Stuck on Generating Blog Post Ideas? Here are 4 Ways to Get Unstuck
Strong blog content can be a powerful way to share your knowledge with potential customers, to generate interest from search and social media, and to engage with current customers and partners. However, everyone gets stuck in a creativity rut sometimes. If that happens to you, here are 4 ways that I like to generate new ideas to add to my running list of potential blog posts. (You do have a list, don’t you?)
Take 3-5 key phrases that resonate with your audience, and run them through a headline generator to get some ideas. They’re not perfect, but they often come up with interesting and engaging premises for blog posts. Many are how-to or prescriptive statements. Some are questions and prompts. All are designed with the David Ogilvy attitude.
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
– David Ogilvy
Find Out What Your Audience is Sharing
Want to write content that resonates with your audience? Why not start by finding out what content is currently being shared by your audience. I find that using Buzzsumo to see what is the top content being shared on social media around specific keywords (or by competitors) is incredibly enlightening.
You’ll find that different types of content work on different social media channels, and that there are a lot of different phrasings that might be working on competitive or related websites that you hadn’t thought of previously.
Learn What Your Audience is Asking About
Natural language search behavior has changed consumers’ expectations about what they can find and discover online. Use tools like Buzzsumo’s Question Analyzer (formerly Bloomberry) and Answer the Public to find and visualize the types of related topics people want to learn more about a specific keyword or phrase.
Knowing what related topic areas are most engaging to your customers will help you be thoughtful about creating content for every stage of your customer journey, not just the top-of-funnel audience.
Determine What Your Audience Can’t Find On Your Site Currently
If you aren’t currently tracking what phrases are being typed into your own website that result in the “Search not found” or “No related content found” response pages, you’re missing out on an opportunity to address your own existing audience’s needs. Use Google Tag Manager to track these “zero result searches.”
While this is most helpful for larger websites that have higher volumes of search, it’s a good exercise in general. Early in my career, I worked for a company with a very popular website and we were able to analyze—using this methodology— holidays, trends, and events that related to content that we already had, but weren’t tagged so they were showing in search. Therefore, just by adjusting the searchability of the existing content, we were able to improve users’ experiences and also use their search behavior to develop future content pieces.
Often, people focus on creating an endless hamster wheel of content, but the truth is that we need to be more strategic and thoughtful about the content we create for our websites, especially since the vast majority of traffic may be driven by evergreen content. Using the methods above, you’ll be able to create a more robust list of topics to develop for future blog posts and more.