— April 26, 2018
Congratulations on setting up a business blog! Take a well-deserved moment to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Then, settle in to begin the next phase – learning how to maintain a blog that will drive traffic to your website, generate new leads, and ultimately help establish your brand as a mainstay in its industry. As a budding blogger, don’t let the future scare you. Take things one step at a time with this five-part series. Welcome to Part 1: Generating Ideas. Here you’ll learn all about the wide world of blog topic generating before moving on to the next step: integrating other channels.
The Importance of Creating New Content Regularly
You might assume it’s enough to simply have a blog on your business’s website. Do you really need to spend the time and energy to crank out new posts consistently when your readership basically consists of past clients and family members? The answer is a resounding yes. Creating new, unique, original content on a regular basis is critical to the success of your blog as a marketing tool. Otherwise, you might as well not have started a blog at all.
Keep in mind that your blog is just one cog in the marketing wheel. Maintaining your blog with new posts weekly, biweekly, or even more often (HubSpot research shows that blogs with 16 or more new posts per month see almost 3.5 times more traffic than those that publish zero to four monthly posts) is the task you must complete to make your blog a beneficial part of your marketing strategy. Roll up your sleeves, put in the work, and start brainstorming blog ideas, because research proves that frequent posts are the way to your readers’ hearts.
How Do Bloggers Come Up with New Ideas?
It shouldn’t surprise you that blogging, like all aspects of marketing, has certain rules that make it work. Generating blog ideas takes as much data-driven research as it does creativity. You need both to successfully come up with a running gamut of blog ideas that will pack a punch. First, tackle the research portion. Ask yourself the right questions about your audience and then use keyword research and other methods to come up with answers. The basic step-by-step process may look something like this:
- Use keyword research tools like the Google Keyword Planner to generate plenty of keywords and phrases to use in your blog posts. Ask yourself what your audience wants to know and how you can fill this niche.
- Brainstorm a list of titles that grab attention. Don’t think too hard about them – they can be working titles until your team polishes them up. Just make sure they set your article apart from the slew of others that will pop up during a search.
- Gauge the level of user engagement on similar topics or amongst competitors. Look at the number of comments, likes, and social shares the topic has garnered in the past to see if it will be worth the investment for your business to write about.
- Add value to your content. Start searching for facts, information, news, and statistics that will add value to your blog post. In other words, don’t publish a post just for the sake of the act itself. Remember that your blog will only succeed if it provides valuable information to readers.
Next comes the dollop of creativity. Blogs give you a certain amount of freedom in content that other pages of your website typically do not. Readers expect blogs not only to inform, but to entertain. For this reason, creativity, comedy, drama, and storytelling are more encouraged in blog posts than other types of content. Your blog should have a distinguishable voice; a tone that sets you apart and flows with your brand. If you struggle with creativity, don’t worry. Many companies opt to create a team of content writers to help pool ideas and brainstorm together. In fact, around 61% of the most effective marketers schedule weekly meetings to come up with fresh blog topics.
3 Blog Topic Generating Hacks
You didn’t think blogger moguls like Neil Patel come up with thousands of poignant blog topics all on his own, do you? Of course not! Everyone could use a little help when it comes to thinking up new content ideas. Now that you have the basics of blog topic generating down, hone your practice with a few tips and tricks seasoned bloggers have come to rely upon. Here are some of the top ways bloggers mine for content gold nuggets:
- Online tools. Blogging isn’t a new resource. In the decades since blogs first hit the interwebs, hundreds of tools have cropped up to help bloggers. One such tool is the HubSpot Blog Idea Generator. As the name implies, this online tool will help you create blog topics when you plug in a few terms or ideas you’d like to write about.
- Google News + keyword search. The Google “News” tab is extremely handy when it comes to writing about the latest trends in your industry. Plug in the keywords you found through analytics and press the “News” category at the top of the search bar. You’ll immediately see pages of articles and topics that just hit the web.
- Spy on the competition. That’s right – some of your best new blog ideas might come straight from the website of your top competitor. Browse the blogs of a few of your rivals and see what topics they’re touching on and how users are receiving them. While you should never copy a blog word for word, perusing adversaries’ blogs can be enough to get your own creative juices flowing.
The goal is to establish your blog as a resource your target audience will come to depend on for trustworthy, reliable, and hot-off-the-press information about your industry, product, or services. Your blog should resonate with your readers or your desired readership, presenting a constant stream of valuable information they can take with them, use, and share with others. Even if you don’t see an enormous audience right away, trust that if you built it, they will come.