Plenty of deterrents prevent small businesses from establishing and maintaining their own blogs. Lack of time is a big one, and it can admittedly be a tough one to get around. But one concern that comes up surprisingly often is that lots of people are just afraid they won’t be able to come up with enough good topics to write about.
This is a weak reason not to dive into blogging as part of a content marketing strategy because it’s the easiest one to overcome. If you’re not used to generating blog post ideas or writing useful content, though, the whole thing can seem completely mystifying.
At the risk of making what we do seem a little less amazing, allow us to demystify the process some.
However, before you start generating ideas, it’s really important that you approach your blogging from the right perspective. If your content ideas are only good to you and not your target audience, they aren’t going to help your brand flourish.
With that said, here are 20 simple ways to come up with blog post ideas:
- Always look for ways to narrow down the focus of a topic to get multiple pieces out of it.
- Answer the questions your leads and customers ask you most often (FAQ posts, which have the added bonus of freeing up a lot of time you lose to unnecessary communication—time you can use for writing blog posts, perhaps).
- Create easy-to-follow how-tos related to your areas of expertise.
- Show your target audience how to solve a common problem they face.
- Outline pros and cons of doing something relevant to your brand in a particular way.
- Put together lists of dos and don’ts, useful tools, helpful resources, or anything else of interest.
- Make up thorough checklists to help your audience with relevant tasks.
- Give advice to consumers shopping around for the products or services you provide without being directly promotional (or wait till the end to point out how your brand meets the criteria you give).
- Write a roundup of the best sources for something your target market uses.
- Highlight and discuss the importance of research or statistics in your industry that affects your audience.
- Talk about an upcoming holiday or local event while spinning it to your field.
- Address news pertaining to your industry or audience.
- Offer behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business or industry.
- Relate amusing, enlightening, or otherwise noteworthy anecdotes (but tread carefully, as it’s easy to offend or alienate if you choose the wrong story or execute poorly).
- Assemble a profile of an interesting person or company in your field.
- Promote a cause your target audience believes in.
- Promote other local businesses tangentially related to yours (and let them know about it—they’ll often return the favor, especially on social media).
- Curate a collection of links to high-quality content on a topic of interest to your audience.
- Throw in the occasional self-promotional post that honestly shows why your product or service is better than the competition’s, using actual facts, features, and benefits.
- Post pictures, video, or descriptions of your brand at work, explaining what you did and why it’s great.