This is going to sound crazy…but you don't have to just rely on keyword research for content ideas.
In fact, there are many reasons why you shouldn't just rely on what the keyword tools are telling you.
If everyone else in your niche is just writing about what Ahrefs or KWFinder is telling them to write about, then there's going to be a lot of underserved search terms in your niche.
People WILL have questions that nobody is writing about.
Sidenote: If you're looking to learn more about KWFinder, we've done a full review here.
Not only that, but sometimes you need to write content that just isn't going to show up in a keyword tool.
Let's say you run a website about home workouts, and you want to write a piece of content about how fasting the day after a strong workout helps you recover. (This is just for example purposes.)
I don't have to go to a keyword tool now to guess that there might not be many searches per month for this kind of topic.
But probably, your audience NEEDS to read it.
Or let's take another example:
Everyone loves a good case study blog post, but a lot of the time there aren't going to be people searching for those particular topics.
Now, I don't know about you, but I don't think there's a keyword in that title. But still, it's an article people want to read, and I enjoyed reading it.
Additionally, I just linked to it, so there's a tangible benefit for Thrive from writing the article.
Edit: I just noticed that they've used “small business success stories” as their URL for this post… So maybe they are targeting a keyword after all. My point still stands though.
Sometimes, you just want to write a blog post because it makes sense to write it.
I'm sure you get the picture by now.
This is great, because eventually you're going to run out of keywords to focus on, and if you want to build yourself into an authority, you'll need to keep putting out the content your audience wants to read.
What would be better for HPD?
If we wrote an article targeting a keyword with 10 searches per month, or if we wrote something that we think 80% of our audience are going to need?
Like…a blog post about blog post ideas. Oooh.
I get why there is such an obsession with keywords though.
The reason most people focus on keywords is that ranking for keywords leads to traffic. If your site doesn't yet have an audience, you have no social media followers, and nobody is going to read your “non-keyword” posts, it can seem counter-intuitive to spend time on a blog post.
So, for the rest of this post, not only will I talk about how to generate more blog post ideas, I'll explain how you could use them other than for getting organic traffic.
As a side note, if you DO want to find some keyword-based blog ideas, and you've exhausted the more traditional keyword research methods, check out our recent post about 4 other ways to research keywords. You won't have tried them all, trust us.
Article Ideas From AnswerThePublic and Forums/Groups
Using answerthepublic.com is similar to using ubersuggest (or whatever Neil Patel calls it now). It's not strictly keyword based because there's no search volume data.
(Pro Tip: If you download Keywords Everywhere, then you will get estimated volume with AnswerThePublic)
You'll ultimately find a bunch of things people are searching for that other bloggers in your niche probably aren't answering.
If you group some of those similar phrases into blog posts, you could end up landing a ton of traffic.
These are also good posts for sharing on social media too.
If Answer The Public has listed them, then people are asking those questions.
If you've got blog posts answering those questions, and you hang out in Facebook Groups related to your niche, sooner or later someone will ask those questions, and you can answer them, while linking to your post for further reading.
In fact, you should also use Facebook Groups and Forums as a source for questions to write posts about too.
So in short, this strategy is based around hanging out where your audience are, seeing what questions they ask, and then writing posts that answer them.
You can share those posts on social media, and in addition, people will inevitably be searching for them in Google too.
Since they don't show up in traditional keyword tools, you'll have less competition for those search terms, and can rank.
It's the ultimate way of finding long-tail keywords, while also adding a ton of value to your blog archives.
Believe it or not, when people find your site through articles like this, they will inevitably search around and visit your blog archives, and when they find you answering a ton of other questions they probably have, they'll be hooked.
Expand On Other Blog Posts
This is one that I used to do a lot when I first started blogging. You can either do it while you're writing other articles, or go back through your archives, which obviously takes more time.
The strategy is to look at posts you've already written and find areas that could be expanded into other posts.
For example, maybe I'm writing an article here about Amazon and I mention the 24-cookie that our affiliate links generate.
Now, some people in the audience might not know everything there is to know about the Amazon cookie (a lot of people ask questions about the 90-day cookie for example).
If I'm in touch with my audience or I'm just aware of the fact some people might not know about that, then I can think to myself “Ok great, I'll do a post about the Amazon cookie”.
I did the same with a shaving site I used to own. I was talking about sharpening a straight razor, and I mentioned razor hones and strops.
Now, when I first started the site, I had no idea what a strop was, so I realized other readers might not either. Great, so I did an article about razor strops.
This is also a fantastic way of building internal links to and from your main posts as well, plus it really makes your site a good resource.
I do think it works better when you're first building your site though, because at this point, HPD has a huge audience and some of you are very sophisticated in your affiliate marketing knowledge.
If you suddenly saw a very basic post about “How the Facebook Pixel works” appear in our blog feed, you may think we're dumbing down the blog.
So, it's a great method for generating blog post ideas, but keep the bigger picture in mind (or just write the post but don't include it in your blogroll).
Supplementary Blog Post Ideas For Affiliates
Got a few review posts on your site or other key “money posts” that you want to rank higher?
One thing we like to do is build support posts that link internally to those posts.
Not only is this going to have good SEO benefits by sending link juice and topical relevance to your site, it's also going to possibly generate some long-tail traffic to funnel through to your money posts.
Looking for examples?
Answer the public is a great source actually.
Let's say you've got an article reviewing straight razors, and you type “straight razor” into answerthepublic, you're going to find a bunch of questions about said razors.
So, you just create blog posts about them, and at some point say “Hey, want to check out our review of some of the best razors? Read here”.
This strategy should actually be a core part of your strategy anyway, and it's how we structure our Done For You affiliate sites.
These ones are classic ego bait posts, but they have a purpose outside of that too.
Essentially, you just create a list of all the good blog posts you've read in your niche recently (some do it monthly, others do it yearly), and then add a description about why you chose that link.
After that, you can message the original author and let them know you've been featured. You'll get shares, you'll get connections, you'll get traffic, and you might even get some guest post opportunities too.
We talk about this strategy a lot inside the outreach lessons in The Human Proof Method by the way.
The opposite of guest posts, why not host some guest posts on your site?
Let the author come up with the post ideas, or even just interview them if they're an influencer.
At the end of the day, by hosting a lot of other authorities on your blog, you get to borrow some of their authority and become an authority in your own right. Digital Marketer talks about this in great detail here.
Again, this is going to get you shares, traffic, and borrowed authority.
You may even get them to feature you in return, which is even better.
If you're hoping to turn your site into an authority site, this type of blog post is a great long-term strategy, as it's the kind of thing that gets audience members to become big fans of your site, and gets them to return over and over again.
The best part?
All you have to do is hit publish.
The hard part?
Getting influencers to write for you in the first place.
This is why you need to start networking with other bloggers, and you could also set up a “write for us” page (but be careful not to just accept anyone).
Again, how to do host blogging is something else we talk about in The Human Proof Method course.
Remember, Think Outside The Box
Most people are just going to blog the same rehashed content that everyone else is blogging.
The list above is by no means exhaustive, but if you follow some or all of those ideas, you'll start creating a lot of content that no-one else is covering.
You'll also start to get your creative juices flowing, and will come up with even more ideas of your own.
Do you have any other content ideas? Let us know in the comments!