How to Find New Content Topic Ideas
Why Are Content Ideas Important for Content Marketing?
There’s no doubt about it: coming up with ideas for content can be tricky.
There’s also no question that coming up with content ideas is a SUPER important part of content marketing.
With the right topic, you’re already halfway to a successful post.
But if you go with the wrong topic? Even the best blog post or video will fall flat.
In fact, I’d say that I spend about 20% of my time working on a post just on the topic ideas. It’s that important.
Fortunately, content ideation doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process… or a shot in the dark.
In fact, these 15 strategies will help you come up with dozens of content ideas within minutes.
How to Find Content Topic Ideas
1. Answer The Public
AnswerThePublic.com is a really cool free tool that’s perfect for coming up with high-quality content ideas.
Unlike most tools, Answer The Public bubbles up questions that people ask online.
To use it, just type in a broad topic that you want to write about.
After a few minutes of the tool doing its thing, you’ll get a massive list of questions-based topics.
2. Twitter Search
Twitter is an underrated source of topic ideas.
The main issue with Twitter is that the content is all over the place.
Enter: Twitter Search.
All you need to do is search for a keyword.
And you’ll get a list of tweets related to that term.
The cool thing about Twitter search is that it brings up topics that are blowing up right now.
And because the topics are relatively new, they’re probably not super competitive yet.
If you want to get advanced, you can even filter by date, hashtags and more.
3. Blog Comments
This is one of my all-time favorite ways to find new content topic ideas.
You can either look at comments on your own blog… or comments that people leave on a competitor’s blog.
(Either way works).
For example, I recently noticed that more and more people were leaving comments like this:
Which is why I recently got to work on a guide to local SEO.
The great thing about using comments from your blog is that you already KNOW that your audience is going to love the content you put out there. They’re literally asking you to write about that exact topic.
But if you don’t have comments from your own blog that you can use, no worries. Comments on other blogs in your niche can also work.
4. Reddit Threads
According to Alexa, Reddit is the 16th most popular website on the internet.
Sure, most of their users are 25 year old hipsters.
But no matter what industry you happen to be in, you can usually find a subreddit where your target audience hangs out.
For example, the r/bigseo subreddit is where content marketers, bloggers and SEO professionals tend to hang out.
But there are also subreddits about gardening:
And there’s even a subreddit about sheds:
No matter where your audience hangs out on Reddit, the process for mining Reddit for content ideas is exactly the same.
First, confirm that the subreddit is active. If you see that the last post is from more than a week ago, it’s probably a dead subreddit.
Once you find a popular subreddit, check out the questions that people are asking.
These questions are PERFECT content ideas for blog posts, YouTube videos… or any other content that you plan on creating.
If you see someone asking a question on Reddit, it usually means that they already searched for an answer in Google. But they (obviously) didn’t find what they were looking for.
In other words: there’s a market for a piece of great content that helps that person answer that question or solve their problem.
5. Popular Videos
This works even if you don’t plan on creating a video.
In my experience, content that does well on YouTube can do just as well (if not better) as a blog post, webinar or ebook.
For example, if you go to my YouTube channel and sort by “Popular”, you can see that my #1 video is about “video SEO”.
And my #2 most-viewed video is about “how to get more views on YouTube”.
I recommend heading over to a few competitor’s channels to see what’s doing well for them.
As an example, if you’re in the fitness space, the Fitness Blender channel would be a great channel to keep an eye on.
You can either sort by their most popular all-time videos.
Or just take a look at what topics have been working best them over the last few months.
6. Brainstorm Ideas
Sometimes the best blog post ideas don’t come from a fancy tool.
In fact, brainstorming ideas on pen and paper can work GREAT.
The only thing to keep in mind about this process is this:
Focus on quantity over quality.
I don’t recommend evaluating each topic that you jot down. Instead, just get as many potential topic ideas you can on paper.
Then, once the brainstorming session is over, you can evaluate the topics on your list.
7. Google Trends
You can use Google Trends to see if a potential topic is moving in the right direction or not.
If the blue line is moving up and to the left, then you know that more and more people are typing that term into Google search.
But it’s helpful for finding new ideas too.
For example, when you search for “Ramen” in Google Trends, you get this chart.
And this is where most people stop looking. But if you scroll down, you’ll notice a “Related Queries” section.
This is Google’s way of bubbling up other trending topics that are closely tied to the keyword you just searched for.
