Hubspot, the hot online marketing platform has created a fun little toy that actually could be useful for any regular bloggers stuck with a deadline and a content requirement but suddenly without any ideas. The tool, called the 'Blog Topic Generator' could just as easily be called the blog title generator since that is what it does. Given a few nouns to use as seeds from which to grow possible ideas it kicks out five suggested blog post titles for you to use.
Here's an example. I seeded the tool with the nouns 'small business', 'sales' and 'startups'.
The tool gave me the following.
Blog Topic GeneratorNow, allowing for the obvious singular versus plural issues, these aren't necessarily bad suggestions. The first one is probably a bit more in line with an investment blog than one devoted to advice for small businesses. The second is kind of interesting in an abstract way, but perhaps not really helpful right now. If we turn the third one to a plural then it's a great idea - although a lot to pull off if I'm feeling a bit braindead already! The fourth could be tweaked to something useful and the last one is actually a pretty interesting one.
I asked the team at Hubspot a bit more about the tool. It turns out that it isn't totally just madlibs. The templates they use for creating the potential topics are based around several years of data and research they have done into the kinds of topics that tend to be successful. They have also made sure that the titles follow SEO best practices. Apparently there are hundreds of kinds of titles that have been successful that are used to generate these.
To my surprise, I think this really could be useful to someone who was totally stuck for ideas. I can already see potential improvements, though. So here are some request for version 2. First off, add in some additional advice for the novice on how to take those 'SEO best practices' and use them in actually writing the post (things like using the name of your business, linking to related content, repeating the most important phrase you want this piece of content to be found for and making sure you have some sub heads and that they are also well structured). Hubspot has all this kind of advice and more elsewhere, so it should be easy to put it front and center below the results. Second (and much harder to pull off) how about asking for the company name and doing some quick keyword analysis in the background and rank the results or set a threshold that titles have to pass in terms of being a good fit?