Let’s face it, there are about 10 million things you’d rather do than stare at a blank screen. Personally I’d rather clean toilets than waste time. Life is short and I don’t want to spend it stewing over blog post ideas when I could be reading a good book or enjoying time out with friends. My guess is that you don’t want to waste time either, so today’s post offers you 10 tools to help you generate awesome blog topic ideas. Here’s to doing something way more interesting with the rest of your day.
I have scoured the web to find the best blog topic generator tools out there. Topic and title generation tools vary, so I’ve ranked each one from best to worst according to how user-friendly and contextual the tool is.
To test context I’ve used the noun “bananas” with each automated tool to see how well each one performs. I thought it would be a fun way to test the utility of each tool.
Best Topic Generators
Dan Norris’s new book Content Machine is an Amazon bestseller and the resources he provides are gold for small business content marketers. While there are lots of automated blog topic generation tools out there, Dan’s brainstorming list is a terrific way to start your search for ideas. It’s not automated so I haven’t applied the “banana test”, but you can use the automated blog topic tools referred to below to help in your search for ideas.
Once you have come up with your first 20 ideas, you can then go to Dan’s Content Multiplier Tool and look at ways to repurpose your ideas in different blog post styles and formats. Before you know it you’ll have a year’s worth of share-worthy blog posts.
Of all the tools I road-tested, ContentIdeator’s was one of the more intelligent. It came up with a ream of useable blog ideas in a matter of seconds. What I particularly like about this tool is that it is contextual. Whoever coded this blog topic helper monkey is really smart. It definitely passed the “banana test.”
Buzzsumo’s topic tool identifies blog posts written on the topic you input into their topic generation tool. It is a tad more versatile than ContentIdeator because also ranks each headline in terms of popularity and reach, but it isn’t quite as contextual. You can use Buzzsumo’s tool to see what topic titles are trending. You can then put a different spin on those topics or use them to give you ideas for how to write headlines on other topics. Buzzsomo’s tool is great and fairly contextual. It definitely passes the “banana test,” even if most of the blog topics generated were in Spanish. The only real downside is that there is a limit on free searches, but you can register a free account… it just means that you’ll have more email in your inbox.
While I’m not advocating link-bait blog post titles, this tool is awesome for generating interesting and provocative blog post ideas that will encourage clicks and shares. If you want some fun, just fill in the search field with something silly. I had hysterics when I applied the banana test to this tool. My favourite is “why bananas are destroying america”. Even if you don’t find this one particularly useful for finding useable blog topic ideas, it would be fun as a distraction when you’re having one of those crazy all-night coffee-infused sessions to meet a deadline by 8am the next morning.
WORST… But still somewhat useful if you’re really stuck
This blog topic tool splits suggestions by keyword category. If your keyword is a noun, it will suggest one list of topics and if a verb, another. The problem is that no matter what the noun, the list is the same. The benefit of this tool is that it gives you more ideas than you can poke a stick at, so you can just weed out the ones that don’t work for you. It doesn’t pass the “banana test.”
This blog topic generator prompts you to fill in the blanks. It’s probably the best of the one title wonder tools out there because if you don’t like the first idea you simply click on the refresh button and it will give you another. Unfortunately this tool is not particularly contextual and didn’t pass the “banana test.”
This blog topic tool is pretty basic and great if you have just one keyword, not so great if you want to use words in combination. It also didn’t pass the “banana test.”
I felt pretty underwhelmed by this blog topic generator. Given Hubspot’s reputation and the utility of their other tools (Sidekick is freakin’ amazing!), I felt this tool was quite limited and not very useful. When put to the “banana test,” it failed dismally in comparison to ContentIdeator and Buzzsumo.
This blog topic tool is another one-idea-wonder. It’s okay but not amazing, because it only generates one idea at a time. It too didn’t pass the “banana test.”
#9 Build Your Own Blog Blog Post Ideas Generator
Build Your Own Blog’s Blog Post Ideas generator is another one-idea-at-a-time-wonder, but it differs from other blog topic tools in that it just gives you starter ideas for your topics. Given that the blog topic starters are quite limited in scope, it definitely doesn’t pass the “banana test.”
This tool is amazing, I hear, if you can figure out how to get it to work. When I’m frustrated about blog topic ideas, the last thing I want to do is get a degree in computer science so I can make the damn tool work. I gave up after about 10 minutes of trying to figure out the installation guide. I have no idea if it passes the “banana test” because I didn’t get past installing the script editor. I’m sure if you’re a geek you’ll easily figure it out, but since I tend to break things I don’t understand, I’m leaving this one well alone. If you’re smarter than me or you like a challenge, give it a whirl and share your feedback in the comments.
Over to You
Coming up with topic ideas doesn’t have to be an onerous process. As you can see, some of the blog topic tools make it fun… or funner than staring at a blank screen. If all else fails, you can always ask your friends, your grandma or your dad for help or you can pay someone to do the research for you.
Good luck with finding blog topics!