Does your content engage people? Are you getting a good amount of traffic from search engines? If not, you might want to take a look at your content writing topics.
Of course, content is king. But any content would not do the trick. You need to pick content topics that resonate with your audience. And to pick great content writing topics, you must have a deep understanding of what your prospects want.
With that in mind, the following strategies will help you identify your prospects’ pain points and generate irresistible content writing ideas for your editorial calendar.
How to generate content writing topics
Once you have a content strategy in place, there is no shortage of ways you can come up with new content writing topics that inform and help your audience. Use the following strategies to come up with great content writing ideas.
Conduct audience interviews
Having one-on-one conversations with people in your target audience can provide benefits that simply can’t be achieved with other methods.
There are often blind spots you won’t have considered on your own. When you actually talk to someone in your audience, problems and uses you didn’t know will come into the picture. Your personas will be more authentic and accurate. And you’ll get content writing ideas that your target audience will just eat up.
For example, customer interviews can help you learn things like:
- How do your prospects spend their time online?
- What type of content do they enjoy?
- How do they find the content they like?
- What keywords do they search?
All this information is valuable when considering content writing topics for your business.
To conduct interviews with your customers, you can start by sending them an invitation note like this:
Hi Sam, thanks for being our valued customer. Since you have recently used/purchased our product, I’d love to get your advice on what else we can do to solve your problems. If you’re available, I’d love to chat for just 20 minutes – Thur or Fri morning?
And once you’re in conversation with them, make sure to ask pertinent questions. Creating a list of questions in advance will help be better prepared and get insightful data about which content writing topics to pick next.
Take audience surveys
Surveys can be really effective in gaining useful insights and content topics to write about, but only when you have a plan to begin with. You need to be clear on:
- The goals of your survey - what exactly do you hope to know.
- Who will you survey - customers, social media followers, leads, etc
- How will you reach those people - email list, advertising, social media, etc.
Pat Flynn’s website is a great example. He once used a one-question poll on his site Smart Passive Income.
This single question about how much his visitors earn online helped him segment his audience into different buckets. So he was able to create content on topics that’ll resonate with each group.
You can use the same approach to identify, shortlist, and prioritize your content writing ideas.
To survey your own audience regarding content topics, start by creating a list of questions you’d like to ask. Here are some examples:
- Are you satisfied with our content? Why?
- Would you consider visiting again? Why?
- Is there anything we can do to improve your experience on our website?
If you’re using Typeform, for example, just log in and click Create Typeform to get started. Pick a readymade template or just click Start From Scratch to start building your form. And to add questions to your survey, simply click the + button.
Once you’re happy with your survey, hit Publish. Typeform also lets you distribute the survey you have created through your social media channels.
As you reach out to your current and potential customers with your survey, make sure to offer an incentive. Offering a prize or free sample will help you get more responses. And the more people respond, the more content creation ideas you will have.
Check social networks
Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a goldmine for audience data, which can turn into content writing topics. And they all offer some type of analytics solution to get more information about your niche market.
Facebook Audience Insights, for instance, is a powerful marketing analytics tool available. It gives you aggregated information about two groups of people:
- People connected to your Page
- All the people on Facebook
So you can easily find more people like the ones in your current audience. Here’s what it typically looks like.
The left part allows you to select the audience attributes you already know, and the right part shows you the data.
There is also a demographics overview which lets you see details like age, gender breakdowns, education levels, job titles, relationship statuses, and more.
But what we’re really interested in is the Page Likes tab. It shows what other pages people in your audience have liked. This can tell you a lot about what content writing ideas will resonate with them.
Find forums and QAs
Another great way to find out what your target audience is like and what’s troubling them is through online communities and forums. This is where people connect on shared interests and discuss their problems and solutions.
We live in an era where public conversations are going on about almost all the content writing topics. Based on your brand’s area of interest, you can find dozens of relevant Facebook groups, subreddits, Quora communities, Twitter threads, and niche forums.
You can find forums in your niche by using Google. To find a forum, you need to add the word “forum” to your search query. For example, if you’re looking for cooking-related forums, simply type “cooking forum” on Google.
Once you find an online community, going through their discussions can help you come up with content writing ideas.
Let’s take Quora, for example. It’s a website where people come together to ask and answer questions on anything that strikes their curiosity.
It is one of the most high-traffic platforms on the web and is full of questions covering a wide spectrum of content writing topics. It also has a great interface to quickly skim through a lot of questions on a given topic.
