How can you more easily come up with blog topic ideas? Here are some tips to help you get those creative juices flowing!
It’s Friday morning, and I know what that means. I know because marked on my calendar every single Friday without fail from 9 to 10 am are the words “write a blog post.” Now, what used to happen during this time is that I would sit at my desk, staring at a blinking cursor on my iMac’s screen until, miraculously, a blog topic would pop into my head and I’d begin to type.
But honestly, after being in business for myself for almost 10 years, I don’t like leaving anything to miracles anymore. I prefer systems – systems that I know work consistently.
Secret Gem: Generate Your Blog Topic Ideas All At Once!
And so I’ve discovered – after many years of that weekly ritual of staring at my screen waiting for a miracle to occur – that it makes far more sense to spend a single hour three or four times a year brainstorming a massive amount of blog topics instead. This list then lasts me for months at a time.
And how to get this list created? Read on dear reader and find out. Below are five tips to help you start generating lots of blog topic ideas geared specifically towards your target readers, audience, and market.
1) Create a topic tree.
Grab a piece of paper and a pencil. In the center, write your industry or profession. Being a web designer, I’d put “web design” in the middle. This is your main topic.
Then draw lines outward from that circle and write other things related to your main topic. In this second branch, I might write items such as Search Engine Optimization, Website Security, Design, Content, Blog, Homepage, Call to Action, etc. because those are all things that are a part of web design, but not web design itself.
Then, from each one of those, you can repeat the process. You might end up with something looking like this when you’re done. As this exercise demonstrates, one might think there are only so many topics you can blog about on “web design” (or any main topic) – when in reality, there are an infinite amount of sub-topics and sub-sub-topics. The possibilities are endless.
2) What does your target market care about?
Never forget that your target market cares about a lot more than just your service. Don’t be afraid to blog about topics your target market would love to read, even if it doesn’t directly relate to your service. I’ll repeat that: Don’t be afraid to blog about topics your target market would love to read, even if it doesn’t directly relate to your service. Case in point? I have many blog posts on self-care and lifestyle hacks, neither of which have much to do with web design exactly. However, I know that the people who my brand attracts and who I would love to work with care very much about both taking care of themselves and quick tips for making life easier. So I provide them with content they love (and that I love to write about), and they find a reason to come to my website. It’s a win-win.
3) Check out other bloggers in your industry.
It’s not plagiarizing, and it’s not spying. It’s simply observing! If you’re a florist, and you’re not sure where to start with blogging, there’s no harm in visiting the blogs of other florists to see what people in your field are writing about. Most likely, once you start perusing other blog posts in your industry, you’ll start getting ideas of your own.
4) Start an interview series.
Many people know that I got my start with web design making websites for musicians in NYC. Back when I was first getting started, as part of my blog, I began an interview series with various musicians in my area. In an interview, I would ask them how they marketed themselves as artists and what tools they used to stay ahead. The results were 2-fold: after each interview, I had a blog post that was relevant to my target market, and the interviewee would have a piece of free publicity to share on all their social media platforms (that linked back to my website no less).
5) Tie in current events, holidays, or the time of year.
Being current is always good. Going beyond simply what your target market wants or needs to know, take it a step further and ask yourself, what do they want or need to know at this time of year? Because my target market is made up largely of passionate and mission-driven entrepreneurs, I know that in December a blog post on self-care during the holidays will do them good and that a blog post on easy ways to spread the love around Valentine’s Day will be appreciated. Thinking of ways that your topics can tie into what’s happening in the world and on the calendar will make your posts even more relevant to your readers.
And for another Ellanyze post on Blog Post Writing, try Cracking the Blogging Code: 10 Ways.