You may have heard the quote by Evan Fournier, “Consistency is key,” or some variation of it. A consistent brand builds trust with its customers and, at the same time, practices and hones its skills, thereby improving the quality of its work. But when it comes to content creation, it’s not as simple as that. The bane of any content creator’s life is needing to generate a constant stream of blog ideas to maintain this consistency. To do this, they need ideas – otherwise, they’ll get stuck.
7 Steps to Generate Blog Ideas
This pressure doesn’t need to keep you up at night though. There are a few ways to generate ideas for successful content without too much hassle. Here are our top 7 tips!
1. Ask Your Customers How You Can Help Them
One of the greatest resources you have as a business is your customers themselves. Even if you’re not in the service industry, you still need to provide a service outside your main offering.
The best thing you can do for your customers is help them solve a problem they’re facing. And who is better at providing information about your customers’ struggles than the customers themselves? They can offer a wealth of ideas that you could use to both help them and create content.
American economist and MIT professor Eric Von Hippel conducted a study on the relationship between customers and company innovation and found that, out of 1,193 successful innovations, 60% came from the customers. Customers want to be heard, so they’ll likely be happy to communicate with you about their pain points.
You can reach out to them in any way you see fit. For example, you could use your social media or mailing list to ask your customers what they need help with and use their answers to create content.
2. Repurpose Old Blog Ideas
If you’ve already been creating content for a while, you have an archive of ideas at your disposal. It’s unlikely that you’ve already covered everything from your older articles, so look back through your archives and make a list of points that you haven’t covered in depth or could be reworked into new content.
These ideas could come from subheadings in articles (for instance, this tip takes inspiration from our blog post How to Repurpose Content Effectively). Or, if you have multiple posts on similar topics, you could combine them to create a top tips article.
Of course, you don’t have to just create written content. You could turn articles or parts of them into short videos, infographics, or social media posts. You can be as creative as you like with this old content, but just make sure you update any outdated content before you post. Posting incorrect information could harm your brand.
3. Create Buyer Personas and Market to Them
As a business, you likely already have a good idea of your customer demographics. A buyer persona is a fully fleshed-out description of your target consumer that includes demographics, personality, background, and socio-economic details. These buyer personas have names, jobs, and sometimes even photos. You can learn how to create them here.
Buyer personas will help you create and generate content that’s relevant to your customers. For instance, if you’re selling baby products, your customers are likely parents looking for advice or a support network. They’re probably not interested in financial advice (and if they are, they’re likely looking for that elsewhere), so they won’t want content about stocks and shares.
Likewise, in the process of creating detailed personas, you’ll become accustomed to the successes and challenges your audience is facing. Using buyer personas will help you to create targeted and relevant content with ease.
4. Keyword Research
A more high-tech way to generate ideas is to search through keywords to gain inspiration for your content. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a tricky minefield because Google continuously updates its algorithm, meaning what worked last month might not work this month, but using keywords has remained remarkably consistent.
Google Keyword Planner allows businesses to research keywords and find other keywords that link to your business. You can also use the related searches section of any Google search (usually at the bottom of the page). For instance, when we typed “marketing” into Google, it suggested “marketing strategy,” “content marketing,” and “Search Engine Optimization.” These are potential article topics.
Researching keywords takes time, but it’s worth it to come up with new content ideas. There’s also the added bonus of using these same keywords to market your content, so in the end, it will save you time.
5. Read Other Blogs for Inspiration
It’s likely that the content you’re creating has been done before. We don’t say this to discourage you – you can still create unique content even if the topic has been covered before. We say this because you can use this plethora of other blogs as the inspiration for your content. This doesn’t mean you should copy them – far from it – but you can use them to identify gaps in the available information or take a new stance on a topic.
If you do decide to use something directly from another site, make sure you credit them. You can do this by referencing them in the article and again in a bibliography, or you could create a hyperlink to their site. This is one of the kindest things you can do for another creator because it produces what’s known as a backlink, which helps a site rise in the search results. Perhaps, in the future, that site will return the favor.
6. Research Content on Social Media
Although social media sites, such as Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok, can be time-consuming vacuums, they’re an undeniable part of everyday life. Social media is not only helpful for your marketing efforts, but you can also use it to research content. In the same way you can use keywords to research trends, you can use hashtags to search for ideas.
You can also search through Quora or Reddit boards. These two sites are often the first place that consumers turn to when they have an issue. Peruse through the replies on posts relevant to your field and see what your potential market is saying. Customers will likely speak more openly to their peers than to a company, so you may get a better snapshot of what’s on their mind, which can help you come up with ideas for content.
7. Use Analytics to Find Blog Ideas
Undoubtedly, you already have data about website traffic or page clicks, which are analytics you can use to create content. Is there an obvious difference in the click-through rate between content types you produce? For instance, do your top tips or insider information posts do better than longer, more technical blogs? Studying this data can help you decide which types of content to create more of.
Generating content can be a stressful and time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be. You can create new content by:
- Repurposing old content
- Creating buyer personas
- Searching SEO keywords
- Reading other blogs
- Looking at social media
- Using your own analytics
- Asking your customers
These are just some places you can look to generate content ideas, so be creative and explore new ideas – and most of all, have fun!
Once you have consistent blog ideas, you need to create great content and maintain your blog. You can learn more about that here.
Reduce the Stress of the Content Production Process
Our blog proofreading and editing service can help you polish your written content and reduce your time to market. Having worked with marketing agencies from all around the world, we will tailor our services to suit your needs, leaving you free to focus on generating and producing great content. When you’re ready to get started, you can schedule a call here.