5 Must-Use Brainstorming Tips & Tools to Get You Blogging Like a Pro

Question: Do you have some tool or tip recommendations that may help jumpstart our blog idea brainstorming?

Answer: We've all been there: you've got a blogging deadline in less than two hours and all you are doing is staring at a blank screen. By far the hardest part of being a blogger is the daily content-creation grind. It's not easy to continuously brainstorm new ideas and topics either for your own blog or those of your clients.

The good news is that there are several tools and tips out there that make this process substantially easier. To that end, here are five pro tips and tools that we use here at SearchEngineNews when our writers (yours truly included) get a case of writer's block.

  • Brainstorming Tip #1 - Blog Post Idea Formula:

    Sometimes you can't wait for inspiration to hit and we have to help it along. To do that you can use formulas like these:

    "What [EXAMPLE] can Teach you about [SUBJECT]"

    "Lessons on [SUBJECT] from [EXAMPLE]"

    "Why is [SUBJECT_A] more effective than [SUBJECT_B]"

    "Top ways [EXAMPLE_A] is better than [EXAMPLE_B]"

    This is pretty simple. [EXAMPLE] can be anything or everything, whereas [SUBJECT] is very specific. For results, make your [EXAMPLE] as unrelated as possible to your [SUBJECT].

    For example, visit this post titled Why Fencing Makes Me a Better SEO. Notice how the example, Crossfit, is on first glance completely unrelated to the topic of SEO. The above are just a couple of variations but you get the picture. This is a great brainstorming way for you to jumpstart your blog writing.

  • Brainstorming Tip #2 - Use the Portent Content Idea Generator!

    The brainchild of Seattle-based internet marketing firm Portent.com, the Content Idea Generator is a fun and easy tool that makes brainstorming fun. Just enter a keyword, and the tool comes up with possible titles for your content or link bait piece that you probably never even thought possible.

    The tool works by generating common hooks around the subject you enter, for example:

    • "Why the next 5 Years of Fencing will Shatter the First 5 Years of Fencing" - News Hook
    • "Why Fencing is an Overrated Fitness Fad" - Attack Hook
    • "How Fencing can help you live a Better Life" - Resource Hook
    • "How to Fight Lex Luthor using only Fencing" - Humor Hook
    • "12 Facts about Fencing that will Keep you up at Night" - Information Hook
  • Frankly, the tool is so awesome that you may never use anything else again. If you are looking for a great way to jumpstart your blog title creation strategy, this is the tool for you.

  • Brainstorming Tip #3 - Ask Ubersuggest Questions!

    Ubersuggest is a great keyword research tool that allows you to enter a keyword phrase and through keyword stemming and auto-completion, return a long list of possible queries. These queries can in turn be used as possible blog post ideas.

    For example, let's go back above to our crossfit example. If I was looking for new ideas for my blog I would start with a search in Ubersuggest that would look like this: [Question words] + keywords. Here's an example list you could use:

    • can
    • does
    • will
    • would
    • who
    • how could
    • how does
    • why does
    • when does
    • where does
  • And here are some examples we could generate using some of the above:

    This is just a quick example. Ubersuggest will generate a TON of other queries, even breaking them down from A-Z to make sure you are covering every possible combination.

  • Brainstorming Tip #4 - Find Trending Topics:

    What's a great way to drive traffic, links and "buzz" to your blog? Write about timely topics or trends that may be connecting with the general consciousness at a specific time.One of the best free tools out there to do this is TrendsMap (to see what is trending on Twitter). For example, check-out this map generated earlier in January during the Seattle vs New Orleans NFL playoff game:

    Another great option is Google Trends (to see what is trending on Google). A quick look randomly in early January showed the following as trending topics, all of which would have made great blog posts:

    Next, don't overlook sites like Topsy (to see what people are sharing), or pop culture news sites like Reddit, BuzzFeed, Fark and UniqueDaily.com. These sites are the pulse of the Internet. If it's hot, trending, or worth reading, these sites usually have it first. Visit these sites to find related or complimentary topics or take an existing hot topic, add your own twist or approach, then re-publish!

  • Brainstorming Tip #5 - Use Google Related Searches:

    We all use Google for our brainstorming activities. But most don't realize that in addition to Google Suggest there is a great built-in idea generator on the results page.

    For example, if we started typing "will crossfit" into Google, here is what we get in Google Suggest:

    Now if we were to perform the "will Crossfit" search in Google and navigate to the bottom of the search results page, here's what we would find:

    If you review both lists against each other you'll see that they do overlap quite a bit. But it's not 100%. The result? More generated blog content ideas. Even better, every time you click on one of the related searches above for "will Crossfit" you'll bring up yet another page with new, unique ideas generated.

    For example, here's the new ideas generated when you step out further and click on "will Crossfit build muscle:"

    You can continue to click-thru to more and more of these Google Related Searches resulting in more and more possible blog post generation ideas. Even better, these are already queries that people are actively searching, meaning you have a built-in audience already.

    Blog post or article idea generation doesn't have to be a chore. These three quick tips will spur your creative juices and take your blog content pieces to new heights. Replicate these techniques on a weekly basis and we guarantee you'll never run out of new ideas to promote to your audience. Good luck!