Gini Dietrich

Four Ways to Generate Instant Blog Post Ideas

By: Gini Dietrich | July 26, 2017 | 
12

How to Generate Blog Post IdeasAh, the summer doldrums.

Every year I tell myself I’m going to motivate my way through them…and then I can’t.

And, as my Beanie gets older, the harder it becomes.

There are some afternoons I sit at my desk and think, “Maybe I’ll go break her out of school and we’ll spend the afternoon at the park.”

(I love the park, though I’ve been told on many occasion the park is for the kids, not for the grown-ups.)

When I read Laura Petrolino’s post on the same topic earlier this week, I was relieved.

It’s not just me!

She listed several really great ideas to get past your summer doldrums, when it comes to content development.

Andy Crestodina also has covered the topic.

There is no shortage of articles written on the topic of blog post ideas.

But I thought I’d add some of my own ideas.

Between the three of us, you should have no problem beating your summer doldrums the last month of the season.

The News

When I speak, particularly when I do my three-hour workshop, I ask attendees where they get their news.

It’s been fascinating to watch the evolution since 2009, when I started on the speaking circuit.

Back then, it was all about the actual newspaper.

Today?

Today, people swipe right on their phone home screens and are presented with the top four stories of the day.

I did that this morning, as I sat down to write this, and this is what is on my home screen:

Apple News

The first two don’t give me any blog post ideas, but that third one?

That looks interesting, especially because I ride 200-250 miles in one week, at a very intense level.

I read it and, while I’m not a doctor or an exercise physiologist, I do have an opinion on it.

(Mostly that three people getting rhabdomyolysis from a SPIN class does not make a study.)

It also doesn’t have application to the communicator, which is our audience here, but I will file it away for later.

Perhaps it’ll become an article on Medium or I’ll mention it in another article here.

Moz Keyword Explorer

When Moz introduced their free keyword tool last year, I did a jig.

Finally we had something to use in combination with Google.

I like it better because it gives you an opportunity score and it provides real data on other keywords that might work for you.

I’ll show you how it works, using the rhabdomyolysis example from above.

I enter the keyword in the search button and hit enter.

This is what comes up:
Moz Keyword Tool
You can see there are lots of searches for it so that’s a checkmark in my blog post ideas file.

The difficulty is fairly high—though if I were a doctor or kept a blog on exercise conditions, I might be able to compete.

The opportunity, though, is fairly high (this is on a scale of 100—the closer to that number, the better for you) so I’m going to put a checkmark next to it in my blog post ideas file.

The priority is really high, which means it’s going to be difficult for me to compete—unless I’m the New York Times.

Overall, rhabdomyolysis is not a good topic for me (which I knew before I put it in there), but now I can go below to the keyword suggestions and find something better there.

Do you see how this can help you generate blog post ideas?

Google Autofill

Now I want to go to a plain old Google search and add in my rhabdomyolysis keyword.

It autofills some suggestions for me, which I may want to consider.Google Autofill

Though rhabdomyolysis meaning is the second on the list (which means it’s one of the most searched), it’d be really boring to try to get 1,000 words out of it.

But I could use that as one of my subheads in a larger article about rhabdomyolysis.

Score one more for my blog post ideas file.

BuzzSumo

I started using BuzzSumo earlier this year and I am in love.

I type rhabdomyolysis into the search bar and it tells me who has written on the topic, and which articles have the most social shares.

BuzzSumo

If I were to add this to my blog post ideas file, I would take a look at that second one down.

Though it has only a quarter of the social shares as the one above, cycling is my passion so that provides me a great starting point.

Plus, 10,100 social shares is nothing to complain about.

So into my blog post ideas file goes, “How SPIN class might (or might not) cause rhabdomyolysis.”

Where Do You Get Blog Post Ideas?

There are lots of other ways to get blog post ideas.

I also like to pay attention to what’s going on around me—there are plenty of ideas during your commute, reading books, and listening to podcasts.

What is the conversation du jour when you’re at dinner with friends?

(Though I will caution you to tell them you’re going to blog about the conversation ahead of time. Lesson learned.)

If you don’t have time to read articles during the day, I recommend saving them in Pocket.

It syncs to all of your devices and you can pop it open when you have a spare few minutes.

This also will give you great blog post ideas.

But now the floor is yours.

Where do you get your blog post ideas? What tips can you share with the rest of us?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • paulakiger

    These are great ideas, and I like the way you expand on how we can choose options that actually help our blogs’ search visibility. I shared a few ideas the other day when Laura wrote about it. Another that I read recently was “the subject lines of your email inbox.” I sometimes get into a discussion on social media that becomes long enough that it creates the core of a blog post. I also like posts that draw unlikely parallels — like it would be interesting to hear from you about how an hour at the park with a kiddo could change the trajectory of a campaign strategy (because it forces you to stop and think, to change environments, to see things through younger/different eyes (plus all that negotiating when every kid seems to want to climb the slide FROM THE BOTTOM UP AS OTHER KIDS ARE COMING DOWN — I never understood that!). 🙂

    • My sent mail (which was Andy’s idea) is my favorite place to look for ideas. And Slack now, too. So great addition!

      I have a great video of Beanie running up the slide. They all want to do that, don’t they?

      • paulakiger

        I think one of the biggest passages in parenting is that moment when you say, “you know, if he/she is going to insist on going UP the DOWN slide,” natural consequences will probably be more effective than all the lectures in the world.

        • Yep. My favorite phrase right now is, “There are some battles you just don’t fight if you want to win the war.” That is one of them.

  • Edward M. Bury

    As a blogger of some renown (well, at least in my own mind), I am driven by issues and events that inspire passion and the need to share commentary. My focus with the PRDude blog is public relations, and I often tackle topics where the profession — or those who practice or report on the profession — is discredited through ignorance or a misunderstanding of the value ethical, strategic public relations maintains in modern society. The “other stuff” I cover includes: “One Image, One Question,” a through on a current event inspired by a single image; “travelogues” complete with images taken on trips abroad; and Q&As featuring thoughts from leading and rising PR professionals. Finally I’ve been inspired by Chicago’s professional sports teams and my home grown tomatoes.

    • Mmmmmm….freshly grown tomatoes and some salt. Mmmmmm.

  • Pat Rhoads

    Say it with me: Parks are not just for kids. Parks are not just for kids. Parks are not… You get the idea.

    Thanks for the heads up about the Moz Keyword Explorer. Somehow I’d missed that in my life. But now I am ignorant no longer! Well, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch…

    • Right?! They have swings and super fast slides and monkey bars. I mean, it’s like they were made for me. But I seriously have had mean parents tell me the park is not for me. It makes me roll my eyes and, depending on what kind of mood I’m in, I may say something snarky like, “I’m sorry you live such a joyless life.”

      And you will LOVE Moz Keyword. Love. I’m in there right now, in fact.

  • Liz Reusswig

    I’m totally bookmarking this post! BTW – you do NOW know someone who has degrees in exercise physiology & sports medicine! 😉

    And I’ve seen you with swimmy googles on and parks are for kids – kids of all ages!

    • LOL!! I’m glad I was fast enough to get them off before you could snap the picture.

      • Liz Reusswig

        LOL

  • I like them all, but Google autofill is brilliant. So simple and yet…
    My blog post ideas come from day-to-day life, from reading your articles, from different newsletters I’m subscribed to and from the gazillion notifications I have on my phone.

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