Sometimes you just get stuck trying to come up with a great headline that will make your visitors go “Wow! I must read that!” and hook them to the post, start to finish.
It's difficult when you have to stick to an editorial calendar that is demanding of headlines and story ideas. The risk to come up with the same ol' trite title is hiding behind the corner, as well as the risk to come up with ineffective headlines.
Blog idea generators help because they take the burden of getting started off your shoulders, so all you have to do is grab the prompts generators throw at you and rework them into great headlines that convert.
I have tried 15 generators over the last two months and they really helped with coming up with effective titles. However, I must warn you:
Generators have a tendency to churn out the same headline structures for every blogger that uses them, so you can't just grab a title and go with it— you have to get creative!
In this post you will NOT find a detailed review of each tool, but a small introduction followed by tips to get the most out of each of them.
I found this tool on the HubSpot's blog while I was looking for productivity tips. The tool struck me as helpful at first try — it was quite easy to get my first blog post ideas down for my technology and fiction blogs.
For example, I stormed the word/topic “robots” and I found two interesting association on the grid: “robot visions” and “sophisticated robots”.
WordStorm may not give ready-made titles, but it makes it easy to create word associations you can use in a headline. It works even better with the following workflow:
- Use WordStorm to associate 2 or more words related to your topic
- Run a forum and social media search to see what's trending in your topic of choice
- Come up with a blog post idea that puts your wordstorm and a trending angle together
Also, you can use WordStorm in conjunction with any of the generator tools below.
Visit URL: http://www.lonij.net/wordstorm/wordstorm.php
2. Blog Post Idea Generator
A tool that generates silly titles?! How could that possible help you?
It can help you when you want to add a bit of humor and catchy words to your headline, because sometimes the opportunity presents itself.
You can use these titles as a base for niche headlines. For example, I could turn “I wanted to learn more about Horrid Henry” (??) into “25 Blogging Success Tricks You Absolutely Want To Learn”.
What did I use here? The notion of “wanting to learn” about something, actually, and since my blog is about blogging success, there goes the inspiration.
Visit URL: http://www.generatorland.com/glgenerator.aspx?id=122
3. The Blog Post Ideas Generator
Some ideas generated by this tool will not be good for a niche blog, but you can use some of the ideas it throws at you together with WordStorm or just get creative about it.
For example, “How To Survive Your First…” became “Surviving Your Rejection – A Freelance Writer's First Aid” for one of my blogs.
Look at the example in the screenshot above: what would you turn “The All Time Best Way To____” into?
Visit URL: http://www.buildyourownblog.net/the-blog-post-ideas-generator/
ContentIdeator is a keyword-based tool that generates titles of such a high quality that you could use them right away.
However, as Neil Patel recommends in a short review of this tool, many bloggers will be using these same ideas, so the general rule of thumb of editing your generated titles stays valid.
You can personalize “4 Great Content Marketing Tactics”, for example, by turning it into “4 Content Marketing Tactics That Worked For Me In 2015” or “4 Great Content Marketing Tactics To Use With Older Posts”.
The tool allows you to save ideas you like in the “Saved Ideas” sidebar by clicking on the small arrows on the right of each title.
Visit URL: http://www.contentforest.com/ideator
5. Blog About…
Blog About… is an heavily graphical tool that guides you through the headline creation process in an intuitive way.
For example, it will give you a “fill the blanks” title like “____ Truths About ____ That Every ____ Should Know” and filling the blanks with your niche words is all you have to do.
The way this tool works requires little brainstorming, as you can fill the gaps with much more that one word and you can edit your final result anyway.
The headline formulae used will not lead you to trite titles if you play your cards well. As an example, the title I mentioned above can become “15 Truths About Successful Bloggers That Every Newbie Blogger Should Know (And Learn From)”. You can use the tool for the first part of this headline, then add the part in parentheses directly on your blog.
Visit URL: http://www.impactbnd.com/blog-title-generator/blogabout
6. Portent's Content Idea Generator
Portent's tool is lively and playful in its appearance, but also powerful in the way it headlines that work, because it also explains why a certain headline structure will work.
I tried to generate some headlines for my “robocity” fiction blogs and I got this headline: “Why Our World Would End If Robocity Disappeared”.
Besides the fact this is a silly headline that could actually work in a fictional setting, this is what Portent's tool tells me about the structure of this headline (in balloons):
“Why Our World” — Use contractions for a more conversational tone
“Would End If” — Take a risk with your content and see if readers follow
“Disappeared” — Someone can't live without you. Make your topic essential
The great thing about these tips the tool throws at you is that you can use them to not just improve your final headline, but even to come up with more headlines yourself, without the help of the tool.
Visit URL: https://www.portent.com/tools/title-maker
7. Blog Idea Title Generator (Kill Writer's Block) by InboundNow
InboundNow's tool generates headlines that are readable for humans and not just good for SEO. This is a plus point, because so far this tool has demonstrated one of the highest quality around.
Look at the example in the screenshot above — the tool itself guides you to fill the blanks in the headline and does so with special attention to your audience and your niche needs (the prompts are spot on).
Another example of good headline with tips this tool generated for me is: “Ultimate Guide To [something of popular interest]”
If the generator is not enough to give you idea, the page also offers a “Need more Inspiration?” button that will get you a Google search form to run a keyword/long tail search in your niche.
Visit URL: http://www.inboundnow.com/apps/kill-writers-block/
8. TweakYourBiz's Title Generator
This generator churns out tons of headlines! Even too many, most of which have nothing to do with your niche, so this tool actually requires a lot of work on your part.
However, it offers a good base for your blog post inspiration if you know what you need and in which category (Lists, How To, etc.). For example, the second title under “Lists” in the screenshot above is a good pick, but it would still benefit from some editing: “Believing These 8 Myths About Blog Marketing Keeps You From Growing”.
