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How to Develop Blog Ideas

How to Develop Blog Ideas - St. Gregory Marketing

Struggling to come up with blog ideas for your company’s website? Developing a steady stream of blog post ideas can seem daunting, but we’re willing to bet there are some great resources right at your fingertips. Read on for our top six tips to develop great blog ideas right now!

If you’re looking for low-hanging fruit for your marketing and sales teams, you can’t go wrong with a blog. A well-written, informative blog can help your website rank better on search engines like Google. While increased organic traffic is always nice, perhaps more importantly, a blog can help build trust among prospective clients or customers, usher individuals deeper into your sales funnel and ease the burden on your customer service or sales reps by answering common questions. In fact, according to ( HubSpot, “Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog.

Plus, blog content is content you own. When you post on social media platforms or utilize advertising platforms, you’re at the mercy of a third party. For example, if Meta (Facebook) were to shut down tomorrow, all your carefully curated posts would be gone. Unless something extreme happens, the blogs you create for your website are yours forever.

Despite all the positives, many companies still aren’t taking full advantage of the power of blogging. While there is a myriad of reasons for this, one big obstacle is coming up with blog ideas. No worries, we’re here to help! Here are our top six tips to develop blog post ideas.

Mine FAQs for Blog Ideas

Great blog content is informative and helpful. To lean into that, look to your frequently asked questions for post ideas. Identify the questions that come up again and again and create blog posts to address them. To compile a list of questions:

•    Ask your sales reps.

•    Ask your customer service reps. If you have call tracking software or chat logs, you may even be able to mine that data for questions.

•    Ask techs in the field. For example, if you have a pest control business, ask the employees that are going into people’s homes what concerns come up once they get to the job site.

You will get a different perspective and list of questions from each of these different departments.

Tip: Look for questions at all stages of the buying cycle. Questions someone has early on as they’re researching a problem will vary from questions they have when they’re comparing solutions.

Other great places to check for potential blog post ideas include public-facing forms of communication. For example, if you have social media profiles review the comments and direct messages. If you’ve been blogging check for any comments that include questions.

You can also ask your customers (or prospective customers) directly! For example, let’s say you’re a financial institution, like a credit union or bank, that wants to attract new customers. You could host a financial literacy webinar or AMA (ask me anything) session. Use the questions that come up in that free event to create future blog content.

Turn to Social Media for Blog Post Ideas

Great blog post ideas may be educational, as mentioned above, but another cornerstone of blog content is entertainment. If you want to create entertaining and engaging content for your blog, head to your social media channels to see which posts have been garnering the most reactions, comments, and shares. Ask yourself how you can turn those posts into longer-form content for your blog.

For example, let’s say you’re a restaurant with an Instagram account. You posted a video clip of your chef plating a special dish. This shows viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant as well as a glimpse of the beautiful food they could enjoy at your restaurant. The video is getting a lot of engagement.

Playing off of that, you could create blog content that provides additional behind-the-scenes access to the restaurant, an interview with the chef, or plating tips that readers can use in their own kitchen.

Use Free Tools for Strategic Blog Ideas

If you want to use data to come up with blog ideas, you’re in luck. There are a host of free tools you can use to identify needs in your industry. For example, you can set Google Alerts for certain topics or use Google Trends to monitor increases or decreases in searches around given topics. Both of these tools can let you know about emerging needs.

For example, in early 2020 there was a spike in searches for virtual healthcare options, like telehealth visits. If you were in the healthcare industry, it would have behooved you to educate your current and prospective patients on how virtual healthcare works, how to have the best visit, and when telehealth is not a good option.

Another free tool you can use is Google’s Keyword Research tool, available through Google Ads. You can use that tool to see the average number of monthly searches for different keywords as well as how competitive keywords are.

Use these free tools (and others) to find what your target audience needs and is looking for, and then fill that need with your blog!

Ask Employees for Blog Post Ideas

Your employees are another great source of blog ideas. As already mentioned, you can ask them what questions they frequently get asked, but their potential goes way beyond that. Here are three additional ways your employees may be able to help you come up with blog post ideas.

Ask what they’re working on.

Are your employees working on anything new or interesting that your audience would want to hear about? This could be something big like a new feature or service you want to tease or reveal. On the other hand, this could be as simple as a really interesting project.

For example, let’s say you’re in the home services industry, specifically you do roofing. One of your salespeople just sold a two-tone roof where part of the roof is shingled in one color and the other part of the room is done in metal in a different color. This is a really unique look and requires some special work by your roofing techs. Talk to the homeowner and see if you can share this project on your blog.

Ask for their top “hacks.”

Ask your employees what their best tips or secret “hacks” are. Do they have a special way of doing something that could make your customers’ (or potential customers’) lives easier?

Get to know them.

Generally, people want to feel like they know who they are doing business with. They want to feel less like they’re dealing with a faceless corporation and more like they’re dealing with their neighbors. (The neighbors they like … not the ones who only mow their lawn once a month!)Content that introduces key employees and talks about both their professional and personal lives can be super engaging. For example, if you’re a restaurant, do an interview with your head chef.

Look at Competitors for Blog Ideas

While we would never advocate stealing from a competitor, it is okay to look at what kind of blog content they’re creating. This will allow you to find areas where they’re leaving gaps you can fill or sharing incorrect information.

If your competitor has social sharing buttons or comments enabled on their blog you can even get a general idea of which posts are proving to be the most engaging. Look for ways you can create similar (but not identical) content or play off of those posts.

Update Old Blog Posts

You don’t want to share outdated information with existing or potential customers, so periodically audit your own blog posts and see what may need to be updated. This could be as simple as correcting a few words or it could warrant an entire overhaul of the post.

If you’re using Google Analytics or some other tracking service on your site, you can also look at which blog ideas used to drive a lot of traffic and leads but have started to fall off. Attempt to identify why those posts are no longer performing well. For example, perhaps the keyword you used when creating the content has changed. Look for ways to breathe new life into those old posts!

You can use the six tips in this post to generate blog ideas for your company blog. Consumer needs and habits aren’t static; they will change over time, so even if you feel like you’ve already done all six of these things, run through them again! Look for new questions, new projects or features, new employees, and new searches. Remember, 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles than advertisements ( source), so give the people what they want. And if you need a little extra help coming up with blog post ideas or even writing your blogs, contact St. Gregory. We offer full-service content marketing and consulting.