We know that search engines want to see high quality content on our blogs. We also know the more content we publish, the more opportunities we have to appear in search results. The natural thing to do is to join these two concepts together by creating high-quality content in volume. But writing posts at a breakneck speed sucks the creativity right out of you. It can become a challenge to come up with ideas for content as a result. If this is your experience, I’m going to bring creativity close to home. This post will show you how to generate content ideas from your blog in 5 diferent ways.
Why is Creating Ideas for Content So Tough?
When you’ve been blogging for a while, generating ideas for content can become a major stumbling block. You can push yourself hard to hit a posting schedule and over time it can become exhausting. Many people burnout through the blogging process as a consequence.
At the same time, producing content (and lots of it) is really important. You can give yourself a target of x number of posts per week and push hard to meet it. But whenever you attempt to write at an accelerated rate, there’s a real risk that your topic ideas will deteriorate. This can resulting in a subsequent decrease in the quality of your output.
Increasing your content output can also be an extremely challenging thing to do just for the sake of it. Having an objective to write more just so you can “get more traffic” is not really a tangible target. An intangible target is hard to achieve… I’ll talk more about this later on.
For the most part we all tick along like this. We strive to write more so we can simply amass more blog content. Unfortunately, the more content we create, the more challenging it can be to come up with ideas.
So… after a fairly long preamble (sorry for that) let’s get to the meat of this post. Here are 5 ways how you can use your own blog to come up with ideas.
How to Generate Content Ideas from Your Blog: 7 Ideas for You
1. Your Long Form Content
If you have an eye on current SEO thinking, you’ll be aware of the value long form content can have. There’s no precise word count length that determines long form content, but we could use WordStream’s definition of 1,200 to 1,500 words and over.
Long form posts are those posts that are a beast to write… though sometimes they can all be! A long form article dives deep into a particular subject, and touches upon many sub-topics related to the overall subject. These can actually be an excellent source for content ideas.
Take any long form post you have and look at the sub-topics you’ve included. Look for any opportunities to take each sub-topic you identify to expand it into a post in it’s own right.
For example, I’ve written a +6,000 word post about how to start a blog. This post has around 20 different sub-topics, some of which are quite detailed. However, many of these sub-topics could be fleshed out in a standalone post that adds much more detail. You’d then be able to link out of your parent long form article to your extended discussion of the sub-topic.
But what if tyouy don’t have long-form posts? If this is the case, look for any post you have and identify where you might be able to pull out a topic you’ve touched upon to create a standalone post from it.
2. Your Landing Pages
Assuming you’ve installed Google Analytics (please say you have!), you should be able to see what pages are pulling in the most visits. Of course you’ll need to be getting visits in the first place, so it may be trickier to generate content ideas from your blog if it’s relatively new.
If you are getting visitors, look at the landing pages they are hitting and produce more content around this subject. You can find your Google Analytics landing page report in the Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages navigation menu.
Producing content around niche, long tail keywords for any landing page that currently enjoys traffic might create a double threat. It might help to:
- Bolster the position of your “parent” article.
- Generate further content ideas for your blog… the whole point of this post!
3. Google Search Console
Another hope is that you actively use Google Search Console (GSC). If you don’t, it’s free and fairly straightforward to set up… so what are you waiting for? GSC provides an enormous insight into the health of you blog. More importantly it can tell you how people are finding and visiting it.
Google Search Console shows you:
- The keywords that people used in a search to find your site and visit it.
- The keywords that triggered your pages to show in the search results (search impressions).
- The precise landing page that triggered a visit and an impression.
Lots of these visits and impressions are perhaps coming from keywords you’re targeting. These might not be a surprise to you. However, some of your pages will appear in search results for keywords you aren’t aware of. Imagine what you could do if you took these keywords and produced content to try to rank for them.
The Google Search Console is an excellent tool, period. For the purposes of using it to generate content ideas in the way I’ve described, is like manna from heaven!
So… if you don’t currently use it, here’s how to set up an account.
4. Your Category Pages
Have you checked out your category pages recently? Are any of them looking a bit naked?
Take a good look at all the categories you have on your blog and check for any that are gathering dust. Are there some categories that aren’t especially well-represented? Do some require more content than others?
You could look to your category pages to work out a series of articles to pad them out. While this might not generate specific content ideas in itself, it might help you to hone down to a specific content area to work upon, which can help you to focus.
Oftentimes we can think from a “cold” place about what to write. Narrowing down our focus to a specific content area can help ideas to blossom.
5. Set Yourself a Public Challenge
I’m a little hesitant about this one, since I don’t want to add to your load if you’re already feeling overwhelmed by a creative block that’s preventing you from generating content ideas. Nonetheless this can be a powerful way to unblock your creativity so I’ll offer it up under advisement.
You’ve heard the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention”? The idea is that you can achieve an awful lot when you absolutely must.
One way to put yourself into this position is by announcing you’re going to do something publicly. This is one of the reasons I undertook my 30 day blogging challenge.
In this challenge I’ve committed to make a post every day for 30 days. I’m doing this primarily as a test to see what the impact is on my visitor numbers.
I’ve announced this on social media and told a whole bunch of bloggers I’m doing this. Of course I felt (and still feel) a little exposed doing so, but the purpose is to force my commitment.
When I first broadcast this personal challenge I most certainly did NOT have content ideas for every one of the 30 days. However, I absolutely do now, three days in!
There are many times where I’ve been in the position of struggling to come up with content ideas for my blog… or rather ideas I felt were any good.
Making a public commitment in the way I have has forced me to be creative and compelled me to create content ideas that will work for me.
The challenge has also given me an objective: post each and every day for 30 days. Rather than a woolly objective to just get more traffic, this is a clear, tangible and measurable target. I told you in the intro I’d come back to this point!
Having a clear target has helped me focus my efforts on a clearly defined and measurable target. It’s also forced me to focus upon how to generate content ideas, because I don’t want to fail the challenge!
Hitting a content ideas block is a tough hurdle to get over. I’ve experienced many occasions where I felt creatively spent and just can’t come up with ideas for compelling content. I’ve overcome these occasions, but I will experience them again for sure… that’s the nature of the blogging game sadly.
You can overcome these periods of creative drought by focusing on your blog… it can tell you what content to write! Okay it can’t tell you… but it can give you guidance about how to generate ideas for content!
And I sincerely hope it helps!
That’s it for now.
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If you have any further ideas how to generate content ideas from your blog, I’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment below.