strategy Helper, which operate in spreadsheet-like fashion to help you make the most popular and click-worthy headline.

Read Similar Blogs

One way to brainstorm new ideas and stay on top of what’s trending is to consistently check out your competition. Make a habit of scanning other blogs in your industry to see what they are talking about. To help, there are services like Feedly that will help you manage and subscribe to a list of bloggers who write about the same topic that you do.

This will allow you to think about what unique angle or spin you have for a particular topic and can jump-start your creative process. On any given day, you may see more than one idea that appeals to you. Write them all down! This will give you material to work with on another day.

Keep an “Ideas” File

Keep a running “ideas file” in a convenient place. Even if it’s just a list on your phone, get in the habit of writing down blog ideas when they come to you or when you’re reading competitors’ blogs (promising yourself you’ll remember it later is a recipe for disaster).

The items on this list can be as simple as single words, which you can then put in a title generator, or can be more complex thoughts. You can even incorporate tools like Evernote to record audio files and other notes on the go. We know you’re busy with multiple projects and jobs, and writing down what you’re thinking about can help you avoid that terrible feeling that you did have a great idea — except now you can’t remember it!

Crowdsource Your Ideas

There’s no faster way to please your audience than by simply asking them what they’d like to read about. You may be an expert, but you will always benefit from feedback and engagement with your audience.

There are several ways to crowdsource topic ideas:

  • Look in the comments section on your blog or Twitter. What are people asking about? How can you reply to those queries?
  • Look in the comments section of related blogs. This works for the same reason. Can you find a way to offer more to those who are already interested in your topic?
  • Ask directly. Run a poll on your blog or Facebook, ask your customers and colleagues or put out a tweet asking for feedback.

Analyze Your Most Popular Posts, Then Write More Like Them

If you’ve been blogging for any amount of time, you’ll have analytics on what your most viewed and most popular posts are. This is a big hint for what really resonates with your audience.

Look at your site, or the sites you write for, and see what the most popular topics are. Then follow the above steps to see how you might expand on those ideas. Look for ways to either get more granular in your analysis and break down big ideas, or go bigger and look for new approaches to your topic.

Once you’ve done the above, remember to link your related blog posts! Add a clickable link to the end of one post to lead an interested reader to another piece they might enjoy — this is a great way to encourage further reading.

Consider Guest Bloggers

If you’re really looking for a break from the blogging grind, or you’d like some more diverse opinions on your site, consider asking guests to contribute. Reach out to experts in your field, business owners with similar interests, or professionals with expertise related to the topic of your blog.

Often, people will be interested in the experience and exposure that they might get from your blog. Even if they don’t care to write the whole piece themselves, you can use them for rough content and ideas, and then just do the editing!

So the next time you are staring blankly at your computer screen, consider putting some of these ideas into play. In no time, you’ll be creating new content that ultimately brings you more traffic, engagement, and business.