By this point, you probably know the importance of a sound content strategy in your online marketing. Nearly any business in any industry takes advantage of the relationship-building, lead-generating and rank-improving power of quality crafted content.
For the past few years, companies have been taking note and heavily embracing content creation, with nearly half of their marketing budgets being devoted to those efforts. In a time of struggling to be heard among expanding online competition, content works.
More specifically, consistent content works and coming up with creative new blog post ideas is the hardest part of the process for many of us. Unlike ad hoc projects and campaigns, fresh blog content is a recurring need. There is no clear end in sight and is required as long as your site exists.
You cannot write about just anything under the sun. Content needs to add value, solving a persistent problem and staying relevant to the audience. Even if you are passionate about a topic, it will never be worth writing about if it doesn’t resonate with the reader. With the demands of content ideation, at a certain point, the well runs dry.
So where do great blog posts ideas come from once you have exhausted the “off-the-top-of-your-head” approach? Try these unique ways to write blog posts the next time you need a little extra inspiration.
1. Ask the Audience
Customer outreach is one of the best ways to find current problems that your target market is experiencing. Use quick and easy templates from sites like SurveyMonkey or even set up a Google Form to send to customer emails. A nice feature of this technique is that you can tightly curate the list of email recipients to those that would provide the richest, most insightful responses.
Tips on how to get the information you need from your customer survey:
- Keep surveys as short as possible while covering all the needed information (10 questions is usually a good number).
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Avoid multiple choice and loaded questions — you will never get the answer quality you need.
- Incentivize your customers with coupon discounts, free content or some other offering specific to the product or service you provide.
- Keep the questions simple, straightforward and unbiased.
2. Listen to Your Audience
Reviews are a great way to identify pain points and recurring issues among customers. Seek out product reviews, Facebook feedback and Google business reviews to see what is on your target consumer’s mind. You can also search for generic hashtags and combinations of hashtags on Twitter to find relevant topics.
If your blog posts are ranking well and generating traffic, it is also a great place to discover and solicit feedback from your audience. Reply directly to any positive or negative customer feedback and find out what content they are seeking.
3. Interview Your Customers
Interviews can make your content relatable to your audience. It’s a good way to break up the monotony and style of your blog. Customers identify with other customers and value their insights for their honesty and lack of bias. Plus, they pretty much write themselves, with a brief introduction and conclusion bookending an edited transcription.
Think about customers who have found success with your products or use your services extensively to craft an insider look. For example, if you provide printing solutions to a wholesale supply company, ask them how they utilize their printed collateral. Better yet, how have seen great value in your services. It may be similar material to a lot of other content out there. But the fact that it is an interview gives it a fresh angle.
4. Talk to the Pros
Great ideas come from within the organization and a quick way of finding solutions is by talking to your team. Technicians on the front lines, sales teams trying to close business or customer service representatives manning the phones have an intimate understanding of the problems customers face and are often happy to share the details.
You can send an email for efficiency’s sake but it is often preferable to schedule a meeting with your team to share ideas and expand upon them. These sessions are also great for enhancing other components of your overall marketing strategy.
5. Research the Competition But Stay Original
Finding out what your competition has written about is a great path to inspiration. Rather than take the same content, put it in a blender and reproduce it in different words. Try to enhance the content or create an offshoot. Find ways to get more specific with the content you find or expand upon a bullet point and turn it into an article.
Combine your findings with useful online tools like BuzzSumo to find content that has been generating organic search traffic and shared widely across social media. While you do not want to copy the content exactly, it will help you identify popular topics that you can reappropriate for your business.
6. Conduct Keyword Research
If you are using SEO effectively with your blog posts, you should already be well-versed in keyword research and its significance. The Google Keyword Planner is an essential tool for the simple purpose of improving your rankings. There are other keyword tools that can help you in other areas of your content. When you run out of ideas for blog posts, delving into any of the numerous analytics providers can spark your creativity. Some useful tools are:
- Ubersuggest: Combines Google tools to suggest content ideas based on keywords.
- Google Trends: Shows the popularity of keyword terms over time so you can identify hot topics.
- Keywords Explorer by Ahrefs: Shows click rates and traffic volumes for suggested phrases or questions based on search terms.
7. Use Online Resources to Find Common Questions
A lot of the questions floating around the market are being quantified online for easy access. AnswerThePublic is an excellent resource for finding the most commonly asked questions around a topic or search term.
Online forums like Quora and Reddit helps you find unique questions and quality answers all in one place for you to elaborate on in a blog post. Ideas and inspiration can even be found in something as simple as plugging a search term into Google and checking the autocomplete suggestions.
8. Write a Personal Experience Story
Like interviews, sharing personal successes and failures is a great way to shake up your content. Consumers love story formats in their content. As an expert, you probably have your fair share to tell, all with their own insights and lessons learned.
Stories are also valuable for your branding. They humanize your business and allow you to add personality and humor to your content, creating a deep connection with your audience.
9. Share Your Opinions
This is risky, as you don’t want to alienate your audience by voicing a negative opinion about something they value. With that being said, sharing your opinion is still a great way for audiences to get your expert perspective on a product, service or any idea they have been considering. Speaking respectfully, empathetically and fairly in your comparisons can ease the reader’s mind even if you are not recommending something they personally stand by. Similar to your personal experience stories, these posts are bound to be unique because they are based on your singular experience.
10. Solicit Guest Posts
Industry insiders bring tons of authority to anything they put their name on. Reaching out to a respected and objective thought leader in your field for interviews or blog posts ideas can yield deeply insightful and informational content your audience values. Try to find leading experts and business heads to write a guest post for your blog. Many are happy to lend their services simply to broaden their reach and acquire a backlink opportunity.
11. Change the “Do”s to “Don’t”s
The how-to articles and listicles are some of the most in-demand and digestible blog styles out there. These posts walk the audience through solutions to their problems step-by-step and offer quick tips to succeed. When you run short on ideas, you can turn this concept on its head by offering how-not-to-do guides and worst-of lists.
One Final Option
Creating content is exhausting. If you need to take a break from coming up with fresh, original blog posts, think about updating your past posts. Search engines want to promote the most up-to-date information and updating content allows you to fix data and apply themes and concepts to more recent circumstances. Plus, a fresh look will reveal spelling mistakes, poor SEO and opportunities to enhance content with pictures and stats.
Thinking of good blog ideas is hard and managing every step of your content marketing takes time away from the other areas of your business. Our staff at Copywriter Today provides professionally-written and edited content, focused on SEO and delivered exactly when you need it. Contact our team today to learn how we can help you unlock the full potential of your content or get started with your first article for free!