I’ve just done a quick back-of-an-envelope calculation, and I realise I must have written nearly 200 blogs for clients in the past six months alone. That’s more than an average novel’s worth of words! And yet the internet is a hungry beast and is already demanding another 200 blogs for the second half of the year, and they’ve all got to be about topics that we haven’t already covered this year. So, when you need to think of 400 unique blog titles, where on earth do you start? Here are my top tips for blog inspiration.
People love free advice, so any blog that begins with ‘Top tips…’ or ‘How to…’ is almost guaranteed to get engagement (you’re reading this, so it must work!). Your clients’ pain points are great topics to write about because they’ll be searching online for ways to solve them – so what better way of grabbing their attention than to offer them a solution!
You’ll know what your main keywords are – they’re the products or services that make up your core business. However, all your competitors will also be using the same keywords, so sometimes it’s a good idea to focus on keywords that aren’t fighting so hard for attention. If, like me, you have a handy SEO team with you, ask them to investigate what’s trending in the world of keywords and to suggest some of the less obvious ones that could get your blog more search engine attention.
Once you’ve decided on your keyword, you’ll have the theme of your blog. Then you need to think of an angle to write about. Choose a title that will enable you to write at least 500 words. If you’re stuck, good angles to write about are ‘The pros and cons of X’ or ‘Ways X can boost your business’, which will also position you as an expert in your field.
A very good source of blog topics is the news, so keep an eye on the general news as well as your trade news and respond to anything that’s happening. So, for example, if you sell bicycles, a blog about a major cycling event, such as the Tour de France, is clearly going to get interest. Alternatively, if there’s a big news story about something bad that’s happened, write a response asap and reassure your own customers and clients that a similar thing can’t happen to them/you because… (insert own precautions here).
I regularly have brainstorming sessions with my colleagues to come up with new ideas for blogs – we call it ‘blogstorming’. Our blogstorming sessions don’t just include the team that’s working on the account; I often invite other Cariadians to join in as they’ll come to it with fresh ideas and will probably come up with interesting new angles.
If you have an FAQs page on your website, it can be a rich source of blog topics. The fact that so many people are asking these questions shows there’s an interest, so use your blog to expand on one of the topics.
You can also use a ‘knowledge’ website such as quora.com – type your keyword into the search box and it’ll show you the questions members of the general public are asking. It’s likely that most of the questions listed aren’t relevant to you or don’t spark your interest, but you can often find something that inspires a topic worth writing about.
You may be able to get good ideas from looking through your competitors’ blogs. Clearly do not copy theirs directly, but you can use them as inspiration and put your own brand’s twist on it.
Remember there are other companies in similar industries around the world, so go on an online global journey to see what your counterparts are writing about Down Under, in America and Canada, or wherever. Some of their content will be country-specific, but mostly the ups and downs of their business and your business will be pretty much the same, and they could well be talking about new developments you haven’t come across yet or different angles from the ones you talk about in your local networking groups.
If every single blog you write is trying to sell your products or services, you’re soon going to discourage people from reading them. So also use your blogs to reflect your brand personality and make it about your employees, charity fundraising activities, and CSR policies.
One very effective way of getting engagement is to use your blogs to introduce clients and customers to your staff members, especially the ones who work behind the scenes. People are fascinated by other people. What’s better is that these kinds of blogs can be easy to write because all you’ll need to do is write about what each employee does, what they like about their job, and also a bit about what’s important to them and what they get up to in their spare time. And obviously use a lovely photo of them to illustrate it.