By Damon Yerian
From driving traffic and establishing thought leadership to increasing discoverability and improving conversions, blogging delivers a number of benefits to businesses in all industries.
Whether you’re now launching a blog or have been steadily pumping out content for several years, there comes a point when you run into a proverbial wall and struggle to develop new ideas.If you’re wondering how you can come up with blog content topics, you may just need to learn some of the tricks that make brainstorming new ideas easy.
With that in mind, here are six easy ways to come up with blog topics that will help your company engage current readers, attract new ones, and bolster your brand:
1. Have a Group Brainstorming Session
There’s no rule that says you need to come up with every blog topic on your own—even if your title is Content Marketing Manager or something similar. Instead of feeling like you need to go it alone, consider meeting with your team on a periodic basis to brainstorm blog topics together.
Don’t overlook colleagues outside the marketing department, either. Everyone in the office (or in the virtual office) has a unique perspective that can help inform the blog idea generation process.
Believe it or not, it’s possible to come up with as many as 300 blog titles in a single hour! Have everyone hop into the same Google Sheet and start collaborating on ideas in real-time, and you’ll be amazed at what the end result looks like.
2. Ask Your Readers What Content They Want
If the goal of your blog is to engage your readers by publishing compelling content, an easy way to decide what to write next is by asking them directly.
You can include a call to action at the bottom of particular blog posts that prompts readers to contact you with any ideas they’d like to see fleshed out on your blog. You can take to social media to crowdsource ideas and see what your community comes up with. Email marketing could help do the trick, too.
This is simple and straightforward enough, but you’d be surprised at how few companies do this. Think about it: How many times have you actually come across brands directly soliciting your feedback about content?
3. Use Data to Figure Out What Your Readers Want
If you’ve been publishing blog posts for some time, look at Google Analytics or whatever tool you use to analyze traffic and find out which pieces are most popular.
Once you have that information on hand, reverse-engineer the topics to figure out why the content did particularly well.
For example, if your top-performing posts are customer success stories, you might want to figure out how you can create new stories that illustrate how your customers have benefited from using your products and services.
If your business makes tools for brick-and-mortar retailers and your most successful post was 6 Ways to Prepare for the Upcoming Holiday Season, you might want to figure out how to create more seasonal or holiday content.
4. Use a Blog Idea Generator
When in doubt, you can always consult technology and have algorithms help you come up with blog topics!
If this sounds appealing to you, check out HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator to start thinking in the right direction. You can also use tools like the conspicuously named Keyword Tool to conduct research that could help you generate a number of blog topics.
5. See What Your Competitors Are Doing
As the saying goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
An easy way to come up with blog topics is to head over to your competitors’ websites and find out what they’ve been publishing lately.
Although you don’t want to lift exact headlines or even exact ideas, reading your competitors’ blogs should give you some inspiration that can help you come up with additional topics or different approaches to ideas.
6. Read a Ton of Blogs—and Write Down a Ton of Ideas
By one estimate, there are more than 600 million blogs in the world!
Although you probably don’t keep tabs on all of them, chances are there’s a blog or two that particularly tickle your fancy. And they might not cover anything related to your job or your industry.
Even if that’s the case, you can still use your favorite blogs as sources of inspiration. For example, if you’re a fan of a particular beer brand and read their blog, you might find yourself drawn to content that profiles the people who work in the brewery. That might encourage you to launch your own employee spotlight series.
Make it a habit to read a lot of blogs—not just those confined to your industry—and throw every idea you have into a spreadsheet or Trello board. Repeat the behavior enough times, and you’ll never run out of blog ideas again.
By now, you know how to come up with blog content ideas. But the ideas themselves are only half the battle. To get the results you’re hoping for, you need to write spectacular blogs that engage your audience and drive desired actions.