Posting consistently to your blog is one of the best ways to connect with your customers, rank better in the search engines, and establish yourself as an authority. However, many businesses have trouble coming up with blog post topics. What should you do when your mind is blank and you simply can’t think of anything to write about? Here are some tips to help you generate useful blog post topics whenever you need them.
Address Your Customers’ Needs
With a business blog, your main goal is to deliver content that’s useful to your existing and potential customers. Do as much as you can to answer their most pressing questions, solve their problems, and anticipate their needs. To a large extent, you probably are already familiar with your customers’ greatest needs. What need or problem does your business address?
If you have a restaurant, you’re helping to fill people up when they’re hungry and provide them with nourishment. Your blog could include recipes, discussions of eating traditions in different parts of the world, tips on choosing wines, or more specialized information about your specialty.
If you own a salon, you help people look and feel their best. You could write about hair care tips, the benefits of massage (or other salon services you provide), and maybe branch off into diet and exercise tips to help people look their best.
If you’re a real estate agent, write about moving with pets, highlight local businesses, list area events and places for children to have fun. You might include advice on decorating, gardening, lighting, and tips for first-time homeowners.
Here are some guidelines for finding out more about what your customers would like to see:
- Conduct polls and surveys. You can post these on your blog, on social media, or in emails.
- Ask questions. End your blog posts with open-ended questions such as “Have you had similar experiences?” or “What’s your biggest challenge?” or simply “Do you agree or disagree?” Monitor your blog for responses and always reply to encourage more dialog.
- Monitor news and social media. You can learn a lot about your audience by keeping up with the latest news, trends, social media discussions, and other online content about your industry. Set Google Alerts for keywords that are related to your business.
- Follow relevant discussions on sites such as Reddit, Quora, and Yahoo Answers. When people care enough about something to pose questions publicly, you can be sure this is a worthwhile topic to write about.
Sources for Inspiration for Blog Post Topics
In addition to directly addressing your customers’ biggest concerns, there are several strategies for coming up with good ideas for blog posts.
- Use Amazon for research. Keep up with the latest bestsellers in your industry. If lots of people are buying a certain type of book, you can be sure your readers are interested in this topic. You could review books in your niche or just use the book titles as inspiration for blog ideas. You can also look at physical products to learn about popular trends. Don’t forget to read book and product reviews as these tell you a great deal about customers’ needs and complaints.
- Curate. You don’t always have to come up with original topics. You can also curate content from news stories, YouTube videos, Pinterest, and authoritative articles by experts. As long as you properly accredit the content and link to it, you can use existing content as the basis for your own post. At the same time, you’ll want to expand upon it. Add a few comments of your own and perhaps an image or two. This way, your blog post will contain original content as well as the material you’ve linked to.
- Branch off into related areas. Think beyond the obvious. For example, if you sell cars, don’t limit yourself to only writing about vehicle makes and models you carry. You could discuss road trips and attractions within driving distance, the benefits of car-pooling, tips for getting better gas mileage, or choosing your child’s first car. It can help to create a simple flowchart to help you think of related ideas.
- Follow experts. Read leading blogs in your industry, follow social media accounts, watch videos. This helps you keep up with the most popular topics. In addition to following influencers, you can take it a step further and build relationships with them. You might then interview experts for your blog or ask them to write guest posts for you.
It can be a challenge to consistently come up with engaging content for your blog. However, if you stay current with the latest trends in your industry, query your customers on their needs, and do your best to answer their questions you can come up with a steady stream of topics. And don’t forget to write for real people not search engines for engaging content.
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