How to Never Run Out of Blog Topic Ideas for Your WebsiteFinding new topics for your small business’ blog isn’t that hard — if you know where to look.
Having a blog for your small business is a proven strategy to bring more people to your site and establish yourself as an authority in your market. But sometimes writer’s block or “blog topic block” can get in the way.
If you’re looking for inspiration for blog post ideas, here are a few things to try.
The best way to never run out of blog topic ideas is to plan ahead. “Don’t wait until you need to create a post to figure out what you want to write about,” said Ann Handley, chief content officer of MarketingProfs and author of Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content. “The spirit animal for any blog writer is the backyard squirrel, because a squirrel scurries about collecting nuts and berries and food and then hoards it all in a cache for later.” Use that same mentality toward planning out your blog topics — create an editorial calendar and stick to it.
Leverage free tools
You can also take advantage of a number of free tools to help come up with blog topic ideas.
HubSpot and TweakYourBiz.com both have great blog title generators that will populate ideas based on your own keywords.
Handley also suggested collecting quick ideas and keeping them organized to review later using free apps like Evernote and Pocket. “Bloggers should hoard ideas,” she said, “and then pick the choicest morsels to build out into full-fledged posts.”
Robin Samora is a marketing author, speaker and public relations mentor for small businesses. “What questions are your clients or readers asking you on your blog, social media, LinkedIn groups?” she asked. Digging into your own social networks — as well as your competitor’s — can provide great frequently asked questions to use as topic ideas, she said.
Q&A websites like Quora and Yahoo are also great for discovering topics, she continued. “Look at the questions experts are answering on Quora and use them as inspiration, with your own twist,” she said.
Recruit guest contributors
“It is important to feature experienced guest bloggers sharing their advice and unique business perspective outside of your own thoughts too,” said Heather Taylor, who manages social media for the online document filing service MyCorporation. “If you’re not sure of what to write about next for your small business blog, I advise reaching out to someone in the entrepreneurial community that you respect and inquiring if they would be interested in writing a post. If they don’t have time to write a full article, see if they would be interested in being interviewed instead and make arrangements via email, phone, or video to interview and feature them.”
Survey your customers
Lisa DiVirgilio, marketing director at the product design studio We Are Mammoth, said they apply the same concept to their marketing as their software design, using customer feedback for inspiration. “We also survey customers and use the data to create interesting posts that help relate our products to current industry trends,” she said.
Marketing consultant Tabitha Naylor agreed.
“Since your readers are your target audience, it makes sense to solicit their opinion on things that they find important, are curious about or want more information about.” -Tabitha Naylor
“What’s more,” she said, “you’ll know at the end of the day that what you’re writing is information people will actually care about and want to read.”
Ask your employees
Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, said that one of the best ways to get new content ideas is from your own customer-facing staff members. “Talk to the sales and customer service teams,” he recommended.
“One great places to start is to think back to recent sales pitches with potential clients and customers,” seconded Lauren Fairbanks, co-founder and CEO of the marketing firm Stunt & Gimmick’s. “This is usually a gold mine for content and blog topics, since you’re already a pro at answering these common questions, and you know it’s a topic your audience is already interested in learning more about.”
“It’s a lot easier when you are thinking like a customer,” said Divirgilio, “versus thinking as a business owner desperate to write a blog about — well, anything.”