Help me find ideas for blog posts!
So, you’ve decided that you want to start creating content for your audience by writing blog posts. Now, comes the even more difficult question – What to write about? How do I find ideas for blog posts?
This question is vital as you must be careful not to just write about anything. You’ve got to be writing about things that your target audience actually want to read. Otherwise, they just won’t read it and, what would be the point in all the time it took you to write it in the first place?
My hope is that this article will help you find ideas for blog posts that will not only help you publish blog posts regularly, but also create useful content that your audience wants to read.
Start a list
The first thing that I do is come up with a list of possible headlines for posts. You can do this in whatever form you wish: word or google doc, Trello board, OneNote, good old-fashioned paper, or whatever other way works for you. The important thing here is to get a list going that you can regularly update.
Don’t worry too much about the exact title as you can tweak these later, but the idea is to start listing topics your audience might find interesting enough to spend some of their precious time reading.
What type of topics make good blog posts?
This could be a whole article in itself so I’ll keep it brief (Note to self: Add “What type of topics make good blog posts” to my list).
Here are some pointers to what makes a good blog topic:
- Write something your audience want to read about (i.e. If your company specializes in food, don’t right about the latest fashion in footwear)
- Make it useful – A blog post shouldn’t just be your opinion on something it should aim to help or educate in someway (Wisdom, tips, tools, resources)
- Answer a question – Try and make each blog post answer a potential question your target audience is asking.
- Use a good formula for writing catching blog titles. Check out this article by Hubspot or this one by LocationRebel.
Find ideas for blog posts:
So now that our list is ready to be added to let’s find some inspiration for posts! Here are some ideas of where to find ideas for blog posts:
- Feedly – Is like a personalized content feed where you can decide who, or what topics, to follow and it will pull all the news, journals, blogs, videos, and other content into one place for you to review. Not only is this a great way to keep up with your own industry, but you can also create a feed for the interests of your target audience to see what they are reading.
- Flipboard – Is like feedly in that you can quickly go in and select a topic and it will curate a lot of content for your selected topic.
- BuzzSumo – This tool allows you to select a topic, search query or URL and it will rank the content that is receiving the most traffic and engagement for that selection.
- AnswerThePublic – When you input a topic with this tool, it will provide you with a list of the top questions regarding that topic. This is a fantastic wealth of perfect blog posts as you can then write your content to answer the very questions your audience are typing into google.
- Industry leaders – Have a look at what the industry leaders are posting. Chances are they are massive and are constantly turning out content.
- Your competitors – There is nothing wrong at looking what your competitors are writing about for inspiration. Don’t copy them though…
- Pocket – is an amazing bookmarking app. It’s a really useful way to save links to content and can be organised in folders.
- Newsletters – Email blasts that you receive (from competitors, industry leaders, colleagues, etc.) can be another great source of new content ideas.
- Do it regularly – Decide whether you want to post content daily, weekly, monthly, etc., and then stick to that. It often takes more time than we think to create content, so I’d say stick with weekly for the best in between option.
- Find the right format for each topic – Consider whether a how-to guide, a checklist, a list of tips or some other format is the best way to present a given topic. How you discuss an idea can be just as important as the content idea itself.
- Write first, refine after – When you are writing your first draft don’t worry about how you are writing it too much. Just write it! Let the creativity out. Once you’ve written the first draft you must leave it for at least 24 hours and come back with fresh eyes. Then you can refine the way it’s written (language, formatting, ideas, etc.)
- Provide value – The only reason why someone reads your content is to get something out of it. It might be knowledge about how to do something, though provoking insight into a topic, or whatever else they are looking for. But your content should always be providing your readers with something they need. For example, this post will hopefully help you come up with ideas for content of your own.