Posted by Clayton Johnson | August 9, 2016
Ever get writer’s block when you try to come up with blog post ideas?
Or maybe the blog post topics you’ve published haven’t taken off like you thought they would?
If you’re wondering what to write about, you’re about to learn how to find great blog ideas by validating the topics ahead of time in this step-by-step guide!
There are some simple strategies you can do to find great blog topics that will definitely work – before you even start writing.
Your audience will actually care about and want to read your content.
This can lead to more engagement, higher traffic, and more sales!
We use many of these techniques when coming up with killer topic ideas for our own blog, as well as with our product HOTH Blogger.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to:
- Define Your Target Avatar
- Get 1000+ Topic Ideas In Less Than 5 Min (Including Target Keywords!)
- Find HOT Trending Topics
- Get 50+ Blog Post Angles & Ideas For Higher Engagement
Let’s get into it!
Start By Defining Your Audience Avatar
The first part in creating any blogging strategy is to start by defining the avatar or persona of the person you’re writing to.
Think about your perfect customer and the kinds of problems they have.
We want to really hone in on who this person is, especially what kinds of things they would be interested in and be searching for online.
For us, our target customer is someone who wants help with SEO, so we write answers to the questions we get asked all the time:
Avatar: John who needs link building to increase his traffic
- What kind of SEO strategy should I use?
- How can I prevent penguin penalties?
- What’s the easiest way to do keyword research?
Writing blog posts on these kinds of topics will attract a general, but interested audience.
Notice we don’t write about “what is seo” because we generally don’t want to try to “sell” anyone on SEO. Instead, we want customers that already know about SEO and its value and just want help getting it done.
When we define our customer a bit more, our best customer is an SEO agency or an SEO consultant.
So we think about what kinds of questions or problems SEO agencies would run into, and we write articles about that:
Avatar: Andy, a manager at an SEO Agency
These kinds of articles are more specific, and they are meant to attract our perfect customer.
When you’re creating your customer avatar, try to really hone in on who your perfect customer is.
Then think about the kinds of problems or questions they have that they would search for online. You should craft your articles based on this.
Think about the customer path:
- What do they need to know before they use your product or service?
- What other types of products / services would they be interested in?
- What kinds of questions do they ask every time before purchasing?
- What kinds of problems / doubts / fears would prevent them from purchasing?
This can give you a great starting point for doing research!
SEO Driven Topic Research
Search Engine Optimization can be a very powerful factor to consider when coming up with blog post ideas. Every blog post you write is a chance to rank for new keywords, new topics, and bring in your target customer.
We like to take an SEO-first approach to writing content by first identifying potential target keywords, then creating a topic around them.
That’s not to say that every blog post NEEDs to be SEO driven – There are lots of reasons to write non-seo driven content like news, personal stories, roundups, fun articles, etc. However, if you want consistent traffic over time, taking an SEO driven approach can be extremely valuable.
So what’s the easiest and fastest method to generating a HUGE list of killer keywords that you can target?
We are absolutely in love with doing what’s called a competitive gap analysis. Essentially, a competitve gap analysis looks at what your top competitors are ranking for that you are not. Usually with this process we can generate a list of over 1000+ keywords to target in a few minutes!
Here’s how to do it:
How to Get 1000+ Keyword Ideas With A Competitive Gap Analysis
The first step is to find your top competitors in search. Think about companies that sell the same products you do, or sell to the same audience you do. Another good way to find competitors is to think about who is putting out the best content in your industry.
Once you have your list of competitors, you can hop over to The HOTH’s keyword gap analysis tool and put in the competitors along with your domain name.
After you’re done, our tool will produce a list of the top keywords that your competitors are ranking for that you are not!
There are a few tips to tweaking this to make it work:
- If you are getting generic results, try putting in smaller or more niche specific competitor sites. If you put in a very large site, it can often rank for too many keywords and will make your keyword gap unusable.
- Make sure you put in competitors that actually rank and have good content – Don’t just put in a competitor that you’re familiar with, put in a competitor that is competing in search.
- Filter the list by CPC – We like to go after terms that have a CPC cost associated to validate that they are worthwhile keywords to go after.
You’ll need to scrutinize this list and remove keywords that are difficult, have low search volume, or are not useful.
Ahrefs also has a great competitive gap analysis tool in their site explorer.
When you’re done, take a look at the top-ranking content for your target keyword and make a better version of it!
How To Tap Into Your Customers Questions With Answer The Public
A lot of great blog post topics answer questions people are asking in search engines.
With Answer the Public, you can input your target keyword and generate a list of all the common questions being asked about it in Google.
This is perfect, because we’re trying to find out questions/topics we can write articles on, and this will tell us what kinds of questions people are typing in.
