For the busy content marketers, writing deadlines can be pretty difficult to meet, especially when you are expected to develop blog ideas on your own. With so many other content marketing publications and outlets, it also becomes difficult to differentiate one content piece from another. Therefore, brainstorming on the fly can only help to a limited extent.
Thankfully, there are resources and simple tips that quickly help writers generate blog ideas. Here are 7 of them:
1) Perform a competitor content audit
We can learn so much just by examining what our competitor’s are writing about. By examining their own blog, their recently publicized articles, or following what their CEO has to say on twitter, topics and focus areas will be readily available. Use Google Alerts to enter the company name and start to receive updates. Additionally, the trending IFTTT tool can also be helpful in this regard. Of course, it will be up to you to figure out how to differentiate your content by taking a different angle or approach.
2) Follow up on some of the most popular industry blogs
Experts are experts for a reason. By reviewing some of the leading industry blogs (think HubSpot, Social Media Examiner and QuickSprout), we can get a better idea of many relevant topics and concepts. This also has a multi-purpose effect, as having this information can trigger response pieces or raise questions about the content presented which can then turn into other blog stories. Start reviewing some of the main marketing blogs.
3) Discover what is most shared on the web
With so much content out there, it often becomes difficult to determine the value of a certain blog piece. Using simple tools such as Buzzsumo and SharedCount helps reveal what content performed best in terms of social sharing, and allows content marketers to better understand which topics are best received. While these tools can help users with content generation ideas on their own accord, content marketers will need to determine their targets and expectations beforehand. After all, not all content performs alike.
4) Consult with social media influencers
Social media influencers spend most of their days examining the digital world. Therefore, while you are busy creating web banners, devising new email marketing strategies, as well as hashing out blog ideas, they already accumulated vast information regarding today’s main trending topics. This of course extends to content marketing in particular. By linking up with a particular influencer, mainly on Twitter, you can create a working relationship that will be beneficial in the long run. By discussing what’s trending now on the web and who’s writing about what, you will already be exposed to a list of potential topics for your blog.
5) Talk with your customers
“The customer is always right” doesn’t always help bring about better customer service. However, if we alter this saying just slightly, i.e. “The customer is always talking”, we can actually learn a lot. As brand content marketers, there is a company behind us that we support, write about, and represent. Therefore, understanding what our customers have to say is incredibly valuable, also in terms of its potential to contribute to blog ideas. Understanding their pain points, needs, what they are looking for etc., can supply us with a lot of content material. For instance, by taking notes from a customer call, we can already begin to list several pain points or great product features that came up during the conversation.
6) Cleverly repurpose existing content
As content marketers, we already have so much written content that shouldn’t go to waste once it has been published. Existing content can be repurposed cleverly in order to adopt a different angle or even topic. This tactic has been used by many of the leading content marketing firms as a go-to approach for generating blog ideas. As an example, a simple way to repurpose a particular blog piece would be to breakdown one of the main points mentioned, let’s say in a piece about the role of social media influencers. The ‘new’ blog piece could focus on a different aspect of influencers and how this role evolved over time.
7) External guest blogging
Executed tips 1-6? Great! Still ran out of ideas? Don’t worry, it happens all the time. Thankfully, there are many writers out there just looking for the chance to contribute to a company’s blog. These can be either experienced writers with an already established online presence or new writers buzzing with excitement and most importantly, ideas. Take advantage of these external opportunities to contribute to your blog and bring new content ideas and discussions to the place. The benefits of guest blogging are tremendous and don’t just lie within the new content itself – this tactic will also help you build relationships within the industry.