12 Blog Post Ideas That Will Actually Generate Traffic

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I’ve seen a lot of these blog post ideas floating about the bloggersphere and I thought I’d be a massive copycat, except well, I’d go one step further and help with inspiration for posts that will WORK.

And when I say work I mean generate traffic. Either by search, by people sharing your blog post or just by it getting enough views and attention that it starts showing up on Bloglovin’s popular feed.

Because that’s why we do what we do, right? We create content on our blogs with the hope that people will find it interesting enough to say to their mate – YOU HAVE TO READ THIS.

So I looked at my stats and I gathered up everything I learnt at LOOK and Metro to bring you my list of post ideas that generate traffic. Clue: It’s not ยฃ40 beauty product reviews and outfit posts, who knew, eh?

 

1. Nostalgic lists

My all time biggest hitter was a list about being a noughties teenager. Whilst two of my most successful posts from Metro.co.uk were on toys nineties kids wanted for Christmas and things the youth of today will never get to experience which between them had about 200,000 shares.

Pick any time in your life – it could be as early as you remember, it could literally be five years ago (someone once left a reaaaaally mean comment and was like HOW CAN YOU ALREADY BE DOING NOSTALGIC LISTS ON THE NOUGHTIES, but whatevs), but try and be as specific as you can. Remember brands, remember flavours, remember TV, remember computers, remember what YOU did because chances are, everyone else did it too.

Images are good as long as they’re big enough, but totally not fundamental for going viral.

 

2. Twenty-something lists

Turns out, most of us are just as basic and lost and obsessed with avocados and New York as each other, who knew? Lists about thoughts, obsessions, problems, dreams, Instagram uploads seem to do pretty dang well for me, so why shouldn’t they work for you too?

People love to click on these articles mostly to see ‘what fucking shit someone has written’ and then, if you’ve done an alright job, they’ll be like ‘OH, OK, right, yeah this is so me’. And then they’ll email it to their BFF whilst their supposed to be at work because OMG THIS IS SO US.

You get what I’m talking about because you’ve totally done it.

 

3. Place specific lists

London lists always do phenomonely well because there’s so many people who live in London or who have lived there and totally get it. But you can think more outside the box – Metro do a lot of ‘xx things you’ll only know if you went to (insert university name here) lists and I recently did one about the nightclub I went to at home.

Yeah, these appeal to a much smaller demograpic but that’s kinda the beauty of them – they’re not overdone. They’re fresh on the internet and fresh list ideas are SO hard to come by which means people will be more likely to click through and share.

 

4. Blogging tips

You could have a million hits a month or have been blogging for 5 years, or you could be somewhere in the middle or somewhere not even close – but everyone’s journey through the bloggersphere has taught them things.

Full-time blogging is fast becoming the latest must-have job – and, whether that’s a bit weird or not – it means there are literally hundreds of thousands of people out there who want to make their blogs more successful.

Lay down blog posts ideas, tips on monetising, tips on going viral, tips on taking better photos, tips on utilising social media, tips on balancing a full time job and a blog – there are so many routes you can go down. Sure, you won’t be an expert in every field (I for one am SHIT at photography) but you’ll have learnt something that other people will want to read about. Oh and also – there’s SO MANY PEOPLE GOOGLING THIS SHIT, so there’s great opportunity for search traffic.

 

5. Anything Primark

The joy of Primark is that it isn’t available to buy online so people will basically wet themselves over a Primark haul (erm, yup, guilty).

Despite popular blogger belief, the majority of readers don’t actually give a crap about a designer brand they’ve never heard of, 90 per cent of the UK lifestyle blog audience (I’ve totally made the figure up, but you get it) just want to know where they can buy nice things for a tenner – enter Primark.

Do hauls, compile wish lists (easier if you can wangle an invite to their press days) and do style posts. The other joy with Primark is that there’s also a lot of people searching for it. I get about 100 views a day on this baby because it ranks in Google. And it’s great to have a few slow burners like this just ticking along in the background.

 

6. Cheap beauty round-ups

Do people give a fuck about your ยฃ52 new foaming cleanser? Probs not, unless it actually holds the key to immortality or they’ve just won the lottery and desperately want to spend ALL the money.

Do your faves under ยฃ10, do your faves that have more than one use, do your faves from the supermarket. You get the gist. People love a beauty bargain and they love an excuse to buy something that’ll make them feel better about themselves without suffering from shopper’s guilt afterwards.

