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How do I find ideas for my next blog post?

 

blog post

You want to write a blog post but that cursor just keeps blinking on a blank screen…

Every idea you had an hour ago seems to have evaporated…We know the feeling!

You’re in a blog post panic and you don’t know where to turn.

Fear not! We have nine useful ideas for getting that all-important inspiration – and we’re sharing them with you.

Where can I get ideas for my blog post?

  1. Ask Dr Google….

Google’s auto-complete is a hugely useful way of finding the questions people are asking the search engine.

Why not start a question relevant to your sector and let Google complete it?

Then, you have a blog post title which is already being searched for, and an idea for subject matter which is relevant to the people you’d like to attract to your website.

  1. Catch up with the news

Read news websites and watch TV news and current affairs programmes for inspiration.

That will give you timely ideas for your posts.

For example, a law firm could look at the use of ‘gagging clauses’ in non-disclosure orders, a hot topic in the wake of the Me Too movement. A cyber security business could look at the use of gated forums and invitation-only online groups by cyber thieves.

  1. Use case studies

What are the problems your ideal clients face and how do you solve them?

How could you show that in a blog post?

The obvious way is to simply say it. They way in which you connect with your clients best is to SHOW it by telling the stories of your case studies.

That allows them to see first-hand what you can do for people like them or businesses like theirs.

  1. Do a little snooping…

What are your competitors talking about?

Compile a list of those subjects and approach them in your own way. Use those subjects a few months down the line.

Whatever you do, don’t simply copy the ideas and structure of your competitors’ blog posts.

Not only will it look obvious, it could land you with a costly copyright infringement.

  1. Use an online blog topic generator

Here are eight suggestions for generators to use. You type in a word relevant to your business and it comes up with ideas for you. Flesh those ideas out yourself and expand on them.

  1. Look at what’s trending on social media

You can use online tools such as Buzzsumo, or do your own research on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

If you sign up for our monthly updates (no spam, we hate it!), you’ll get our free guide to the best 7 online social listening tools. Sign up here.

  1. Draw up a content calendar

Using seasons, holidays, awareness days, and major cultural and sporting events can help you get inspired.

If you run a restaurant, how about 7 of our meals to show your dad some love this Father’s Day?

Or, What’s the best way to fill up before watching the Rugby World Cup?

  1. Ask your clients

Ask them what they’d like to see on your blog. You can do this in an email, on social media, or by creating an online poll.

  1. Call in a professional

We would say that, wouldn’t we? However, it’s a great way to get your blog fizzing with creativity and outsourcing your content creation is a great option to save you time along with getting two heads, rather than one!

Need more advice? You can get in touch here. We love talking content, writing, coffee, and vintage typewriters!

 

blogging for business

How can I write a killer blog headline?

Want to know the secret? Write your blog headline like the media industry headline writers…

blogging for business

Take a lesson from the media…

News media headline writing is an art, something taught to sub-editors over many years. A great headline makes you smile, think, stop in your tracks. Your blog headline will be shared on social media, so if you get it right it could be the reason thousands of people read on.

The reason news media do headlines so well is simple: they write it at the end of the process, not at the beginning. They know the story.

In the same vein, never write your blog headline until you have typed the last full stop on your post.

Here are the basic blog headline rules:

Use short, active words – A punchy headline grabs the attention. Cut out unnecessary words, especially adverbs.

It must contain a verb – Making the headline active means using a verb, even if that verb’s ‘is’.

Use figures – Don’t write them out as words. Studies have also shown that using figures in a headline makes it more attractive to the reader. Round monetary figures up, or down.

Make it accurate – Don’t write a sensational but inaccurate headline to suck readers into the post. They’ll feel cheated.

Reflect your content – Throwing in a celebrity name to the headline, for example, without backing that up in the post will backfire on you.

Don’t use tortuous puns – No matter how tempted you feel, just don’t do it. This isn’t about showing how cleverly you can write, it’s about communicating with your target audience.

Don’t over-use exclamation marks – They are called ‘screamers’ in newsrooms because they are often over-used to scream out content.

Read it aloud – If it sounds convoluted, or ridiculous, delete and start again. If you can’t say it easily, they won’t read it easily.

Will it appeal to your target audience? – Ask yourself how, and why they would read on. Think about their problems, how they like to spend their time when you’re making this decision.

Blog writing for SEO

Get the right keywords for your business…

Don’t forget SEO: Search engine optimisation is still very important in blog headlines and your keyword research should help you. Which words appeal to your ideal customers and how can you incorporate them in an organic way?

Some headline power words: There are some words which people find innately attractive. “Discover”, “Find”, and “Secrets” arouse our curiosity and make us want to find out more.

“Powerful”, “effective”, and “hacks” make us feel the content we’re about to read is hitting our usefulness sweet spot and so does the word “useful”.

Too busy to blog yourself? Drop me an email on maria@wordsyoucanuse.co.uk.