Blog post topics will be different for each individual business owner, so I’m not going to hand out cut-and-dried blog post ideas.
In this post I help you to find your own initial topics and discover more during the day to day running of your business.
Ideas are frequently stumbled upon once you get into the flow of writing about your industry.
New posts often stem from articles that have already been written.
I often think to myself “I must expand on that later”.
A mind map for business blogging
I return to pen and paper when brainstorming initial ideas. Honestly, buy a notepad!
‘Scribbling’ is by far the quickest way to record thoughts without distraction.
A mind map, which is the lollipop diagram you likely last pencilled at secondary school, helps to discover blog topics – sometimes for a whole year ahead.
This is something you can refer back to when writer’s block sets in.
Start with obvious topics related to your business and it’s customers.
Write them in the centre of the paper and circle each.
For example mine would be WEBSITES, BLOG, SEARCH ENGINE, TECHNOLOGY.
Around those ideas write associated subjects.
For example from WEBSITE I could note down: navigation, speed, website optimisation, writing, images, design… the list goes on.
Link correlating words by drawing a line between them.
For example WEBSITE OPTIMISATION correlates with SEARCH ENGINE.
Your initial, very broad topics become more narrow, enabling you to finding niches.
Ask employees, spouses, even children to help you. It can be a trust building exercise.
Topics may seem obscure at first but writing about them can broaden outreach, capturing an audience that is not directly looking for your product.
Items to kick off your blogging mind map
- Geographic area.
- Buying / production process.
- Materials used.
- Everyday tasks.
- Customer problems.
- Related sports or activities.
- Famous people / industry influencers.
- Related recipes or how to articles.
- Pros and cons, positives and negatives.
Read about your industry
Simply reading content written by other people within your industry will inspire you in writing your blog, whether you agree with it or feel controversy.
Most of us read about things we are working on. If something inspires me I send myself an email with a link. Write down the part that inspired you too, or what you would like to say or the point may be lost.
Topical, news worthy subjects are a great way of appearing on search engines before anyone else.
ContentGems for blogging
Sign up to ContentGems for free. Create interest areas around key words.
A break down of all the articles across the internet that relate to those topics will be emailed to you daily or weekly.
This can spark ideas for blog posts, and allow you to keep up with the questions your customers are asking.
Google Alerts for blog post ideas
Set up Google Alerts, which will send you an email when a keyword or key term is mentioned across the internet. You can limit this geographically if needed.
Alerts are really useful to keep up to date with industry news, trends and to uncover the next topic to write about on your blog.
Set alerts up around your products, projects or services to ensure you have the latest information.
You can also set up alerts to monitor when your company or your client’s company is mentioned. That way you can respond to news instantly.
Jenn T Grace has a useful and informative page on Google Alerts: jenntgrace.com/google-alerts
Using Quora to discover questions
Quora is a popular social hub of questions and answers. Anyone can ask anything. Real people answer. Search Quora by topic and find many of the questions that your customers ask.
Use your customers for blog post ideas
Go through old emails and look at the questions people have asked in the past.
Directly ask your customers what they would like to learn from you. A conversation will often spark an idea for the next blog post.
The challenges your customers face are the problems you should be answering.
Remember tasks or topics that seem boring to you could be extremely interesting to your customer base, and may be searched regularly.
Using social media to get to know your audience
Social media can help when thinking up blog post ideas
Watch your customers profiles online. You can find out a lot about them, such as:
- Who they follow.
- Who influences them the most.
- What communities and forums are they in.
- Are there questions that consistently arise, that you might be able to answer?
Record key terms
Once you have gathered up industry topics and information, the ideas will start rolling in.
This is the point at which you should create a spreadsheet or list of all the key terms you have gathered. Categorise them so that you have a clear visual and you do not repeat your topics.
Research key terms
Don’t start to write straight away. Once you have lots of good keywords do some research online.
A quick tip is to search the keywords on Google: once the results appear scroll to the bottom of the page. Here Google displays similar searches.
There is no point in writing a blog post that no one is looking for.
Do not target the most highly searched, specific keyword you find. You will be competing with multi million pound companies.
Choose long tail key terms that have low competition, and that you are able to rank well for.
Ten clicks might be enough to support your business for that whole year.
It is easier to start ranking for low competition terms, then build up to ranking for more sought after terms.
Starting to write a business blog post
Use your chosen set of key terms as your title and your post slug (or file name), and use those terms throughout the post, but always write for humans not for search engines.
Answer questions in a detailed, informative blog post. Go back and look at your related key terms, can you cover those in the same post? Blog posts can rank for more than one key term.
Spend time on it. I sometimes take weeks mulling over my posts.
Gathering topics for your next blog post
Note down other topics that might crop up as you write.
When you share a post across social media networks ask, “what do you want to see next?”.
The responses will likely lead you to more ideas or may help you to repurpose your old content.
I hope this post has demonstrated that it’s very easy for you, the enthusiastic business owner, to find blog post ideas when frequently reading industry news, and writing blog posts of your own.
Some links to help:
Websites to help with brainstorming for bloggers
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