If you run a blog or a YouTube channel, odds are that there has been a period of time when you were at a loss on what to create content about. Times like these can make it difficult to keep up with a demanding posting schedule, but content creation doesn’t have to be a chore.
When coming up with fresh content ideas, you should first figure out how many pieces of content you ideally need over the course of a month. Sit down and brainstorm for a few hours and drum up as many topics as you can.
Still having trouble? These tricks to quickly generate creative content ideas for your blog or YouTube will make this process much easier! Read on to learn more so you never have to worry about that nagging creative block again.
1.) Consider the Content You Already Create
To start, think about the content you’re producing now and how it resonates with your audience. Do they enjoy your posts or videos? If so, consider creating similar content in the future. If not, you may want to go in another direction.
If you run a food blog about local restaurants and have access to a tool like Google Analytics, for example, it’s easy to tell which posts are performing well. Perhaps your blog posts about how to make fancy Italian dishes from scratch aren’t doing well, but your articles about local upscale Italian restaurants get a ton of hits. Based on that data, it might be more worth your time – and your readers’ time – if you focused on creating more content surrounding Italian restaurants, for example.
YouTube also offers similar analytics features to content creators so they can identify which videos are performing best.
Create a list of the top five to ten subjects you write about and see which ones perform best. Write those down.
Think about what content your audience wants to consume and eliminate any subjects that don’t work well for content creation or audience demands. Then mind map each broad topic to come up with specific subject matter. More on that below!
2.) Mind Mapping
Once you have your list of top-performing subjects, spend some time brainstorming on each one, focusing on why, what, where, when, and how.
If you run a YouTube channel, for example, and find that your most popular videos are beauty-related, you might think of the following content ideas:
Why: Why do I Need to Wash my Kabuki Brush so Often?
What: Top 5 Eyeshadow Primers to Prevent Eyeshadow Creases
Where: Best Places to Shop Online for Makeup Deals
When: The Best and Worst Times to Dye Your Hair
How: How to Contour Your Face Like a Pro
If you go through this exercise and are still having some trouble, it may be helpful to take things a step further…
3.) Take Advantage of Keyword Tools
These marketing tools will be incredibly helpful to you in sourcing content for your blog or YouTube and can save you a lot of brainstorming time. Many keyword tools, such as these, are even free!
Have you ever typed something into the Google or YouTube search bar and watched the autofill search suggestions pop up? These terms are keywords that other users have searched for, a direct indication that there is demand for a specific piece of content. It’s a good idea to make note of autofill search suggestions across various platforms.
Rather than having multiple tabs open during this research process, Keyword Tool can help you simplify things by providing one place that conducts all of these searches for you.
If you come up with a lot of keywords that seem incomplete, you may be able to use the tool below to expand on your findings.
Like Keyword Tool, Soovle generates autofill search suggestions based on keywords. Soovle and Keyword Tool each cover different websites – for example, Soovle’s platform includes Wikipedia, Yahoo!, and Answers.com while Keyword Tool does not – so both tools are worth using for well-rounded research.
Another positive to using keyword tools? It’s easy to combine keyword topics to create robust, long-form content based on what people are interested in. If you can improve on existing content, you even stand a chance at shooting up in search rankings.
Sometimes, a good Google search is all you need. Make note of its search suggestions after you type in a keyword, and also check on the related searches listed at the bottom of the page.
It may be useful to go through the actual search results page-by-page and mark down any subjects that you haven’t already covered.
Also, don’t forget to take a look at Google’s other search tabs, like “News,” “Books,” and “Images” for extra inspiration.
4.) Amazon Look Inside
If there are books written about your subject matter, you can definitely take a peek at some of their contents online with the Amazon Look Inside feature. A glimpse into the Table of Contents should yield plenty of potential subjects.
Look for books with solid ratings – you don’t want to choose one that readers didn’t enjoy because that may indicate that the content wasn’t what they were looking for.
Using this method, you don’t even need to read the book to find some great content ideas!
5.) Ask Your Audience
Seriously. Sometimes the easiest and most direct way of doing things is the best way. Ask your audience what they want. If you already have some followers, you should be able to come up with a handful of ideas that are guaranteed to make at least one person in your audience happy.