For instance, if you have to write an article about the topic of masonry paint, how would you make that interesting?
1. Go to Answer the Public here, and type in masonry paint.
2. Check out the answers.
Answer the Public will give you all sorts of ways to look at the scraped results. You’ll want to click on ‘data’ and just check out what came up.
They have sections for questions, prepositions, and alphabetical. Any one of these sections could bring in cool topic ideas, so check them all out.
Here’s one I found that looks interesting – “masonry paint for fireplaces”.
By using answer the public you can quickly get a list of ideas or angles about your main keyword! This is a great way to start searching for what your audience cares about!
Trending Topics Driven Blog Ideas
It can also be useful to take a look at what’s trending. By covering hot stories or topics, you can be on the forefront of new trends.
Here’s a few ways to keep your ear to the ground for HOT topics!
Find HOT Trending Topics & Seed Content With Reddit
Reddit is AWESOME for finding ideas.
- There is a subreddit for almost everything (including giraffes with Joseph Gorden Levitt’s face photoshopped onto them)
- Users are active and vote up what they care about (thanks for doing the work for me, dudes!)
- It’s constantly up to date with trending topics
- It’s easy to see what’s popular by using the now, week, month, year, and all time filters
- The comments section is often GOLD for finding seed content
Here’s how to use Reddit for blog topic ideas:
2. Check out the topics.
For more active subreddits, you may find topics on the default view. For subreddits that are not as active, you may have to sort by top month, year, or all time.
3. Check out the comments section.
This can be GOLD when an expert drops knowledge bombs or extra resources.
You can find either seed content, more resources, or ideas in there too!
4. Bonus – Check out the sidebar of the subreddit.
Often times, there are links to guides that have already been written or popular subjects in that niche. You can find links to awesome resources/tools here.
Keep Up With Trending Topics & News With An RSS Aggregator
Finally, another way to keep track of what’s popular going forward is to take the subreddits, sites, competitors etc that you found in this research and create a feedly out them.
Feedly is an RSS aggregator that will let you quickly see what type of content is coming up in your niche.
1. Sign up for Feedly.
2. Search for or add RSS feeds of sites in your niche.
You can find sites in your niche by visiting alltop or by simply searching Google.
3. Keep an eye on trending topics.
Feedly will give you a “share” score right beside the article name, so you can easily identify what’s getting shared.
This is a great way to keep your blog current and even take advantage of new topics / keywords that aren’t showing up in keyword planner yet.
Now you have some simple, yet advanced methods for figuring out blog topics that will work for you.
The next step is to use the list below to get some solid ideas to write about.
50+ Ideas For Successful Blog Posts
Now that we covered how to find hot ideas and keywords, let’s talk about the style of post that you’re going to write. Below we list over 50+ types of blog posts to start getting your creative juices flowing.
With the ultimate list of blog post ideas here, you’ll never be short on topics to write about. Create some linkable assets for your site that naturally attract backlinks.
Take 30 minutes to come up with a content idea for each list item now, and you have all of the blog content ideas you need for a year!
Let’s get into it!
Useful Blog Post Ideas
Valuable blog posts improve your audience’s life. It’s why you read your favorite blog.
Informative posts position you as an authority on the topic while making your audience like and trust you. So be useful!
1. List Post
List posts, known as “listicles” are probably the most common type of post. Why? Because they’re useful and people enjoy reading them! Create a great list of anything that the audience in your niche would find valuable or interesting. For example, this post you’re reading is a list of blog topics to write about, because content marketing is important for SEO.
2. “How To” Post
A How To Post is one you’ll find yourself using often. Break down an outcome into steps. Make it easy to understand by including images, videos and/or audio. Example: How To Make A YouTube Video
3. Case Study Post
A case study looks at a project, process, and the result in more of a story-driven format. Try using it to highlight a success from your product or service. Example: SEO Case Studies
4. Problem/Solution Post
Identify a problem in your post’s title, headline and introduction.
Then use the rest of the post to present the solution to that problem.
This type of post can also be framed as a “How To,” an Ultimate Guide, or another angle.
5. FAQ Post
People often search their questions in Google and other search engines.
An FAQ post lets you create a piece of content answering those questions.
If you have a more detailed answer to a question, link to that post from your FAQ.
6. YouTube Video Cut-Up Post
You can do this for your own video or a popular video made by someone else.
Turn the video into a blog post of text and images with the equivalent information.
Embed the video, take screenshots and add text.
7. Questions to Ask Post
This post recommends questions that your audience should ask, but usually don’t.
It’s a good way to inform and educate. You can format it like an FAQ.
8. Research Post
Publishing a study you’ve conducted can get you referral traffic through social shares and backlinks.
Find a good angle and back it up with real data.
