June 11, 2018
If writing content is part of your job, you’ve probably found yourself creatively stuck before—staring at a blank screen, hoping inspiration will nudge you forward so you can hit your looming deadline.
It’s not easy to keep coming up with fresh, click-worthy content when you’re writing on demand. Here is a list of eight tools you can use to get your creativity flowing again so you’re back to writing in no time.
1. Google Trends
Google Trends gives you valuable data on popular terms and phrases that are being searched on Google. Not only will you find the most popular search terms around the internet ranked by search volume, but you can also compare words or phrases to see how people are talking about a given subject.
The data accessible through this tool can provide a wealth of new content ideas. Need to write an article about what is trending and break it down by each state? Simply search your keyword phrase, and Google Trends will help you break down the results by area.
2. Blog Topic Generator by HubSpot
Enter three nouns into HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, and the system will generate a list of five topics. These unique and usable ideas can then help you reframe how you approach your subject.
This tool is especially useful for taking broad topics and forming them into cohesive content ideas—something that’s especially useful when you’re continually writing about the same subject. Take a look at things in a new way with this tool so your writing is fresh.
3. Linkbait Title Generator
The Linkbait Title Generator looks basic when you first see the design, but type in a keyword and it will give you a list of title options that are anything but basic.
The titles generated are interesting and click-enticing, and Linkbait also gives you plenty to choose from. Pay attention to the title structures and catch-words used. This list provides a great springboard for brainstorming additional article ideas, or you can simply use the titles as they are.
BuzzSumo is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to search by topic or a specific site URL, which makes competitor research easier. This site shows the most popular existing articles, and it allows you to filter by certain time parameters to locate current, newsworthy stories.
You can search for the most shared content by any topic, which gives you a substantial understanding into what has actually worked for other writers and what subjects resonate with readers.
5. Portent’s Content Idea Generator
Portent’s Content Idea Generator is a popular free tool that can quickly get your creative juices going when you’re stumped. Simply enter one keyword, and the generator will suggest various title ideas. If you don’t love the first option, just click the refresh button.
As you review each title option, notice the phrases or words that catch your attention. Write those down and use them in your article to inspire your audience.
Quora is well known for its ask-and-answer format. Search by subject and find numerous answers given by the community. The wealth of answers can be valuable tools to spark ideas for content posts or title ideas, and you can also get some great insight around what online audiences want to know from the questions themselves.
It’s a great tool to find new ideas to talk about, do market research, and research users who are authorities on the subjects you’re writing about.
Another community tool that can be used for content ideas is Reddit. People gather together in groups—called “subreddits”—to discuss specific topics, so take advantage of that niche activity. Search for a subreddit that aligns with your content subjects, and look for those that have more than 10,000 subscribers for great ideas.
Once you’ve located a community you like, sort the content by what’s popular. This feature allows you to know what’s trending and what people are actively talking about.
8. Google Keyword Planner
If you’ve ever wanted to see inside peoples’ minds, Google Keyword Planner is a pretty great system. No more guessing what people are looking for—Google Keyword Planner gives you the exact words and word combinations, so you can research what to write about and which keywords will perform best.
Once you know what people are searching, you can plug those phrases into tools like BuzzSumo or HubSpot to view other relevant information and start finding title ideas.
Don’t get discouraged if you’re facing writers block or have lost some of your creative mojo. It happens to everyone. With all of these tools at your fingertips, you don’t have to rely solely on your brain to generate new ideas.
Add the tools above to your creativity toolbox, and don’t forget to check out even more writing tips to keep the content flowing.
Elaine Thompson is a digital journalist based out of Salt Lake City. Her writing focuses on sustainable practices and technology and has been featured in multiple online publications.