Blogs are a great tool for keeping content fresh on your website, sharing information, and bringing visitors back through social media. I probably don’t need to convince you of the value of blogging for lead generation. But with this great tool, comes work in the form of writing those engaging blog posts that share educational, entertaining, and helpful content. As all writers do, you will sometimes struggle for topics to include in your blog. Trust us, we feel your pain.
Here at Lure Creative, we write blogs all day long every day for dozens of different clients. To help you out, we thought we’d share some of our secrets for finding great topics to write about that your readers will love.
Trick 1: Mine Your Clients for Information
Our clients are our best source for information, they just don’t always know it. We start with a set group of questions to get the thought process rolling. If you are writing for your own company, this will still work for you. Just ask yourself these same questions about your own company.
- Questions Your Customers Are Asking?
- Industry News?
- Community Service?
- Projects You Have Completed (New & Past)
- Contests You Have Won?
- Trainings You Have Attended?
- Industry Events?
- Seasonal News?
Trick 2: Break Down Your Own Ideas
Let’s say you came up with a topic called “23 Tips and Tricks for Social Media Posting”. Now go deeper into the topic and break that down into each type of social media to talk about the nuances of each network.
For example, “How to Be More Than Friends Through Facebook”, “The Twitter-verse of Hashtags: Do’s and Don’ts”, etc. Or, you could deconstruct an existing piece like a lengthy white paper and break it down into four or five shorter pieces that are more digestible. Just like that, you have turned one idea into many!
Trick 3: Change Your Audience
Who you are speaking to will definitely affect your message. Most companies have more than one persona to target. For instance, say you’re writing for a college and your goal is to increase student enrollment for the next school year. Sure, you could write articles to high school age kids giving them information about your college, but you could also focus on the parents of those high school kids, who are heavily involved in the college decision.
Using the same topic but different audiences, you could produce a blog called “13 Ways to Save before Heading off to College.” And another one called, “5 Scholarships and Grants at the University of XYZ that Every Parent Should Investigate.” Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
Trick 4: Try Different Ways of Structuring Your Content
Thinking of different formats for your topic can spur a great idea. Talk to the people who interact with the audience that you want to talk to, and ask them about the common questions they receive. Then create a post with those questions and answers. After all, you want to provide helpful information – so it helps to know exactly what information your readers are looking for! This is also beneficial for SEO.
Try Out Formats Like:
- How-To Articles
- Q&A with The Experts
- Myths about ______
- News & Events
- Mistakes to Avoid
- Opinion Pieces
- Do’s and Don’ts
- Tips & Tricks
Trick 5: Repurpose Existing Content
Look through content from the past to see what new ideas it sparks or ways that it can be updated. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you might be surprised what you can find in your archives. Even past brochures, videos, handouts, internal communications, and your own website are ripe with share-worthy ideas and thoughts.
Your audience knows nothing of your internal processes, checks, and balances, quality control, etc. Capitalize on things you’re already doing by letting your audience know that you do them. For instance, you could write a post for a heating and cooling company about “7 Ways Our Technicians Will Impress You Every Visit”, and talk about shoe protectors, background checks, uniforms, pre-visit emails with pictures, training, no-smoking, non-commission, etc. You’re already doing great things for your customers every day and your blogs are a great way to show that off!
Trick 6: Stay Trendy With Timeliness
Depending on your industry, different stories in the news can relate to your target audience. Use these trending topics to build great content and engage your customers and potential customers! Let’s say that there’s a drought in your area and you’re a lawn care company: offering tips on watering and which plants are most susceptible to stress during a drought will really go a long way.
These can seem less obvious to someone who’s deeply involved in the industry, but if you keep your eyes and ears open, you can find opportunities with the great knowledge that you already have in spades. Don’t forget to use all the tools you have – check what’s trending on Twitter, browse local news outlets, and see what your friends are talking about on Facebook to see if there’s anything that could be connected.
Trick 7: Interview Your Audience
Many times you will find great stories within your audience. Think about it! Every day your business is working to make someone’s life easier or better. Take those moments and turn them into content that can be featured on your website and social media.
These stories can lead to powerful testimonials as well as great human interest stories. It may take a little more effort to find a customer and interview them, but the blog will have a genuine, real-life feel that is absolutely priceless – and usually inspires further topics for next time!