Not too long ago I hosted a webinar on how to set up a blog. Seconds after it was finished, everyone wanted to know: how do we come up with blog ideas?
Before we get into how to come up with blog ideas, it’s important to make sure you have a solid content marketing strategy in place.
When you’re promoting yourself with a blog, the point is to not direct sell. Writing about how great your product is without providing substance will turn off readers. People read content they find interesting, useful, educational or entertaining. And if they’re looking for a service or product, they need solid details, facts and figures that will help them make a decision.
If your content is well written and useful, and provides information in a way not found elsewhere, people will follow your business or brand on social media, and/or subscribe to your blog so they don’t miss out.
So when you’re marketing yourself or your business online with content, the view, “I’ve got to convince people how great my brand is or how wonderful my products are,” will get you nowhere.
You’ve got to change your thinking to: “I want to provide useful information that will help people find what they need or want.”
Now that you have the right frame of mind, it’s time to come up with content ideas.
Here are 10 fail-safe ways to brainstorm blog ideas
1. You are your customer
Ask yourself what you would want to know if you needed, or were looking for a product or service that you provide. Write everything down that comes to mind, and then edit the list to reflect viable blog ideas.
2. Ask your current customers
Ask your current customer base or clients what information they sought when researching your products or service. Send an email with the question, or a create a free survey with Survey Monkey.
3. Solve Problems
What problems does your service or product solve? Put the answers into blog post format.
5. Twitter Trends
Take a look at Twitter’s trending hashtags that appear to the left of your Twitter home page. Come up with new blog ideas based on what you observe. Note: These trending hashtags should be tailored to your industry or business if you optimized your Twitter page correctly during setup. Watch this free Webinar on how to set up and optimize a Twitter profile.
6. Break it Down
Review all aspects of your products or services, and write about unique facets or details. For example, if you sell security products, perhaps there are stories you could tell about how a potential theft or threat was avoided with one of your products. These could be customer-based anecdotes.
7. Research Competitors
Find your competitors on social media, or by doing a Google search. Pick out the ones who generate a great deal of traffic and engagement with their blog posts. Brainstorm unique angles or blog ideas centered on similar topics.
8. Plan Your Words
Use Google’s Keyword Planner, or the free tool, Keyword Finder to do an analysis of keywords related to your industry. Download the spreadsheet of suggested keywords related to the ones you input, and come up with blog ideas based on the higher ranking keywords.
Analyze past blog posts with Google Analytics to see which type of content drove more traffic. Come up with blog post ideas related to the same topic, but offer something new.
10. Gain Insight
Use LinkedIn and Facebook Insights to see which blog posts you shared engaged a great deal of comments, likes and shares. For Google Plus, use the free tool Circle Count to get a detailed analysis of your public posts. See who commented, shared, re-shared or plus-oned your posts to find content that resonates with your followers. Repeat your successes.
Let me know what you think about these ideas in the comments box below. Do you have any great ways to come up with blog ideas?