Last blog post I talked about my system for consistently generating dozens of ideas for blog posts and weekly newsletter content, and shared three resources you can use to find kick-butt ideas of your own.
This time I want to talk about three other good resources for idea-gathering:
1. Google Alerts
Google Alerts will allow you to monitor any topic or search term you choose; when results are found for that search term, Google sends them to you in an email.
You choose result type: “Everything,” or, news, blogs, videos, discussions, books, etc., frequency: once a day, as they happen or once a week, and how many: “only the best results” or “all results.”
This is a great tool for generating content ideas, but you can also use it to gather market and competitor intelligence, and who doesn’t want that?
Go here to set up your own Google Alerts.
2. Blogs in your niche
I love this as an idea generator, because it’s essentially killing two birds with one stone – you’re likely reading the blogs in your niche anyway, so why not gather some ideas while you’re there? Just pop over to a few of your favorites and note what’s being written about.
But don’t stop there – you’ll also want to pay attention to which blog posts get the most interaction in the way of comments and social shares. This will give you an idea of some of the hot topics in your niche.
You’re not going to copy these ideas verbatim, of course, but use the material to spark your own ideas, and add these to your Ideas File. You can then write about these topics from the opposite viewpoint, or go deeper into them for a more nuanced view, etc.
3. HARO Queries
HARO is an email list you sign up for to receive daily queries from reporters who need sources for their stories; it stands for “Help A Reporter Out.”
There’s a whole other blog post waiting to be written about how to mine HARO for sharing your expertise and getting publicity for your business, but today I simply want point out what a great tool it is for generating blog post ideas.
Why is this a such a great short cut for getting content ideas? Because each HARO email alert will have several queries in multiple categories, and since journalists are looking for sources for these stories on a deadline, you already know they are super hot, timely topics. Just a little tip from me to you. ; )
Sign up for your own HARO email alerts here.
There you have it, 3 more excellent resources to add to your blog post idea generating toolkit. And for still more idea gathering, you might want to check out forums in your niche, Tweetmeme for trending Twitter topics, Google Trends, or simply address questions your customers frequently ask .
So tell me, what are your go-to tips for coming up with blog post and newsletter topic ideas? Please share in the comments, I’d love to know your tricks!
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