5 Free Tools to Brainstorm Ideas for Blog Articles
Finding Creative Writing Ideas Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank
Writer’s block can get the best of us, especially when it comes to thinking of new ideas for blog articles. In fact, it's the number one cause of death for blogs. Did you know that the average lifespan of a blog is only 100 days? People lose their momentum, run out of ideas to write about, and give up. Don't let your blog die after a couple months. That would be tragic. In this article, we’ll cover 5 free tools you can use to always be on the ball with finding fresh blog ideas.
1. Google Trends (and its lesser known sibling, Google Correlate)
You've probably heard of or used Google Trends already - to compare search trends between two topics. It's most commonly used as a reference point for interest over time. It's also used for finding related search terms that have recently gained popularity.
Google Correlate is the content writer's best friend that you've never heard of. Think of Google Trends and Google Correlate as yin and yang. Instead of showing you interest online, it spits out data on terms associated with a keyword. It's actually the only tool online of its kind, but we've hardly seen it talked about on marketing blogs. Maybe it's a pro secret that we spoiled? Whoops.
While it’s not a completely free service, the Open Site Explorer (OSE for short) allows you to make a limited number of searches everyday. This should be more than enough to spark your brain for creative blog article ideas.
Moz OSE allows you to analyze the SEO strength of a website. An important aspect of using it to find blog articles is the Just Discovered tab. These are the pages on a website that have most recently been indexed by Google and are most likely to rank for keywords quickly.
Ahrefs is a powerful tool for all sorts of SEO and competitor research. It’s a diverse asset that has elements of both Google Trends and OSE. You can search for just a term and it will give you the most popular recent content. You can also search a domain for its highest performing pages. One key difference between ahrefs and other tools is that you can sort by the number of backlinks a page has received or by the total number of traffic. It’s very technical and usually used by SEO savvy writers.
Think of BuzzSumo as the social media-version of ahrefs. You can search for any term or domain and it gives you results on its most shared social media content. Much like Moz OSE, you have a limited number of searches on their free version, so use them wisely.
What’s incredible about BuzzSumo is its sorting capabilities. You can filter results by date, by language or domain. The absolute best sorting option here though is the type of content. You can sort by articles, infographics, guest posts, giveaways, interviews, and videos. BuzzSumo has mastered archiving social media shares and we are thankful for this accomplishment.
Using Google Alerts for brainstorming new blog ideas is a passive but effective tactic. Set up email alerts for your competitors, so you can keep tabs on what websites they’re mentioned on. If they’re interviewed by a journalist or guest blogging for a website, why can’t you? It never hurts to try.
While you’re at it, set up alerts for your company name and all your staff’s names. Who knows? You might be getting mentioned on websites without knowing it. This happens often in YouTube video descriptions, for example. By having alerts set up on yourself, you gain new blog content without putting in any real work.
Writer’s block is the number one cause of death among blogs around the globe.
Don’t let that happen to your brand. There's plenty of free tools to brainstorm ideas for blog articles. We’ve outlined our favorite 5. 3 made by Google, 2 made by SEO experts and the last offers some of the best free social media analytics you can find. To consistently find new things to write about, look at what’s trending with Google Trends, Moz OSE and BuzzSumo. Next, look at your competitors with BuzzSumo and ahrefs to pinpoint their topic content. Finally, set up Google Alerts so you can passively track down every bit of content your competitors get featured in.