There’s a reason that the phrase “content is king” has become a digital marketing catchphrase, and that’s because it’s a vital part of any SEO strategy. Whether you’re working on a content marketing campaign, updating onsite content or simply writing monthly blog posts – the right ideas can increase engagement and achieve vital links, social shares and news coverage.
Generating content ideas can be tough. With so much content readily available online, it’s the interesting, informative and fresh content that captures a reader’s interest. So, how do we continuously think up sparkling new ideas? These 10 idea generation tools certainly help – and even better, most of them are free! Take a look below…
1. Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a tool created by Coverage Book that enables you to search key terms and discover what questions people have asked online surrounding that topic. Aside from the amount of data that you can glean from this tool, the data visualisation makes it quick and easy to filter through the questions, as you can organise results based on questions, prepositions or comparisons – or simply scroll down to find an alphabetised list of search queries.
How much does Answer the Public cost?
Answer the Public is free to use, which is why any content writer should utilise it at least once.
Buzzsumo is an online tool that allows you to discover the popularity of online content divided by website or by topic. Alongside pulling up a full list of popular content relating to any search term, the built in reporting tools allow you to filter the content by social platform engagement and links – an undeniably useful feature for measuring performance.
How much does Buzzsumo cost?
Working on plan based payments, the basic plan is $79.99 a month, with the full ‘enterprise’ package available from $499 a month and upwards.
Feedly is a fast and simple news aggregator that allows you to create custom feeds to follow any topic. Feedly is great for keeping up to date with industry specific news, or just for gathering all of your favourite websites’ output in one place. The utilisation of RSS Feeds also means that you don’t need to worry about compatibility, as it works on web browsers and mobile devices.
How much does Feedly cost?
Feedly is another free essential tool for content and PR professionals.
Reddit may be more of a social media platform than a content producer, but this forum-based website can be incredibly useful for picking up new ideas. Simply search for a topic and find hundreds of user-generated threads delving into every aspect of it. Described as the “front page of the internet”, Reddit is great for seeding out content and is often many people’s first port of call for fresh, soft news. Although it’s all too-easy to fall down the rabbit hole of adorable animal threads, it’s a fantastic source of new content topics, new ideas and discussion points.
How much does Reddit cost?
Reddit is free, which undoubtedly contributes towards its consistent popularity.
5. Google Trends
Google Trends can be hit and miss at times, but when utilised correctly, it can provide you with a wealth of important data. Used most by journalists, Google Trends allows you to compare the search volumes of different topics and chart their rise and fall in easy-to-follow line graphs. Google Trends is particularly useful for testing out the popularity of subjects, allowing you to match your ideas to what people are actually searching.
How much does Google Trends cost?
Again, Google Trends is free, making it a handy tool for data-driven content enthusiasts.
As a survey site, Toluna may be overlooked by some content marketers carrying out research, but don’t be fooled – this free tool is invaluable if you want to gather your own data. Toluna allows you to run your own polls, which are made publically available to thousands of respondents who gaining points for answering. Whether you’re looking to integrate data into an idea or simply gain insight into different topics, Toluna is an invaluable starting point.
How much does Toluna cost?
Sure to appeal to the frugal among us, Toluna is free to use.
Soovle uses the autocomplete function of search engines to highlight what people are searching around a given keyword. Covering the usual suspects for search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing), it even extends to e-commerce sites such as eBay and Amazon, as well as information sites like Wikipedia. Being able to compare these results alongside each other is great for narrowing down ideas, blog topics and content focuses.
How much does Soovle cost?
A nifty tool for content marketers and free to use!
8. Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator
Hubspot are primarily known for their Inbound Marketing and Sales platform, however Hubspot also has a series of free tools that are extremely useful to digital marketing professionals.
One prime example is Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator, which takes three nouns you suggest and recommends five blog post ideas. Unlike other tools, this generator has accurate and relevant suggestions that make sense, which is one of the reasons we love it so much. If you’re struggling with writer’s block on a deeper level, simply signing up give you a year’s worth of blog posts.
How much does Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator cost?
This blog idea generator is free to use, however many of Hubspot’s other tools require you to purchase the full software.
Chances are if you’ve ever typed a question into Google, you’ve stumbled across Quora at least once. Quora allows users to post questions which can then be answered by other users. It’s a lot like Yahoo Answers, but more accurate – allowing you to find industry related topics, promote content and crowdsource answers for different subjects.
How much does Quora cost?
Quora is totally free to use, with no paid features in sight.
A step up from Google’s Keyword Planner, Uber Suggest is a free alternative to some of the more expensive keyword generator tools. Simply search a word to find some of the highest searched keywords around the topic. An added bonus is the word cloud and the fact that you can select specific keywords. While we often turn to more sophisticated software for heavy keyword research, this is a great starting point, particularly when writing blog posts to make them keyword optimised.
How much does Uber Suggest cost?
Uber Suggest is free, but doesn’t offer as much functionality compared to rival paid SEO and keyword systems.
Hopefully these tools will help you out if you’re looking to generate some interesting content ideas.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer someone else to think up cutting-edge ideas for you, why not get in touch with the team today? We’d be all too happy to help!