Where Will Your Next Blog Post Inspiration Come From?
But what about when it comes to writing content for your WordPress blog? Writing blog posts is likely a chore in and of itself, but you know it’s something you have to do. So, how do you know what to write about and how do you ensure that you always have a fresh stream of topics to tackle on your blog?
To make this easy on you, the following list will cover 25 ways in which you (the WordPress professional) can get ideas for your blog posts.
25 Sources of Blog Post Inspiration for Your WordPress Site
You might feel as though maintaining a blog on your WordPress site is kind of pointless. After all, how many times can you talk about the importance of using trustworthy WordPress plugins or themes before readers think, “Okay, okay, we got it!”
As a writer, I can tell you that the trick to keeping your blog fresh and relevant is, of course, to cover those basics, but also not be afraid to take related tangents, too. It’s in these tangents where you’ll really get the attention of your followers.
The real problem then is where to find inspiration for these new and exciting blog topics. To do this, you’ll need to be willing to dig through a variety of sources of inspiration. Go wherever it is that your followers’ questions are asked and you’ll find that your answers (i.e. the blog post topic) flow naturally.
Here are 25 sources of blog inspiration you can start using now for your WordPress site:
1. Blog Comments
If you already have some content published on your WordPress site, the first thing I’d suggest you do is scope out the comments on each of your posts. If you haven’t amassed enough to pull from just yet, that’s alright. You can use a blog that covers similar subjects as your own. All you’re really looking for here are the questions and commentary readers leave behind.
Many times, it’s our readers that are able to pose ideas that open up new avenues worth pursuing or expanding upon.
2. Most Popular Posts
Your current blog posts can also serve as a source of inspiration if you focus on the ones that have performed the best. This means turning to Google Analytics for insights.
Within your Analytics account, navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages:
The statistics you’ll want to focus on in order to determine the popularity and success of a post are:
- Pageviews: When compared to the total within that timeframe, you’ll get a sense for just how well this post outperformed everything else.
- Avg. Time on Page: This will tell you whether or not readers are actually consuming the full blog post.
- Entrances: This will tell you which topics are the biggest draw of traffic to your site.
- Bounce Rate: Then you need to evaluate whether or not the initial lure of the topic was enough to hold their attention (i.e. the Avg. Time on Page) and then keep them on the site looking for more (i.e. Bounce Rate).
Your analytics can tell you a lot about which topics your readers want more of, so don’t let this valuable information go to waste.
3. Your Favorite Blog
Your favorite blog doesn’t have to be one that covers the same kinds of topics as yours. So long as they put out innovative and interesting topics, you can draw inspiration from them as a resource.
Let’s take, for instance, Men’s Health. While you’re not going to find any topics here that will inspire a specific subject for your blog, it’s the basic concept behind their mosts that may inspire you.
Take a look at this post above. I bet you have clients that make excuses for why they can’t do certain things. “I don’t have time to look at WordPress themes.” “I’m too busy for a call to review the latest round of revisions to the home page.” “I don’t think we even need to add SEO to the proposal. People will still find us.”
In response, you can write your own “If [CEO of the competition] Has Time for His Website, What the Hell Is Your Excuse?”
4. Your Clients’ Favorite Blog
What you find interesting and willing to spend your spare few moments reading during the day might not be the same as what your clients do. Take time to poke around the blogs that pique their interest. You’ll learn a lot more about what drives them and the kinds of concerns they have as it pertains to their business. You can then write posts that alleviate some of that pain.
Do they read Inc.? Then you can write something about the growing pains of a startup’s website.
Do they read the Gary Vaynerchuk blog? Then you will want more in-your-face “this is what you’re doing wrong” kinds of posts.
Do they read more niche-specific blogs? Then it’s probably best you brush up on that space so you can speak more directly to those interests.
