Blog Friday Q&A

Friday Q&A: How to Come Up With a Lot of Blog Post Ideas

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Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more.

Happy Friday!

This week’s question comes from Lauren N., who asks:

This is a great question, and one that we get a lot.

I wrote a longer post about this here, but essentially, there are ten things that work for us:

  1. Read. A Lot. Reading is probably our biggest inspiration for new blog post ideas. We end up stumbling on many topics this way, and whether we agree with the author or not, things that get us thinking are usually things that get us writing.

  2. Take notes. We take notes on just about everything we see around the web. Different folks on our team have different systems, from Evernote to simple text docs, but everything gets dumped into our communal blog-focused Trello board.

  3. Talk to your customers. Ultimately, we all write for our customers. Or at least for the people who might one day become our customers. Their problems are what you have to solve with your content. For example, when I talked to our customers, a lot of folks mentioned that our homepage video got them interested in trying Groove. They wanted to know how we made it, and how they could create a good explainer video, too. So I wrote about it.

  4. “Copy” What’s Worked for Others. I don’t actually mean you should steal people’s work. That’s not cool. But you can learn a ton from seeing what works for other blogs, and then using that to inspire and influence your own blog topics.

  5. Do Keyword Research. Doing keyword research is a good way to come up with ideas for the types of problems people actually want you to solve for them. More on how we do that here.

  6. Scan Social Media. If you know your customers, you probably know where your customers hang out online. Who their influencers are, the types of forums they frequent, what communities they’re involved in. Those communities can be gold mines for blog post ideas. All you need to do is look at the types of questions that keep coming up.

  7. Do Stuff That Other People Are Scared to Do. People love reading about things that they’re scared to try themselves. It’s human nature; before we try something risky, we want to know whether it worked for someone else first. By taking those risks yourself and then writing about them, you get double the benefit: the upside from trying new things that could potentially grow your business, and the thought leadership that comes from writing about it.

  8. Encourage Comments and Emails. Always ask for comments and feedback on your content. It’s a fantastic way to get blog post ideas that are already guaranteed to generate interest in a highly qualified audience: your existing readers.

  9. Share Your Experiences (Even Small Ones). We get a lot of our blog ideas from very routine, pedestrian things that we do that we think other people and companies might want to learn more about. Things like how we manage bug reports and why I write investor updates. People like to read about these things because there’s a good chance they have to do them too. So if you can help people improve the way that they do things (even tiny things), or cause them to look at those things differently, you’ll add value to their lives.

  10. Repurpose Existing Content Into Different Formats. Another big “myth” that I hear from a lot of people is the belief that once you’ve written about a topic, you file it away and never write about it again. Sure, you could do that, but frankly, it’s wasteful. And you’re doing your readers a disservice. Different people like to consume content differently. Your Ultimate Guide to SEO might be really valuable to people who read it, but others who prefer lists and slideshows might never read it, even though they could benefit from it tremendously. By taking a key point from a post and using it in other posts, you can repurpose existing content by simply reframing it.

What tips and tricks do you have for coming up with new content ideas? Let me know in the comments!

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From “aha” to “oh shit”, we’re sharing everything on our journey to $10M in annual revenue. We’re learning a lot and so will you.

About the Author

Alex Turnbull is the CEO & Founder of Groove (simple helpdesk software for small businesses) who loves to build startups and surf.

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