A blog on your website can be an excellent traffic driver. You can cover all sorts of topics related to your niche, providing useful and/or entertaining information that will draw in an audience. A good blog will also increase your chances of receiving inbound links from external sites, build trust amongst your audience, and establish you as an expert. And these are all excellent steps towards a successful SEO strategy.
Sometimes, though, it can be hard to find suitable topics, especially if you’re just starting out or if you’ve been blogging for a long time and are running out of ideas. So today I’ll be taking a look at ways that you can find plenty of inspiration to create more content.
Repurpose other content
Do you create any other content that could be made into a blog? This could include anything from YouTube videos to a podcast to a social post if the topic can be expanded enough to create a full blog.
Repurposing is an easy way to create more content without actually coming up with fresh topics. Different users will consume content in different ways, so you can have the same – or similar – content in various formats.
What are your competitors doing?
While you don’t want to copy your competitors directly, it’s certainly worth using them as inspiration for blog topics. What are they writing about? Which blogs seem most popular (look for comments on the blog itself and interactions on social media)? What are they missing?
When using competitors as your inspiration, it’s best to find a topic that you can add something more to, or that you can write better. Otherwise you’re just recycling content that’s already out there. Think about whether something they’ve written is missing useful information, or if their description is unclear. Perhaps they are targeting a more advanced audience, so you could target beginners. Or you could pick up ideas for a parallel topic that hasn’t been covered by them.
Also Asked and Answer the Public
Also Asked and Answer the Public are two websites that are excellent sources of inspiration for blog topics. Both have limited free versions as well as paid options, depending on how heavily you would like to use them.
Type in a word or phrase relevant to your business and each site will provide you with a list of related keywords, questions and phrases. On Also Asked, you can then click on different results and go down a rabbit hole of more topics; while Answer the Public divides the results into the type of question (where, what, how, etc.).
Use the results to discover what your audience is asking Google, and then write a blog that answers those questions. You may be able to write a full blog on a single question, or you might answer several in one post.
Keyword research is often used to write the main copy (text) of your website. You find commonly searched keywords relevant to your business and then incorporate them into your website. This research can also be used to find new topics for your blog, which is particularly useful for keywords you haven’t used across your main site.
Unless you cover a very niche area, you’ll probably find lots and lots of keywords this way, so take some time to finecomb the list and pick out those that could form a blog.
Read more on how to do keyword research for free.
Reddit and Quora
On these two social sites, users ask questions and other users help answer them. Quora is specifically created for this, while Reddit is more about discussions around different topics (known as subreddits).
Simply visit either site and run a search based around your business niche. You’ll see lots of questions come up, and you want to look for those that either you haven’t covered already or that haven’t been answered satisfactorily (or at all). You’ll find lots of questions that come up time and time again, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find some interesting ideas.
It’s also worth reading through comments on these sites, as they can be a further source of inspiration.
Do you have an active social media presence? If so, what kind of questions do your followers and fans ask? You can look through previous posts, or do a specific call-out asking users to share their questions.
If you’re not active on social media or don’t have a big active following, look at your competitors and other similar companies. Can you find interesting questions on their posts?
Google Trends is a lesser-known Google feature that’s incredibly useful for finding the most talked-about topics of the moment. It’s perfect for finding up-to-date blog topics that have a chance of riding on a wave of popularity. Though do keep in mind that some trends can change very quickly, so you’ll either need to publish and share a blog promptly, or look for trends that are likely to be of interest for a while.
On Google Trends, you can either start by browsing some examples or type in a keyword that relates to your business. Not only will this provide you with some popular search terms, it will give you a trend graph indicating popularity throughout the year. You can use this to choose a relevant time to publish your blog.
Do you repeatedly receive the same questions from your customers? Use these as the starting point for a blog.
If you get asked something regularly, you can not only create a blog post that you know is going to be helpful, you can direct future questioners to the answering post. That way, you avoid repeating yourself.
Consider your customer journey closely and look at all the separate stages involved. Then ask yourself what your customers might want to know at each different step.
If you sell stationery and customers are at the start of their journey, for example, you might want to create a blog detailing the advantages of different styles of pen. This will help customers move closer to making a purchase, and you can use the blog to link to the different pens you sell so that they’re more likely to make the purchase with you.
Tell your story
You can be your own source of inspiration too. Do you sell a product or offer a service that fills a need you yourself have or had? What brought you to this point? What difficulties did you overcome that would be helpful for others to know? What questions did you ask on your journey and what solutions did you find?
A blog can be your own story verbatim, or you can use it as a jumping-off point to cover related topics.
Case studies are an excellent way to shout about your successes and achievements, and to use for blog content. Write about a success story and don’t forget to include information on how it relates to a reader. How can they benefit from this blog? Is there a product you supply that they can buy? Can they pick up tips and advice to use themselves? Or do you run a course that they can join to get similar results?
Share your expertise and knowledge
You know a lot more about your topic than many others do, so make sure you share that information. Remember, even content you consider basic is incredibly valuable to those who don’t yet know anything about it. Sharing your expertise not only provides great content that search engines and users will love, it helps you build a good reputation. By doing so, users are more likely to remember you, trust your business, and purchase from you when they’re ready.
Invite guest bloggers
You don’t have to do all the blogging yourself – bring other experts on board and you get extra content without having to write it! Guest bloggers will usually expect a link back to their own website, so be prepared to provide that. They might also reciprocate by asking you to write something on their own blog, which will help you reach a wider audience.
When it comes to selecting guest bloggers, find people that are in your niche but whose expertise perhaps lies parallel to yours. Their blog should be relevant to your business and audience, but perhaps offer something extra that you wouldn’t usually cover, or that you don’t know as much about.
Read your past blogs
Do you already have a collection of older blogs that you’ve written? Try reading through those and identifying areas in which you could expand. You might just touch on a theme in one blog that could itself make up a brand new piece.
Remember when you do this to link to the newer blog from the old blog. This connects them all together and allows readers to continue exploring topics that they’re interested in. It also keeps users on your website for longer, which is great for SEO.
Continually coming up with new and regular topics to write about can be difficult. But there are plenty of free ways of finding new ideas. Between finding inspiration from similar businesses and asking your audience what they want to know, you can discover topics and sub-topics in all sorts of places.