Be careful, because some titles will make no sense with your keyword, so once again don't go verbatim with usage.
Visit URL: http://tweakyourbiz.com/tools/title-generator/
9. BacklinkGenerator.net's Article Title Generator
Some topics generated by this tool are a bit generic, but still interesting and quality enough to take and edit to make them into something your readers will love.
Like with other tools, you can mix two or more titles together to create something unique.
Visit URL: http://www.backlinkgenerator.net/titlegenerator/
10. WebpageFX's Blog Topic Idea Generator
The tool replaces their headline blanks with the keyword you entered, so choose your keyword carefully or the end result may not make any sense (like the example above!).
As the main title for the tool says, it helps with killing your writer's block but don't rely on the tool without editing. Reword the title to suit your needs. For example, the title from the screenshot above may become “A Simple Guide To Blogging Success For New Bloggers”.
Visit URL: http://www.webpagefx.com/blog-topic-idea-generator/
11. DIYToolkit's Fast Idea Generator
It's a PDF, not a generator tool!
How many ways you can make a blog idea unique?
Take the first suggestion in the document: inversion. If you were thinking effective networking tips for food bloggers, try to invert the rule — what about effective food blogging inspired by networking events?
Follow the grid as it's displayed; it guides you through all the steps.
Visit URL: http://diytoolkit.org/tools/fast-idea-generator-2/
12. Seopressor's Blog Title Generator
For my “content marketing” example and “a generic term” from the drop-down menu, the tool gave me these ideas in the list:
- How To Learn About Content Marketing In Only 10 Days.
- Learning Content Marketing Is Not Difficult At All! You Just Need A Great Teacher!
These ideas are quite interesting by themselves, but like with the other tools, I can't rely on ready-made titles, so I put these two ideas together to generate this headline:
- “How To Become A Good Content Marketer In 10 Days With The Help Of A Mentor”
Seopressor's tool generates good titles that might be used verbatim in some circumstances, but it may also generate nonsensical post ideas, so always double check that the ideas you're picking make sense in the context of you niche and won't look like auto-generated spam.
As a general rule of thumb, don't use generator tool results verbatim. Always review your titles and improve them before using in a real blog post.
Visit URL: http://seopressor.com/blog-title-generator/
You can use Buzzsumo to find the most engaged and shared posts in your niche and “join the discussion”, using these popular topics to come up with yours or write about the same topic but from a different angle.
I searched for posts related to “blogging success” for the screenshot above and just looking at the first three titles I could brainstorm a new headline: “7 Tips to Start A Successful Fitness Blog On The Basis of Your Daily Routine”.
Visit URL: https://www.buzzsumo.com
14. Twitter Trends
Hashtags.org reports trending topics in Twitter in the form of graphs and you can really use the homepage for this tool to choose what to blog about among the most trending topics in the last 24 hours.
Just click the “Trending Hashtags” tab to view a list of trending topics on Twitter.
For example, this is what I see today:
For example, in the screenshot at the beginning of this subsection I asked the tool to analyze the #contentmarketing hashtag over the last 24 hours (a stable trend, as it seems).
Browse tweets under your chosen trending hashtag: what's the most shared post? What does it talk about? You can use this factor to create a post about your own angle of the topic.
Also, as you can see, my example hashtag gets the lowest activity between 8 PM and 1:30 AM in the Chicago timezone, so you can also use this tool to know when to schedule your posts about a certain topic or when to join the discussion if your chosen hashtag is part of a Twitter chat or “forum thread”.
Visit URL: https://www.hashtags.org/trending-on-twitter/
What Klout labels as “On Target” are topics that your Twitter audience is likely to be interested about (usually Klout gives you a percentage of interest, too).
For example, I follow SEO news on my Klout account for inspiration. Today I'm given a few interesting news to share with my audience on:
- How to improve Alexa ranking
- Tips to attract more links to your content
- SEO for WordPress
- Traffic from Wikipedia
If I wanted to write a new post for my SEO blog, I could write about “How To Use Wikipedia As A Source To Attract Even More Links” or “Will Improving Your Alexa Rank Also Improve Your SEO?”.
This is simple brainstorming, because all these topics are related and I could easily find associations to come up with my own headlines.
Let trending topics on Klout inspire you and write your own angle of the topic.
Also, it helps (especially for connections) to link to the blog post that inspired you.
Visit URL: https://klout.com
Not Just Tools…
… but wonderful lists of ideas from experienced bloggers, too!
Our Lori Soard wrote 50 blog post prompts and 20 idea starters with detailed advice on how to use them, that Jerry Low even made into an infographics.
Also, Mike Wallagher's 101 Blog Post Ideas That Will Make Your Blog “HOT” is another great list of blog post ideas to drive more readers to your blogs.
Finally, what's better than Arianne Foulks' 260 blog post ideas for creative businesses?
And once you have your headline…
… check its potential with CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer.
Alright, now that headline is quite sci-fictional, but the example is just there to review purposes. ;)
CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer is simple to use: just enter your headline in the field and hit “Analyze Now”. You will get a detailed analysis of your headline, including:
- An overall score (65 in the case of my Sci-Fi headline)
- A review of word balance that will show you how many common, uncommon, power and emotional words your headline contains
- Your headline type (a List in my case)
- Length analysis (character and word count optimization)
- Analysis of keywords and sentiment
The analysis will help you improve your headline if it's too weak (below a 50 score). Of course, this is just a tool and it will never beat your best judgment, as nobody knows your audience better than you do, but it's helpful to keep around for when you are in doubt.
What brainstorming tools or techniques do you use to generate blog post ideas?
Share in the comments!