Best Tools for Brainstorming Content Ideas

This is a guest blog by Loren Baker, the SVP of Online PR at BlueGlass Interactive, a full service online marketing agency, and is a professional blogger & creator of Search Engine Journal, an AdAge Top 10 ranked marketing blog.

One of the most important things you will do as a blogger is create content. The more content you have, the more opportunities you have to be seen by the search engines and by your readers. That will give you a base flow of traffic. The more base traffic you have, the more likely it is that you will get links to your site. The more links you have, the better you will rank on the search engines. Starting and maintaining this continuous cycle is one of the most effective ways that you can improve your site’s success. Whether you are an established blogger, or planning a new blog, generating ideas for that content can be pretty difficult, however. There are some great free tools that will help you come up with things to say.

Siphoning Ideas from Social Media

There’s more to creating content than simply picking a keyword and running with it. After all, knowing who’s likely to be looking at your content is an immensely important factor in its success and its ability to generate links to your site. Enter social media.

There are several social media research tools that will allow you to see what keywords are being discussed within various social networks. Take the Summize, TweetScan, and TweetVolume tools. These tools give you a gold mine of information on people who are making “tweets” about the keyword in question. They will let you know the general popularity of the keyword, the context of the keyword’s use (allowing you to see ways that you can easily branch out on the topic to create new content), related terms, and search engine trends with the keyword in question. Some of these tools go so far as to show you the recent tweets with these keywords in them, allowing you to see exactly what’s being said about your keyword right now.

Other social networks can also be tapped, using things like the Delicio tool to take a look at commonly used tags in blogs.

Finding Commonly Asked Questions

One of the best ways to have a frequently visited page is to have that page answer a common question on your topic. There are multiple ways to go about discovering what questions people want answered. A simple Google search is the easiest way. You can also go to the major “answer” sites like Wiki Answers, Yahoo Answers, and Know Brainers. Then, type in your keyword and see what questions people are asking. Then, write some content answering that question.

Find Clustered Keywords

LSI, or “latent search engine,” forms the core of the content examination for each of the major search engines. Rather than just looking at a single word, the search engines look for related words and synonyms. You can use tools like Google Sets, Search Radar, MSN Clustering Tool, and the Keyword Map to find keywords that interrelate. The Urban Dictionary can be used for even more slang synonyms.

Inspire Yourself Visually

Images can form a great basis for content, and they’re easy to find. Keyword searches in Google Images, Flickr, and Digg are great, and tools like PicFrog can be invaluable.

Brainstorming can be hard- but we can’t rely solely on ourselves to come up with ideas one after the other. Sometimes we need to enlist the help of others- whether directly or indirectly.

Guest Blog Bio: Loren Baker is the SVP of Online PR at BlueGlass Interactive, a full service online marketing agency, and is a professional blogger & creator of Search Engine Journal, an AdAge Top 10 ranked marketing blog.

5 thoughts on “Best Tools for Brainstorming Content Ideas

  1. Thank you so much for the ideas that you have posted and it really gives me a great help in improving my ideas. When it comes to getting ideas, I am so dumb on it. I am going to follow all of this procedures to improve my brainstorming skills.

  2. Robert Scoble on the Influencer Project podcast talks about improving your “inbound” – that is, follow the right people, get the right info and you’ll eventually get up to a stage where you’ll be able to produce good content that is relevant!


  3. Often, when it comes to content ideas one turns to dry up and is at a loss for things to post. These four tips will come in handy for when the drought of ideas catches you. Thank you, Loren Baker, the SVP of Online PR at BlueGlass Interactive.

  4. A very insightful article. A blogger/writer always struggle with new ideas and that’s where your article proves very handy. I, specially liked the idea of clustered keywords and visiting question sites.

    Very helpful indeed. Thanks for sharing.

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