8. Twitter Chats
Twitter Chats are little Q&A sessions that anyone on Twitter can contribute to.
For example, SEMRush has a weekly chat that results in dozens of questions (and answers).
Needless to say, these Twitter chats are a goldmine of topic ideas.
9. Swipe File
A “swipe file” is a collection of content that you found cool, interesting and inspiring.
They don’t even have to be related to what your site is all about.
Sometimes the best inspiration comes from outside of your niche.
For example, the design we used for this guide to becoming an SEO expert came from a design I saw (and saved) on Dribbble.
So keep your eyes open for ideas to add to your swipe file. It will become one of your marketing team’s most valuable assets.
When it comes to content tools to help you find blog post topic ideas, you really can’t beat BuzzSumo.
My favorite thing about BuzzSumo is that it helps you discover topics already proven to work.
Which means you don’t want to wonder whether or not there’s demand for that topic. The only question is whether or not your specific piece of content performs.
I’ll explain what I mean with a quick example.
Let’s say you wanted to create a blog post about copywriting. But you’re not sure exactly to cover.
Well, you could guess. Or choose one of the proven topics that BuzzSumo shows you.
As you can see, articles that focus on a set number of tips are doing really well (at least when it comes to social media shares).
But let’s say that you’re not as interested in Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest shares. Instead, your #1 priority with content is to get more backlinks.
Well, you can sort the results to show you which content has been linked to the most.
11. Product Hunt
How do you get new topic ideas from Product Hunt?
First, I recommend checking out the products that win Product of the day, week or month awards.
I’m not recommending that you create content about these specific products (although you can).
Instead, these products tell you problems that people are looking to solve. And niches that are rapidly growing.
For example, I’ve noticed more and more team collaboration tools do well on PH.
Knowing this, you could create a post that reviews the most popular team collaboration software. Or do a showdown like “Slack vs. Hipchat”.
Second, PH has a growing forum called “Ask” where people ask questions about tech, working online and more.
12. Content Explorer
Content Explorer is Ahrefs’s answer to BuzzSumo.
And I have to say, it works SUPER well.
Just like with BuzzSumo, it’s designed to show you the best-performing content in a given niche.
But what I like about Content Explorer is that it has A TON of sorting and filtering features.
For example, you can sort the results by pages that get the most search engine traffic every month.
Or you can see content that brings in the most valuable traffic (in other words: they rank in Google for high CPC keywords).
13. Conference Talks
If you want a fresh set of content ideas that you won’t find in any tool, check out conference agenda pages.
These pages are GREAT because they show you in-demand topics. After all, people are paying for a ticket and flying there just to learn about these topics.
For example, check out this conference agenda page:
I already see 3-4 content topics that could work really well as an infographic or blog post.
Pro Tip: Pop a conference page into Keyword Planner to generate lots of ideas (and get monthly search volume data).
14. Google Analytics
Google Analytics helps you find topic ideas that are sitting right under your nose.
To be clear:
This technique only works if your site has some traffic coming in. But if your blog generates even a little bit of traffic, you can use Google Analytics to come up with ideas for topics.
All you need to do is look at your site’s top landing pages.
This shows you pages that are driving traffic to your website.
(You want to ignore any non-content pages that show up here, like your homepage).
For example, I spot a pattern in my content:
Content related to YouTube is bringing in LOTS of visitors.
This is super valuable info to have. BuzzSumo and other tools can tell you what types of content are working best in general.
But they don’t tell you what topics, formats and angles work best for your site and your audience.
That’s why this strategy is so helpful: you can quickly figure out what topics you should double down on.
15. Podcast Episodes
Here’s an underrated way to find new content ideas.
First, head over to a podcast in your niche.
(You can use your phone for this. But I prefer to visit the podcast page on podcasts.apple.com on my desktop).
Then, scan over the episode list.
In about 30 seconds you’ll find yourself with some solid topic ideas.
The Definitive Guide to Keyword Research: A thorough guide to finding keywords for SEO. Now that you have a list of topics, keyword research is a great next step. That way, you can use keywords in your content that people search for.
4 Simple Brainstorming Techniques That Will Help You Write Killer Content: An excellent guide to brainstorming from CoSchedule.
The Definitive Guide to BuzzSumo: I only scratched the surface of what’s possible with BuzzSumo. This guide goes a lot deeper.