Looking for blog post ideas?
Do you like tumbleweed?
Probably not. It’s awkward, no one cares about it and it has no direction.
Tumbleweed just drifts along into nothing-ness, unnoticed.
And that’s exactly what happens to blog posts when the topics lack substance.
Blog post ideas need to be chosen carefully in order to resonate with the audience.
Put simply, your content needs direction.
But how do you know what to write about? How do you get your topics bang on the money?
I’m going to take you through it…
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
First up, the biggest of blogging sins is not knowing your audience.
Here’s the thing: most brands think they do. In fact, they’re convinced they know exactly who their customers are and what they want.
But in actual fact, unless you treat target audience analysis as a rolling-on venture, it’s likely that you don’t know them as well as you think.
Why? Well, your target audience…
- May change their behaviour and interests
- Might actually change along with new products/services you introduce
- May be influenced by social/political events (Covid-19 for example!)
So, how do you understand your blog’s audience?
The first trick is to engage on your existing blog. What is your audience saying? What are their comments? What do they agree with/need more info on?
Once you’ve established this engagement, you’ll be able to get in the minds of your users and figure out what makes them tick.
Do you need some help getting to know your audience better? Here’s a seriously helpful article from marketing guru, Neil Patel, that delves into the entire process.
MAKE RELEVANCE YOUR DRIVING FORCE
Relevance is everything.
It’s a bit of a much-bandied around, yet mysterious term in the world of content. But what does relevance actually mean?
Let me break it down…
Your content should be solution-focused.
Relevant content starts with needs, and develops solutions. Solving real-life issues for your readers is one way to hit the relevancy goal on the head.
Look at the needs of your target audience. What do they need solutions for? What can you help with? What unique challenges are they trying to overcome?
Your content should be present focused.
Timeliness is important when dealing with relevancy. If you’re blogging about seriously old news, then your audience will switch off pretty quickly.
Also, Google prefers fresh content. Trending topics are favoured in the algorithm. And basically, Google will just like you more.
Now you have the two basics sorted: Target audience and relevance.
So let’s get down to actual blog post ideas that will get your audience buzzing.
This is the most common type of blog post for a reason: it’s creating value.
How-to articles give you the chance to offer your reader something that they need, while also showing your knowledge.
And the combination of this creates a handy little thing called loyalty.
Here’s an example:
You’re a brand that makes organic pet food (yep, it’s a thing). You’re not just going to bang on and on about how good your pet food is. Nope, you’re going to use your expert knowledge to talk about topics that dog owners will care about. These blog post ideas just might look like these:
How to Care for Long-Haired Dogs
How to Enrich Your Tortoise’s Day to Day Life
How to Find the Best Dog Walks in the UK
You see the point? The readers come to you for education and knowledge.
2. PITCH AN INFLUENCER TO GUEST ON YOUR BLOG
The gravitas of an influencer guest posting on your blog is pretty powerful.
In fact, it’s something that Neal Schaffer is doing right here, right now.
Not only does a little bit of fame pull in the readers, but it makes it super easy to promote your blog as you can tag them on social media and suddenly reach all of their followers too.
Easy peasy, right?
Additional Reading: How To Invite Influencers To Guest Post On Your Blog
3. CREATE AN ULTIMATE GUIDE
There’s something about the word ‘ultimate’ isn’t there?
And when that’s put into a blog post title, it’s a powerful draw.
If people think that they’re getting everything they need to know in one post, it saves them time. It means they don’t have to trawl the internet for pieces of information to create a complete post.
Try not to choose a post that’s well-trodden, as if yours is unique (ish), then you’ll attract more readers.
Here’s an example from Search Engine Journal so you can see an Ultimate Guide post in action.
Additional Reading: Neal Schaffer’s Ultimate Guide to Blogging
4. AN INTERVIEW WITH AN EXPERT
For the same reason that a guest post (kinda like this one) works, if you interview an expert in your audience’s field, it will attract them to your blog like moths to a flame.Make a list of the experts in your field. You may already know them personally, or you can easily seek them out on LinkedIn.Most people will be up for an interview if you can show them how it will benefit them.
Make the offer attractive by:
Mentioning your readership numbers. Wow them with how many people are subscribed to your blog.
Telling them how you’re going to promote it on social, more exposure for them is always a good thing!
Explain how you’re going to structure the interview and the angle you’re going to take. People are more likely to agree to an interview if they can picture how it’s going to play out.
Want an example? Here’s one where I interviewed Hypnotic Writing author, Joe Vitale (it was awesome).
5. INDUSTRY COMMENTARY
Industry commentary pieces are your time to shine. All that knowledge you have on your industry can come out now, with critical thinking and analysis.The trick is to choose something topical and put your own spin on it.What’s going on in your industry? Is there something your customers could be worried about? Confused about? Can you help clear something up for them, or solve a problem?
Here’s an example from Morgan Stanley, so you can see what it’s all about.
The important thing to remember with industry commentary, is to make sure you’re aligning with your brand voice.
Make sure you’re not too outspoken, if that’s not your brand personality.
Don’t wade in on competitors too harshly, it’s not a good look.
Try to give as much value as possible and be as unique as possible. There’s no point regurgitating what competitors are saying.
Make use of experts in your company. Who is best positioned to get expert information from? Ask them!
6. THE LISTICLE
This type of post is great for showing people they’re going to get high-quality information in a concise way. And a listicle is very shareable.
They don’t need to sort through a load of complex info, the best ways to do something are laid out right in front of them. It’s an attractive thing.
But this type of post is actually really easy to get wrong.
Here are some guidelines to follow:
Make sure the title is alluring and specific. If you’re too broad like ‘7 Ways to Keep Healthy’, it’s going to be preeeetty boring. Something more into the nitty-gritty like ‘7 Ways to Boost Your Mental Alertness Without 7 Cups of Coffee’ will be far more appealing.
Break the post into chunks. Sub-headers are going to be your best friend here. Put as much thought into them as the header so the post is easily skimmable. Here’s a handy article from Hubspot on how to do this effectively – don’t neglect them!
Don’t overdo it. If you try and cram as many in as possible and some entries are just pointless and dull, it won’t reflect well on you. Make sure all entries are of the same supreme, valuable quality.
Here’s an example from Wired, in all its listicle glory.
Additional Reading: A Neal Schaffer Listicle of Blogging Tools
7. A HACKS LIST
Even the name sounds rebellious, doesn’t it?
People want the easy way to do something. And more than that, they want the easy way to do it well.
Even by putting the word ‘hacks’ in the title, you’re going to attract attention, but then you can wow your audience with shortcuts to success.
Talk to people in your company.
What do they do on a daily basis to make their lives easier with work?
TIP: Don’t make it product/service focused – resist the temptation! Focus on relevancy and value, remember.
Here’s an example from NY Book Editors. Check out how easy they make it for wannabe writers to get to grips with new skills.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BLOG POST IDEAS
When looking at your topics, always think back to relevancy and your target audience. If you link back to these criteria, you have a strong strategy behind your topics, rather than hitting and hoping.
And hit your readers with a healthy mix of post types. No one wants to read constant listicles, or daily how-to’s.
Variety is good and avoids sameness.
It also makes you look super smart with your finger on the content button.
Konrad and The Creative Copywriter Team xx