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3 Untapped Ways To Generate Blog Ideas

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Whether you are struggling with coming up with topic ideas for your blog or you are looking to drive more traffic to your website, you will benefit from the untapped, underground ways to generate more blog posts.

Keyword research tools are often every marketer’s first choice when it comes to generating content ideas, but these tools can be problematic, as you will see below.

There are a lot of alternative ways to generate topic ideas that can deliver more promising results.

And, of course, there are also a lot of great resources about how use SEMrush to come up with topic ideas as well.

Here are 3 untapped ways to generate more content ideas.

1. Untapped Keyword Ideas

Keyword research is often the basis for coming up with new topic ideas. The problem is that most marketers out there are using the same tools (we’re looking at you, Google Keyword Planner).

Ultimately Google Keyword Planner is a finite resource; marketers are left targeting the same keywords but not getting the results they want because it becomes increasingly difficult to actually rank for those keywords.

Keyword research tools are also not so great for businesses who are very niche specific. 

The majority of businesses out there will instead benefit from doing a little digging to uncover hidden keyword possibilities. 

Consult Your Customers 

Marketers spend hours using various keyword research tools to find out what people want but yet few actually talk to their customers. It seems like an obvious starting point and yet many people overlook it. 

There are numerous ways you can get inside the heads of your customers; we’re not even talking about necessarily talking to your customers face-to-face but rather through on-site search tracking via something like Google’s Site Search, onboarding forms, customer surveys and so on. 

Your knowledge base/help center can also be a great source of content ideas by uncovering the keywords that users searched for but couldn’t find answers to. 

If you’re an Intercom user, you can use it to uncover search terms that customers searched for the most but couldn’t find any results for. 

In order to do this, simply go to your Educate Insights page and then to the ‘Write news article’ section.

The goal here is to determine what problems your customers face and/or what their goals are.

But even more than this, the important part is to get a sense of what kind language your customers use; this is really the source of untapped keywords. 

And, of course, you can always use Google Search Console to determine the keywords that are driving traffic to your site as well.

User Generated Content Communities 

Another great source of untapped keyword (and topic) ideas is to consult user generated content communities, both niche specific forums that pertain to your industry as well as more broad communities like Reddit and Quora.

The reason why these sites are so great is because their questions haven’t been answered anywhere else, which is precisely why they’re consulting these sites to begin with.

A broad topic search on a site like Quora will bring up a lot of topic ideas as well as possible untapped keywords ideas as well.

Reddit is another underutilized site for content ideation – one that surprisingly few marketers use.

Once you’ve identified the subreddit in your niche, you just start looking through the list of thread titles for possible questions.

Once you click on a particular question, you will be able to generate even more topics based on answers and follow-up questions.

2. Optimizing Your Old Posts 

What if one secret to coming up with new content didn’t have anything to do with creating new content at all? 

Consider this: most of your leads and traffic are coming from content you’ve written in the past. Half of those leads are likely coming from a few top-performing blog posts.

Optimizing your old blog posts means rewriting content that is outdated or stale so that the content is essentially bright and shiny again – even content that was written as little as three months ago.

Think of it like a refresh, almost like a new coat of paint.

The process is called historical optimization.

So, in this process, you want to do two things: 

  • Get more traffic to your low lead generators
  • Improve your top lead generating blog posts even more so that they rank even higher

When HubSpot did this, they ended up with some pretty impressive stats. They more than doubled their monthly leads and boosted their monthly organic search views by 106%.

Plus, there’s also the fact that Google rewards fresh content as well.

So, how do you do it?

The key here is to not only update but to also republish blog posts as well. 

1. Choose the Right Blog Posts to Optimize 

Historical optimization is not about optimizing every single one of your previously published blog posts; obviously, that is not scaleable. You want to choose the blog posts that have the potential to rank.

So, the first step is to take a look at your analytics. Here are some key points to look for when analyzing what posts would be good candidates for a content refresh:

  • Has high conversion rates and/or high traffic
  • Is already ranking on the first page (or, at least has the ability to do so)
  • Keyword has a pretty good monthly search volume
  • Outdated/incomprehensive post
  • Is 6 months old or older

2. Update 

The next step is to update the content so that it’s fresh, accurate and covers the topic in enough detail. The key here is to ensure that the content is what readers are looking for in terms of the target keyword and that it offers more value than your competitors 

3. Optimize For Conversions and Search

The next phase is to optimize for both conversions and for search. Here are some guidelines:

  • CTAs 
  • Internal links
  • SEO (title, meta description, headers, image alt-text, etc.)

4. Republish

Republish the post by changing the publish date; promote it as you otherwise would.

Of course, while historical optimization can be very valuable, it’s important to remember this shouldn’t be prioritized over creating new content but rather as a supplement.

3. Spy On Your Competitors

Spying on what’s working for your competitors (and what’s not) can also be another valuable source of possible topic ideas as well. The other benefit of this, of course, is that you can improve their content in order to outrank them, but that’s nothing new.

A classic tool is, of course, Moz’s Open Site Explorer (navigate to ‘Top Pages’), but another great tool is Buzzsumo. This will not only tell you the most shared content on competitor websites but also the most shared content on a particular topic as well.

The Bottom Line

Don’t limit yourself to keyword research tools; the key to topic ideation is to have a list of different options, especially the underground ones, so that you can tap into the uniqueness of those ideas.

About the author


Arash Asli

Arash Asli is at the forefront of business growth helping SMBs grow their businesses, as CEO of, an online scheduling and marketing platform. His thought leadership has been featured in major publications including Forbes, Huffington Post, and Inc. He is honored to have been named the Business in Vancouver’s Top Forty under 40 business executives.