How to Generate Blog Topics Your Readers Will Love
If you’re blogging for business, you know you need to write content on a consistent basis, but don’t we all get stumped from time to time? Sometimes it seems like the ideas just won’t come and if you’re on a deadline, it can get stressful.
Remember, search engines and your audience both love fresh content. Static pages won’t keep Google indexing your site or bring return visitors — you need regular fresh content for that. The more quality posts you write, the more traffic and interest you’ll generate.
This post will give you some tips to generate topics that will attract your readers and help you become a thought leader.
Blog Content Ideas
Customer Comments and Questions.
When you blog for business, the very best content comes from comments, questions, and issues that arise with your own customers. Do you have an FAQ section on your website? Keep up with what your customers ask you on a daily basis — that will show you clearly where their interests lie. Answer those questions in a post and on your website in the form of an FAQ page.
Read reviews of your product or service. What words do your customers use to describe their experience with you? Use their own words and draw from their positive — and negative — reviews to answer their concerns. Review provide you with feedback in the customer’s own voice, so pay close attention to what they are saying.
Do a Survey
If you have an email list or social media following, ask your audience what they’d like to read about. You can give away a small gift certificate or other gift to encourage readers to respond to your survey. Make it brief and easy to answer, and stick to one objective instead of trying to make it multitask.
This site is an excellent source of ideas for new content. Once you enter your search term, it will generate questions for you. The questions are generated by Google and Bing based on actual search data.
For example, I entered the term “gardening.” In the center of the circle, you’ll see prepositions. Under “gardening with … “ I found the following ideas.
You can spend endless hours on this site and you can also download the questions as a CSV file for future reference.
Google Trends can show you seasonal interest in a topic. Look at the graph for our “gardening” search term. Notice the interest was highest one year ago in March 2019. It’s no surprise that interest in gardening is higher in the spring — so take advantage of these seasonal trends as you plan your content.
If you’re a local business, you’ll also want to pay attention to the trends in your geographic area. If you’re not locally focused, you may prefer worldwide or national trends. Another idea source from Google Trends is the Related Topic section on the left side of the page. This shows you searches related to your term, which may help you generate additional ideas.
Ubersuggest is a paid service, but there are some free tools you can use, including this Content Ideas tool. You’ll have to set up a free account. Once you log in, you’ll see a link for Content Ideas on the left sidebar. Click there and enter your search term.
You’ll see existing posts and the traffic and social shares they are generating, which tells you there is a demand for this content.
Question and answer site Quora is another excellent source of topics. When I enter my search term, it suggests topics for me.
Browse the questions and see which ones you can answer and turn into a blog post.
This is a nice tool. Enter your term and you’ll get five topic ideas right off the bat. You can enter your name and email to generate additional topics.
The page also has helpful blogging tips and information. You can download your topic ideas as a spreadsheet.
Get Into a Blogging for Business Mindset
Much of blogging is getting your mind to think of things you do on a daily basis as blog topics. I’ve sat with many a client who looked at me quizzically and said, “You mean I can blog about that?” Yes, you can.
- Customers love to see behind the scenes. Show team members doing what they do well. Shoot a quick video as they explain what they are doing and why. Give VIP customers an advance look at a sale or a new opening.
- Go live on Facebook and/or Instagram. My husband blogs about bourbon and did a live tasting a while back. He poured three nice glasses, then tasted each and described it. Then he revealed which was which and talked about why he was surprised and which he liked better. It was a great way to get viewers in on the action.
- Take at least one photo each day in your business, preferably more. Even if you never use them, they may stimulate ideas for a post.
Back to our gardening example — let’s say I snap a photo of a new plant that just arrived. That photo can be the jumping off point for a post about the plant, how to grow it, what to expect, and where in the landscape to use it. All from one snap from the phone. The more photos you take, they more content you’ll be able to generate.
Read More About Blogging for Business
If you have user-generated content, you’re sitting on a gold mine. When your customers or visitors tag you in a post or use your branded hashtag, they are signaling their interest. What about a featured article about a regular gardener who grows interesting plants in their own garden? Your customer might love the opportunity to show off their own back yard and share tips and techniques. It’s always great when someone else is talking about you. Get permission before you use their images, but it’s almost a given they’ll be thrilled.
Use social listening to see what conversations are happening surrounding your brand or your competition. Insights from these engagements can point you to pain points that will resonate with your audience. Keep a search column open for your brand name or keywords so you see comments and questions. Engage where appropriate and answer questions, deal with negative reviews, and provide helpful feedback.
And here’s the video.