You have a blog, now what? Are you stuck coming up with blog post ideas? Creating content (posts) for your blog can seem overwhelming. You’re not alone. Most people get scared off when staring at a blank page.
The secret to creating killer content is in the preparation. Create a library of blog posts ideas and you’ll never be at a loss for what to write. Or be left staring at a blank page again!
The Best Blog Post Ideas
Though there are endless variations of things you can write about, the best blog post ideas:
- Answer questions
- Solve a problem or explain how-to
- Tell a story
- Create a collection
- Debunk common misconceptions
- Comment on current events
- Share community news
- Tell me more
- Get personal
Keep Your Audience in Mind
Before I deep dive into the blog post ideas listed above, a reminder that you’re writing for people – not computers. The best blog posts always start with the reader in mind. Before you write a word:
- Be very clear about for whom you are writing. Check out our criteria for an ideal client profile if you need some help narrowing your audience.
- Listen to what they want to know.
- Write content that answers their questions.
- Share your content on the places where your audience hangs out. By places, I mean social media sites, blogs and forums.
Deep Dive into Blog Post Ideas
If you’re clear about who you’re writing for, you’re ready to brainstorm topics. Read on for details about each of the best blog post ideas and tips for using them to create the content your audience wants to read!
You’ve probably heard the expression: write what you know. It’s good advice. Writing on a topic that you’re familiar with (or even better – an expert at) is much easier than writing about something entirely new.
Make your blog work for you and stop wasting time answering the same questions over and over. Blog posts answering frequently asked questions do double duty. They educate people who already know you (refer them to your blog for the answer) and attract new people searching for answers.
Whether you’re writing a blog for your business or fun, start by answering questions. Create a list of all of the questions that you’re asked all the time:
- How do I…
- Which is better…
- What’s the best time to…
- What is…
- How much does…cost?
If you’re new to a topic, write posts answering the questions you have. Since you’re not sure of the answer, you’ll have to do a little more research to get the answers. But it’s pretty likely that other people have the same questions as you, so it’s worth the effort. As a bonus, you’ll see what the competition has written on the subject and know how you can do better.
Telling stories is an effective way to sell prospects on your service or product without being overtly salesy. Case studies or client stories are perfect for this type of post. Sharing real life examples is way more interesting and showcases your results.
Example: How We Helped Suzie and Tim Buy Their First Home is far more engaging than 10 Tips for First Time Home Buyers.
If you’re fresh out of client stories, write profile posts instead. Highlight people with whom you have a relationship (vendors, clients or referral partners) and tell their story. They’ll be flattered by the attention and want to share your profile with their network. You get content for your blog and a wider reach.
List posts are super versatile and easy to write. You simply select a topic and research the options. Write a couple of sentences about each and you have a post. Product or service comparisons are perfect for this type of post. Pit them head to head in a comparison or showcase the best of the best by category.
In case you didn’t notice, this article is an example of a list post. I’m listing the types of blog posts.
Tell the truths about common myths related to your industry. These posts are perfect for explaining how your company does something better than the competitors.
Example: Myth: It’s a common perception that plumbers don’t pull up their pants. Truth: We require our plumbers to tuck their shirts in and wear a belt. You won’t see more than you need when our plumbers come to your home.
This is a powerful post type when done correctly and horrible when it’s not. It’s not worth writing a commentary if you don’t have anything fresh or new to add to the conversation. And if you are writing about something unrelated, make a very clear connection to what you do. Don’t confuse readers or they won’t come back.
Michael Katz with Blue Penguin Development does this better than anyone I’ve read. Check out Michael’s blog for a stellar example of this type of post.
These posts share news and details about your company. Use this blog post idea to announce the launch of your new website, product, or service; celebrate the receipt of an award or community recognition; or recognize a new or noteworthy employee.
Give readers a sense of the significance of your business or industry by sharing how your company or industry was started. Share little known facts about the history of air conditioning or how your company started in your father’s garage.
Tools for Finding Inspiration
Maybe you’re already brimming with ideas and maybe you need a little more inspiration. One of the best ways to find blog post ideas is to start with what other people are looking for. Here are three of my favorite tools for brainstorming blog topics:
- Google offers a completely free Keyword Planning tool. It’s designed to help find keywords for ads, so it can be a clunky if you’re looking for question phrases.
- Storybase is one of my favorite tools for finding keywords and questions. It’s a paid service, but does offer a free trial and is reasonably priced. I’ve used it many times to find the questions people are asking around a topic and find it easy to use, making it perfect for novices.
- Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered and curated by its community of users. Quora provides insight into your audience. By entering your keywords and questions, you’ll see what the people behind the keywords care about. Check out this post from Duct Tape Marketing for more about using Quora.
Brainstorming Blog Post Ideas
Mind mapping is an excellent tool for brainstorming blog content. Start with a central concept and list as many blog post ideas as you can around it. Here’s what I mean.
I took an un-sexy plumbing business and created these blog posts around the idea of toilets. It’s a topic which plumbers know A LOT about and that we, as consumers, have a lot of questions about:
- Tips for proper toilet maintenance
- Why you need to look for leaks around your toilet
- DIY repair for your toilet
- When to call a professional plumber
- History of toilets
- Little known facts about the toilet
- What to do when your child flushes a toy down the toilet (this could be a customer testimonial or case study)
- How a toilet works
- When is it time to replace your toilet?
- Preparing your toilet for holiday guests
When you’ve exhausted your inspiration, pick the one you like best and start writing. Keep your list as a reference for your next and future posts.
Blogging can be fun and rewarding, but can also be challenging. It’s much easier to consistently create interesting content when you have a pool of ideas from which to draw. The process of finding blog ideas is simple when you start with your audience in mind and remember that blog posts should answer common questions, provide news, and offer tips to readers.