 

7. Speedy make-up

It always amazes me that one of my most successful posts is about my 4-minute make-up routine. It’s the speed I managed to get it down to when I was commuting and waking up at the crack of dawn – but it’s a feeling that we pretty much all have. HOW THE FUCK CAN I LOOK GOOD BUT STAY IN BED FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE?

Weirdly, because it’s such an old post, it’s not a video, just a detailed description of my beauty application process. But yeah – your 2 minute nightime skincare routine, your 5 minute make-up routine, your 2 minute smokey eye – you get the idea!

Also, this whole speedy thing totally works for recipes too. I always want my dinner in my belly within two minutes of walking through the door.

 

8. Mental health

OK, so maybe you’ve never suffered from mental health problems, but still, don’t rule this one out completely.

There is still a stigma about speaking out about depression, anxiety, and all the other destructive and isolating illnesses that are so, so common for young women in today’s society. So break the mould. Maybe you’ve never suffered yourself but know someone who has? Maybe you just want to write about what the worst day ever feels like. Maybe about how you’ve spent the last week crying every day. You get the gist, people like reading about unhappiness/tears/ craziness/mental health because it makes them feel less alone.

There isn’t that many people writing about it, which means that you’ll have less competition. Write about your own emotions, your coping mechanisms, the things no-one tells you about being diagnosed etc etc – be as oversharing as you feel comfortable.

 

9. Happiness

On a similar theme, people, women, ME, are desperate to feel happier. We feel like it’s something we’re forever searching for, on a journey towards and we want to read about how we can have it.

So yeah, any insight? Share it. Lists on things that help you relax, things that make you instantly happier, films that change your mood, lyrics that just work, you get the picture – happy lists are a happy thing on the internet.

 

10. Honest perspectives

I’ve written about what London Fashion Week and the journalism industry are really like – I’ve taken away the glossy Instagram filter of OMG IT’S SO FUCKING AMAZING AND GLAMOROUS AND MY LIFE BEATS YOURS, because nothing – not even being Beyonce is probably as good as it looks.

There’s a difference between laying out the truth and the facts and moaning and taking what you have for granted, but be real. Be your readers best friend, not the girl they wanted to be in year 11.

So yeah, talk about what your life’s really like ‘What’s being a nurse/call centre manager/beauty therapist really like?’ I love those posts because it’s always interesting to see how my life could have panned out had I done something different. ‘Here’s what dealing with a disabled sibling/debt collectors/epilepsy is really like’ you get the idea.

 

11. Anything London

This follows on from the thing about writing lists about where you’re from, but because London is so big and so different to living anywhere else, people want to read about it – mostly fellow Londoners.

People want to know they’re not alone when they’re drowning in exhaustion, hideously lonely and wanting to cry – because that’s the effect London can have on life and it’s so, so, so, so isolating.

Do typical British lists like Buzzfeed ‘things all Londoners think about Covent Garden/the Central Line/TFL’ or just do your honest insight into living in the capital. These posts have done surprisngly well for me – Life As A London Girl Vs Life As A Commuter and Take A Sneak Peak Inside My London Flat

 

12. Anything social-media related

You could write lists about social media, you could write about how social media makes you feel, heck you could even write up your thoughts on a study about social media and people would read it. Why? Because we’re obsessed with social media, like more obsessed with it than we were obsessed with Sabrina The Teenage Witch.

We hate it, we love it, we feel like it *might* be destroying us, we check it every 37 seconds (made up fact). And we want to read about it because it’s still something so new and fresh and it’s something that affects so many of us.

 

SO YEAH, GO WRITE MAGIC.

  • Hannah

    “It might be full of typos because I wrote it yesterday morning and I’m too tired to sub so yeah, soz.”

    Erm… This is your job? Shouldn’t you only put out the highest standard of work you can possibly do and not half ass posts because you’re ‘too tired’? I’d kill to sit on my arse at home all day writing blog posts so the least you could do is actually do is check for typos.

