One of the biggest hurdles you could face when coming up with a new blog post or doing SEO for your website is figuring out what to write. Googling "blog post ideas" won't help; unless you're looking for a quick couple of paragraphs to dash off in the middle of the day, lists of blog topics will most likely not fit what your audience wants or needs. These lists come from other bloggers, ones who might not have in-depth knowledge of your niche or the audience you serve. At best, these lists contain prompts that could serve as jump-off points for your discovery process. Don't rely on idea-generating algorithms and tools. These tools will provide you with novel ideas for a while, but they will eventually produce repetitive prompts.
The only way for you to keep having fresh ideas is to rely not on tools but systems. Though it will take more time, building a system will make coming up with ideas faster in the long run. Here are a few things you could do when figuring out how to create a brainstorming process that works for your blog.
The best way to keep coming up with great blog post ideas is by getting to know your audience. Some people who genuinely know their ideal readers don't even need to go through the other steps; they only have to think of what their readers will like. You do not get to this point right away, though. For the most part, marketers must still sit down and think of their blog posts' target market.
Getting to know your readers involves examining how they live, how they browse online, what they purchase, and why. It is easier said than done, but constructing a detailed buyer persona can help you create more focused articles. People choose brands for a reason, and if you have consistent readers, it means you're already providing value. You need to clarify why people keep “buying” what you write, so you can deliver more of it.
How are you helping your customers be their best selves, solve problems, or prevent situations they don't want? What do they get out of using your product? What do you think most frustrates them about your company? Besides knowing why people keep reading your articles, having the answers to these questions will also help you write engaging blog posts. If you understand the people who buy from you at the moment, you can find more of them. If you have a diverse audience, it can be challenging, but even the most heterogeneous groups have dominant subgroups within them. Take the time to get a good enough portrait of your most avid followers and keep responding to their needs.
It is one thing to know what your audience likes and be familiar with the kinds of articles that get clicks. However, if you keep doing what they're used to, you will not be their first choice. Your posts will fade into the background, part of their daily experience, since they're well-versed in this field just like you. If you chase what the audience likes, you tie yourself to their attention and become overly sensitive to shifts in it.
You could choose to write only about topics you know very well. When you do SEO for your website, your articles should be informative. Writing within your expertise means bringing a level of knowledge to your articles that people don't get everywhere. However, if you keep making content that is only about things that you know very well, you will write for people exactly like you. This situation is acceptable if you are the company's only ideal customer, but it isn't if you want to cast a wider net.
Create content that sits within the comfortable middle ground between these two types of writing. Figure out what you can talk about and how that combines with what your audience wants.
We keep highlighting the importance of keyword research in content marketing because it forms a solid foundation for all the other aspects of your work. Use a keyword research tool to develop topics within the intersection of things you know and things your audience likes. You can start with a list with a few root words or phrases. Sometimes the results show overlaps even among the phrases, which gives you even more material for future posts.
If your key terms are competitive, it is alright. Since most businesses are online today, anything that has a sizeable market would likely have competitive terms. As long as you focus on content quality, you stand to develop your domain authority as well. The topics you pick from these keywords should help your audience live happy, productive lives!
Your content brainstorming session will produce enough inspiration for a few blog posts. Bunch related topics together and keep asking yourself what your audience wants. Know as well what solutions you can provide, and what questions they ask. You can also reframe how to's by changing the ideal reader for these posts. For example, consider how a message changes depending on the receiver. Think of how a child, a grandmother, or a beginner in the field will read your post. You can also think of what you wish customers knew about certain aspects of your business and write about these.
Also ask questions in the form of evaluations. The only way you will know what works and what does not is if you keep examining how your current posts are performing and gain insights from the traffic that they earn. People change, and the things your audience finds engaging could as well. Your blog should keep up with these changes or, more preferably, be the catalyst for them.
Of course, you should not limit yourself to sources you know very well. Inspiration can strike anywhere, and part of building a stockpile of ideas is the openness to topics from non-traditional sources. Events, influencers in your space, trade publications, and news reports are all examples of possible sources.
Besides examining the Venn diagram of the audience’s wants and your knowledge, have a brainstorming session dedicated to ideas you find elsewhere. Your audience is not the only source of ideas or prompts; sometimes, people are not aware they need something unless someone else points it out.
Some articles provide new information to readers, while others only confirm what the browser has already read elsewhere. The internet is full of companies with larger budgets than yours, ones who can write meaningful posts every day. If you are competing with companies with a dedicated content writing team or are still establishing yourself in your niche, you have to figure out how you can gain a foothold with the content you produce.
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