Posted: 14th May 2018
Experts repeatedly inform us that it is ‘important to blog’. It can improve your SEO, bring people to your website and set you apart from your competitors. It’s all very well knowing you need to blog – but what on earth should you write when you are short on ideas?
So when you have set aside time for blogging, you’re sitting at your desk but your screen remains frustratingly blank, here are a few strategies to help you generate some great content ideas….
# Write about what customers ask you? If you keep getting the same questions, answer then in a blog post. More than anything, they reveal the challenges your customers face. For example, as a PR and writer, I help people come up with content for their websites and press releases. Some of the questions I am asked repeatedly are… how do I get publicity for my business in media; what should I write in my blog; how do I write good content for my website and social media; how can I improve my writing; what should I put in a press release? All these questions would make good blog posts. Have a good think about what people ask you when you’re out networking or chatting about your business at parties? What is it that sparks interest about your service or product?
# Find ideas in the news. One of the best sources of blog post ideas is the news. Write some content in response to a news story and relate it back to your business. Make it topical.
# Keep an eye on your competitors. There are no new ideas – everything has been written about before. What is new, however, is your take on an idea. Have a look at your competitors’ blogs and rework some of their ideas. Just make sure, you are using new words and a new take on the idea. Write about the same topics in your voice to make sure your content is unique.
# Brainstorm for quantity not quality – and then pick the best seven. Write down 25 things that are preoccupying or puzzling you, or things which are annoying you or entertaining you. Do this every day. You’ll soon have hundreds of ideas each week and there is likely to be a handful of gems in there. Write down 25 each day and only filter them once a week, selecting the best seven ideas that you could turn into a blog post.
# Look in your industry and trade publications. These are one of the best sources of ideas. Can you comment on a topical item that is relevant to your industry? Is there something in your trade press that you can rework in your own words?
# Use Google’s keyword planner. This can help you search out what your potential customers are actually looking for. Write down all the popular terms and use them to spark ideas.
# Ask people. There’s no harm in asking your customers, friends and family what they would be interested in reading about. Ask them what they would like to know about your business or what problem they might have that you could help them solve. Set up a Survey Monkey to find out what challenges your customers face and help them solve these in a blog post.
Image courtesy of Parker Byrd at Unsplash