  • I love this post, so many great ideas for me to try out, I’m not very good when it comes to coming up with new ideas myself, I think I lack a brain haha

  • Some insightful tips! I’m launching my new site soon and this gave me plenty of ideas. Thanks, hannah! xx

  • Luna Lovegood

    Dear Hannah,

    First of all, I do like you so please don’t take any personal offence in this. This is my opinion as a proofreader. The thing is, I do have to agree with Hannah’s comment, writing is your job, you should be aiming to do it well, proofreading your writing is necessary and since you obviously want this to be your career you should not be taking the quality of your writing so lightly, because if you do you end up with sentences like:

    “OK, so maybe youโ€™ve never suffered from mental health”

    That does not make sense and I know you’re better than that.

    You have very cute posts, when you’re not making a gimmick out of your bulimia (which is frankly, quite offensive) but if you want this to be your job in the long run your “I don’t care about writing even though i call myself a journalist” will not cut it.

    I do think that sharing personal experiences is a great thing to do in blog posts but this post feels like you are saying that all of these experiences you’ve shared are solely written for click-baiting purposes, and makes them feel disingenuous rather than something you wanted to share with the world because it is a subject close to your heart.

    You’ve been given a great opportunity, make the most out of it.

    • Roseanna

      I have been reading Hannah’s blog for almost a year now and not once has a typo bothered me! Her blog feels natural and I have seen many typos on the Daily Fail and Telegraph!

      • amy

        I agree with Roseanna. The blog reads with the voice of a woman in her twenties, I am a woman in my 20s so I get it (that’s hannah’s audience), the blog reads natural it never bothers me. This isnt a formal news report after all.

      • amy

        I agree with Roseanna. The blog reads with the voice of a woman in her twenties, I am a woman in my 20s so I get it (that’s hannah’s audience), the blog reads natural it never bothers me. This isnt a formal news report after all.

  • When this post popped up I clicked on it instantly, you just manage to lure me in with your blog titles! This is something I’ve been attempting recently rather than using the over-done song lyric post titles! I’ve just sat reading through and making quick blog drafts of post ideas inspired by this! I can thoroughly tick off the mental health posts as its something I’ve covered since the start of my blog, but I’m attempting to thread in a few different posts now to keep things a bit lighter. Thanks for the tips! x

  • I love this and completely agree! I’ve started writing lists and not only do I enjoy writing them, it’s great when people actually find them funny too! I also blog about mental health/eating disorders and some of the feedback I get is so lovely ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    Sam | Samantha Betteridge

  • Really useful tips, I always enjoy your insights into topics like this!
    Hannah x
    Hanniemc.co.uk

  • Great list. I’m glad you brought up topics like mental health. It’s so important to bring more awareness about the subject.

    http://www.mintnotion.com

  • You can really get a sense of your personality through the way you write. I love your style and it makes me wanna read what YOU’VE said about a product rather than what the product actually is if that makes sense?? …Thats what brings me back ๐Ÿ™‚
    (Oh and thanks for the advice as my blog is so new that its still got it’s packaging on!)

    Funny Chick! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Gemma xx

  • Your personality is why people keep coming back and back. Not because you have the best proof reading skills and are on top form every single day. Who can honestly say they do their job justice EVERY HOUR EVERY DAY. The posts above are overly nitpicky and overanalysing why you have some typos. Blehhhh.

    Rhiรขn

    http://www.chapterandcircle.co.uk

  • Love this Hannah! I particularly love theist part… ‘Be your readers best friend, not the girl they wanted to be in year 11.’ Absolute quality haha, it’s so important not to create a barrier between you and your readers, s’all about being a mate and easy to talk to as well as maybe being a bit of inspiration.

    I literally just posted a blog about happiness tips if you fancied a ganders! http://www.immymay.com Ix

  • I am so guilty of both loving AND writing about Primark! You’re spot on – it’s more interesting to read about shops that are accessible to anyone!

  • Great post! Honest and helpful ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rebecca Ellis

    I started blogging in January… so this was really insightful for me ๐Ÿ™‚ wonderful post x

    http://www.sheintheknow.co.uk

  • Aww thanks!! This is going to be helpful <3

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

  • Alexis

    Loved the blog posts in the metro, made me smile ๐Ÿ™‚

  • nueyork

    Mental health, whether it be directly related to mental illness or just talking about how to deal with things and keep a positive mental state, is one of my favourite topics to read about and I definitely want to write more posts like that. I have done a few life advice type posts before, just discussing my experiences, and they have had the best feedback of all.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

  • I that you shared what has worked for you. It was specific and honest.