You can ask your audience in any number of ways, such as in-person, on social media, or via a survey. If you choose to write a survey on a platform like SurveyMonkey, make sure to follow sound survey-writing protocols. Limit yes/no responses and don’t overwhelm survey-takers with too many questions, for example. If your audience is small, it may be wise to use targeted paid ads to increase your reach.
6.) Search Social Media, Especially Hashtags
Twitter and Instagram, in particular, are loaded with hashtags. Begin by searching these platforms for basic keywords related to your topics and keep an eye on other hashtags that pop up in posts. You might even notice demographic trends among people using particular hashtags, which is information worth noting for the future.
If your audience engages with other brands, you might want to pop onto their websites and social media profiles to check out what it is your competitors are doing to attract people to their brand.
By engaging in social listening and being aware of what people are interested in, you can easily generate timely and relevant content ideas.
7.) Keep an Eye on Comments and Mentions
You should be doing this, anyway, but just in case you aren’t keep an eye on blog and forum comments and social media mentions. It can be easy to let these slides by, but they’re so important to 1.) Gauge the reactions of your audience, and 2.) See what they have questions on and what information they’re sharing.
Be mindful of your competitors’ comments and mentions, too. You never know where you might find something that sparks an idea!
8.) Topic-Generator & Content-Analyzer Platforms
If you’re still stuck, it could be a good idea to try out one of the many topic-generator platforms out there.
HubSpot’s Blog Idea Generator
One of the most popular topic-generators is HubSpot’s Blog Idea Generator. It’s also great for researching content for YouTube, as well – it’s just up to you to determine how well the content will translate visually.
Using the tool, add up to five nouns to get started. HubSpot’s tool will then generate five content ideas for you.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator
If you’re looking for a fun idea generator, Portent’s Content Idea Generator might be the one for you. In addition to spitting out content ideas, it also briefly explains why the topic could be a good idea.
Although BuzzSumo doesn’t quite generate topic ideas the way the tools above do, it does analyze existing content and provides useful information about how many social shares each blog post has received. You can try to create content similar to what’s doing well, and depending on your goals, also use BuzzSumo’s evergreen score to gauge roughly how long content will remain relevant.
9.) Scope Out the Competition
It’s not cheating to check out other blogs or YouTube channels to research what content creators are already providing. In fact, mirroring successful content can help your blog or YouTube channel grow. Similarly, noting what does not work for content providers is critical data because it will better inform your work.
Luckily, you don’t have to create the exact same content as your competitors. Even just a slight change to tone can make your content stand out as unique.
You should try to make the content itself even better if possible, though, so you can squeeze up search rankings. Your competitor posts a video titled “The Top Five Video Games of All-Time” and you notice it doesn’t include captions? Post a video about the top ten video games of all-time and upload perfect captions so your video is accessible to the handicapped and to those in settings where volume is a no-go.
No content is perfect, but if you put in the effort, you can most certainly improve on a good deal of the content that’s already been published.
10.) Re-purpose Your Old Content
If you’ve been creating content for a long time, it’s likely that some of it has become outdated. This is particularly common in fields with frequently changing facts and landscapes, like marketing, technology, and finance. It’s a good idea to do an audit of old posts every now and then so your audience always has the best information.
You have a few options:
1.) Edit your work. Improve on its content and SEO (remember that best SEO practices change all the time!), add newer images if needed, and make sure that everything is up-to-date. Re-market the edited piece of content to your (presumably now larger) audience.
2.) Create something entirely new based on the old content’s subject matter. For example, maybe you take the outline for a video review of the iPhone 5 and transform it into a video about the iPhone 10. This option is a good choice for content creators who want to build upon their existing SEO.
3.) Edit your old works, piece them together, and create a reader magnet, newsletter, long-form video, or e-book. You may even be able to use this method as a way to collect email addresses.
Your old content does not need to sit and go stale. Make the best of it!
While you might struggle to come up with ideas every now and then, there’s no need to quit blogging or creating videos when you have solid tips and resources like these.
It’s helpful to brainstorm all at once since your mind is focused on one thing: coming up with great content ideas. If basic brainstorming isn’t working out, the Internet is full of inspiration and tools that can help.
What are your favorite tips to generate content ideas for your blog or YouTube?