At Ghost Blog Writers we provide blogging services.
The basic service is that we write blog posts for businesses.
But we also provide ideas and titles as part of the service.
Some clients come to us in a situation where they want to maintain a regular blog, but they aren’t sure on a strategy. They know they don’t have time to research and write posts. With the strategy, they’re looking to us to provide titles and ideas.
Other clients come to us because they don’t have time to write or they don’t like writing. It takes them a long time and they know they can use their time in better ways. But they still want a blog and they have some ideas for blog posts.
What happens many times in that second situation is that the client will have a half dozen good ideas. Then six weeks goes by and the time comes to brainstorm new ideas. They might have another couple, but the stream of ideas runs out.
And that’s common. It’s understandable.
I think it’s a reason you see a number of blogs, both personal and business, that get off to a great start only to kind of slow down after a few weeks or months and then eventually become dormant.
Coming up with regular ideas is tough, but over the years we’ve worked on a few things to help make coming up with good content marketing ideas easier.
Tip #1. Start With Questions
A good idea for a piece of content can come from just about anywhere.
It could start with a thought you have about a topic.
It could start with a popular trend in your industry.
Those are two good sources of inspiration, but my favorite is starting with a question that your target reader has.
In the case of this post the question that I’ve heard before is:
How can I keep finding ideas for blog posts?
Answering questions is a basic content marketing strategy, but it’s possibly the best. Every time you answer someone’s questions you’re providing value to their life. When you read content marketing tips and people talk about “quality content” or “great content” or “valuable content” that is what they’re talking about: helping someone with something they’re struggling with.
You can train yourself to pay attention to the questions your target audience is asking. You can hear questions in person. You can hear your clients asking on the phone. You can read their questions on forums or in the comment sections of popular industry blogs and websites.
Every time you hear a question make it habit to write it down or type it. Get into this habit and you’ll build a great list of potential content topics. And if you’re looking at a blank content schedule then start surfing places where your audience is going and see if they’re asking questions. Or talk to your sales team. Or talk to new customers.
Tip #2. Focus On Early Sales Cycle Questions
Before we move on from the idea of questions it’s important to answer the right type of questions.
When someone is asking a question about your specific product or service you don’t want them reading a blog post. You want them reading your homepage or your services page. Or you want them talking to a salesperson.
Let’s say you’re a B2B, when your target client is asking for or looking for an answer to help them with something relating to their job then it’s the perfect opportunity for a blog post.
This person is very early in the sales process. They don’t even know you exist. They’re not thinking about buying anything from you…right now…but you can still earn their attention and trust by answering a question they have.
Let’s say you sell office desks to businesses. The question, How much do 12 desks cost?, is best answered on the product pages on your website.
The question, How can I design my office to help company culture?, is a perfect question to be answered with a blog post. And you can probably turn that question into multiple posts about company culture, office design, productivity and more.
Tip #3. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel…Every Time
This also builds on the idea of answering the questions your target audience is asking. You can try to guess the questions that your audience has or you can listen to what they’re asking.
Sometimes with blogging, and I do this sometimes, is I’ll have an idea that I think is great. I’ll write the post and over time that post won’t really do anything in terms of attracting traffic.
That kind of resets my thinking to focus back on something I know my audience is interested in reading. It’s not necessary or even a good strategy to try to come up with something completely new and groundbreaking all the time. You can provide great value by creating content about a topic that you know your audience cares about.
You can see what your audience cares about by looking at popular industry blogs and websites and seeing what the popular content is. You can see what content has been successful already and build on those concepts.
We see this in various industries all the time. The film industry is a good example. A superhero movie comes out and suddenly we have a new superhero movie every month. And people go see all of them…
The one key is that filmmakers do try to try new things while sticking with a theme or topic they know the audience cares about. And that’s a good strategy to take with content. You still need to bring new ideas to the table.
Eventually that trend runs its course and something brand new comes along. That’s where experimenting comes into play. While you create content that covers topics that you know your audience cares about it’s still important to experiment with brand new content.
Say you create 9 content pieces that follow popular trends and topics and with the 10th piece you try something completely off the wall and different.
Those experiments won’t always work. In fact, most might not work, but once in a while one will and that could lead to a whole new trend in the industry or at least for a new type of content that you can create.
Start by training yourself to identify the questions your audience is asking early in the sale process. Make a list of those ideas and you probably won’t run out of ideas. And you can even revisit the same question over and over and see if there are more answers that you can provide.
Also look at the popular topics and trends in your industry. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time with your content. See what your audience wants and build on those topics with your own fresh ideas. And mix in a few off the wall things from time to time and you’ll have a great content marketing strategy that likely won’t ever lack for good ideas.