4 Killer Blog Ideas

As a blogger, you know it's not always easy to come up with new blog topics. Working week after week to think of fresh ideas can be daunting and frustrating. But, using the power of the Internet and its many resources at hand, I've discovered some fantastic and inspirational resources for killer blog topics. What follows are some tools and tips that should make brainstorming new blog topics on a consistent basis much easier.

Yahoo! Answers
Yahoo! Answers is a great topic discovery tool. It works because these are questions to which people want answers. Some of the most popular blog posts on the Web are those that provide real solutions to people's pain points.

To use Yahoo! Answers for blog ideas, start by running a simple query for your target topics. Then, to get more granular, refine your search with different filtering options. For example, Figure A is an advanced query for "weight loss program," filtered by "best answers" and "resolved questions."

If I blog about exercise and fitness, seeing these actual questions might spur me to create a post about "Alternative weight loss plans" to tap the demand of people searching for answers to this popular topic.

Google Trends
One proven strategy for driving traffic to your blog is to write posts about hot topics. Google Trends offers a tool that lets you discover what the world is interested in right now, this very minute. By using Google Trends for blog topic ideas, you can discover rising keyword search activity on Google for a variety of different phrases and terms.

Imagine a sports blogger looking for a new, trendy topic. By navigating to Google Trends and checking the home page (Figure B), you can see that the search term "NCAA bracket 2010 prediction" is the sixth-hottest search.

Google Trends allows one to drill down even deeper into that search term by clicking on the link and revealing some very interesting data - including when search activity peaked and a list of related searches, as seen in Figure C.

So, Google Trends is showing a strong demand for information about "NCAA bracket predictions," which makes sense given that, as I write this post, March Madness is about to start and people need help with their brackets. Given the trendiness and timeliness of this term, a sports blogger would want to create and publish an "NCAA Bracket

Predictions" blog post immediately and incorporate some of the related terms in the content to capitalize on search activity around the hot topic.

Of course, any topic can be explored by simply entering keywords and phrases into the Google Trends search bar.

Google Wonder Wheel
Google also offers a keyword research tool called Wonder Wheel, providing some fresh ideas and blogging suggestions. Use the tool to search on a general subject that you want to blog about and drill down to discover a host of related keywords and popular searches that you can turn into blog topics.

Figure D shows a query for a very broad, generic topic: "dogs." Google Wonder Wheel returns a spectrum of categories to explore.

Since I run a run a website with content for dog breeders (hypothetically), I decide to research the "dogs health" category for ideas. By clicking on the "dogs health" link, Wonder Wheel displays a portfolio of keywords related to the main category head term, as seen in Figure E.

Now I have a host of ideas around the health of dogs to tap for blog content. And all of these related keywords are based on frequent keywords and popular user queries, so it's clear that people want information on these topics.

SEO for Firefox
When a blog post is good, it usually attracts many links, as site owners feel compelled to share it with their audience. So, another great way to find blog ideas is to analyze the number of links pointing to a blog post. The SEO for Firefox Plugin from SEO Book shows what blog posts have attracted the most inbound links. Now, this method is more advanced than plugging queries into Google Trends or Yahoo! Answers, so let's take it step-by-step.

1. Install the free SEO for Firefox plugin (https://bit.ly/9uResB) and activate it.
2. Run a search in Google (for this example, 'kayaking'), select the "show options" button (below the search box, left) and click "blogs" from the categories.
3. Click the "100" option, which will return the top 100 search results.
4. Once that's resolved, click the CSV (just below the search box, right) and export the results file to your computer.
5.Firefox for SEO gives plenty of great information, but for this exercise we just want the data for the column "Y! Page Links," so delete the rest.
6. Sort the list by "Y! Page Links" from "largest to smallest." Your CSV results should look like this:

From this list, you can cherry-pick posts that have attracted links, examine the content to see why it's so compelling and get those creative juices flowing. Something like the top result, "Skyaking: Skydiving Meets Kayaking in Stunning Extreme Sport," for instance, would interest me because of its originality and quirkiness.

If I ran an outdoors or adventure blog, I could put together a feature about the extreme sport of Skyaking. Again, the beauty of link analysis for blog topic ideas is that these topics have proven to appeal to an audience by the sheer number of links they have collected.

Many times, writing blogs is the easy part, while coming up with new ideas can cause serious bouts of writer's block. Use the tools mentioned here to generate new ideas and keep on blogging.
About the Author: Ken Lyons is Senior Marketing Manager at WordStream, a provider of Internet Marketing Software and The Free Keyword Tool . He is a frequent contributor to the WordStream Internet Marketing Blog.