How to Use Books (and Amazon) to Find Great Blog Post Ideas

When you work on your blog's editorial calendar (or even a more general list of blog post ideas), do you ever feel stuck?

While there are plenty of headline template lists and blog post idea lists available, and I've even provided some here, sometimes you just don't know what to write about.

I'll let you in on a little secret.

It happens to me too.

At the start of every month (or just before it) I sit down at my desk to plan out my content for the month across all of my blogs.

I don't always stick to that plan. News happens. Rants brew. And sometimes another blogger tackles one of my planned topics around the same time so I choose something else for that day. But there is a plan, and sometimes I need a little help filling in my content calendar.

When that happens, one of the first things I turn to is my bookshelf.

How Books Can Help You Come Up With Blog Post Ideas

When you're feeling stuck, take a look at some of the best books in your niche. Which ones do you keep going back to? Which would you most strongly recommend? Set those books aside.

Then take some time to page through the table of contents of each one. Get a feel for why the author or publisher chose to organize the book that way.

I don't recommend doing this with only one book because you run the risk of taking a copy-cat approach (and nobody likes a blogger who just rips off everyone else). Instead, look at several books. Try to pinpoint any similarities. Look for differences.

Then figure out how you would have approached organizing that content.

Are questions left unanswered? Turn those questions into blog posts.

Are points glossed over too quickly? Create a more detailed guide for your blog's readers.

Would something covered in all of those books (therefore probably interesting to your target readers) make for a great expanded blog post series? Write it.

Books are fantastic idea generators for bloggers. You already know a market exists for the type of content they contain. You can use them as source material to expand on topics they cover (bonus points if you bring the book's author into it for an interview). And they can open your eyes not only to micro-niche topics they cover in sections or chapters, but also to the big picture and how all of that content fits together.

Where Amazon Comes In

When I'm feeling stuck, I start with books on-hand because getting away from the computer helps me think about my blogs a bit differently. But that's not your only option. Why not browse Amazon the next time you're short on blog post ideas?

The basic concept is the same. You find books in the niche of your blog. Then you browse their table of contents to get a feel for the overall structure and content plan of the book. Something as simple as a chapter title can inspire dozens of narrower blog post ideas.

As an added bonus, you can browse bestselling books or focus on sales ranks in the niche to figure out which styles and topics are resonating best with your target readers.

What about you? Do you ever use books to help you come up with blog post ideas? What about using Amazon to inspire your next blog post? Share your own tips or examples in the comments.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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11 thoughts on “How to Use Books (and Amazon) to Find Great Blog Post Ideas”

    • Thanks Amy. 🙂

      I love a good table of contents. LOL Not only can they lead to new blog post ideas, but they’re a great marketing tool for authors’ books. Maybe that’s a good topic for another day. 🙂

  1. When I have a burnout and feel that I can’t devise a topic for my blog post, I often read books. But I really didn’t use Amazon for this reason. I think it’s a great method when you need to generate an idea for a post in short term.

  2. Hi Jennifer

    Blog post ideas are the most common problem which almost every blogger face. I too was facing the same issue 2 days ago, when I was completely stuck with the post ideas.

    No any blog post idea was coming in my mind.

    Then I decided that I’ll do a research on it and will find some best ways to find blog post ideas. After reading so many articles, I have learnt some best ways including your ideas too.

    From all blog post ideas which I learnt, I want to share a way to find blog post ideas with all readers here.

    I generally use AllTop ( dot ) com which is really a great website to find ideas to write blog post.

    When you will visit there then you will find top 5 articles from different different blogs will be listed there.

    Just use the search box there to find ideas in your niche and you will get lots of ideas from different different blogs.

    I really enjoyed your article and your tips are so helpful to me. I’ll definitely follow your tips to find blog post ideas when I will write a new article on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing this great piece of content. 😀

    Happy Blogging 😉

    • AllTop is certainly another place to go for inspiration. I’d just caution bloggers not to rip ideas that they see there. If someone else just covered something, it doesn’t usually make sense for you to blog about the same topic. If there’s any audience overlap, you just come across looking like a copycat. You’ll get much more mileage out of you posts if you have something of your own to say. But as long as you use tools like that to get a big picture overview of what’s going on in your niche so you can come up with your own ideas, rather than copying specific post ideas, it could be a great tool. 🙂

  3. Hi, As usual nice article thank you! Blogging is very fun, but it can be far too easy to fall into the patten of posting the same types of posts, so books are good to get great ideas!! Nice Idea dear 🙂

  4. Hi Jennifer,
    I am really happy to see this collection of best methods to find ideas for blog post.
    Yes! in blogging we must need to write article on demanded topic because that single article can make authority or good relation with you reader , best article always attract a visitor and helpful to convert them into reader.

    Thanks 🙂


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