Why Blog Idea Generators Suck

by | Dec 13, 2017 | Content Marketing | 0 comments

Formulating new, creative, exciting and/or informative blog topics or titles can be difficult, especially if you have been in the blog game a while. It’s easy to feel you have exhausted all possible approaches to your subject matter, that you’ve said all that there is to say. It’s equally easy as for a newbie to feel lost or overwhelmed when trying to create that perfect blog post topic or title that is sure to get your blog read.

For some, the lure of the “blog idea generator” can be particularly seductive. Add a few keywords about your subject and get a month’s worth of blog post titles or topics? Sign me up!

As with anything that’s too good to be true, these blog topic generators are only of limited use, and the value they do provide depends greatly on your subject matter. We took a look at a few so you don’t have to.

Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator

Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator isn’t awful especially if you are in the industry and recognize you may have to change your nouns from singular to plural or vice-versa. For my test, I used the three nouns, “website,” “UX,” and “ROI.”

These could be viable though I think there are some adjustments to be made, such as “15 Best Blogs to Follow About Website Design/Development/Strategy.”

But what about if your business or industry or customer in not in a marketing automation, content marketing or digital marketing industry? I asked my husband to test Hubspot’s tool using terms related to his field of work, automotive repair. These are his results.

Pinion Seal, Driveshaft, Transfer Case

Hmmmm…what exactly is “Doing Driveshaft”? It sounds dirty, and not in the automotive repair way.

Car, Horsepower, Turbo

There are a couple here that might be worth exploring but, overall, we found we have to really plan our keywords for these possible types of statements. We also realized that since the tool didn’t combine our nouns together that we need to form subject phrases.

Automotive repair service, Increasing horse power, Converting to turbo

These are an improvement. However, by the third pass, we saw the pattern. Basically, we found that you can just fill in these phrases:

14 Common Misconceptions about ____________
The History of __________________
20 Myths About ______________
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on __________________
5 Tools Everyone in the ________________ industry should be using
Think you’re cut out for doing ______________? Take this quiz
10 Things your competitors can teach you about _________________

In fact, you could probably complete these phrases without the aid of the online generator and the three input boxes to produce topics that make far more sense.

Additionally, with the repetition we experienced among the phrases, you’ll run out of unique topics quickly using this generator.


I let my husband continue to test the next generator, Potent. We had some initial success with a a couple phrases, and we noticed that Potent automatically adjusted the noun to correct subject-verb agreement

However, by the third attempt were were noticing some of these made absolutely no sense.

Although, I am curious how my Jeep’s pinion seals could get me on a show called omg! Insider.

The Blog Post Idea Generator

This idea generator frustrated my husband from the outset, mostly because he thought the gray box was something he was supposed to type into. Making this look like an input element is bad UX/UI. However, this particular idea generator, which remains more open ended, could be useful to a blogger who is able to fit their keywords in various, random statements such as:

Fat Joe

This particular topic generator creates more topics, delivering 10 options based on a single keyword or phrase. Following a similar keyword used in previous tests, we tried “Pinion seal replacement” to test its performance.

Most of the topics could be viable though I’m not sure you could find 15 blogs specifically covering pinion seal replacement.

On the other hand, using “content marketing,” as done with the Hubspot generator earlier, produces more sensical results that could actually be used in the real world.

Other Options

Other content generators are fun to play with, such as the Link Bat Title Generator. But I’d caution against going the click bait route – my current post’s title notwithstanding. While titles need to be attention-grabbing, click bait is often misleading and articles that don’t deliver on the title’s promise simply annoy users.

Imagine if we used this generator to develop the title of our post on blog post generators?

  • why blog idea generators are destroying america
  • 12 reasons blog idea generators are the end of the world as we know it
  • 9 reasons you can blame the recession on blog idea generators
  • why you should give up sex and devote your life to blog idea generators
  • what the government doesn’t want you to know about blog idea generator

Not all idea generators are bad. Answer the Public generated five perfectly good questions people might have about pinion seals on which to base a blog post.

  • Can Rack and Pinion Seals be Replaced?
  • What are Pinion Seals
  • What do Pinion Seals Do?
  • Why do Pinion Seals Leak?
  • How long do Pinion Seals Last?

This website basically provides you with auto suggest results of Google and Bing. These results reflect what people are searching for and, therefore, what topics are likely to be of interest to them. However, the questions people search don’t necessarily make for exciting blog post titles.

Another way to find out what people are interested in and what is being shared is Buzzsumo. It takes a little more thought to formulate your own post titles based on information here, but it can inform you with regard to the level of interest people have in certain subjects.

Blog topics are only good if they reach their target audience and get read. Topic generators can be used as a starting point but should be combined with good keyword research as well as consideration of your target audience’s interests to ensure that the posts are strategic, relevant and help you reach your content marketing goals. While “12 ways pinion seals can give you better hair” sounds like a fun topic, it’s more amusing than relevant and, ultimately, a waste of your time.

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