9. Checklist Post
This type of post gives your audience a list of action steps to take. Crossing items off a list is engaging.
10. Ultimate Guide Post
An ultimate guide should be a truly epic post on a topic.
It can be a tutorial or a definitive source of information on a topic.
For example, we have a guide on blogger outreach for guest posts and influencer marketing:
11. Definition Post
If people are searching for “What is [topic]?” you can provide a post answering that question for them.
It can even be your brand:
12. Series Post
Separate a topic into a series of posts. Link them together as they get published.
13. Statistical Post
Similar to a research post, you publish relevant numbers around your blog’s topic.
If you can’t come up with internal statistics for an interesting post, you can combine statistics from multiple posts and curate them into yours. Just be sure to give credit where it’s due.
Authoritative Blog Post Ideas
You can leverage someone else’s authority by promoting them on your blog.
To get promoted by other people and brands, be generous by first promoting them.
Just be sure to do some blogger outreach and let them know they appeared in your article.
14. Link Roundup
Are you reading other blogs?
If you’re regularly consuming content, curate the best pieces of content around a topic into a list your audience would be interested in.
Add a description and link for each piece and you’re done!
15. Quote Post
Frame a topic or ask a question, then aggregate them into a list of quotes from related influencers.
Quotes from movers and shakers are a great way to whip up a quick post.
16. Crowdsourced Post
You can reach out to influencers to get a unique quote from each of them.
Email 10 influencers or so asking them to answer a question in 100 words or less.
17. Interview Post
Have you thought about interviewing someone?
You’d be surprised at who might be willing to give you an interview.
Set up a call that you record through an app like Zoom or Skype.
Transcribe the interview (or have it transcribed for you) and publish the video interview with the transcription below it.
18. The Best “_” Post
Similar to a link roundup, but with more of a reviewer’s tone to the writing.
Create a list of the best tools, books, resources or other content with a description and link for each.
19. The Best “_” to Follow Post
Create a list of your favorite things. Such as events, influencers, podcasts, Facebook groups, blogs, Youtube channels, etc. for your audience to follow.
Add links to the website, social media channels, or any relevant links to direct your audience to.
21. Profile Post
You can write a magazine-style profile of a relevant influencer.
Contact them to make sure they know you’ve profiled them.
Chances are, they’ll share it to their network!
22. Viral Content Aggregator Post
Identify content around a topic that’s been getting a lot of social shares.
Curate it into one post of all that’s going viral during the past week or month for that topic.
23. Weekly Pick Post
Make a short blog post that details a piece of content, resource or tool that your audience might find valuable.
It can be something on your site or another site. It’s a chance to highlight a single thing your audience might like to see.
Fun Blog Post Ideas
You can entertain people with your creative blogging ideas! It’s hard but if you can do it right you’ll get some very engaged readers.
Here are some fun blog post ideas.
24. Narrative Post
Storytelling is a fantastic way to keep your reader’s attention.
25. Satirical Post
Can you make people laugh through satire? Use irony or hyperbole for timely topics and this can work well.
For example, our 2018 April Fool’s post recommended cat-related content for Google’s algorithm. Some people even believed what they read!
26. Meme Post
Meme’s are humorous viral images or video that get shared on the web.
We love memes here at The HOTH, we sprinkle them in our blog posts sometimes.
You might not want to publish a post that is just a single meme, but a curated meme-roundup around a theme could be a great post.
27. Illustrated Post
A comic or illustration can get your audience giggling and thinking at the same time.
Check out this example:
28. Parody Post
Similar to a satirical post. You can imitate a widely known brand or person in your niche.
You can turn them into a funny caricature and entertain.
Timely Blog Post Ideas
Why do people read news? Because it’s about what’s happening right now!
Timely blog posts can be very effective because you’re a source for trending information.
29. Review Post
Write an honest review about a product, service, event, or anything else.
Be honest in your review rather than highlighting just the positives.
30. Survey Post
Survey your audience about a trending or newsworthy topic. Poll them through email, social media or in-person.
Present the results in a blog post and add your commentary on them.
31. News Update Post
Make a new post for every major current event.
You don’t need to be the first to write about it, but you do need to present it in a way that your audience finds valuable.
We keep our audience up-to-date on Google’s search algorithms.
32. Trendspotting Post
If you can spot trends before they’re popular, make a post about the trend itself and piggyback off its increasing interest.
33. Concerns Post
What are some current challenges facing your audience?
Voice the concerns they might have about an issue that affects them and recommend a solution.
Write a Personal Blog Post
These personal blog post ideas can show that there’s a real human behind the content you’re putting out.
Add these personal blog topics to your lineup to help add variety to your content.
34. Inspirational Post
Inspiring content can be very engaging. We all want to be inspired.
