Small to medium-sized businesses can benefit greatly by creating and high-quality blog post on a regular schedule. Unfortunately, a lot of small-to-medium-sized businesses struggle when it comes to generating blog post ideas that they feel will add value to their target market. Within this blog we explore how you can effectively generate blog posts for your business.
Why should you be using blog posts?
Firstly, let us explore why you should be using a blog in the first place.
From a study performed by Optinmonster we can see the sheer amount of blogs being created and read each month:
- Each month, approximately 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages.
- There are about 70 million posts being published each month by WordPress users.
- 77 million new blog comments are generated by readers each month.
So why is this? Since the emergence of Inbound Marketing methodologies, organisations have realised that consumers want to buy services and products differently. No longer do they want to be sold too. Instead, they want to buy products and services on their own terms. To do this, they need content to help them understand and make an informed decision. This is where blogs come in.
By creating high-quality, informative blogs for your target market, you are opening a door to an audience that outbound sales would no longer reach. If done correctly, a small to medium sized business can see these benefits from blogging:
- Increase in organic search engine traffic.
- Increase in social media shares and likes.
- Increase in website lead generation.
- Increase in lead conversion into paying customers.
So, how can you, as a small to medium-sized business owner, or as a designated content creator, generate blog post ideas that allow you to write content that wows your audience and takes your niche by storm? Below we explore techniques you can use including following a process, working on your own and working in a group.
It all starts with a process
Just like many other aspects of marketing, following a process is a sure-fire way to help you generate blog posts ideas. Whether you are working as a part of a group or as an individual a process helps keep your thoughts fresh and align your ideas.
So why does following a process work? A process allows you to uncover hidden ideas that may not be immediately evident by bringing in influences and perspectives from a variety of areas. It also acts as an antidote to the ever infamous “writers block” when you need to produce frequently, high quality content. Using a process lastly helps to provide structure and organisation to ideas reducing the risk of content fatigue and ensuring that you will always have a bank of inspiration to tap into when you need it.
So, what is this process?
1) Gather as much raw material as possible
Be curious! Tap into a wide variety of areas surrounding the subject that you need to create content on and read avidly. Reading constant industry updates and subject related news helps create a wealth of knowledge around the subject. Knowledge will never be wasted in the pursuit of producing high quality, consistent content; you never know when it will give you that edge by providing an original perspective.
If you are writing an SEO focused blog, try following publications that consistently post content focused on SEO. An example of this could be HubSpot’s Blog (https://blog.hubspot.com/blog).
2) Digesting the materials
Once you have built a bank of knowledge within your subject from a variety of areas, try to remember content that sparked a personal interest. The material that is at the forefront of your mind is likely the type of content that will work well as a blog post idea.
Take these content ideas and note them down. Once you have them in front of you, try to find common threads in the content and titles. Once you have identified common commons threads, you can use the base subject to generate new and interesting content titles.
3) Unconscious processing
Step 3 is vital in generating fresh ideas that you can blog about, however many content creators skip this stage. Give your brain a rest! Walk away and do something different and unrelated to the task at hand. This could include listening to music, jogging or even taking a nap. Switching to another activity allows your brain to rest and process the information you have encountered and start creating those all-important connections and patterns that form ideas.
4) The Eureka moment
That ‘Aha!’ moment is familiar to all of us. It is the magical moment when as a creator you decide on an idea that will produce an amazing piece of content.
The eureka moment may come to you during your unconscious processing or it may come to you when you site back down and relook at your rest. When you experience a Eureka, moment make sure you record your ideas. If your idea is big enough, try splitting it into smaller articles to allow you to write a collection of content about one idea.
Now you understand the process that goes into generating blog post ideas, we can now explore what techniques you can use if you are creating content on your own or working in a group.
Generating blog posts ideas as an individual
Generating fresh and amazing ideas for blogs is often seen as a harder task to do when you are working as an individual. This is simply down to the fact that you do not have anyone to discuss your ideas with. If you are working as an individual and must create content without the input of anyone else, there are a few techniques you can use:
Look for inspiration in existing content – By reading and digesting a lot of content related to the content you need to write, you will have a wealth of knowledge around what is happening in your industry and what an interesting topic would look like.
Consider your buyer persona – Your buyer persona is a fictional representation of an ideal customer for your business. By closely considering their behavioural habits and interests you can generate ideas to please them. You can also consider their pain-points and look to solve problems they may be facing.
Follow specific platforms for your market – This can include social media platforms, Quora or any other platform that hosts a large amount of your target marketing. By hanging out on these platforms you can interact with your audience and generate relevant ideas.
Check out competitors high performing content – Keeping a close eye on a competitor is a great way to generate content ideas. If you can see that they have published a blog that is performing well, you can take the idea and generate a piece of content with your own spin and style. Be careful not to plagiarise their work.
Use search engine suggestions – Google and other search engines can provide you with free content ideas. By typing a word or a phrase into a search engine you are presented with common results related to your query. By following some of these suggestions you can find out what people in your target market regularly search for.
Generating blog posts ideas as a Group
Unlike generating blogs on your own, the major advantage of working in a group is being able to collectively brainstorm, combining fresh perspectives and creating new and unexpected ideas. Within a group environment, you can deploy all the techniques mentioned above. There are also three main things to consider maximising creative idea generation during brainstorming:
Provide moderation and structure – Put someone in charge of determining and sticking to the agenda and rules for the session. This will ensure a clear focus on what the problem is to provide direction and boost productivity.
Remember the focus is on generating new ideas – A safe atmosphere where people are comfortable sharing ideas should be created and prioritised throughout the session. Criticism should also be avoided at this point as the focus should be generating lots of ideas, filtering and grouping can happen later.
Use visual aids to record and share ideas - The use of tools such as sticky notes and whiteboards are ideal for quick idea generation and recording. All ideas put forward by the group should be displayed together. This method not only fuels the further generation of ideas, it also allows development through the grouping of trends and patterns.