American novelist Orson Scott said, “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” The same principle applies to your content marketing strategy. Once you know how to look, you’ll find new blog ideas all the time. Here are some of the easiest ways to find new content marketing ideas.
Most businesses that start a blog are doing so for SEO purposes. It’s almost impossible to be successful in such an endeavor unless it starts with thorough keyword research. As you decide which keywords you want to target, there’s a good chance you’ll start to get blog ideas right away. Once that well of initial inspiration runs dry, go back to the key phrases and words you uncovered with your research. Think of information you can share by framing your keyword within the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why) and other questions.
For example, if you own a run a car dealership in St. Louis, you could target the key phrase “car dealership” with blog posts like this:
If you’re still spinning your wheels without making progress, let Google help you! For example, say you can’t think of anything for a “what” question. Go to your search engine of choice, and start typing, “what car dealership.” Google starts suggesting things, and may even give you different suggestions if you re-type your question starter multiple times. In a quick experiment just now, Google supplied all of the following viable options:
Just like that, you have a handful of different blog post ideas. You don’t necessarily have to make the title of your post a question, but this is a great way to come up with topics. As you do the research to write your articles from this exercise, you may run across other things that give you even more ideas for future posts. Jot those thoughts down on a list, and you’ll have a backlog of blog topics before you know it.
Google isn’t the only free resource you can use to come up with more blog ideas. A quick search on keywordtool.io will return additional ideas for free. If you want to learn more about the keywords, such as their monthly search volume, you can pay for a subscription. Either way, you can use this tool to find variations of your keyword, then run those new key phrases through the process above.
Soovle is yet another great keyword research tool. Remember how we typed the start of a search into Google to see what kind of suggestions it would show us? Soovle collects those suggestions from some of the top search engines from all over the internet. It will show you suggested text from Google, Bing, Wikipedia, Yahoo, YouTube, Answers.com, Amazon, and more. Give it a quick spin, and you’ll get blog ideas for weeks.
People turn to social media when they have questions. If you’re plugged into your industry on all the social sites, you’ll naturally encounter questions. People may even reach out to your business on social media to deliver their questions directly. If it doesn’t come that easily, you can use the search feature. Here are a few examples of how that might work on Twitter:
Don’t be afraid of blog post ideas like that last one. If someone wants tips about how to get their new car for less, they’ll get them with or without you. You won’t spare your sales team by removing this strong blog idea from your content marketing strategy. Be open, and add value by giving good tips– just make sure the last tip is to shop at your car dealership, where customers always get the best deals.
Let’s be completely clear here¬– this is not about copying your competitors. That said, you can look at what other people in your industry are blogging about. As you peruse those articles, you may be inspired with some blog ideas of your own. As you read articles from your competitors and related companies, try to think about questions they leave unanswered, ways you can add to the conversation, and how you have a different take on things. If you’re looking for car dealership blog ideas, you can check blogs from other dealerships, Car and Driver, Edmunds, and similar sources.
Amazon allows you to check out the inside of a lot of the books they sell, normally showing you the first few pages. Luckily for content marketers, the beginning of a book is exactly where they put the table of contents. For our imaginary scenario where we need car dealership blog ideas, we go to Amazon and search “how to buy a car.” Their search engine returns a book that’s full of information people want about the car buying process. You want people to associate your dealership with buying a car, so it makes sense to write about that same process.
Using the “Look Inside” feature, we flip through the first couple of pages in a few different books until we find a table of contents that helps them. Some of the chapter titles give us the following car dealer blog post ideas:
As you complete these exercises, you should come up with more blog posts than you could possibly write right now. Hopefully you already have a few just from reading this article! Log those ideas somewhere, and you’ll have a list you can go back to next time you need inspiration. Add to your list every time you come up with blog post ideas, and you shouldn’t have to worry about running out any time soon.
The Buddy Gardner Blog Ideas file currently has just under 100 bullet points. It’s hard to remember that last time it got shorter, because it feels impossible not to add more in the process of crossing one off. The hardest part now is finding time to work the list. If you need help coming up with some blog ideas for your own business, let’s chat until we think of a few.