Remember when you first started blogging?
Your mind was flooded with great blog post ideas – coming up with them wasn’t challenging.
Instead, executing on those ideas is probably what was keeping you up at night.
Then one day, you’re not sure how or why – your flow of ideas started to slow.
Your posting schedule became less consistent, and the pressure to come up with new topics only increased your anxiety.
But you were no closer to a solution.
We’ve all been there.
Here are 27 strategies that will help you come up with more blog post ideas, and fill up that content calendar.
1. Mine your hobbies
I love reading posts that offer a unique perspective on a popular topic – your audience might be the same.
Make a list of hobbies and cross reference them with your industry. It’ll result in a headline like: 7 Things I Learned About [industry topic] from [your hobby].
2. Read a great book
Non-fiction books feature tons of information, studies and antidotes that you can use to brainstorm new blog post ideas.
One easy technique for using this tactic is to go through the Table of Contents and use the chapter headings as new blog posts.
3. Get another perspective
Nothing quite says brainstorming like gathering a group of people together around a whiteboard.
If possible, find people in parallel industries to offer different perspectives (e.g. If you’re writing about marketing, get small business owners, web developers and graphic designers to contribute).
4. Review old content
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you should have a list of popular posts on your website.
Look through your archives and brainstorm new ways to attack old content.
Repurposing your content can open up the door for tons of new posts.
5. Word association
An age-old favorite: word association.
It’s a simple process.
Start with an industry-related word or phrase. Then write the first thing that comes into your head upon reading that word.
Keep going until you’ve found several angles that will make for some unique posts.
6. Use Google’s suggestions
You know how Google suggests phrases as you type your search query? That’s right – we’re going to use it to brainstorm.
Type in your phrase and use the suggestions to come up with blog post ideas:
7. Read the news
You can newsjack stories that directly affect your readers.
Or you can take an indirect approach by finding a popular news story outside your industry and writing about how it could affect your audience.
For example, as a marketer, the drought in California isn’t directly related to my niche. But I could still use this newsworthy topic to write a story like How the California Drought Will Affect Silicon Valley Startups.
8. Go somewhere else
Some places are just more inspirational than others. That’s why I love the idea of PeerSpace (it’s like AirBnB, but for creative spaces).
Even something as simple as a park pavilion or private room in a restaurant can do the trick.
9. Use freewriting
Freewriting is the foundation of several brainstorming techniques.
You simply write nonstop for a set amount of time. Don’t make corrections or edits along the way. Just keep writing until your time ends and see what ideas have come out of your session.
10. Dive into Quora
Quora is a wonderful community, full of people asking and answering questions.
You can follow interests related to your industry and then when you need new blog post ideas, dig through the stream and look for questions or answers that could help your audience.
I’m such a huge fan of this technique that I’ve actually incorporated it into the strategy documents I share with my content marketing clients.
One tab on the document automatically pulls in a list of related Quora questions, giving us plenty of ideas that we know people are looking for information on.
11. Keyword research
Solid keywords are the cornerstone of blog posts, which make them a perfect brainstorming tool.
I try to make an effort to discover new keywords on a regular basis.
12. Make a mind map
Start with big ideas or general keywords (e.g. Internet Marketing). Then, break it down into smaller sections (e.g. Content Marketing, PPC, SEO).
Continue to get more specific, giving you a bunch of topics that will make for great posts.
13. Use an idea generator
14. Mistakes and learning
Make a list of the challenges, mistakes and failures you’ve overcome.
Chances are, your readers are facing similar things and need the concrete solutions you can provide from your experience.
It’s a perfect opportunity to create helpful content.
15. Use a brainstorming spreadsheet
Hubspot has a brainstorming spreadsheet that adds a bit of structure to the process. It’s a visual, detailed way to generate ideas based on a general topic.
16. Search social media
Tools like Topsy help you search through the topics that are being shared most on social media. Go through the popular posts related to your industry and mine them for content ideas.
17. Write down your ideas
The best ideas seem to happen when I’m not trying to create them. Carrying around a notebook helps me capture my ideas – whether I’m out and about or waking up from a dream.
When you get in the habit of writing down ideas, you may find that they flow a lot easier as well. Give it a try!
18. Take advantage of your comments
Find a blog in your industry with an active comments section (or, if you have a discussion section on your own blog, use that).
Read through each comment and look at what people are asking. Those questions can lead to great ideas for blog posts.
19. Use the Medici Effect
The Medici Effect refers to the way in which seemingly unrelated things often intersect. When coming up with blog post ideas, look for commonalities across different topics.
For example, let’s say I ran a blog about helping freelancers succeed. If I came across a post about the best morning routines for executives, I could then translate that topic into something specific to my audience.
20. Do competitor analysis
Go through the content that your competitors are creating. I like to start in their Most Popular Postssection, or use one of the many tools online that make this even easier.
Analyze the post topics and their relative popularity. Then, look for ways you can expand on the topics, include better research or create a piece of content that’s better overall.