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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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”.
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”.
… 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!
Article by Luana Spinetti
Luana Spinetti is a freelance writer and artist based in Italy, and a passionate Computer Science student. She has a high-school diploma in Psychology and Education and attended a 3-year course in Comic Book Art, from which she graduated on 2008. As multi-faceted a person as she is, she developed a big interest in SEO/SEM and Web Marketing, with a particular inclination to Social Media, and she’s working on three novels in her mother-tongue (Italian), which she hopes to indie publish soon.