Just type your content topic in Quora’s search bar, and it’ll present you with relevant questions. It also shows how many people are following a question, indicating how important it is for your target audience.
Moreover, by looking at the answers which got the most upvotes, you can get all sorts of data on what type of content your target market values and how they communicate.
Competitor analysis (reviews and comments)
Looking at the high-performing content your competitors are writing and sharing can also give you a wealth of data on who your audiences are, and what content writing topics they want.
For example, Casper is a company selling quality mattresses directly to consumers online. And there are many competitors selling similar products. These include Tuft & Needle, Leesa, Purple, Helix, and Nectar.
In addition, there are also companies that don’t sell mattresses, but related products that help people sleep better. These include pillow companies like PlutoPillow, apps such as Calm and SleepCycle, and even brands such as RemRise, The Nue Co, and Moon Juice.
So to identify content writing ideas, Casper can put together a list of both its direct and indirect competitors, along with a high-level analysis of their content. Here’s an example:
Besides that, you can also check the comments they get on their content pieces, such as blog posts and YouTube videos. The kind of questions people ask can lead to great content writing topics for your own content creation.
In addition, there is a wealth of information hidden in customer reviews on your competitors:
- If you sell a digital product, check reviews on websites like Product Hunt, Capterra, G2, and GetApp.
- If it’s a physical product, look at websites like Amazon, Consumer Reports, and Consumer Search for reviews.
- To find reviews on service providers, sites like Clutch, GoodFirms, and AgencyList are great.
Remember, your own customer reviews are not enough to get holistic data on your target audience. Including competitor reviews in your analysis gives you even more advantage when coming up with content writing ideas.
Use keyword research
What better way to learn more about your potential customer and generate content topics than to be able to see what they are searching for?
Keyword research allows you to know the common questions and phrases they use, which are also relevant to your brand. All you need are one or more seed keywords, and to run them through a keyword research tool.
For example, consider the keyword “intermittent fasting.” Let’s run it through a keyword research tool and see the results.
You will get several keywords related to your seed keyword to get some content writing ideas.
Plus, the tool will provide you with useful metrics such as monthly search volume, SEO difficulty, PPC competition, and the top content topics ranking for those keywords.
Ideally, you’ll want to target keywords with high search volume but low difficulty scores. So you can maximize your chances of getting high rankings and more traffic.
If you don’t have the budget for a premium keyword tool, there are several free options available to use when researching content creation ideas.
Content performance analysis
What if you could see real, concrete data on what content writing topics or type of content has performed the best with your target audience in the past? That would be a jackpot of content creation ideas, right?
Thankfully, there are tools these days that make it easy to gather information on what content writing topics or formats have been successful. One such tool is BuzzSumo.
Once you enter a seed topic in BuzzSumo, it shows a list of content on that topic, along with the social media engagement and number of backlinks it has. In fact, you can identify the actual people who shared or mentioned that topic on social media.
For example, let’s say you are a web design company. When you search for the term “web design” in BuzzSumo, you see the most popular content on that topic and how it’s performing on major social networks.
These insights are just the tip of the iceberg. With BuzzSumo’s paid plan, you can go even deeper to understand things like which content writing topics, types, and lengths got the most engagement and more.
Search engine results
Google is a wealth of information because around 51 percent of all online traffic begins by using a search engine.
You can use Google’s search function to find out the kind of content your audience is looking for. This is a reliable way of generating new content creation ideas because it taps into the current trends in your niche.
Type in the search bar using keywords that are relevant to your niche and check the search suggestions that Google makes.
For example, You want ideas around the topic of customer satisfaction. Start typing “customer satisfaction” in the Google search bar and it will automatically suggest a number of related searches people are making. You can use these searches as the basis for your next content writing topics.
Another way is to search Google for a popular topic, and then check the “Related searches” section of your search results.
This will give you other searches that people are making so that you can better address the needs of your audience with your next content writing ideas.
Online topic generators
There are quite a few topic research tools that you can use to come up with reliable content writing topics in general for your readers.
For example, a topic research tool like HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator is a quick way to research blogging ideas. Such tools combine data gathered from a large number of sources so that you get better results.
You just have to enter keywords to find ideas relating to that keyword. This tool is used by content creators across niches to get content creation ideas.
Bestselling online courses
You can find an online course on almost any niche under the sun. Topics that are covered in an online course are usually based on things that people want to know about.
