Starting a blog for your business might feel a bit overwhelming. Newly minted bloggers often struggle to come up with enough relevant topics to continuously generate new content. Luckily, there are a number of quick and easy tips to overcome this problem. These 10 simple tips will help you tap into relevant conversations and generate engaging topics for your blog.
Identify your target audience
The first step towards producing valuable content is understanding who your target audience. Identify their level of expertise, where they hang out online, what topics interest them and what their biggest business challenges are. In most cases blog content is created to attract readers with various levels of expertise or seniority. As a general rule of thumb you can select your audience from these four basic segments- beginner, intermediate, professional and executive. Understanding the differences between each of these personas will help you generate content that answers the typical questions and concerns. For example, you might create a series of blog posts targeted at executives that explain the core value of your product or service. Additionally, you could write a similar series of blog posts targeted at readers seeking more comprehensive, detailed discussion.
Listen to your prospects
Your colleagues who frequently interact with prospects and customers can be a major source for blog content. Ask them what types of questions prospects typically ask and what major problems customers are facing. The answers to these questions will make great blog post topics.
Listen to social media
Identify where your customers hang out online. They might frequent an industry fourm, converse on Twitter, discuss industry trends in a LinkedIn group or leave comments on major news sites. Social media is a terrific source for blog content because you actually see what topics people are currently engaged in and what types of questions people are asking. Writing blog posts in response to these topics is ideal because people have already demonstrated their interest and raised their hands with questions.
Stay on top of industry news
Dedicate a specific time each day to browse industry blogs, contribute to stories on social media and stay connected with emerging news stories. As a blogger you want to be the first to break a story and capture the early search traffic as stories emerge. Staying current on industry news will help fuel your blog content ideas and ensure your topics are chosen in a timely manor.
At the end of the day the goal of blogging is to increase your search engine rank for specific keywords and attract targeted traffic. Strategically identifying keywords before you plan your content schedule will help align your SEO and blogging goals.
Using Google’s Keyword Planning Tool, you can start by identifying your core keyword list and evaluating the volume of search traffic and level of competition for each keyword. Starting out, your sweet spot will be keywords that have significant search volume with low to medium competition. The Keyword Planning Tool has the ability to suggest more keywords similar to the ones you have identified. Search through the list of suggestions and brainstorm some blog posts that could incorporate attainable keywords.
Share your experience and expertise
The best content provides readers with the opportunity to learn something. You don‘t always need to reinvent the wheel or be riding the wave of the latest trend. Think about what your audience wants to learn and what you can teach them. Keep in mind that your readers most likely don’t have the same level of experience and expertise that you do, so topics that seem basic to you might be valuable educational content for your readers.
Once you have selected a topic for a post, step back and think about all of the different angles you could write about that topic. If you are writing a post about “10 content marketing best practices” a slight iteration on that theme might be something like “10 common mistakes of content marketing and how to avoid them”.
Collaborate with opinion leaders
Guest blogging offers many benefits including additional exposure, credibility, and opportunity for targeted social media growth. Inviting industry experts to be interviewed for your blog and encouraging guest blog posts are both effective ways to take advantage of additional network power. Reach out to influential thought leaders and discuss ways to create mutually beneficial content.
Share success stories
It is a great idea to share stories about your customer’s successes. A glowing customer testimonial can go a long way. Share stories about onboarding and training new customers, closing deals and building business relationships. This gives potential customers an idea what it is like to work with your business.
Choose the best content format
As a content marketer it is your job to choose the best structure for your posts. Blog posts can take on many forms:
- How-to guides
- Opinion posts
- Curated posts
Topics can be repurposed over and over. For instance, if you have gone to great lengths to research a subject for an eBook, recycle your research and create an infographic or a how-to guide. This will help you reduce the research time required for each post and yield more value from each topic.
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