Creating blog posts takes several hours from the beginning to the end.
You set aside one or a number of days coming up with blog post ideas. Then, you put together an editorial calendar, assign out the writing and editing of the posts, schedule them on your blog and promote them through email and social media. All in all, it can take several hours to simply create one new posts.
Though this entire process is tedious, blogging is critical to the success of many businesses.
After all, featuring a blog prominently on your website can give you a 434% better chance of ranking high on search engines. In addition, 47% of buyers will look at three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, blogging should be a top priority.
You want to blog, but you don’t want it to eat up all of your time. So how do you constantly come up with new blog post ideas when you’re already busy with other marketing tasks? By automating and streamlining the blog post idea and content creation process so you can focus on your other responsibilities.
As part of that streamlining process, use these 20 methods for developing new blog post ideas.
1. Look at your social media followers’ updates
Take a look at what your followers are posting about. What are they retweeting and liking? What do they say when they mention your brand or your competitors? Perhaps they talk about a problem they’re having. Look for similar questions that your followers are asking and turn a common problem into one or more blog post ideas that provide the solution.
2. Find your competitors’ blog posts
Don’t copy your competitors; improve upon what they do. Look through their blog posts and see where they have content gaps. If their posts aren’t thorough enough, release your own versions that go into more detail. Go bigger and better!
3. Ask your sales team the common questions they hear
While you’re in an office most of the day, your sales team is talking to customers. Ask your salespeople what common questions or concerns they hear, then turn those into helpful blog posts that offer solutions.
4. Scan the latest industry news for blog post ideas
Set up Google Alerts or use Feedly to track news in your industry. Use that to inspire blog post ideas around these topics.
5. Look at high-ranking keywords
Use tools like Moz and SEMrush to see which keywords are high ranking and which ones you should be building content around. You can also look at competitors’ keywords to come up with blog post ideas. Remember to follow keyword best practices, like using them in your meta description and H2s and not overstuffing them into your content. Great content is the top priority; solid keyword usage is icing on the cake.
6. Interview influencers in your field
Interviews and Q&As are excellent sources for blog post ideas. Plus, if you find an influencer in your industry with a large amount of followers, your content can draw in a large audience. Go on Twitter and LinkedIn and see which people in your field are generating buzz, then reach out to them for an interview.
7. Ask your CEO or company president for a thought leadership post
Your CEO or company president has a lot to offer. He or she has been in the business for many years and knows what it takes to become successful. Plus, it helps your company establish authority and gain trust, so it’s a win-win.
8. Write posts around your other content
Did you recently produce a video? Maybe you put out a white paper or an infographic. Write blog posts around pieces of content you already created; you’ll promote your content and come up with stellar blog post ideas at the same time.
9. Showcase your team
For a personal touch, show your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your company. Showcase your team members in blog posts, feature Q&As with members of your team or have them create blog posts about what they do and why they love doing it. These posts, like those from your leaders, will also help establish authority in your niche.
10. Read your comments section
If you allow commenting on your blog, see what people are discussing in the comments sections. Create blog post ideas around these popular talking points.
11. Read books about your industry
People are used to reading blog posts in your industry, so why not go to the library and check out some books instead? They’re often full of information that others may have overlooked, and will inspire you to create new blog post ideas.
12. Look on Quora
Quora, the question and answer site, shows you what kinds of questions people are asking. If you type in “marketing blogs,” you’ll see 142,000 results. Type in a term relevant to your industry and see what pops up.
13. Ask colleagues for blog post ideas
Unfortunately, many teams within companies exist in silos, so you may not have much interaction with other departments. Send an email or Slack message or hold a meeting to brainstorm new ideas. One person from sales and another person from IT might have topic ideas that someone on your marketing team would never even think about. Getting an outsider’s perspective can make your blog posts more universal.
14. Brainstorm based on the calendar
Themed blog posts around holidays are common. For example, you might have your colleagues write about what they’re thankful for during Thanksgiving, or post a blog about planning for Q1 with a Christmas theme. Perhaps during Halloween you put up “scary” marketing stats, or on Valentine’s Day you create a post about marketing tips your audience will love. If you want to think outside the box, highlight the bizarre and wacky holidays that occur all the time. Did you know, for instance, that January 20 is National Cheese Lover Day?
15. Listen to industry podcast
Podcasts are excellent sources of information that you can listen to on your lunch break, while you’re working or during your commute. Simply log onto iTunes or Spotify, type in the subject matter you’d like to learn about and you'll see a plethora of podcasts about it.
16. Attend networking and industry events
Attending industry events, like trade shows, conferences and networking events will give you the behind-the-scenes look at the latest happenings within your industry. Write about what you heard during conference sessions, talk to other professionals about their insights and highlight the latest products being released.
17. Examine your day-to-day life at work
For a few days, keep a journal at your desk at work and write down what you did, how long it took, any epiphanies you had or any pain points you experienced. At the end of the week, read what you wrote. For example, maybe you wrote that you spent two hours going through your email inbox on a certain day. Simply checking your emails took a lot of your time and energy, so how about a blog post such as, “How to Save Time Checking Your Email,” “How to Create Gmail Filters” or “How to Check Your Email in Just 10 Minutes a Day.” Your audience will relate to your post and enjoy it because it’s offering solutions to problems they also experience.
18. Do something different
If you go into work at the same time every day, eat a similar lunch and get into a routine that rarely, if ever, changes, then it’s hard to be inspired. If you want to think of new blog post ideas, do something different at work. Try relocating to another work area in your office, getting up every 20 minutes to stretch, standing up while working, trying a new lunch place or going for a walk in nature when you have free time. Exposing your brain to new environments and habits can get it fired up and help you think differently.
19. Check out the Google Search Engine Results Page
When you’re searching for a topic in Google, hit the spacebar and see what other topics pop up. For example, if you type in “marketing trends,” you’ll see many results, like “marketing trends 2019,” “marketing trends definition” and “marketing trends examples.” Scroll down and see other related search results at the bottom of the page to help spark blog post ideas.
20. Update an old blog post
Perhaps you wrote a blog post for a specific year that could be updated for the current year. Maybe you wrote a list of 10 of the top practices in your industry, and you’d like to expand it to 20. Go through your best-performing blog posts and update them to make them more useful to your audience. Put “Updated for 2019” or “Updated (Date)” to let your audience know you’ve improved the post.
Coming up with new blog post ideas is easy if you know where to look. Take a few hours to come up with topics for at least the next month and then start creating. Happy writing!