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We all run dry sometimes, but you’ve got an editorial calendar to keep up with. Before you start looking for yet another way to repackage content you’ve already created, try a different approach: look in comments sections.

You might find a lot of comments that only offer “Great article!” or “This is the worst article I’ve ever read!” which won’t be very helpful.

But you won’t have to scroll very far before you find the good stuff. Because many people who are bothering to comment are professional people looking for professional help, and as a result, their comments are likely to carry more substance. They aren’t usually just going to say “Great article!” Often, they’re going to go into more detail, say what they liked most about it, or what was most helpful. Or more helpfully, they’re going to say “Yes, but…”—

  • “Yes, but how do you deal with…?”
  • “Yes, but I don’t understand…”
  • “Yes, but do you have any ideas on how I could apply it to…?”

This goes the same for the naysayers. Many people who didn’t like the article aren’t just going to say “This sucks!” They’re going to go further by describing what they disagreed with, and why.

Then, sometimes, these professional commenters will start talking to each other, getting into even more detail. The more your audience talks about their problems, the more they’ll be parsing out the intricacies of their specific needs, and the more they do that, the more fodder you’ll have for creating content to meet those needs. Thus, if you find a discussion or a question in the comments section that you’re content hasn’t already addressed, there’s your next content idea.

That said, comments sections may seem daunting to sift through. To help, here are some tactics for where to find the rich comments sections you should be digging into:


Anything that has a blog usually has a comments section. Since writers don’t, and can’t, cover every aspect of a topic in a single article, there will be gaps in knowledge. When there are gaps in knowledge, readers ask questions. Look for those questions and provide answers with your own content.

Your Own Website

A good place to start is right at home. If the content on your website allows readers to post comments, what you’ll find in your own comments sections is your exact audience talking about precisely your product. If anything, this an excellent way to find gaps in your knowledge base that are worth filling.

Your Competitors’ Websites

First, take a look at their FAQs and see what questions they’re getting all the time. If they’re answering questions that you’re not, the first thing you need to do is answer that question in some way with your content.

After that, dig into the comments sections of their content that has the highest engagement (most likes, comments, shares, ect). What are their readers asking? Is your competitor responding? Can you do it better?

Industry Publication Websites

Industry (or trade publications) are great resources for people working in a particularly industry. In general, these publications are written in the language of the industry, by industry representatives, and are where people in the industry go to talk shop, see who’s who, discover who’s new, or keep up to date on the latest industry news and trends.

These are great opportunities for content, in general, but try their comments sections too. This is probably the first place your audience will go, before your site or your competitors’ sites, to find an answer to their problem. Find the articles with the most engagement, take note of the topics and titles, then dive into the comment threads.


These are the places that are literally designed to field industry questions. Old school forums might seem a bit archaic in today’s world, but people still use them, and you can find one for just about every industry or niche. The posts can literally be questions and the comments sections are answers to that question.

Just Google “[your industry] forum” and see what pops up.


There are the general forums where people ask just about anything they can think to ask and get answers for it. One of the best general forum for an idea for content, is Quora. Simply type in the topic your readers are interested in or the name of your industry, and you will start finding questions and topics that you can then turn into content.

Other general forums include Yahoo Answers, StackExchange, and the rabbit-hole siren call that is Reddit.

Facebook or LinkedIn

Then there are resources that aren’t technically forums but function in pretty much the same way. Social media groups, if you can find the right ones, can be just as lucrative for content ideas as niche forums.

For example, there is “The Freelance Writers’ Connection” group on LinkedIn, where you can either physically go to the group’s page and peruse the discussion threads or you can look in your inbox for a daily email with links to the topics that are currently most popular.

Finding the right group can be tricky, though. You want to find an active group that regularly offers a lot of questions and answers, but you’re probably going to want to avoid groups that allow a lot of article sharing. These groups are often little more than spam bins.


There’s a whole playbook for influencer marketing, but influencers are also great for content ideation, simply because they just don’t have enough time to address all of the questions their followers ask them. Look to all the social media portals that the influencers in your industry use and dive into the comment threads you find there. Again, if you need guidance, the posts with the most engagement are usually the hot topics.

LinkedIn & Medium

Frequently, influencers will blog. They will write articles for their personal websites and then share them to various platforms. Two of the most popular are LinkedIn and Medium. Follow your industry’s influencers on these medias and look through the comments sections of some of their most recent and most popular posts. What questions are posed there that remain unanswered?

Videos & Podcasts

Influencers offer expertise through many portals and formats. YouTube is a popular one, podcasts are another. The videos or podcast episodes with the most engagement are more likely to be the ones with the richest comments sections.


Influencers also have social media accounts that are a part of their brand but not necessarily designed to be a portal for sharing knowledge. Snapchat is one. Instagram is another. Yet, people still want to ask them questions. They want to get their question in any way they can, and since Instagram allows for comments, people use it to ask their questions. Again, influencers don’t have time to answer every question. That’s where you can come in.


Twitter is a particularly lush ground for the comments section approach. Anybody can tweet at anybody. They don’t have to wait for a piece of content to be posted so they can jump into a discussion in the comments section—they can literally ask their question directly to the source.

But again (can’t say it enough), the influencer only has so much time and can’t answer every question. So not only can you look through the comment threads of influencers’ specific tweets, but you look through the influencer’s overall feed to find questions people are tweeting directly to them.


Often your best resource for not only content ideas but high quality content comes directly from your audience. Hence, the closer you can get to them, the better. Getting them on the phone or in the same room to find out what their pain points are is a great way to do that, but that’s really inefficient and, anyway, they’re already having these conversations, written down, available for free online. You just have to find where.