How to Get Blog Ideas for Content Marketing

Content Marketing, Blogging, SEO

American novelist Orson Scott said, “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” The same principle applies to your content marketing strategy. Once you know how to look, you’ll find new blog ideas all the time. Here are some of the easiest ways to find new content marketing ideas.

Think of Questions That Contain Your SEO Keyword

Most businesses that start a blog are doing so for SEO purposes. It’s almost impossible to be successful in such an endeavor unless it starts with thorough keyword research. As you decide which keywords you want to target, there’s a good chance you’ll start to get blog ideas right away. Once that well of initial inspiration runs dry, go back to the key phrases and words you uncovered with your research. Think of information you can share by framing your keyword within the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why) and other questions.

power your own ideas for your blog
Ideas won't always come naturally– sometimes you'll have to have to power through your content marketing strategy.

For example, if you own a run a car dealership in St. Louis, you could target the key phrase “car dealership” with blog posts like this:

  • Who decides financing rates at a car dealership?
  • What car dealerships are open on Sunday?
  • When does a car dealership run your credit?
  • Where can I find CPO vehicles at a car dealership near St. Louis?
  • Why should I get my car serviced at the car dealership instead of an auto shop?
  • How do car dealerships get their cars?
  • Does it make sense to buy from a car dealership instead of online?

Use Google for Blog Ideas

google gives suggestions for ways to finish your query
Google will give you suggestions for ways to finish what you've already typed, and you may find blog ideas there.

If you’re still spinning your wheels without making progress, let Google help you! For example, say you can’t think of anything for a “what” question. Go to your search engine of choice, and start typing, “what car dealership.” Google starts suggesting things, and may even give you different suggestions if you re-type your question starter multiple times. In a quick experiment just now, Google supplied all of the following viable options:

  • What car dealership has the best deals?
  • What car dealership has the best warranty?
  • What car dealership sells the most cars?
  • What car dealership uses Equifax?
  • What car dealership is open today?
  • What car dealerships rent cars?
  • What car dealerships pay the most?

Just like that, you have a handful of different blog post ideas. You don’t necessarily have to make the title of your post a question, but this is a great way to come up with topics. As you do the research to write your articles from this exercise, you may run across other things that give you even more ideas for future posts. Jot those thoughts down on a list, and you’ll have a backlog of blog topics before you know it.

keywordtool.io returns a list of potential keywords and phrases you can use on your blog
Keyword research on sites like keyword.io is essential to a good content marketing strategy, and it can also give you blog ideas along the way.

Use Keywordtool.io

Google isn’t the only free resource you can use to come up with more blog ideas. A quick search on keywordtool.io will return additional ideas for free. If you want to learn more about the keywords, such as their monthly search volume, you can pay for a subscription. Either way, you can use this tool to find variations of your keyword, then run those new key phrases through the process above.

Get Blog Ideas from Soovle

Soovle is yet another great keyword research tool. Remember how we typed the start of a search into Google to see what kind of suggestions it would show us? Soovle collects those suggestions from some of the top search engines from all over the internet. It will show you suggested text from Google, Bing, Wikipedia, Yahoo, YouTube, Answers.com, Amazon, and more. Give it a quick spin, and you’ll get blog ideas for weeks.

soovle supplies a compilation of search suggestions that gives us lots of blog ideas
Soovle provides long lists of search suggestions, so you may get even more blog ideas here than you could by visiting each site individually.

Find Blog Ideas on Social Media

People turn to social media when they have questions. If you’re plugged into your industry on all the social sites, you’ll naturally encounter questions. People may even reach out to your business on social media to deliver their questions directly. If it doesn’t come that easily, you can use the search feature. Here are a few examples of how that might work on Twitter:

  1. Search “car dealership howto” – This search returns an article about common mistakes people make at car dealerships. – Blog idea: “7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Car”
  2. Search “car dealership question” – This search returns someone who’s asking if dealerships can override warning lights on a used car. – Blog idea: “CPO vs. Used Cars” + Blog idea: “Can You Trust a Used Car from an Online Seller?”
  3. Search “car dealership tips” – Jackpot! This search returns a ton of different blog posts. – Blog idea: “5 Tips for Buying a Car at a St. Louis Car Dealership” + Blog idea: “Fees to Watch out for at the Car Dealership” + Blog idea: “Changing Your Insurance When You Sell Your Car to a Car Dealership” + Blog idea: “How to Negotiate at the Car Dealership”

Don’t be afraid of blog post ideas like that last one. If someone wants tips about how to get their new car for less, they’ll get them with or without you. You won’t spare your sales team by removing this strong blog idea from your content marketing strategy. Be open, and add value by giving good tips– just make sure the last tip is to shop at your car dealership, where customers always get the best deals.

Watch Your Competition

Let’s be completely clear here¬– this is not about copying your competitors. That said, you can look at what other people in your industry are blogging about. As you peruse those articles, you may be inspired with some blog ideas of your own. As you read articles from your competitors and related companies, try to think about questions they leave unanswered, ways you can add to the conversation, and how you have a different take on things. If you’re looking for car dealership blog ideas, you can check blogs from other dealerships, Car and Driver, Edmunds, and similar sources.

amazon shows the table of contents in a book with blog ideas for car dealerships
Amazon shows us the table of contents for this book, and we can use it to get blog ideas for our imaginary car dealership.

Look Inside Books on Amazon

Amazon allows you to check out the inside of a lot of the books they sell, normally showing you the first few pages. Luckily for content marketers, the beginning of a book is exactly where they put the table of contents. For our imaginary scenario where we need car dealership blog ideas, we go to Amazon and search “how to buy a car.” Their search engine returns a book that’s full of information people want about the car buying process. You want people to associate your dealership with buying a car, so it makes sense to write about that same process.

Using the “Look Inside” feature, we flip through the first couple of pages in a few different books until we find a table of contents that helps them. Some of the chapter titles give us the following car dealer blog post ideas:

  • How do car dealership employees get paid?
  • How to get a good deal on a new car
  • How to get more for your trade in
  • How to finance a new car
  • How does my credit rating affect my interest rate for a new car?
  • How does leasing a car work?
  • Should I buy a new or used car?

Keep a Running List

As you complete these exercises, you should come up with more blog posts than you could possibly write right now. Hopefully you already have a few just from reading this article! Log those ideas somewhere, and you’ll have a list you can go back to next time you need inspiration. Add to your list every time you come up with blog post ideas, and you shouldn’t have to worry about running out any time soon.

The Buddy Gardner Blog Ideas file currently has just under 100 bullet points. It’s hard to remember that last time it got shorter, because it feels impossible not to add more in the process of crossing one off. The hardest part now is finding time to work the list. If you need help coming up with some blog ideas for your own business, let’s chat until we think of a few.

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