5. Your Least Favorite Blog
Think about the one or two blogs you absolutely cannot stand. Maybe it’s some WordPress developer who tries to talk about cutting edge topics, but it’s clear they’re only recommending certain plugins or themes because they earn affiliate credits off the promotions. Then take those poorly composed topics or bad recommendations, and use them as inspiration to write the posts that should have been written.
6. The Competition’s Website
I would suggest you tread very carefully with this one as you never want anyone to accuse you of ripping off the competition’s ideas. Instead, you should look to the competition’s entire website for sources of inspiration.
- Is there a general topic they cover on their blog that you hadn’t thought to tackle?
- Does their FAQs page address questions or common issues that could be expanded into a post?
- Is it worth doing a side-by-side comparison of their service or product (generalized, perhaps) against your own?
So long as you do this in a manner that doesn’t make you seem petty/jealous/lazy, this can be a very valuable source of inspiration.
7. WordPress Forums
The WordPress forums are a great place to find out what other users are struggling with in WordPress.
Specifically, pay attention to the following categories:
- Most popular topics
- Topics with no replies
- Unresolved topics
With the most popular topics, you know you’ll be tackling a subject that many users are interested in hearing about. With the other two categories, you can use this opportunity to provide an expanded reply and solution within your blog which will lend credibility to your work as a WordPress developer.
8. Other Online Forums
The WordPress forums are indeed a great resource for inspiration, though much of what’s asked there comes from advanced WordPress users like yourself. If that’s not your target audience and you want to tackle a WordPress solution that is more beginner friendly, use other online forums like Quora for inspiration.
The best way to do this is to first assign yourself as a subject matter expert in Quora:
Then you can check your feed for questions that align with your areas of expertise:
It’ll make the process of searching for inspiration a whole lot easier. Then, once you have a question or idea in mind, take it to your blog. (You can of course provide a shorter response on Quora, too.)
9. Video TOCs
I think video tutorials, in general, do a really good job breaking down processes in real time for users to follow along with. So, there’s really no reason for you to recreate those. However, what you can do is research video tutorials that users have to pay to get access to.
Take a site like Udemy, for example. I’m sure there are a lot of users who would love to watch this premium video content in order to improve their processes, but just can’t afford to shell out money for each one. What you can do then is look at the tables of contents of these videos.
Is there a particular topic covered that you could write a blog post about? It would give you some major clout with your users too if you’re willing to give them a taste of this premium information for free.
Another kind of non-blog content you might be interested in following for inspiration is a podcast. These are always great because many of the conversations that happen there are done off the cuff. I think it’s also easier for them to address things like pet peeves because they can have a constructive discussion about it in real time rather than just write a one-sided rant about it on a blog.
If you’re looking to write blogs about WordPress, I’d recommend you follow these WordPress podcasts for inspiration.
11. LinkedIn WordPress Groups
Even if you’re not actively participating in the various LinkedIn Groups you’ve joined, there’s a lot that can be gleaned by reading through the questions and posts shared within them. Here’s an example of one from the WordPress Experts group:
If you’re a WordPress e-commerce expert, this would be an awesome opportunity to write out a tutorial in response to this question.
It’s important to note that you can also find inspiration in LinkedIn Groups that have nothing to do with WordPress. If your client base falls within a specific industry or niche, you can sign up for those groups as well to find out what their greatest pains and questions are. You never know. If someone is complaining about not hitting their sales quota last month, you might have a WordPress-related answer that could help.
Twitter is another great social media platform for inspiration. There are a number of ways in which you can do this.
First, search for hashtags that are most relevant to what you want to write about. You might be surprised what kinds of messages and topics you find when you search for these.
Next, I would recommend you take advantage of the Twitter List feature.
You can either subscribe to someone else’s carefully curated list of Twitter influencers that talk about the kinds of topics that interest you or you can create your own. Then you won’t have to worry about going profile to profile to find inspiration. You’ll have it all in one feed to scroll through.
13. Aggregated News Feed
Much like how you use social media to aggregate stories and posts from a variety of trusted sources, you can do the same with content and news around the web. One of the tools I use to do this is Feedly.
