A steady stream of content is the lifeblood of any blog, especially if the blog is supporting your business. Let’s say that you publish one blog post per week. That’s 52 topics to come up with per year. Double that if you’re publishing twice per week. Seems a little daunting, doesn’t it?
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be.
There are actually a lot of very effective methods by which to come up with compelling, relevant topics that will appeal to your audience. You don’t have to dream them all up by yourself!
Visit a question-and-answer website. Search sites like Yahoo Answers or Quora for interesting questions related to your industry or to topics that interest your audience. Once you’ve collected a few good questions, you can build blog posts answering them.
Read the comment sections on your blog. Have any of your readers left an interesting point, product, or question in your comments? If so, do a little research and see if you can build on it and write a post about it.
Look up keywords. Do a Google search for common keywords relating to your field. You’ll likely find a number of blog posts (probably many by competitors) — which posts are the most popular? What questions are they answering? Is there anything that you can add to the conversation? Can you approach the topic from a slightly different angle or a different area of expertise? Buzzsumo is a great tool for figuring out what content is currently connecting.
Check out Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Are you a member of any groups related to your product or service, or likely to be ‘liked’ by your target audience? If not, then you should be. Joining groups is a great way to see what type of content is being shared and what your prospects are talking about. You can get a lot of good ideas for content by paying attention to the conversations that go on in these spaces.
Consider the analytics. The metrics don’t lie! Which of your past posts have gotten the most action from your audience? Are there particular topics or post styles that seem to resonate more than others? What about your emails — look at the click-through rates for different topics. And your Facebook group has a lot of insights that you can use to track down the most popular posts. These numbers can help you paint a more detailed and vivid picture of what your audience wants from you, so use them!
Get on-trend. See what the wider internet is talking about by looking at Google Trends or look at what is trending on Twitter. Are any of the currently trending topics relevant to your audience and a good fit for your blog? Can you work them into a post as an entry into a topic related to your blog’s focus?
Create a twitter list. Twitter lists aren’t often used, but they can be a very handy way of curating the information that you’re looking at at any given time. Create a new list. If there are specific companies that you’d like to emulate in terms of content, add them to that list, and then pay attention to what they are sharing and how much engagement they’re getting. Which topics seem to strike a chord with their audience? (Note: you can make the list private or public, so keep that in mind.)
Find interesting infographics. Visual posts tend to get a lot of shares. Look up infographics related to your industry or field. Are there any that relate to a particularly interesting trend? Can you offer your own insights on them, or elaborate on them in some way? If you’re more technically proficient, maybe you can turn one of your own posts into an infographic and offer your audience a new way to digest the information.
Ask your followers. Write a blog post, FB update, or tweet asking your followers what they’d like you to talk about. Or ask them to share any questions that they’d like to have answered. If you’re a yoga teacher, maybe there is a certain pose they’re having trouble with and you can write a post sharing your tips. If you’re a marketing consultant, maybe they’d like to hear your email marketing platform recommendations. The best way to make sure that you’re providing relevant content is to ask your audience!