Writing a blog would be awesome … if it weren’t for all the writing.
Trying to rack your brain for an interesting blog post topic can be incredibly infuriating. You know blogging is good for business, and you know it draws online searchers to your site. But sometimes you simply cannot come up with an idea.
Oh, we’ve been there. But instead of initiating an all-out bitch session on what sucks the most about writing, we’re going to share our secrets to coming up with blog post ideas, even when your mind keeps drawing a blank.
We’re not going to waste any time on sharing inspirational quotes or telling you to create an “idea tree.” Instead, we’ve listed the most helpful questions to ask yourself when trying to think of what to write about.
Any of these questions can be combined or answered alone and turned into a fantastic blog post. Also, no matter what online platform you use to publish your blog, write it in a word document first to make sure all spelling and grammar is correct.
First of all, who is the audience?
So you’ve started your blog, and the obvious answer to this might be “my customers!” But the point of a blog isn’t just to entertain your current fans, but also to attract new ones. So ask yourself:
1. What do they want to read about?
What is your most popular product? What type of questions do your customers usually pose to you? Thinking about what your customers are interested in will help you craft blog posts that are intriguing to your target audience.
What is the what?
First, you have to figure out what your post will be centered on, and to do this, we’ve listed a few narrowing questions that will help you decide. Also, when thinking of blog post ideas, try to make sure each topic only encompasses one major idea, in order to avoid overly long posts. If it starts getting too long, you’re probably writing about more than one central idea.
1. What do you think is interesting?
Dogs, hydrodynamics, shark week … many things pique your interest. But before you begin writing down everything you’ve ever researched on Wikipedia, try to contain it to topics that your audience will also enjoy.
2. What are you good at?
This is an easy one. What the heck do you make/create/sell? You are the expert because you’re the business owner. A lot of people would love to do what you do, which makes this question a great way to begin a how-to blog post, or simply share a few tricks of the trade.
3. What new things have you learned in the past 6 months?
What changes or new ideas have emerged within your industry lately? This doesn’t have to be limited to your exact trade. How has the small business community evolved around you?
Why should they care?
Once you have an idea that interests you, next decide how you can relate that idea to others, because the whole point of writing a blog is getting people to read it!
1. What can I teach you?
“How-To” blogs are immensely popular – just think of all the time you’ve wasted reading about DIY projects. And because homemade projects are difficult, keep it simple in your tutorials, and encourage your readers to email you with questions.
2. How can you learn from my mistakes?
One of the best ways to connect with your readers is to be open about your own failings. Would you rather learn from a stuffy know-it-all, or a humble business owner who keeps trying even when things don’t work out exactly according to plan?
When blogger Derek Halpern spoke at Social Media Marketing World last year, he gave a talk on the five content triggers that encourage people to talk about your products. According to Derek, one of the most powerful methods of relating to others is by telling stories of your own struggles or lessons learned, because everything should be personal and relatable.
3. What were the topics of your top 10 most popular social media posts?
When you’re really scratching your head trying to think of something to write about, use this nifty little cheat to find topics that your fans have already told you they love. And if you haven’t had a lot of interaction on your Facebook lately, think of this as your opportunity to get with it.
Ask a question twice a week on something regarding your products or the local business community, and you’ll begin to get a feel for what your customers want to read.
Put it all together.
Now, write your amazing blog post! Try to keep it under 500 words (longer is fine as long as you avoid rambling and keep it informative/entertaining/useful), use small paragraphs no longer than 3-4 sentences, and make sure it’s completely error-free.
Then, promote the hell out of it on this sweet, totally free, blog promotion platform.
Use these questions to plan out your next few weeks of blog topics so you don’t find yourself scrambling every week to find something to write about.
And don’t forget, a big part of blogging is watching for trends online and on social media, so don’t be afraid to exploit popular keywords within your field as much as you can.
If you create handmade furniture, and there’s a sudden burst of interest in ladder bookshelves, take this opportunity to write a quick pros-and-cons article on the usefulness of ladder bookshelves. Or write a how-to article on how to turn an old ladder into a decorative piece.
And there you have it! A simple, pain-free way to brainstorm some amazing blog topics. We seriously cannot wait to read your blog! Seriously – link to your blog in the comments.
How do you come up with blog post ideas? Share your thoughts!