You can use these topics to gain content creation ideas for your own content. You do not have to sign up for an online course to view these topics. The list of topics covered by an online course is available for free.
One of the most popular sites where you can find online courses is Udemy. On Udemy, simply type the niche in which you are looking for courses.
For example, if you are looking for IT courses, type IT into the search bar. You will find a list of courses that are available in the IT niche.
You will find a list of courses that are available in the niche. Click on each course to view the list of topics that the course covers.
You can check out as many online courses as you want, which will help you get numerous content writing ideas.
Online publications include news websites, magazines, or blogs in your niche that provide content relevant to your niche. These publications discuss the latest trends, tips, how-tos, etc. that you should know about.
You can check out their content to gain ideas about content writing topics. Try to expand on the content that they have made or provide your own take on that content topic.
You can find the best publications in your niche by using Google Search. Simply type your niche or a popular query related to your niche and check the results. For example:
- [Niche] + blogs
- [Niche] + magazines
- [Niche] + publications
Let’s say your niche is “lifestyle.” So you’ll search for “[lifestyle] + blogs”. This is what the search engine result page (SERP) will look like.
The results in the first few pages are usually the top publications. Remember to keep your query general or try a few different queries to ensure that you find the right publications to get content writing ideas.
Browse idea lists
There are many articles online with huge lists of content topics you can write about. Here are some of the in-depth pieces that I know of.
- The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas
- 103 Blog Post Ideas That Your Readers Will LOVE
- What To Post On Social Media: 35 Engaging Content Ideas
- 60 Blog Post Ideas For Entrepreneurs, Marketers, And Businesses
- 60 Blog Post Ideas to Fill Your Content Calendar
- 189 Creative Blog Post Ideas That Will Delight Your Audience
Go through these lists and select the content creation ideas you like. In no time, you’ll have months' worth of content writing topics. In addition, just going through the topics will give you inspiration for coming up with your own content writing ideas.
Talk to customer-facing staff
Customer service representatives, customer success engineers, and salespeople are your direct link with your customer base. These teams interact with your customers day-in and day-out, so they know the needs and doubts of your customers.
You can find a lot of content writing topics for your company website by talking to or interviewing these representatives. You can ask them questions that they most often receive or customer needs that are going unfulfilled.
For example, if you have a company that makes kitchen appliances, you can ask your representatives questions such as:
- Which are the most common questions that you get from customers?
- How do you think we can help customers understand how to use our products?
- What is the general demographic of the customers who call customer support?
Latest industry research/reports
Tapping into industry research firms and marketing research firms is a good way to find insights relevant to your niche.
These firms regularly conduct research on the latest trends that may affect your market or how recent developments are already affecting the market.
You can use the insights that you gain from reading their reports to form the basis for your content creation ideas. You can either comment on these findings or provide a summary of their reports.
For example, let’s say you’re in the fashion industry. And you come across this study.
You can use this study to talk about fashion trends that don’t require wearing a tie. Or maybe share ideas about how to wear a loose tie with the top shirt button unfastened.
Some of the biggest industry research firms are Statista, Nielsen, and Emarketer. For example, to find the latest research on Statista, just search for topics you want to find research on. And you will see a list of research results.
Expand on/spin-off your own content
Go through your own previous content. Then for each piece, identify subtopics that you could expand on. These are the content writing topics you had more to say about, but you didn’t because of scope or length constraints.
Also, check your web analytics to see which of your content writing topics have been the most popular. Identify ways to expand, update or follow up on this content.
Updating old content topics is also great for SEO and can increase your ranking and traffic with little effort. This is because you've already done the work. Making an update will not be that much of an effort.
Now, if you want to scale this process, you can use a free tool called Animalz Revive.
It shows you the articles on your site that have lost the most traffic since you first published them. Needless to say, these posts are perfect for the content relaunch.
Final thoughts on content writing topics
Thinking of new content creation ideas or blogging topics is not as hard as it seems. Even if you have been creating content for a long time and are slowly running out of content writing ideas, there are almost an infinite number of new possibilities.
Being able to come up with new content writing topics not only helps you maintain and grow your audience, but also helps you become an expert in your niche.
However, generating the best content creation ideas is not going to work if you use those ideas to write mediocre content. Every piece of content you write must be of high quality. For more information, see our guide on how to write a blog post.
Did we miss anything? Did you try these tips to find content topics? Do you have any questions or comments about content creation ideas? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.