Blog Post Due & No Topic? Here Are a Few Hundred Ideas
What Should You Write About?
Matt Banner wrote to me the other day with a list of blog post topics. Thank you, Matt. The effective result of that helpful email is that, for the first time in a very, very long time, I was hit by writer's block.
Blog post topics are such a huge piece of the content puzzle. Way back in 2013, I wrote a piece with a list of tools to use for content creation. Content editorial calendars, lists of possible blog post topics, things to include in each post. The whole gamut. The one kingpin in the entire list is the compilation of topic ideas. Matt's idea was that I could include his new, updated blog post topic list in my post and update it. Great idea, Matt. In theory.
Unfortunately, I instead went down a couple-day-long rabbit hole that included researching how all blog posts on this site and others I write for have performed. I looked at my posts compared to other writers. I looked at keywords combined with Google organic traffic versus social traffic.
Since coming up with blog post topics is not something I worry about usually. As I mentioned in a recent Twitter chat, I can't afford that luxury anymore.
The best advice: Just shut up and write
At the end of all my soul searching and data crunching, I think the best advice is the advice all writers give to each other: Use the bum-in-chair approach and write. Just write. And for the days that you're not sure what to write about, make sure you've got lists and lists of things to write about. Some of them will do better in Google search than others, and certainly there are ways to ensure that happens. And yes, you've got to think about content aggregation and promotion. Unless we're Stephen King (or equivalent) we've got to move our own writing.
Write First -- Promote second
But for today, here's a definitive, updated, modern list of tools to help you make sure to never be stuck. I had no idea when I started this list how much is actually out there to help you on your way. There's a lot here. Don't get stuck on this list of tools -- Take what you need, dive in and write.
What You Should Write About: The Lists
- 151 Blog Post Ideas Guaranteed to Blast Off Your Blog -- This is the list that Matt Banner sent to me. It's thoughtful and definitely written by a pro who's been around the writing block (get it?).
- 100 Blog Posts I Hope You Write -- By Chris Brogan. From 2007, so dinosaur times, but this list is, as they say, evergreen. Something fun about this list is that, on the right hand sidebar of his site, you'll find his most recent blog posts. I happened to find that more inspiring than his actual list. What do you think?
- Blog Post Prompts and Ideas -- Via Pinterest. So they're all really visually engaging and if you're anything like me, you might get lost in them. This link is only for the brave of heart and those with a few hours of day dream time to spare. I'm serious.
- 32 of the Most Popular Blog Post Ideas --
By the Blog Stylist. As I am writing this, I have a colleague
pulling his hair out in angst over the excruciating pain of trying
to figure out how to write on a "boring" topic. This list is what I
should share with him.
- If you read the above list, you're going to want to read this article posted on Hubspot and shared this morning by Peg Fitzpatrick. I mention "shared by Peg Fitzpatrick" because you are going to be happy when you start following her. Solid, actionable and authentic shares. Choose your platform; she's on it.
- 135 Blog Post Topics That Will Make Your Blog Hot -- There are some really good ones in here, so make sure your skim through this list and take what you need.
- Buffer's List -- These are awesome. A full 32 great ideas, plus a huge article on exactly to implement certain post types. You'll probably bookmark this one.
Blog Post Generators (…For Fun & Inspiration)
Honestly, I use these sometimes and either get irritated by them or start laughing my head off at the ideas. Still, nothing beats a little script to make you happy you're human and have a real brain.
I decided to use a few to come up with ideas for the topic "blogging" or "blog post ideas".
- Portent's Title Tool -- Try it out. I got these gems: "How Blogging Ideas are Part of a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" and "19 Things About Blogging Your Teachers Wouldn't Tell You".
- Hubspot's Topic Generator -- By the time I got to Hubspot's topic generator, guaranteed to give you a week's worth of topics, I was desperate and typed in "blog" "ideas" and "writers block". Here's what I got:
- What Will Blog Be Like In 100 Years?
- 214 Common Misconceptions About Ideas
- Think You're Cut Out For Doing Writers Block? Take This Quiz
- 415 Best Blogs To Follow About Blog
- The Worst Advice We've Ever Heard About Ideas
Content Forest -- This is a long list, some of which was sort of helpful. Try this generator out, too, and see what you get. I'm actually irritated with Content Forest, but it's not their fault. They have this excellent tool where you can type in a competitor's url and see what their best performing content is. It's an amazing tool. I typed in a competitor's url and was so blown away by their goodness and quality and, of course, extreme generosity and kindness, that I got a little depressed. Buck up, young padawan, I told myself. It's a great tool, though, and you should use it.
But Wait, There's More: 83 Helpful Writing Tools
Just because I care. Some of these I use, some of these I wish I used, and some honestly just sound cool. If they help you out, I'd love a thank you (i.e. share it around).
- First, a huge list of 43 tools for modern marketers by Ian Lurie at Portent. This list is awesome and full of so many things that I either do use or feel I should use that I am just hoping you're going to click through and read his stuff.
- Buffer's Blogging Tools article. There are 39 great resources here, including Canva, which is awesome.
- On Writing by Stephen King. You really should own this book. I don't care if you consider yourself a writer or not.
So there you go. Get writing, and say "Thank you" if this post helped you at all.