How to come up with blog post ideas is one of the top things I see, being asked of blog writers. For many business owners, they know their ideal clients well, so coming up with basic Q&A type blogs isn’t a problem for them. However, when it comes to expanding past those initial blogs, that’s when they hit problems.
Often, this boils down to two main reasons. The first reason - it’s because they’re simply too close to their own business. They know it so well, they don’t immediately think back to how it was, when they first started out. They struggle to remember what questions they had or were asked, from people who are only just coming across their business. Because of how much knowledge and information they now have on their niche and their ideal clients, they miss the obvious and novice questions - dismissing them as something everyone already knows.
The second reason people struggle to come up with blog ideas, is they’re worrying too much about coming up with ideas! When I first start talking to a client, they’ll often say they don’t know what to write about or have no idea where to start. However, once I get them talking about their business and the problems their clients face, they can list a whole load of ideas - so they’re ready to get writing! (P.S, if you’re looking for help with the writing stage of blogging - check out my free Guide to Writing Blog Posts!)
The key to coming up with blog ideas is to focus on what your reader wants and needs. Your customer doesn’t have the knowledge or information that you do. Regardless of whether you’re selling tights or social media, your clients have a whole load of questions for you about your products and what you sell.
So your quest to find blog post ideas can start here - with the questions your ideal client has. What do they ask you, when they email, private message or tweet you? When they’re chatting to you on the phone, what do they typically ask? What are their biggest worries, fears and concerns, about buying what you’re offering?
Frequently asked questions are a great starting point, but they’ll only get you so far. You can use them as a starting point for further blog posts, but here’s another three strategies you can use, for coming up with unlimited blog post ideas for your business!
Pinterest is a potential goldmine of ideas. Not only can you use it to see what’s popular, in terms of visual pins and images, you can also use it to find potential blog post ideas for your business. To get the most out of Pinterest, you need to understand that it’s an online search engine. This makes it a great resource for blog post ideas. Why? Because:
So let’s get stuck into mining it for ideas. Firstly, you’ll want to type your basic keyword in the search box. As you’re typing, Pinterest will give you key suggestions, so make a note of these. Once you’ve clicked ‘search’, Pinterest will take you to the most relevant pins for that keyword.
Take a few minutes to scroll through these results, and make a note of any pins that have particularly appealing titles and/or descriptions. My advice would be to set a timer for 15 minutes or so - otherwise you could easily end up scrolling for hours on end!
You’ll also notice that, across the top of the page, you’ll be presented with a row of different coloured boxes, each with words or phrases inside them, that expand on your original keyword. These are suggestions on how you can expand on your keyword - and potential places for further blog post ideas - so click through on the ones that appeal to you, noting down ideas as you go.
Another tip for you now. When you’re scrolling down the Pinterest results page, keep an eye out for more suggestions from Pinterest. You’ll often see a section that's entitled ‘Searches to try’ or it will simply appear as a selection of short keyword boxes (see the image below) - and this offers you more ideas for keywords and/or blog post ideas!
Google is often the first place we go to, when we’re trying to find something, regardless of whether we’re looking for a local plumber or wanting new blog ideas. Most business owners will head straight over to their Google Ads account, so they can use Google’s keyword planner for ideas - but you can get a wealth of information with a simple Google search.
Start by letting Google’s autocomplete do the heavy lifting. Type in your basic keyword and see what autocomplete throws up for you. The next step is to go with the same basic keyword or phrase, but then through each of the letters in the alphabet, after it. For example, if your keyword is ‘social media’, you’d type ‘social media’ and the letter ‘a’ and see what comes up. Your next search would be ‘social media b’ - and you can then continue to work your way through the alphabet, jotting down any ideas that appeal to you.
Next, type in your keywords and phrases, and go through the search results and see what blogs, articles and videos are already popular. Could you expand on some of those ideas? For example, if there’s a top 10 type of post, could you create a bigger list? How about writing a blog post based on the opposite view of an existing blog post?
Finally, check out the ‘video’ and ‘news’ tabs that show up across the top of your Google search results (see them in the image below). The video tab will give you access to the top ranking videos for your keyword search - so make a note of any that appeal to you. However, the news table can give you some of the top current news articles on your keyword search - meaning you can not only get blog post ideas, but you can also tie some into current and relevant news stories.
Another great idea, one I use a lot (especially when I take on a new client), is to simply sit down with a blank piece of paper and brainstorm my niche. (You can also type out a list, if you’d rather create something online.) If I’m writing for a client that has a niche that’s new to me, I use this as a way to get both ideas and keywords I can use for subsequent searches.
Start by writing your main topic or niche, in the centre of the paper. Now branch off this with words and phrases that spring to mind. You then keep doing this, for as long as you can!
Let’s say you’re a wedding planner. You’d start off with ‘wedding planning’ as your central word, and you then write branches off this, with words such as ‘wedding theme’, ‘wedding venue’ and ‘bridal party’ etc. Each of these then has words or phrases branching from that - so this could include:
You can see that this could lead to a whole load of ideas and potential blog post topics - as once you get started, it’s difficult to stop!
Coming up with ideas for your blog posts doesn’t have to be difficult. The key is to have a strategy that suits you. Whereas some people may trawl through forums or deep dive into competitors, others may prefer the creative brainstorm mentioned above. It really does come down to what you prefer and how you want to kick start your own creative processes.
My only other piece of advice would be this: no matter what strategy you use, make sure to limit your brainstorming and/or research sessions. Not only will this help you stay focused, it’ll also ensure you don’t get sucked down a rabbit hole of discovery - that eats into your valuable time and sends you heading for a lie down in a dark room!
Once you’ve got your blog post ideas, you need to get started with writing them. This is often another sticking point for small business owners, as they struggle with the layout of posts and how to implement the SEO etc. that’s why I created a Guide to Writing Blog Posts - and I’ll happily give you a copy, if you click here and let me know where to send it!
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