July 31, 2020
Discover effective strategies used by bloggers to find content ideas for their blogs and keep their audience engaged.
Blogs may be one of the best ways to reach your potential customers and make them think you’re better than sliced bread, but finding content isn’t easy. In fact, finding content for blogs is one of the most challenging aspects of content marketing.
Here are a few ways to produce content for your blog, along with tips for finding great bloggers to do it for you.
1. Tools for generating content ideas
Finally, there are various tools and resources that can help you generate ideas for content. If you’re struggling to develop something on your own, these options can be a great starting point.
Google Trends is a great way to see what topics are popular right now. You can use the ‘Explore Topics’ function to see what people are searching for or use the ‘Trending Stories’ function to see what’s being talked about on the internet.
You can also use Google Trends to compare different topics and see which is more popular. This is better suited when you have a wealth of content ideas, and you’re trying to narrow it down to the best one.
SEMrush is a tool designed for digital marketers, but you can also use it to generate content ideas. Type in a topic or keyword, and SEMrush will show you what people are searching for.
You can also use the ‘Content Ideas’ function to get even more specific. Simply enter a topic, and SEMrush will show you a list of related subjects that you can use for your next piece. The downside with SEMrush is that it might offer too much functionality. Their membership is priced for large businesses, so it might not be the best option if you’re working on a budget.
Draft’s content idea generator
Draft is a content-on-demand marketplace that connects you with thoroughly vetted content writers. We also have a free article idea generator that companies can use to generate ideas for their blog posts, social media, and more.
To use the generator, enter a topic, and our algorithm will spit out a list of potential article ideas. You can then use these ideas as a starting point for your content.
Sign up for Draft to use the AI-powerd content idea generator—no purchase required. Once you find topics you like, you can move them to the Saved Ideas section, or submit them as briefs to Draft’s writer marketplace.
The future is now! Artificial intelligence (AI) is used across several industries to improve efficiencies, generate ideas, and solve problems. Of course, digital marketing is no exception.
2. Turn to social media
People have a penchant for discussing things they care about on social media; be that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Now, social media will help you come up with topics. However, it can also help you come up with an approach.
Your take on a subject is more important than the subject you are writing about.
You can find social media content ideas by simply scrolling through your feed and taking note of what posts are performing well. If you see a lot of engagement on a particular type of post, that’s a good indication that your audience is interested in that topic.
For example, if you sell healthy food products, you could search for the hashtag #healthyfoods to see what people say about healthy eating.
You can also use social media to stay up-to-date on industry news and trends. If there’s something new and exciting happening in your industry, that’s a great opportunity to create content around it.
3. User-generated content (UGC)
User generated content has been all the rage on Instagram for a while now. Brands found that it’s an incredible way to engage their audiences and retain their existing customers.
While UGC is native to social media, you can also use it for your blog content.
This one company is notorious for getting your name wrong so you would Instagram it.
Simply source opinions and personal stories from your followers and customers. Ask a question, and make sure you’ve obtained all the necessary permissions before using them for your blog posts.
The best part is: none of this requires you to actually sit down and write.
4. Repurpose your old content
It always pays to speak the language of data. Simply take a deep dive into your analytics to find the content pieces your audience has loved the most.
Focus on the number of conversions you’ve gotten from that piece.
If that’s not an option, the number of leads (e.g. email newsletter subscribers) generated from the page is a good indicator of what to double down on. If it has worked for a significant portion of your customers before, it’s worth investing your time in. Then, you can simply update or repurpose the original article.
5. Share personal stories
Chances are, your team has interacted with your industry in some way (other than working in it). When you put your employees at the forefront of your marketing, you are improving your reputation. Your customers will start perceiving you as people, as opposed to nameless entities. When I was starting my first business, I remember using a totally large random number as my first invoice number to make it seem like I’d sent a lot of invoices before. Hands up if you were as insecure as I was when you started your first business.
Ultimately, this translates to trust. And trust is what drives conversions. You can create simple posts sourcing opinions on particular subjects from your team members, or offer industry-related resources you use. Everyone loves insider info.
6. Your customers and prospects
You can have the most detailed, well-researched piece of content in the world; it won’t matter if nobody wants to read it. That’s why it’s essential to keep your target audience in mind when generating ideas for content.
One of the most reliable ways to choose topics that will resonate with your audience is to simply ask them what they want to see. You can do this by conducting:
Surveys: A survey is a great way to get feedback from a large number of people at once. You can use apps like Google Forms to create and distribute your survey.
Interviews: If you want to get more in-depth feedback, you can conduct one-on-one interviews with customers and prospects. Interviews are a great way to get to know your audience and understand their needs and wants.
Focus groups: A focus group is similar to an interview but with a group of people instead of just one. This can be a great way to generate ideas for content, especially if you’re trying to appeal to a specific demographic. You can host focus groups online through a platform like Zoom or in-person if you have the resources.
Polls: A poll is a quick and easy way to get feedback from your audience. You can create polls on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook or use a dedicated service.
Customer data analysis: Hopefully, you already have a good amount of data on your customers. If so, you can use this data to generate ideas for content that will appeal to them. Say you realize that most of your traffic now comes from people using mobile devices. You could create content specifically for this demographic, like a guide to using your app on a mobile device.