  • This is great, Thanks for the tips!

    http://www.nicolabhamra.com

  • You mentioned your post about 4 minute make up, do you have a link for it? x

  • My best friend and I were actually talking about blog posts yesterday, and why some work better than others. Your post is freaking me out a bit cos it’s pretty much word for word what we agreed on!!!

    One of the main things we both said we liked about your blog, is that it’s real and relatable to us. We shop at Primark and New Look, we go to Starbucks and we lust over avocados.

    Your writing might have some typos but A) I haven’t noticed them and B) SO WHAT? My best friend’s texts sometimes have typos in them (oh heyyy autocorrect), that doesn’t mean I’m never going to read her texts.

    Like you said, you write as normal human being, and for me, I’ll take personality over 10/10-always- perfect spelling any day of the week.

    I thought the two comments above were both incredibly patronising and really rather pointless. You don’t WANT to be a writer, or make a career out of this, you ARE a writer and IT IS your career.

    So you’re obviously doing something very, very right.

    Haters gonna hate etc.

    Rant over.

    Happy Friday! xx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Life + Style Blog

    • hannahgale9

      This is one of my favourite comments I’ve read in a long time. Thank you for making my Friday evening just a little bit more sparkly – it’s people like you that make me want to keep on going SO THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH xxx

      • YOU’RE ENTIRELY WELCOME ๐Ÿ™‚

    • THIS.

  • I absolutely loved this post! One of my favourites ๐Ÿ™‚ It also really helped me with my new blog xx

  • Great post and tips! I always wonder what readers like to read most ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stefanie x
    http://www.lovelyfashionrose.com

  • This was, as always, spot on. I read so many blogging tips that they have all started to blend into one now. Yours seem like they are tried and tested and that is encouraging. I keep having ideas for lists but then not being able to turn them into a post, or writing it and then realising it kind of seems like I’m following the trend. There are so many lists out there these days I don’t want to be a copycat.

  • Hehe you are funny! GREAT post! I will be referring back to it! I’m now following you!
    “Turns out, most of us are just as basic and lost and obsessed with avocados and New York as each other, who knew?” hehehe.
    twentywho.blogspot.ca

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  • Great post – I’ve actually just recommended it on the comments section of one of mine x

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  • I love the posts you do like this! The advice is great and I know you are right because these are the sort of posts I like to read myself. I cannot afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money on products and I am getting bored of blogs that only showcase high end things most of us can only dream of.
    Your personality shines through on your blog so much and that is what keeps me coming back.
    xxx

  • Rebecca

    I have been reading your blog now for about 6 months and have been hooked ever since I found you. I love your style of writing and find that I can really relate to all of your posts. I especially loved this post as I have been trying to convince myself to start a blog for some time now and I think this may have been the icing on the cake! Thanks for the inspiration Hannah- keep doing you!

  • Nat

    Loads of great ideas in here! Will definitely have to try some of these out at some point. ๐Ÿ™‚

    https://theremightbecoffee.wordpress.com/

  • Finally!!! A post about content that will bring readers to my blog. I love this and will come back to it often. Thank you so much!!! Have a lovely day!
    http://www.sweetheartofthesouth.com

  • Hey Hannah,
    Thank you for this post, which is not like all the other ones I’ ve seen on post ideas.
    I’m just starting out actually.
    One thing I have been looking into is just how much is ok to share about challenges like illness, and how you overcome them.
    The thing that keeps coming to my mind is: in a real setting if someone asks how you are doing and you say not well, usually it’s not a fab idea. Let’s say you said it anyway and the other person wants to know more… How do you say it? I guess I’m trying to compare.

    One such topics is sleep paralysis, I decided to write about it here:
    cloudeddottedmind.com – My experience of sleep paralysis

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  • Natashia Nisbet

    Valuable article . Just to add my thoughts , if anyone need to merge some PDF files , my wife found a service here http://goo.gl/6AhSUp.

  • Not sure how I stumbled upon this older post but I really appreciate the item about writing about mental health. I have a WEALTH of mental health experiences to write about but I do feel weird writing about it. Mostly because a lot of blogs I follow do a very good job portraying perfect and it’s scary to be that vulnerable! And different from every one else. But you’re right, there aren’t a lot of people writing about it and it’s important towards helping people (myself included) feel less alone. Thank you for this post!
    http://www.afloatonafullsea.com


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