These days it’s pretty widely accepted that a blog is a valuable marketing tool. It positions you as an expert in your field, provides sharable content for your other marketing platforms and can even boost your website’s SEO.
But for a lot of people, the thought of coming up with new content every week (or even every month) seems like a big ask. After all, how much can you really say about cupcakes/ insurance/ printing (delete where applicable)?
Well, quite a lot actually. All you need is a good strategy for finding topics that will interest your readers. If your inspiration is dwindling, try the following:
Brainstorm some interesting questions around your niche. In a recent article for Copyblogger, Pratik Dholakiya suggests starting with the classic ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘how’. Write these down on a piece of paper and try to think of just three topical questions for each.
For example, if your subject area is property, your questions could be something like:
- Who owns the biggest mansion in the UK?
- What will increase the value of my house?
- Why do people like homes with gardens?
- Where is the best place to buy a flat?
- When should I think about selling my house?
- How can I get a good price on my apartment?
Don’t worry about whether the questions are ‘good enough’. Just write down anything that sounds interesting to you.
Next, go online and type each question into Google. You’ll quickly see whether these (or similar) questions are hot topics within your target market. Identify the most popular questions and use them as a starting point for some articles. Your research may even throw up some new ideas!
Address your target market directly and ask what they want to read about. One way to do this, is with a traditional ‘feedback form’. However, be warned that it can be tricky to generate responses with this type of approach. If you do go down this route, give your readers an incentive to fill out the form and make it as quick and simple as possible.
Alternatively, run an online poll. You can do this on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Simply set up a question, with a few multiple choice answers and ask your followers to vote. For the example above, it might be something like:
What’s more important when buying a house?
The responses will give you an indication of what’s important to your readers and a clear starting point for your content.
Investigate your inbox
You might not realise it, but you probably have a ton of content suggestions sitting in your inbox. Hint: they’re most likely disguised as questions, concerns or even complaints.
Look through your communications with different clients. See what questions come up over and over again.
- What ideas do people struggle to understand?
- What aspects of your product or service makes them nervous?
- If people have turned down the opportunity to work with you, what was it that put them off?
Spotting these trends may not always be fun but it’s a really valuable exercise. Identifying the moments when people routinely feel unsure about your service allows you to address those concerns, in your content.
By writing blog articles which reassure customers or explain difficult concepts, you can dispel their worries upfront. And next time someone comes to you with the same question, you can direct them to the ‘handy blog article’ you prepared earlier.