7. Create FAQ Blog Posts
Google loves them, customers love them… It’s a FAQ world, and we’re all just living in it.
Why Google Likes FAQ Posts
Mobile searches account for over 60% of search traffic worldwide, so it’s no wonder that Google took notes.
As it turns out, mobile searchers want answers and they want them now.
This is why all of our search results look so dynamic these days. With frequently asked questions, snippets, and knowledge cards, Google no longer looks like it did a few years back. All of this is because our queries have fundamentally changed.
Today, people are asking more conclusive questions. They know what they came to search for. So by serving searchers with instant answers to their questions, Google is able to service them better. Consequently, it prioritizes content that’s structured as a FAQ section – even if it’s a 2,000-word blog post.
Why Your Leads Love FAQ Posts
There are billions of gigabytes of data being produced every day, and yet, finding answers to some questions is harder than it should be. Often, you’ll come across posts with dense paragraphs and no quick way of finding the information you’re looking for.
When you come across a neatly structured post, it feels like a slice of heaven.
How to Create Great FAQ Posts for Your Blog
Fortunately, you don’t even have to sit down and ideate hard in order to create a FAQ post.
Instead, use your regular keywords, and analyze the search results:
What questions and answers are showing up as Featured Snippets?
What questions are listed in the “People Also Ask” section?
Are there any related searches?
Answers are usually always provided, so you can put your spin on it.
List the questions, list the answers, and presto!
You’ve got yourself a blog post you didn’t have to spend dozens of hours on.
8. Buying pre-written articles
While Draft is definitely one of the best options for outsourcing specific content ideas you’ve come up with, you can also buy pre-written articles. In other words, instead of getting a piece of content commissioned, you buy the pre-cooked version off a digital shelf.
Some platforms offer the services where individual writers sell articles they wrote for specific niches.
However, if you buy pre-written articles, they won’t be adapted to your brand style. You also run the risk of being just one of multiple buyers, as well.
And when you republish content that has been published elsewhere, you won’t get the SEO benefits. In fact, you could even risk getting a manual penalty from Google and losing your traffic-driving rankings.
9. If you don’t like writing, talk
Not everyone is born to be a writer and hey, that’s totally fine! You can always record your thoughts and transcribe them or create a video or podcast. You can do this alone, or with your team.
Outline your conversation
Before you start talking, jot down the things you want to talk about. Having an outline will help you steer the conversation (or the monologue) in the right direction. The era of index cards may be behind us, but it’s still good to have talking points you can reference. Using speech-to-text for writing blog posts comes with risks to your content quality, though.
10. Case studies
Case studies are a great way to demonstrate your expertise without wasting time. Customers are always on the lookout for case studies and examples they can learn from. If you can provide such a valuable resource to them, you bet they’ll convert.
Simply pick a product or a company, and succinctly sum up:
Who they are
What you liked (or disliked) about them
What your potential customers can learn from them
Case studies are a great method of finding content for blogs if you’re not as verbose.
11. Write about other people’s content
Finally, there is a lot of content out there. From blog posts to infographics and tweets, finding content for blogs doesn’t have to be a hardship.
Save all the interesting resources you come across. Then, write a blog post that incorporates them. Offer your business’ unique take and opinion on it, while giving credit to the original poster. Opinion pieces have been a content tactic since the inception of newspapers. It’s not cheating, it’s content curation.
12. Your competitors
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for content, your competition is one of the best places to look. By seeing what kinds of content they’re producing, you can better understand what’s popular in your industry and what might be missing from the conversation.
The Skyscraper Technique, as it’s called, is a great way to use your competition’s content to generate ideas for your own. The basic idea is to find a piece of content from a competitor that’s doing well and use it as a starting point.
What is missing from this piece of content?
What could be improved?
What questions does this leave unanswered?
By answering these questions, you can create a piece of content that’s even better than what your competitor offers.
13. Guest posting
Now that we’ve covered some of the lesser-known ways of producing your own blog content, it’s time to think about getting other people to write your content for you. Guest posting is one of them. When you accept guest posts, you’re opening yourself up to interesting new collaboration and cross-marketing opportunities, in addition to enriching your blog with diverse perspectives.
Your guest bloggers will be writing and publishing articles on your blog, giving you a lot more material.
Link building strategies professionals choose:
🔗Resources and links list pages
🔗Social media backlinks
🔗Public release and content submission
🔗Collaboration with opinion leaders
🔗 Skyscraper technique
Guest posting is the go-to method of getting more backlinks.
There are a few ground rules:
The person posting should be related to your industry
They should cover a subject you haven’t covered before, cover it in greater depth than you, or offer unique insights
Create guest posting guidelines
Prepare a content promotion plan
Keep the conversation going
While your primary goal is publishing more material to your blog, you shouldn’t forget about your long-term goals. One of the best things about accepting guest posts on your site is that you’ll get the chance to create meaningful connections with other industry experts.
Consequently, their expertise will boost your own expertise.
When your (potential) customers see your business collaborates with industry influencers, their opinion of you will improve. In that respect, a guest post can provide as much social proof as a testimonial.
Drive ROI for your content efforts.
Hire a vetted writer on Draft
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