Does the mere thought of putting together a list of potential blog topics send you over the edge? If so, you’re not alone. Content has overwhelmed the digital world, so it’s harder to produce something unique. No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll find content in every corner of the Internet, so figuring out how to create blog topics that stand out from the crowd can be frustrating. As unlikely as it may seem, you can develop a list of blog posts that’ll get you noticed. It just take some research and a little know-how to get started.
1. Try a New Spin on an Old Favorite
If you come across a great blog post, don’t automatically assume that others in your industry have already read it. While it’s tempting to scold yourself for not thinking of the topic and move on, this could be keeping you from writing a post that gets just as much attention (if not more). The digital world is a huge place, and yes, maybe your target audience has read the post. But there is also a strong possibility that they haven’t – and you can bring it to them, complete with a brand new take.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a topic and expanding on it. If you can put a new spin on an old favorite or add more perspective to a popular topic of discussion in your industry, it’s definitely worth giving it a go. As long as you are building on, rather than copying, another blog post, you can end up with a winning piece of content. Consumers are drawn to companies that contribute in a meaningful way to a conversation, rather than shy away from it.
2. Let Your FAQs Help You Create Blog Topics
Does your company find itself answering the same questions over and over again? Answering the burning questions that your target consumers want answered is a great way to get them engaged. Taking a look at your frequently asked questions is a surprisingly easy way to create blog topics. By addressing the needs that the audience has already shared with your company, you are significantly upping the chances that your post will be consumed.
Another benefit to this tactic is that questions tend to change over time. In other words, a company’s FAQs tend to evolve with trends. If there’s a particular advance in technology or new way of doing things that people in the industry are keeping an eye on, they’re likely to ask you about it. Take advantage of this by creating blogs around these evolutions and iterations in your industry.
To help prioritise the list of FAQ topics, its a good idea to check out your website analytics and review the number of page views that each of the FAQ pages are getting. Another goldmine of information is the search box on your website (If you don’t have one I would strongly suggest adding one). This gives some great insight on people are searching for on your website.
3. Try Out Content Tools and Idea Generators
Are you still finding yourself stuck? Coming up with blog topics is an amazingly common problem. One suggestion is to use a content research tool to get the creative juices flowing. My personal favourite is BuzzSumo. I use the paid version but the free version is enough to get you started. There are also several tools like this – Just do a quick web search of “blog post idea generator” and see what you find. Our friends over in WordStream have a nice blog article that compares their top 8 tools. You are bound to run across several idea generators that are designed to help you find titles that your readers will be attracted to. Give one of these programs a whirl and you might come up with some catchy titles.
Automated programs like Hubspot’s Blog Idea Generator can help to spark your creativity, but remember that they should not be the only tool that you rely on to create blog topics. Titles can range from the profound to the absurd, and may be too casual or formal for your industry. You might also end up with some ideas simply by doing a traditional web search for the blog post ideas and including the name or some details about your industry. Again, this may help you out of a tight spot if you are really stuck, but what are the chances that all of these ideas have been written about so many times that the topic is irrelevant?
4. Stop Stressing and Focus on What Works
If you’re still running out of ideas, take a deep breath and ask yourself this question: what would make me want to read a blog post? Each and every post does not need to be mind-blowing to fulfill a need. If a question is answered, a reader entertained or a new topic of conversation started, a blog has likely done its job.
Ultimately, you want your blog to be a go-to spot for your target reader, and a tool that establishes your company as a thought leader and a problem-solver. To create blog topics, envision your ideal audience and put yourself in their shoes. Skip any topics that would cause you to scroll on by and focus on the gems that would make you want to click and read. Brainstorm, ask colleagues for ideas and weed out the duds. Don’t be afraid to write down your thoughts if an idea comes to you while you’re in a meeting or working on another project. If blogging is a science, it’s not an exact one, so be prepared to do a little experimenting on your journey to developing solid blog topics.