4 Tips for Brainstorming Blog Topics
Posted by Emery Ross on Nov 8, 2019 10:35:00 AM
Very few things are more frustrating than brainstorming blog ideas when you’re suffering from writer’s block. You just sit at your desk and stare at your desktop screen. Your mind is a total blank—it’s like you’ve forgotten how to link words together to form a coherent sentence.
At times like those, you can feel like you’re cast out at sea. Here are a few life preservers you can grab when you’re trying to come up with blog ideas and writer’s block strikes.
Ask Your Customers and Coworkers
The whole point of writing a blog for your business is to attract and engage customers. So when you’re trying to come up with blog topics, it makes sense to get input from your existing customer base. After all, who can tell you what clients want to know better than the clients themselves?
Try creating a survey on your blog to get input from readers on what they’d like you to write about. Online tools like Google Surveys make it easy to create surveys that will yield valuable insights into your customers’ interests.
Also, talk with people in your company who regularly interact with clients. They’ll be able to tell you questions that customers frequently ask and problems they often have. That can give you inspiration for blog content.
Ask your different departments what the most common roadblocks are. You can use that to illustrate the problem and the solution. Sit in on meetings in different departments. You can use their communication styles and workflow for a post. What about it works? How can you apply it? Get to know your peers. Where did they come from? What have they accomplished? What are their goals? You can highlight them in a post. A story is the most compelling read.
Check Other Blogs and Social Media
Keep an eye on what others in your industry are writing about. You can subscribe to blogs that touch on topics relating to your market. Also, tools like BuzzSumo let you see content that’s getting attention on social media sites.
Watch, especially, for gaps in information in those posts. What questions aren’t they answering? Which ideas can you expand on? Don’t copy others’ posts; improve upon their ideas.
Leverage Free Tools
Sometimes, you just need a title to get the creative juices flowing. Hubspot has a free topic generator on its website. You just plug in three terms related to your business, and the generator will pump out a list of titles that you can use as inspiration for blog subjects (as an added bonus, you’ll get some solid headlines for your blogs).
Having a particular keyword phrase in your mind can help inspire you too. With Google Ads Keyword Planner, you can type in a term and get hundreds of related phrases. You can also get valuable data on the most popular keywords such as how many times people search for them.
Google Trends is another great resource that can help you identify hot topics. It will show you the trends in particular keywords and offer up “breakout” topics that can be super helpful in identifying new and highly relevant ideas.
Your readers may be interested in what your team is like and what you like to do. Take note of new practices and projects the office has been doing. Make sure to analyze what works and what the best practice is. Break it down. Develop a process or program that will educate your reader and be easy for them to implement in their own lives. Talk to your managers about how they started the business and what processes they established.
Get involved in the community and volunteer. You can use that as content for a post about what your company values. You could shadow an employee for a day and write about what a day in the life of someone else’s shoes. It would be interesting to experience and write about.
And, if you learned it, share it. Anytime you attend a tradeshow, community event, or are hosting something at your office then you should be posting about it. Make it a point to write about any of your learning experiences.
Bonus Tip: Beat Writer’s Block
Sometimes generating ideas is the hard part; other times, it’s figuring out how to get those ideas down on paper. If you’re in a creative rut, here are a few quick tips to get you going.
- Listen to music - tuning out surrounding noise is incredibly helpful. Everyone is different, so try the soundtrack to your favorite movie, but also try a few of your favorite singer/songwriters. You never know what will get your creative juices flowing!
- Relax - physically and mentally. You will be interrupted, especially in the office, so have a method of relaxation. Breathing exercises can be invaluable.
- Clear your desktop - depending on how easily you are distracted, you may want to minimize everything else on your desktop. You don't need extra distractions to steal away that great sentence idea.
- Go for a walk - a quick walk in the beautiful outdoors can reset your mind and inspire you. It's also healthy to get up from sitting every 15-30 minutes.
- Have a snack/drink - having a glass of water handy, or some fruit can give your hands something to do, and give you a tiny mental break every time you reach for your water.
- Play with your cat - of course, this one is exclusive to people with pets (and only really useful if you’re working from home or are fortunate to have an office cat), but they're fun, furry, and they can help you reset.
Now, enough procrastinating. Get to work!
Written by Emery Ross
Emery is an inbound marketing specialist in search engine optimization and content writing. She earned a Master of Arts in rhetoric and composition from Boise State University. In her free time she writes about birds (mostly geese).