Generating content ideas and topics is hard enough.
It becomes 10 times harder when you have to repeat that ideation regularly, like clockwork. 🕰
But that’s what a consistent content strategy, one that produces results, requires.
Quality AND quantity both matter in content. That’s why brands that blog more see more results:
- Websites with 400+ blogs get double the traffic of those with fewer blogs.
- Publishing 2-4 posts per week nets you the highest traffic and conversion rate.
That’s a lot of content…
Which requires a lot of brainpower behind it.
You need to be a veritable content idea generator machine. And you need to continue coming up with great content ideas, topics, and posts on repeat.
It’s a daunting task.
But it’s doable! 💪
You just need a little help, a few shortcuts, a good strategy, and some handy tools.
It’s how I generate content ideas on the regular, without running out.
Here are my secret ingredients.
7 Content Idea Generators, Tools, and Strategies for Endless Inspiration
- Use My Content Idea-Generating Topic Wheel
- Find Content Topics Based on Questions People Ask Google: Answer the Public
- Generate Ideas Based on Nouns and Keywords: HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator
- Come Up with Creative Titles and Topics: Portent Idea Generator
- Ideate Effective, Engaging Headlines: AMI’s Headline Analyzer
- Do Deep Topic Research: Semrush’s Topic Research Tool
- Find New Topic Ideas from Keywords: Impact Blog Title Generator
Watch Me Explain My Topic Idea Generation Wheel in This Video
1. Use My Content Idea-Generating Topic Wheel
Topic generation is needlessly difficult when you don’t have a strategy.
The strategy is what keeps you from staring at a blank doc on your computer endlessly, wondering what to write.
The strategy FUELS ideation, so you never run dry.
And that’s exactly what my topic wheel is for. Here’s how it works.
Think of your website as a wheel divided into four sections. Each quadrant represents a question you should be answering in the content across your site.
- Who? – Who are you speaking to?
- What? – What is it that you do?
- How? – How are you different from everyone else out there?
- Why? – Why do you do what you do?
New Websites & Brands: Baseline Content Idea Generation
Say you’re starting your brand and you don’t have a website yet. What pages and content should you create?
The topic wheel answers that.
Each of these questions – who, what, how, why – informs the baseline content that should appear across your site.
- Landing pages; product and service pages – These answer “What?” What do you do, what do you sell, what are you offering? Each service you offer should get its own page, for example.
- These content types also answer “How?” – how are you different from other brands?
- About page, mission statement, blogs – Answers “Why?” Why are you in this business? What’s your story?
- Blog content – Answers “Who?” Know your audience and speak directly to them in blogs, addressing their questions and pains.
- Not just blog content answers “Who?” by the way – this question should be answered in ALL of your content. Your target audience should recognize that you’re talking TO them instantly, no matter what page they’re on.
Established Brands: Blog Content Idea Generation
If you’re an established brand with a website, you might be focused on blog content idea generation.
You’ve probably asked yourself, “What the heck are we going to publish on the blog every week?”
No sweat. 💦 Just look at the topic wheel for ideas. Particularly, stay rooted in “Who?” and “Why?”
Let’s return to the “Who?” section of the topic wheel.
Specifically, who are these people you’re writing to? Getting to know them intimately will produce reams of blog content ideas.
And, of course, you can get to know them through persona research, social listening, surveys, etc., but ultimately…
Rolling up your sleeves and getting chatty/friendly with them will produce the most valuable insights. Exchange emails, do discovery Zooms where you pick an ideal customer’s brain, engage with them on social media, and just generally practice listening and learning.
- Their pain points (each pain point can become a blog!)
- Their questions (depending on the question, each can be answered in a blog)
This is my favorite part of the wheel to return to for ideas, because “Why?” is all about your story. It’s how you paint yourself as a relatable human versus a business drone or salesperson. (That kind of content is immensely important in this age of trust, by the way.)
Everyone has a story – what’s yours? How did you get into your field? What sparked you to start your business? What are you most passionate about in your industry?
All of these things could be blog content! 👌
Think beyond blogs, here, too. Do a series of videos that lay out the foundation of your business and your “why.” Do a podcast episode on how you got started. You could even tell your story in a book.
Don’t Forget About Keywords
Finally, don’t forget to link your blog topics to keywords for SEO. Keywords are what will bring in that relevant traffic to your website – the people who are looking for the information you offer, who need what you sell.
For every blog topic you come up with, try to find a matching keyword that’s winnable for your brand. That means two things:
- The keyword difficulty is low (40 and below is my rule of thumb for new websites; established brands can go for 60 and below).
- The keyword is long-tail (contains three words or more). These are easier to rank for and bring in more targeted traffic because of their specificity.
Once you’ve considered your topic wheel, your audience, and keywords, you might be left with some broad topic ideas for posts. Let’s get into the tools and content idea generators that can help you further narrow down your topics for great content.
By the way, if you want a content ecosystem that succeeds, you need the right strategy for every facet of creation – not just topic ideation. Luckily, I show you that strategy in my free training (choose the level for solopreneurs).
2. Find Content Topics Based on Questions People Ask Google: Answer the Public
If you have a basic topic in hand you’d like to write about, Answer the Public is a good tool to use to find questions people have actually asked Google about that subject.
For example, perhaps you know you want to write a blog about content writing – but what, specifically, could you write about?
