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Coming Up With Ideas For Blog Posts

How to get ideas for your business blog

So you’ve decided to start a business blog. You’ve also decided that you’ll write all the content yourself and you’ve committed to publish at least one blog post per week.

 

But what are you going to write about? How are you going to come up with ideas for at least 52 unique blog posts every year?

 

One of the main reasons businesses choose to outsource their blogging, apart from saving time, is that they quickly run out of ideas and topics they’re interested in writing about. Like everything else you do in your business, blogging starts with careful planning.

 

Who are you writing for?

 

The biggest mistake businesses make when starting a blog is that they only talk about themselves or the things they’re interested in.

 

Your blogs don’t exist just to add pages and links your site. To succeed, they need to offer value to your readers, which means you need to know what your customers want.

 

There are several ways you can find this out, including:

  • analysing your site to find out which existing content is most popular
  • getting your customers to complete a poll or survey in exchange for rewards
  • carrying out keyword research to find out what terms are trending (Google Keyword Planner)
  • following industry news and reactions

 

What approach will you take?

 

Depending on what industry you’re in, and your brand’s personality, you may prefer to take a narrow or wide focus with your blog’s subject matter. Both approaches have their advantages, or you can go with a combined approach.

 

Narrow focus

 

Write about a small range of topics related to your industry.

 

These will usually be based around a selection of important keywords, incorporating important news and developments that your readers need to know.

 

Wide focus

 

Using your targeted keywords as a base, take a step or two back to talk about a more eclectic range of topics related to the benefits of your products or services, rather than the features themselves.

 

For example, a footwear business might write posts about outdoor activities (hiking boots) or how to dress for a wedding (bridal shoes).

 

Myopic focus (avoid)

 

Your business blog shouldn’t be all about your business.

 

Announcements about product launches and other important news should be mentioned, but the majority of your audience isn’t interested in seeing photos from your company picnic. Save that for your internal communications.

 

Where can you find ideas?

 

When you’ve decided what themes your blog will follow, it’s time to collect ideas for specific topics. Common sources for inspiration are:

  • finding out what questions your customers are asking
  • thinking about your own experiences
  • asking your colleagues, friends and family
  • seeing what your competitors are writing about (as long as you don’t plagiarise)
  • seeing what topics are popular or controversial in your industry’s news
  • upcoming events or significant dates (e.g. seasonal posts)
  • looking over your own content for ideas that can be expanded.

 

While every post you publish needs to be unique, you can write about the same topics you’ve covered before if you’re talking about a different aspect, putting a new spin on the idea, or updating an old post that’s out of date.

 

If you want to cover a more in-depth topic, you can split it over a series of blog posts to go into more detail. If you’ve already written a brief overview, consider whether each point could be expanded into its own post.

 

Before you start writing

 

Writing ideas

 

Now that you’ve collected a number of possible blog topics in a notebook, document or spreadsheet, it’s time to vet them for the best ideas and the ones you actually want to write.

 

For each suggestion, you should ask the following questions:

  • Is it of interest to your readers?
  • Will it be shared?
  • Does it suit your brand’s personality and stance?
  • Does it contribute to the online discussion?
  • Is it time-sensitive or an evergreen topic?

 

You can then start to plan out how your blog will look in the weeks or months ahead. Organising your ideas by theme or keyword makes it easier to avoid repetition and keep your blog more diverse. If any of your ideas are time-sensitive, make sure you slot them into the right months.

 

Now you just have to write it! If you’re new to blogging, pick up some tips in our guide to how to write a blog post.

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