A new year brings new opportunities for fresh content. But if you’re feeling creatively tapped out, how do you find new topics to write about?
Here’s how to come up with topic ideas whether you create content for a client or as a freelancer.
Simple ways to get content ideas
Churning out valuable content week after week can become challenging. There are only so many ways you can write about your niche, right? Not necessarily.
There are creative, yet simple ways to tap into new topic ideas.
1. Ask your audience what they want to see
If you’re short on topics, turn to the people that benefit the most from your content. You can ask for help via social media, through email surveys, or by directly reaching out to specific people.
This is a straightforward way to find new topics that best serve your audience. If you don’t want to explicitly ask readers for topic ideas, consider framing the question differently. For example:
- What did you find most valuable this past year?
- Do you have a favorite post?
- What would you like to see more of?
- Is there something I can help you better understand?
- Why do you keep tuning in to my content?
Look for common themes or issues, and then create your content around your audience’s needs and wants.
2. Review blog comments
Blog comments can give you great insight into what readers are loving and what they aren’t necessarily understanding.
It takes effort and time to leave a blog comment, whether positive or negative. So, these are a great starting place for figuring out new topics to cover or finding old topics that can be reframed.
You can also scan through the comments on other blogs or sites to quickly find questions and opinions that might resonate with your own readers.
3. Use keyword research
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool for every content creator. It can help get your content seen by boosting your traffic and reaching new audiences.
One of the primary components of SEO is keyword research. But you can use these targeted keywords for more.
Popular keywords can be used to help come up with data-driven topics. By data mining relevant keywords, you can see what people are searching for, and thereby, understand what people are wanting more information on.
4. Use Google to your advantage
Google can be your best friend when looking for new topics. Its algorithm does all of the heavy lifting for you to determine what people want to find out.
Use Google to come up with new topics by:
- Seeing what’s ranking on the first page for relevant keywords.
- Scanning the ‘People Also Ask’ box to find similar searches that might produce completely different content.
- Using the autosuggest feature to expand on keywords and topics that people are currently searching for.
By using Google in both your planning and writing process, you can save time and boost your rankings without extra effort on the back-end.
5. Look at what has resonated the most with your audience
Coming up with new topics doesn’t necessarily mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Instead, look to see what has been popular in the past, and then do more of it.
Which blogs have generated the most traffic for you? Can you build on these topics or highlight key information with a dedicated post?
An easy way to do this is by turning subheadings into entire blogs of their own.
You can quickly create new topics by grabbing the main point from an existing blog and then doing a deep dive on it.
Related: What Is Evergreen Content
6. Grab ideas from frequently asked questions
Have you or your client noticed a theme with questions that are being asked repeatedly? Turn these common questions into a topic of their own.
Not only will this give you a treasure trove of content ideas, but it’ll also allow you to point your audience to a static resource rather than having to continuously answer the same question — saving you time and mental energy.
7. Share your mistakes and lessons learned
You can’t possibly know everything about your niche, nor should you pretend as if you do. Use any lessons you’ve learned along the way to allow your readers to learn from your own mistakes.
This is a great way to come up with new topics or provide a different take on a common subject.
Don’t worry, it won’t hurt your credibility. If anything, it can build more of a relationship with your audience as it’ll instantly humanize your work and help prevent them from making similar mistakes.
8. Use other content as inspiration
The online content world is booming, pulling people from all walks of life to share their own unique perspectives. This means there are varying levels of knowledge and experience, as well as endless ways to frame information.
Consume as much content as you can within your niche, and then put that research to good use when creating your own topics.
Just make sure that you aren’t copying or replicating someone else’s work in the process.
Instead, be sure to give the creator credit for inspiring you, which will then provide your audience with an additional resource to turn to.
9. Write about what’s trending
If you want a fresh twist on your niche subject, use current news or trending topics to create content. By focusing on what people are already buzzing about, you can ensure your content is relevant and come up with new ideas you might not have thought of otherwise.
You can look for trending hashtags on Twitter and other social media platforms or use a tool like Google Trends to identify popular topics.
Try to provide a new perspective or fill in missing pieces from the discussion to make your content stand out from the crowd.
10. Flip the script for a new angle
Once you come up with a topic, think of all the different angles you can take on it to create even more ideas.
Can you publish a series that breaks down a more complex topic to further stretch your content?
Can you invert or flip a common headline in your niche? For example, can you transition “Top 5 Topics You Should Write About” to “Here’s What Your Writing Is Missing”?
Even though the meat of the article might be similar, this type of thinking creates a new perspective that can resonate differently with readers.
Don’t limit yourself when coming up with new topics
It’s important to set aside time to brainstorm and plan out your content. Allow yourself to let ideas flow freely without immediately judging or nixing them.
As you brainstorm, create a bank of ideas that you can quickly add to any time inspiration comes knocking.
You might be surprised how many ideas you can tap into simply by keeping a running list. As you do your own research and consume other content within your niche, your list of topics will organically expand with future content opportunities.
Now that you have a starting point for how to come up with topics, let the brainstorming session commence!