Enter that topic in this tool and you’ll get a ton of data in return, all of it fodder for ideas for your next content piece.
You’ll see how people framed your topic in questions (“who can be a content writer”, “will content writing be automated”), with prepositions (“content writing for beginners”, “content writing with keywords”), and comparisons (“content writing and SEO”, “content writing vs digital marketing”).
3. Generate Ideas Based on Nouns and Keywords: HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator
HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator is a super-simple tool that will take whatever nouns (or keywords) you throw at it and turn them into usable blog topics/titles for posts.
Let’s continue with the example niche of content writing. Through some interactions on social media, you found out your audience is curious about content writing rules. Let’s plug those nouns into HubSpot’s tool.
The tool will allow you to plug in up to five nouns, by the way.
Once that’s done, hit “Give me blog ideas” and the tool will give you five topic ideas.
Be forewarned, however, that this tool tends to use the same topic framing no matter what nouns you input (e.g. it will give you the “expectations vs. reality” idea every time). For that reason, use this one once, and don’t expect to get more ideas the longer you play with it.
4. Come Up with Creative Titles and Topics: Portent Idea Generator
Coming up with a headline/title is an easy way to generate content ideas. The way you frame your headline can inform the topic you focus on and the way you write the post.
With that in mind, the Portent Idea Generator will give you some unique ideas for titles, framed in creative or interesting ways, to get your brain gears turning. With an interesting title, an interesting blog topic could spring forth. 💡
However, be careful with this tool: Some of the content ideas generated don’t make any sense or could get you in trouble.
If that’s the case, just click “See Another Title” to cycle to another idea.
You can also start over (“Change My Subject”) or save your idea.
5. Ideate Effective, Engaging Headlines: AMI’s Headline Analyzer
This next recommendation isn’t a content idea generator, per se – it’s more of a content idea tweaker.
The AMI Headline Analyzer will analyze your headline/blog topic idea and score it based on its emotional marketing value (EMV): the number of intellectual, empathetic, or spiritual words your headline contains.
This is a fantastic tool to use to further refine your blog title/topic ideas. Just enter your title in the text box, hit “Submit”, and the tool will offer you a percentage score based on the EMV – the emotional impact – of your title.
The higher the percentage, the more impactful your title will be. However, keep in mind getting a score near 100% is extremely rare. Your most common scores will probably fall between 15-30%. Getting a 40% or above is amazing, and if you get there, use it!
If you do get a low score, don’t worry. Just play around with the wording in your title and resubmit for a new score. This process of revision might just help you come up with an even better topic with a headline that packs a heftier punch.
I even used this tool to help me refine the headline of this blog – the one you’re reading right now! ✨ (My initial idea scored a 28.9%, by the way. I played with the wording until I got the below score.)
6. Do Deep Topic Research: Semrush’s Topic Research Tool
Semrush’s Topic Research Tool is super useful if you want to dive deeper into the possibilities for topics surrounding a specific keyword or broad topic.
Note: Free users get two searches before you’re prompted to subscribe, so use them wisely unless you already pay for Semrush.
All you need to do is enter your broad topic idea and click “Get content ideas.” The tool will generate a huge list of ideas related to your term, sorted by subtopic. Each subtopic includes the top headlines, questions, and related searches.
To see the hottest trending subtopics from the last 60 days first, hit the toggle at the top of the page.
You can also click a card to get more information, like the top 10 headlines on the subtopic; questions people ask; related searches; and the volume, difficulty, and efficiency of the subtopic.
To see the data displayed in different ways, play around with the views, too.
For deeper explanations of each facet of this tool, check out Semrush’s user guide.
7. Find New Topic Ideas from Keywords: Impact Blog Title Generator
Impact’s BlogAbout tool is perfect for the times when you’ve found a great, winnable keyword that will pull in your target audience, but you’re not sure how to spin it into a blog post.
You start by simply entering your keyword and keyword type, then hit “Generate titles”.
The tool will come up with several titles based on various blog post categories (cost, problems, comparisons, reviews, best-in-class).
As you can see, some of the generated blog titles/topics don’t make any sense. Take these with a grain of salt, but also check to see if you can tweak them logically. For example, the generated title “X Stand-Out Features of Content Writing Rules You Should Know” could be tweaked to simply “X Stand-Out Content Writing Rules You Should Know” to make sense.
If need be, click “Refresh titles” to get a fresh batch of options. You can also tweak your keyword or keyword type and try again.
Once you’ve found some ideas you like, you can save them to a list (which, by the way, will save even if you start over, modify your search, or refresh your results). Once your list is full to your satisfaction, you can download it to a spreadsheet after submitting your name and email.
Go Beyond Content Idea Generators for Winning Content Marketing
Content idea generators will help you out in a pinch, no question.
They’re smart tools for sparking some inspiration when you’ve run out.
But to truly create content your audience will salivate to read, content that converts them into leads and sales…
You need a strategy – and not just a blog topic strategy (although my topic wheel is a great solution to this particular problem)…
You need an all-encompassing, overarching strategy that powers your content from the seed of an idea to a fully-fledged piece that is actually profitable.
That’s the true north way to grow your business. 🧭
Ready to learn how? In my free training, I’ll show you the way, whether you’re a solopreneur ready to scale your digital business, or a founder ready to invest in consistent content creation.