This can take shape as a profile post, a story, a quote post…anything that is truly inspirational.
35. Personal Experience Post
Lower your guard and write from a first-person perspective to describe a relatable personal experience.
Whether it’s an epic failure or a sweet success, this post humanizes you as publisher.
36. Rant Post
Using this depends on your brand voice. It won’t work for everyone.
A rant about a topic your audience is already thinking about and discussing can be engaging if you can make a coherent argument.
37. Off-Topic Post
You want to make sure to bring this type of post back around to the value you offer your audience.
It can be very interesting to see a post with an off-topic angle from someone who you’ve grown accustomed to.
Write a Controversial Blog Post
A controversial blog post can pique your audience’s interest in the blog topic you write about.
38. Persuasive Post
Try presenting your side of an argument under debate to convince your audience.
If you can find someone to disagree with, give their side of the argument in the same post.
39. Prediction Post
We’re all curious about the future.
Speculating about it and making a prediction can generate debate.
40. Reaction Post
React to a notable piece of content is published by someone else.
Give your thoughts on a blog post, a video, an online course, an event.
You can embed a video or social media post and react to it, as another way to do this.
41. What If Post
Speculate on how things might be different by framing your post accordingly.
Make sure you pick something that people would actually care about or find interesting.
For example: What if X happened, what would the result be?
42. Critical Post
If you do this type of controversial blog post it can be very interesting.
Just make sure you’re justified in your attack of the company, event, or person so that you don’t end up the loser.
This can be a polarizing topic, but it can get people strongly on your side.
Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas
Like personal blog posts, a lifestyle post humanizes you or your business.
Use these posts to show them that yes, you’re just like them! People engage with blogs that they like and trust.
43. Behind the Scenes Post
This type of post lets your audience see what things look like from your perspective.
Show the process you did to make content, give an office tour, describe a recent experience at an event– all of these are good behind the scenes topics for you to create.
44. Holiday Post
Rather than take a break during holidays, try using it to create a holiday-themed post.
This lets you celebrate with your audience.
45. Fashion Post
Create content showing pictures and describing what you or people at your business wearing (hint: Swag). If you don’t at least have a T-shirt with your blog logo made, you’re missing out!
Selling your own branded apparel can be an added revenue stream for all kinds of businesses. You plan to grow your fans, right?
Promotional Blog Post Ideas
Depending on you or your company, you might use your blog for promotional purposes.
The key is not to annoy or frustrate your loyal readers. Keep providing them value through your promotional blog posts.
46. Best Of Post
Make a quick blog post that rounds up the most popular content on your site.
47. Company News or Product Update Post
If you have loyal customers, posting about happenings at your company or a new product can do well on your blog.
48. Product Tips Post
Sell products? Make sure your audience is getting the most value out of them.
Write a blog post that helps them get a better experience out of using your product or service.
49. Comparison Post
Compare your product or service’s features/benefits to other solutions out there.
50. Project Log Post
If you’re working on a big project, keep your readers excited about it by regularly updating them on its progress.
Mention what you’ve accomplished so far, and what you have left to do.
51. Income Breakdown Post
It can be intriguing to see an income report!
Give the people what they want and show them the money you or your company is making.
Or show them the traffic you’re getting:
Audience Engagement Blog Post Ideas
Reading is a passive activity.
Spice it up by asking your audience to interact with these engaging blog post ideas.
52. Challenge Post
Have your readers participate in a challenge.
Showcase the people who are participating, and provide regular updates on the challenge as a series.
53. Giveaway Post
Tell your audience about something free that they’ll like.
Describe what it is and what they need to do to get it.
54. Answer Post
You can prompt discussion on your own blog. Other people will make the content for you!
Pose a question to the audience and ask them to answer it in the comments section.
55. Question Post
Ask a question and get answers from audience members. Ask it on social media, in the comments section of your blog, or in person.
Getting ideas for blog topics shouldn’t be a random thought process.
With just a little research, you’ll be able to validate blog topics that are already proven to be popular in your niche!
Want even more ideas? Try our free Headline Generator Tool.
When we start any new project at HOTH Blogger, we go through a similar process to research and validate topics and make sure each article is a winner before we even start writing.
We spent years building a network of hundreds of elite writers who take great care to create only high quality content.
We love our writers from all over the U.S. and the world, they consistently do an incredible job writing for any blog post topic.
Have any questions or other suggestions for blog post ideas?
We’d love to hear them in the comments!
Clayton Johnson is the CMO of The HOTH SEO company. He has over 8+ years experience in the SEO industry and has spoken at events like SEJ Summit. The HOTH has been featured in Inc 5000, Forbes, SMX, Pubcon, Content Marketing World, Affiliate Summit, Brighton and more.