The internet and your business blog have an endless appetite for content. Both always want more. And let’s face it, new content is great for your business website. Good quality content for your business blog is even better – it increases traffic to your website which adds to your credibility and boosts your ranking. A better search ranking means more customers see you and ca-ching – more business. Awesome business blogging ideas draw customers and get your website paying its way.
But sometimes, coming up with ideas for your blog is the hardest part of creating content. Never mind awesome blogging ideas, any idea would be great. I find that having a ready-made list of ideas to write about – or create other content – is a huge time-saver. When I sit down to write for my website, I go with any great idea bubbling in my brain. If there isn’t one, I reach for my content calendar.
Brainstorm blogging ideas – quality above quantity
When you do something every day, it’s easy to lose sight of the questions people have about it. Quality content works because it answers your customers’ questions – sometimes before they even know what their questions are.
When you’re thinking about creating content for your website, note all the common questions your customers ask you. These may already be answered briefly in an FAQ section, which is great. What’s even better is taking one or a group of those questions and answering them in detail in long-form content. This means you can really dig in and give all the minute detail that your potential customer needs to decide to buy. A business blog attracts customers and boosts loyalty by giving away information for free.
Long-form content also has the advantage of working harder for your website than shorter blogs. Longer pieces – 2,000 words or more – get more backlinks, more social shares, more time spent on your site. It also has a better chance of getting a Google snippet if you succinctly answer one of the 63,000 questions being tapped into the search engine every second. If you’re aiming for this, give the succinct answer upfront, drill down into the detail in later paragraphs.
After brainstorming all the ideas you can for creating business blog content, it’s time to pull out the big guns.
Blog ideation tools
I love an idea tool. I also love learning about what people are searching for and the words the world uses to find the things that matter to them. Fortunately for me – and you – there are plenty of tools out there to help us do exactly that. The first is fairly obvious, it’s Google search itself!
Google Search for Blog Ideas
Google’s auto-suggest anticipates what you’re about to type in by giving you the most common questions associated with the first few words you input. So, if you’re a seller of widgets, tap ‘widget’ into the search bar and see what Google tries to finish your query with. Write these things down on your list of blogging ideas. Do the same thing with your brand name, synonyms for your product and your main competitors too.
That’s not the end of it though. Once you’ve recorded those ideas, move your cursor back to the start and type in the six top journalistic questions: who, what, when, where, why and how. Do this one at a time for each of the widget-related words you started with. Note the autosuggestions for each one and then move on to the next.
Answer the Public
One of my all-time favourite tools, ATP lets you tap in any keyword and see all the top things that are being asked about it. Make sure you set the location to capture the information relevant to where you are in the world. ATP defaults to search info in the UK.
The Pro subscription feature lets you do as many searches as you like in a day. You can also monitor important keywords, set up alerts for new suggestions and compare data over time that will help you spot new and unique searches. This will let you jump on a trend faster and make more of it.
The free version limits you to just three searches a day but those searches can be downloaded and saved for future reference. With tools like ATP, it’s important to update your searches – just because ‘How do I use a widget in my car’ was one of the top questions one day, doesn’t mean it will be next week, month or year.
Keyword research is a great way to come up with topic ideas. It’s also helpful because you’ll get the main keywords you need to use in the blogs you’re planning to write. I find with SEM rush’s keyword tools there’s a LOT to play with. This makes it easy to get lost down a research rabbit hole, so try to keep your eyes on the prize. Note the topics that will work for your blog and don’t get too caught up with all the other shiny toys that are on offer.
Keyword research here has a nice interface that gives you ideas for your business blog too. Tap in your main word, adjust the search for where you are in the world (its default is the US) and hit search. Beneath the top seven keyword ideas is a list of content ideas. Write down the ones that work for you.
This is basically a list of other blogs that have your keyword in the title – they may or may not be about your topic of interest. If they are, check out the actual blogs. If you are going up against them, i.e.: writing about them yourself, you’ll need to make sure your attempt is of better quality than the one you found here. A better quality blog has more detail, more authoritative links and more recent data.
Calendar blog ideas
All through the year, there are important dates that are observed. It’s highly likely that some of those days will have something to do with your business. World awareness days, celebratory days, observances and more provide another opportunity for content topics.
Think about the important days for your business – you may already do something for Easter, Black Friday and Christmas. Note down these in your content ideas list with a couple of suggestions for hooks that tie the day to your business. For example, Christmas might have the hooks of ‘Festive discounts’, ‘A time for giving to X charity’, and ‘Best Christmas gift ideas for your widget loving wife’.
Once you’ve noted all the days of observances you can think of, check out There is a Day For That. Chances are they’ll have a few more days that you can create content for. Having content that covers key days of the year and days that are associated with your business can help you get found on and around those days as well as boost your SEO.
Keep an eye on your competition’s blog
Your competitor’s blog is also a source of inspiration. I’m not suggesting for a minute that you rip off every topic they’ve been blogging about, but you should be checking them out anyway. Are there any blogs that you could do better? Do any of their business blog posts spark ideas for your own? Add all that are relevant for your business blog to your ideas list.
Between your brainstorming, the free internet tools, calendar topics and checking out your competitor, you should have enough ideas to cover you for the year ahead. Make sure they’re all in line with your content strategy too. Keep your list somewhere that’s easy to access. Better yet, plonk all those great ideas into a content calendar. A content calendar should set your publication cadence, remind you of where your content gets promoted and have room to note important stats.
Stats and analytics may be a little boring but they are essential for you to figure out what is working (so you can do more of it) and what’s not (so you can drop that time-waster content like a hot potato!) If you’re not sure where to begin with creating a content calendar, check out HubSpot for ideas or check out my next blog that delves into the content calendar mysteries.
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