It keeps me from having to visit each of my favorite news sources or blogs when I’m in need of a quick dose of inspiration. All you have to do is create a category for the various topics you’re interested in writing about, pull different sites into that category, and then drop into Feedly when you want to find out what has other people talking.
If you really want to write about topics your readers and followers will love, why not just ask them? You have so many different platforms through which you can conduct a survey to gauge interest in topics or to solicit suggestions. You can use:
- A survey built into your blog–either an individual blog that calls for suggestions or place it on the sidebar.
- Pop-ups on your website.
- Your newsletter.
- Survey tools on social media.
15. Conference or Other Industry Event
Typically, you go to industry conferences for two reasons: to network and to learn something new. Why not take the latter and use it as inspiration for your next blog post? So long as your readers didn’t attend the same event, you could be introducing them to something completely new in writing about it.
The same thing goes for webinars. Often, people get too busy to attend these or don’t hear about them ahead of time, so it would be nice if you could provide some insight into what you learned from it. You don’t need to summarize the webinar, in this case. Perhaps just take a data point, case study, or other valuable bit of information within it, and then write a post around that.
17. Your Email
I’m willing to bet you hear the same questions and complaints from clients over and over again. Why not dig through old emails from clients and see if there are any common questions or issues that would be worth addressing on your blog. If you can’t find any, but you know there’s something you find particularly frustrating, go with that. It could be as simple as “This Is Why It Takes Two Months to Build a High-Quality Website”.
18. Your Mistakes
Look, no one is perfect. Even with all the checklists in the world and a top-of-the-line task management system, there’s something that is bound to fall through the cracks. Or it could just be that you and your client were an ill-matched pair from the get-go. Whatever led to mistakes in a recent job, why not turn that into a “lesson learned” type of post. Both your peers as well as your clients can take something away from it.
Google has a number of tools and features that are great for the creative brainstorming process.
Google Alerts are a great way to automate this.
Just add the key phrase and subject matter (try to get as specific as possible) you’d like to be notified about as new content appears in search.
Google’s auto-suggest feature is really helpful, too. You can use this in one of two ways. Either start typing in a topic you’re thinking about and watch the most relevant search terms auto-populate beneath it:
Or you can run your search and then scroll to the very bottom of the page where the “Searches related to” gives you some more ideas worth pursuing:
And, finally, there’s Google Trends. This tool will not only tell you how well a given topic is trending, but it will also present you with related topics and queries.
20. Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator
Want someone else to do the work for you? Then why not use Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator?
Enter up to three keywords (nouns) related to topics you want to write about and then run your search. Hubspot will then give you inspiration (or actual topics) to work with.
21. Answer the Public
Answer the Public is another one that will do a lot of the work for you.
To get the best results with this tool, enter a keyword or a simple search phrase, define the target language, and let it tell you what people want to know about the subject.
Unlike a search in Google which will tell you what kinds of posts are performing the best for certain search phrases, Buzzsumo will tell you which posts are performing best in terms of social media engagements.
So, if your goal is to write content that not only generates buzz on your website, but compels readers to share it with others, this tool can help you find out what’s really got people interested in this topic.
23. Take a Shower
Apparently, the whole getting-inspired-in-the-shower thing is not a myth. A study confirmed that 72% of people actually find inspiration when soaping up.
24. Go for a Walk
According to a study that came out of Stanford University a few years back, the process of walking–whether outside or on a treadmill–will get those creative juices flowing. While you might not be surrounded by inspiring visuals, just the process of moving will get your brain thinking in new ways.
25. Entertain Yourself
I’d also suggest taking time to relax and enjoy yourself a bit. Read a book, put on some music, watch a movie… Do something that takes your brain away from thinking so much and give it time to rest. And who knows? Maybe the latest episode of your favorite sitcom will spur on some inspiration for a new post.
It’s pretty incredible how many places lend inspiration to new blog content. It’s really just a matter of knowing where to look for that inspiration and making the time to do so.