So, you want to start a blog. Or, maybe, you have a blog that needs some love, but it’s just so hard to come up with interesting and unique blog topics day in and day out. If you’ve resolved to blogging more lately, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, the 2015 B2B Content Marketing study from the Content Marketing Institute found that 70% of companies are more content-focused now than in years past, and 80% of those companies are blogging.
Of course, blogs are effective—they offer companies a long-form medium in which employees can showcase their expertise in as many words as needed, without that “more” button cutting off the text mid-flow. They make excellent social media posts, create easy linking opportunities, and allow your company’s personality (or “brand”) to shine.
However, consistently maintaining an interesting, informative, and engaging blog is much harder than it sounds. Writers’ block is a real issue, but our team at BCI Media Services is here to help. As you begin your blog brainstorming, consider these four strategies to generate blog ideas your customers will appreciate.
- Creep on the Competition
Hey, they’re your competition for a reason, right? Though many small businesses don’t even have a website yet (more than half, can you believe it?), if you can find a local competitor or an industry influencer with a social media presence or blog, you can find ideas. Check out their posts, Tweets, and comments to help come up with topics and to see how their customers reacted. It would benefit you further, of course, if you could put your unique insight and expertise on the topic into your blog post, rather than simply rewriting what they already said. It’s also important to note that you should NEVER steal text from another company outright, as it could get you in trouble with your competitor and Google. Google favors unique content, so make sure you take these ideas as just that—ideas.
- Use Targeted Keyword Research
Keyword research is the backbone of any SEO campaign, but it can also serve as a topic generator for your next blog post! Use Google AdWord’s Keyword Planner to run a simple search on the blog topics you’re thinking about covering. The results will show you keywords that are similar to your topics with the most search value (or are searched for the most). That way, you’ll know what people are most interested in learning about, and, as an added bonus, your blog will have some additional SEO juice.
- Scope Out the Comments Section
First, you should allow people to share and comment on your web pages. Though many websites turned off the comments section to avoid any negative outsiders that could skew readers from the intent of the page, the comments section could lead you to some great blog post ideas. Your readers are likely to ask for more information on a specific part of your business, or they may even share their own opinions on an aspect of your company–both of which can inspire relevant, interesting blog ideas. Give your customers the answers they want!
- Peruse Your Yelp! Page(s)
Ok, before you think of the negative posts or complaints that scare so many business owners, hear me out. As of October 2014, there was a reported 67 million Yelp! reviews available. Surely not all of them were negative. In fact, many of them are favorable! Read through your reviews and look for your products, menu items, or services that get the most mentions, and then use those to come up with blog topics. Clearly, your customers feel compelled to discuss them, so surely they’d be interested in a blog post about them.
By implementing these strategies, you not only get to give the readers what they want to hear about, but you also get to give your brain a break from searching for contrived blog topics. If you find you just don’t have time or need any further help coming up with ideas, BCI Media Services is here to help. We offer blog management that makes blogging even easier. We’d love to hear from you!