You stare at the blinking cursor. It taunts you. So you get up to fold that laundry, wash those dishes, weed those flower beds or finish that DIY project you started two years ago. Only to sit back in front of your computer and decide that it is imperative that you organise the folders on your desktop and empty out your downloads.
I get it. Coming up with ideas for posts is difficult. And a task we would all rather not do. But I’m pretty good at it (I think) so here are my top 7 tips for coming up with blog post ideas.
1. Seek inspiration online
Stalk the internet. Not in a creepy way you sicko. Just google (yes google is now a verb) businesses in your niche. So if you’re a brand strategist go and check out the blogs of some of the top branding agencies out there and see what kind of stuff they’re writing about. The big players in your game are really good at what they do and have probably done a bunch of research into what their clients want to read. So get inspiration from them. Don’t steal their exact post ideas directly, just get inspired. So if lots of their posts are about naming your business then it’s probs a good idea to write some posts like that yourself.
Get ideas from successful companies in your niche.
2. Brainstorming sessions
I know this seems obvious, but it’s worth saying. Don’t wait until it’s time to get a new post online to think of a topic. Set some time aside each month or every couple of months to come up with ideas. Allow one idea to spark another and roll with it. Write down every single idea you have in a bullet list. You don’t have to actually use them all, but it’s so rad to have a list to go through when it’s time to chose a topic for a new post.
Set time aside to make a list of post ideas.
3. Break posts down
One idea can mean many blog posts. So if one of the ideas you write on your list during a brainstorming session is “Choosing a business name” then that could spawn a multitude of posts. Like: “How to choose a name for your new business” ; “Top tips for choosing your business name” ; “3 ways to come up with business names” ; “Mistakes to avoid when naming your business” ; “Common problems when naming your business” ; “What to think about when naming a business” ; “Top 5 mistakes entrepreneurs make when naming their business”. And you could do even more! You can write all these ideas down during your brainstorming session as well. So instead of just writing one post about naming a business, you could write 10 posts about naming a business, but from different angles and dealing with different specific aspects of the topic. (Just don’t publish them all at once!)
One topic idea means many blog posts.
4. Make it pictoral
Blog posts don’t always have to be a million words long. If writing isn’t your jam and you can’t afford to outsource a copywriter (yet) then think about post ideas that will work well with lots of pictures. Some topics really lend themselves to being visually driven, rather than focusing on the writing. So instead of writing long paragraphs about the various aspects of naming a business, rather tell the story using pictures with short captions. When I put posts together I write the copy first and then think about pictures that will work well with the words, but that’s because I’m a written word person. You could easily gather together the pictures that tell the story you want to tell and then write the captions giving the little bits of written info required. Blog posts are just stories. And stories don’t have to be written in words. Get inspired by images to help with ideas for posts by going through your brand shoot and letting that spark topics.
Look through your pictures to spark topic ideas.
5. When life gives you lemons
Write about your struggles. Now I’m not talking about how that bitch Karen called the manager in the line in front of you at Woolworths and so it took you like 10 minutes longer to buy your quinoa salad. I’m talking about your business struggles. No need to be brutally honest here, but talking about your struggles humanises you and allows your potential clients to relate to you. If they can relate to you and see you as a human that they “get” then they will trust you more. And trust leads to conversions. As a web developer for brand designers my business comes from other business owners. So many of my business struggles will be my clients’ business struggles too. As a brand strategist you are also targeting other business owners, so writing blog posts about your business lemons will really resonate with your audience.
Share your struggles.
6. Address their pain points
As a service-based business your blog’s main job is to drive traffic to your site. It’s secondary job is to convince your potential dream clients that you are the right choice for them. For both of the above, writing posts about the problems that your potential clients are searching the internet for is a great idea. We sell services that many others also sell. We distinguish ourselves from our competition in many ways, and one of those ways is by showing our potential clients that we understand their struggle and that we have an intimate knowledge of their business problems. Blog posts are a great way to focus in on specific pain points and show that we understand them and that we have the knowledge, skills and passion to solve them.
Create content that solves problems and positions you as an expert.
7. Just ask
Nothing like a bit of market research to find out what your clients want. Do a poll on Instagram or send out a few questions via email to your current most favourite clients. Ask them what they want to read about, learn about, or explore business-wise. You can include open-ended questions and questions phrased in such a way that the answers all relate to your industry and services that you offer. I write a lot about web design and marketing topics because developing websites is a part of marketing and my clients are brand strategists that design websites so those topics apply to them as well. Win-win-win.
Get the low-down from your favourite clients.
And those are my top 7 tips for coming up with blog post ideas. Are you excited to read the ten other posts I have lined up on this “same” topic? lol. (If you didn’t get the joke then you didn’t take in the wisdom of item number 3 above.)