Whether you’re a prolific content creating machine or you’re just getting started blogging, there will come a time when you experience what I call “the blinking cursor of doom”: when you know you should write something new but can’t come up with any brilliant ideas.
We can absolutely take steps to ask our audience and come up with our own ideas. But at some point, it’s going to be hard to continue to come up with ideas on our own.
Luckily, I’ve got 4 tools that I go to whenever I need to start my blog idea brainstorm.
4 Tools to generate brilliant blog post & content ideas
1. Go to the source: Google
Go to Google, go directly to Google, do not pass Bing, do not collect $200.
There are three places on the Google Search Engine Results Page (we SEO nerds call this the “SERP”) that Google will actually feed you clues about the types of keywords that you could use and the content that you should create from that!
The first thing to do is go to Google, type in your topic and do not hit enter!
What will happen here is that Google will use its autocomplete function to extend out the idea. So if you’re a video editor, and you’re trying to come up with different things that people might be looking for, go into Google and just type in “video edit,” and see what it fills out:
And you’ll see things like video editing software, video editing, free software, video editing apps, video editing software for Windows. And if you want to get more specific, you can get more specific and see what other autocomplete answers show up.
Once you feel like you’ve gotten the benefit of the autocomplete ideas, then actually click through to one of those Google search results. and scroll down until you see a box that says people also ask:
In the People Also Ask box, Google notices these connections between some search terms and telling you when people are looking for things like video editor, they might also be asking questions about things like: what do most youtubers use to edit their videos? And what’s the best free video editor? And how much does it cost to hire a video editor?
The cool thing about this is depending on which questions you click, related questions will then be added to the bottom of your People Also Ask box, so it will get more and more targeted and specific to what it is that you want to see based on what it is that you’re clicking on.
The third place to check for ideas right there on the Google search engine results page is scroll all the way to the bottom before you click to the second page. And you’ll see related searches:
And you’ll see some other ideas here about video editors online or for PCs or YouTube video editors or specific brands of video editors that people are using. And that can also give you ideas and you can go through and redo the same process with one of those related searches, you can click on that and then look at the autocomplete and look at the people also ask and get some more ideas of the types of things that people are looking for.
If you don’t want to do all of this work by hand and go down these rabbit holes yourself, there are two other tools that you can use that will scrape all of this information right out of the Google search engine results and share it with you in a way that you can read more easily.
2. Answer the Public
If you want that autocomplete information to get pulled out of Google, you can use the tool Answer the Public, which will pull all of those different autocomplete suggestions from Google and then sort it by their questions and prepositions. It will organize them also either as a visualization like this, which can be a little bit hard to read.
I prefer to see it as lists of data and it will organize it by questions and by prepositions and comparisons and how are things alphabetical and what’s related to it. But it basically it’s just scraping out the Google autocomplete functionality here:
And using that for ideas, so you can see things like what video editor is best for YouTube or where to hire a video editor, or will AI replace video editors or what’s the best video editor for Instagram.
Each one of those might be a blog post for you where you can say here’s the video editing software you should use for Instagram and here’s the best video editing software for Windows. And you can sort of start to use this to create clusters of it, ideas that can then turn into blog posts.
3. People Also Ask
if you want to get that same people also ask experience of the questions that lead to more questions you can also use a tool called people also ask it’s a free tool where it will just pull that same information out and organize it in a way that you can see it at a glance.
So if you type in video editor, it will tell you not just the first questions people asked, but the corresponding questions underneath that.
So one of the first questions on the Google results was, “How much does it cost to hire a video editor?” And if you click on that it, Google gives you follow up questions.
The People Also Ask tool will tell you that the next question and the next question and the next question, so that you can get that information without necessarily needing to go down that infinite loop on the Google SERP page.
And if none of these is QUITE what your audience is searching for, the last tool will allow you to ask them:
4. Seed Keywords
If these tools don’t quite get you the level of detail you’re looking for, or if you want to know the exact phrases that your clients would search for then you can use a tool called Seed Keywords.
Seed Keywords lets you create a scenario for a search and then share that link with your people, then they can fill out exactly the words that they would look for in that situation:
And then you’ll get a list of the exact phrases that your people would search in that scenario in an anonymized way.
Alright, now that you’ve learned about those keyword research tools that you can use to come up with brainstorming ideas for your new content, you’re probably thinking, Okay, what am I going to do with this information?
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