Do you know what your next blog post will be about? Thinking of ideas doesn’t have to be complicated! Here are five fun and easy ways to find a topic for your next post. (And not just any topic — one that will be enjoyable to write AND just right for your audience.)
What interests you?
Think about what you want to write about. What excites you (as it relates to your business)?
Your enthusiasm will shine through when you choose a topic that you’re passionate about. Readers will pick up on your energy, be more engaged and you’ll have a greater chance of connecting with others.
Related — is there a topic you want to learn more about? The best way to learn something is to teach it!
Dive in and then share what you learn with your readers. You could even share your process for learning. Not only will readers benefit by learning something new, but you’ll benefit by organizing the content and your thoughts, which gives you a better handle on the material, increasing your learning even more.
What have you been asked more than once?
In your business, have you ever been asked something more than once?
Or have you ever repeated yourself, telling many people something important? Maybe there’s something that you think everyone needs to know but doesn’t seem to.
Both make great blog posts. You know that the content is important AND you can continue to share it in the future.
What do readers want to know?
Ask your readers — what do want to know? What would be helpful to you? Is there anything that you’re curious about?
Ask in all the places. In your email newsletter. On social media. In your blog posts. Create a form on your website, like this one from Jennifer Bourn. You can even ask your clients and acquaintances in person (gasp). (This sounds like a good question to ask while networking, doesn’t it?)
Recently on Twitter, a fellow developer asked what people wanted to read about. I had a question about service areas for a local site I’m working on, so I asked. She responded and wrote a post about it. I felt like it was just for me, but in reality, other people probably have the same question. (Read the best way to showcase your service areas on your website.)
What are people searching for? (The quick answer.)
I don’t know about you, but the term “keyword research” puts me in a panic. It seems really complicated — I’m not an internet marketer or digital strategist. How does the common person research keywords?
Easy — use the auto suggest feature of your favorite search engine.
Let’s say I wanted to write a post about SEO tips. SEO tips is a pretty broad topic and it would be difficult to rank for a post on general SEO tips.
Also, my readers may not be interested in such a general post, however, if I can narrow the topic down and be more specific, I’ll have a much more targeted post that’s more relevant to my audience.
Here is me searching Google for SEO tips.
Look at all the suggestions! Notice that one is “seo tips for wordpress website” — which sounds perfect for my audience — more focused and relevant to them.
This works in Bing, too. Some of the suggestions are similar, but some are new.
And the same in DuckDuckGo.
Each list provides a nice amount of results that are more specific than our broad topic, SEO tips.
Note too that many people include the year when searching for SEO tips, so perhaps including the year in my post title would be helpful. It would quickly show people that my content is timely and relevant for them right now.
What are people searching for? (A longer answer.)
Answer the Public is a service that aggregates auto suggest results in a wicked-cool interface. (Also entertaining is the video of the old guy looking impatient while you enter your search terms.)
Let’s say I wanted to write about WordPress. I could search for WordPress and see a large list of common search phrases.
Answer the Public shows results grouped by questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabeticals and related. I can view them as visuals or in a data list.
Example questions include:
- HOW — how WordPress authentication works, how WordPress sites get hacked and how WordPress sends email
- WHY — why WordPress over Wix, why WordPress is the best CMS and why WordPress is popular
- ARE — are WordPress tags good for SEO, are WordPress plugins free and are WordPress sites slow
- CAN — can a WordPress blog be private, can WordPress handle heavy traffic and can WordPress use MariaDB
Not every topic is perfect for me and my audience, however I can peruse the list and find some quick ideas for ones that are.
Want some other helpful tips from a professional writer? Check out these episodes from the Let’s Meet for Copy podcast.