Revitalize Your Business Blog: Tips for Generating Ideas
How can you achieve an endless supply of article ideas for your business blog?
Image Credit: neonbrand on Unsplash
For a while, it looked like blogging was dead as the quick-paced reach of social media posts seemed to drive a lot of traffic to business websites. However, as reach has decreased due to algorithms and other factors, businesses are moving back to longer content on their blogs as a marketing tool to get more inbound leads.
There are typically two major problems that face businesses that want to generate more traffic to their website through blog posts. First, they have trouble coming up with ideas for their posts. Second, when they do have an idea for a blog post, they are often stumped as to how to actually start writing the post.
Generating Ideas for Blog Posts
There are dozens — if not hundreds — of web sites that offer information about how to come up with ideas for blog posts. They offer tips like “Offer tips based on a popular movie” or “Write a how-to post based on your expertise.”
I admit that I’ve been amassing a wealth of these types of tips. I’ve even checked out a few of the “random blog post idea generator” web sites that are out there. But I haven’t used any of them yet. I am not ruling out the possibility of ever using these resources for ideas, but let me share with you some resources for where to get ideas for your blog posts.
1. Your Clients
Some of your clients have similar problems. Some have recurring problems. Personally, I’ve written blog posts based on some of the recurring problems my clients have experienced. For instance, I wrote a blog post that was inspired by issues I saw my clients having as they struggled to maintain a consistent brand voice despite having multiple individuals writing for their own blog. Another blog post I wrote was based on mistakes I saw clients making in their social media posts. Look at the recurring problems your clients have, and write blog posts about those.
2. Recurring Problems You See on the Internet
Maybe you have seen a problem with a company’s website. Perhaps you’ve seen the same problem happening on lots of websites, and you’ve thought to yourself “Why do businesses keep doing this?” Whenever I find myself asking this question, I turn my frustrations into a blog post. For example, one of the blog posts I wrote resulted from repeated frustrations I and my husband experienced when trying to look up information on restaurant websites in order to take out-of-town visitors to dinner.
3. When Something You Read Strongly Affects You
Whether it’s something that surprises you, blows your mind, or outrages you, you can turn your strong reaction into a helpful blog post. For example, I wrote a blog post about adjusting LinkedIn settings that was inspired when I received a notification that one of my connections was quoted in a negative article about him.
4. When You Just Can’t Find a Story about Topic X
Let’s say you’re curious about a subject and want to read more about it. Or, you’re preparing for a presentation and would love to point to some published article about a particular subject. What happens if you can’t find a story on the topic? This may be the sign that you should write about that topic in a blog post.
For example, I once wrote a blog post that resulted from my futile search for information about ways copy editors contribute to establishing brand identity for businesses. When I couldn’t find any previously published articles linking the two, I realized I had to write the blog post myself.
5. Frequently Asked Questions
Sometimes, it might seem like you get the same questions over and over again from clients or students or even friends. If your business already has a page for Frequently Asked Questions, consider this as a source of ideas for posts.
When I notice that students are asking the same questions in the workshops I lead, I realize that it’s time to write a blog post on the topic. For instance, I actually wrote a blog post about scheduling social media posts directly as a response to students telling me they didn’t have time to keep logging onto their social media profiles to post at all hours of the day.
Getting Started Writing the Post
Let’s say your subject is there, but when you sit down to face the blank page, you just freeze. You might find that writing those first two paragraphs for an introduction can be the most difficult part of the blog-writing process.
To help, here are five successful blog post starters to inspire you.
1. The personal anecdote — Use something that happened to you as a launching point for a greater theme you want to address, related to your clients. Chances are, if it’s happened to you, it’s happened to them.
2. Statement of a problem — What problems does your business try to resolve for its clients? Pick one and make a direct statement about the problem. Then offer up some tips to help them solve their problem.
3. A statistic — Have you seen a recent report that offered a statistic or fact that you found compelling or important? Open with that and offer information about how your clients can addresses that issue.
4. Turn a well-known saying on its head — Take an aphorism (An apple a day keeps the doctor away, a stitch in time saves nine, the early bird gets the worm, etc.) and tweak it by changing a word or part of it to grab your reader’s attention.
5. A surprising fact — Did you know that the oceans contain enough salt to cover all the continents to a depth of nearly 500 feet? If you are a health coach, you could tie that fact into a blog post about sodium consumption.
The process should get easier the more posts you write. You can also create a schedule for promoting the posts on social media. Be sure to share them multiple times to get the most use out of them. You can even create eye-catching graphics with short quotes or bullet points derived from the posts. Other bloggers have even recorded themselves on video relating tips from their posts.
One thing is certain: you don’t just write a post, share it, and then forget about it. A single blog post can result in multiple ways to drive traffic to your business website. And the golden rule that should stand above all other rules is to provide value. In the client’s mind, nothing beats that.
I'm a creative content and communications expert who spends a lot of time at ice rinks.