Your blog is a powerful marketing tool—if you know how to use it right.

Blog posts provide SEO value and can bring in lots of new leads. Blogging can also help you get more website traffic, and your blog can help turn a consumer into a customer. In fact, 81 percent of consumers trust information and advice from blogs, and 61 percent have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.

But, what are you supposed to write about?

Getting started can be the most difficult step in writing a blog post. This article aims to make blog post topic generation just a little easier.

Here are three tools for finding blog post ideas when you’re stuck.

1. Feedly

Feedly is a feed reader, which means that you can view many different blogs in a single feed. There are free and paid versions of Feedly, but the free version is probably enough for your needs. You can use Feedly to follow industry blogs and get ideas based on what others are writing.

Here’s a mini tutorial for using Feedly:

  • Sign up for an account
  • Search for industry blogs (for instance, pet stores can search for “pets,” “pet grooming,” or “pet store” to find blogs related to their industry)
  • Follow any blogs you think could help you come up with ideas

Here’s a full tutorial for using Feedly. As a bonus, you will probably be one of the first to learn any industry news that could affect your business if you check Feedly daily.

2. Topic Generators

Blog topic generators are helpful when you have a general idea of what you’d like to write about, but you can’t decide on a concrete headline or way to approach the subject.

Here’s how I use blog topic generators:

Let’s say I know I want to write about getting more online reviews, but I’m not really sure how I want to frame the post. I’ll go to a topic generator, enter my term (“online reviews,” “review marketing,” or even “get more reviews”) and read through the options the generator gives me.

You’ll usually have to edit the title for grammar (or to make it make sense) so keep that in mind when your results appear.

Here are two topic generators you can use to find blog topics.

1. HubSpot: HubSpot’s blog topic generator allows you to add up to three nouns and will find blog topics for each.

If I enter “online reviews” into this generator, HubSpot’s suggestions include:

  • The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Online Reviews
  • 10 Quick Tips About Online Reviews
  • How to Solve the Biggest Problems With Online Reviews

2. Portent: Warning: You probably won’t use the exact titles Portent’s title generator gives you. It’s great for sparking creativity, though, and it does occasionally produce useful blog titles.

If I enter “online reviews” into Portent’s title generator, here’s what I get:

  • 5 Surprising Ways Online Reviews are More Refreshing Than New Socks
  • How to Cheat on Online Reviews and Get Away With It (Don’t do that!)
  • 20 Great Articles About Online Reviews

Bonus: Coschedule

While you won’t find ideas on Coschedule’s headline analyzer, you will get a good idea of how powerful your headline will be. And since a great headline is the key to drawing readers in and getting them onto your site, you should be using this headline analyzer to determine how your headlines will resonate with your audience.

3. Your customers and your community.

Your customers and community events (or news) are also good sources for blog topics.

You probably get the same questions over and over from customers, right? Why not answer those questions in blog posts? This will help you provide valuable content for your customers. And, you’re probably also answering a question prospective customers have, which should help them take the next step in the buying cycle.

Don’t forget about local events. If your business is planning to attend a local event, write a short post about the event, what attendees can expect and what your business will be doing there. (Will you be donating products or services, handing out samples or just there to help set up?)

Final Thoughts

Remember, no matter what you write, your blog isn’t just a content marketing tool. It should be providing value to your readers. Give them something they can use, and they’ll likely remember your business the next time they’re in the market for a similar product or service.

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