Because I write for this blog, The Hustle Life, and my other client obligations, I often find myself running out of blog post ideas. Oftentimes, if I just come up with a good title, then the rest of the post will come to me.
So when I’m fighting with a heavy case of writer’s block, here are a few free tools I’ve found that have helped me. It’s important to note that tools like these ideas shouldn’t always be taken literally, as it can lead to “viral title overload” for readers (seeing Upworthy-style headlines everywhere you look does get a bit old, after all. I usually use the generated ideas from these tools as a springboard to create my own more engaging or unique title.
This generates “a week’s worth of blog posts” at once, after you input up to 3 key phrases. For purposes of this post, I entered “content marketing” for all my searches. Here is HubSpot’s ideas:
I could definitely find inspiration from almost all of these. Since I don’t have a boss (besides the person that stares back at me in the mirror every morning), that would be a little harder for me to write. Build Your Own Blog also has a good writing prompt randomizer to get you started.
This one only spits out one idea at once, based on one keyword/phrase, but they are usually very pop culture funny and are definitely attention-seeking.
Sometimes these are perfect, other times I have to keep hitting refresh until I find one that inspires me.
This tool pulls search results from common social answer sites, like Yahoo! Answers and Quora. It’s a good way to quickly get a good gauge on what people are talking about in social forums, and helps you determine the type of content that might appeal to them (either to answer their questions or to participate in the their discussion).
Sometimes this is time consuming to wade through, depending on what you search.
This tool bills itself as “keyword suggest on steroids” and pulls keyword suggestions that start with every letter of the alphabet based on user searches. Sometimes there are results that I would have never thought of before, which also helps with crafting unique blog posts.
Out of these results, “content marketing automation” sticks out to me, because it could be controversial and I don’t know of a presently “good” way to automate content, so I would be interested in writing about this just so I can learn more.
This tool automatically pulls results from several popular web search sites, like Google and Wikipedia, as you are typing. Sometimes the results are obvious, but other times I find gems.
In this example, “content marketing calendar” and “epic content marketing” sound like the backbone of a two great blog posts.
Keep a Running Brainstorm List
So this isn’t exactly a tool like those mentioned above, but it always helps to have an Evernote file or a Google Doc of running ideas. Blog post ideas come to me at the most random times (like the car wash or standing in line to grab donuts), and it helps to have a cloud-synced file that I can access just as easily from my phone as I can on my Chromebook or laptop.
Cloud-synced files are also a great idea for departments or companies where everyone can contribute to the list.
Am I missing out on any other tools? Let me know in the comments.