It happened again.
I ran out of blog post ideas!
I’m a pretty creative person and have been doing this marketing and writing gig for longer than I care to admit, but even I sometimes struggle to come up with fresh ideas.
After writing regular blog articles for one particular client for several years, I thought I’d covered every possible topic, sub-topic and sub-sub-topic there was.
What was I to do?
Develop the ultimate blog post idea list, of course.
And here it is for the benefit of any of my fellow marketers who may have temporarily lost their creative mojo.
1. Create a list
Google search any topic, and more times than not, the top results will be ‘list’ type posts. It seems people can’t get enough of lists. Lists can be on almost anything and are a great starting point for blog posts. Think, ‘Top 10…”, ‘5 reasons why…’, ‘25 tips to….’, ‘Your Checklist for…’.
Why not conduct an interview with an expert in your niche, a customer, employee or even a supplier? You can then reproduce the questions and answers in written form. This works great as well for interviewing someone via email, and can be a great time-saver.
3. How-to posts
One of the most popular types of blog posts are articles that are useful. This is where the classic ‘How to….’ post comes in. This type of post can apply to almost any business or industry. The idea is to give your target audience really useful information, or some of your secret sauce recipe. Some brands are a little scared of giving away their tricks of the trade online. But let’s face it, everyone is already doing it. Remember giving away ‘some’ of your secrets develops trust and credibility, and can drive purchasing decisions.
This is similar to a Q&A post, but reads more like a feature story. You can focus on a customer, employee or even a supplier. You could event turn it into a ‘Day in the Life of…’ post.
If you’re hosting or attending an interesting event, why not feature it in a blog post? You can write an article and include pictures after the event, and even promote an event before it happens.
6. Thought leadership
Some brands may wish to position themselves as leaders in their field, or want to make comment on a matter of public policy or an issue. A thought leadership or opinion piece can be written on behalf of a senior manager in your organization.
7. Case study
Sharing a case study about something that happened in your industry or business is a great opportunity to position your brand as credible and knowledgeable. If you focus on a case study involving a customer you can also show how you solve particular problems and the benefits you offer. This can be extremely engaging and persuasive due to the story form nature of case studies.
Has your brand, or is your brand about to celebrate a significant milestone, such as anniversaries, sales numbers, number of followers? Maybe an employee has reached a years-of-service milestone, and ta-da! You’ve got yourself a blog post.
Has your organization recently entered, won or been a finalist in any awards? Awards don’t have to be specific to your industry or business, say for instance your employee wins a community volunteer award, this could still make a great blog post. The same goes for celebrating the achievements of your suppliers, business partners and even your customers.
10. Something new
There’s a reason ‘news’ contains the word ‘new’. Things that are new make great blog posts. New employees, products, services, initiatives, programs, premises, stores, the list goes on. Even seemingly mundane things such as new systems or business plans can be made into interesting blog posts, especially if you can make a connection to how it will benefit your target audience.
11. Community involvement
Most organizations these days are involved in their local community in some way. Whether it is significant corporate social responsibility and environmental initiatives, participating in a fundraising event or helping out at a local charity, these all make great blog posts.
If you’re celebrating something in your organization, whether it’s a commemorative event or some kind of achievement, take some photos and with a few lines, you’ve got yourself a blog post that showcases the people behind your brand and gives your content real soul.
Publishing key results from research studies and surveys that your brand has undertaken or participated in can form a very informative blog post.
Has your brand produced a recent report that is or can be made available to the public? Annual reports, sustainability reports and industry reports, with the right angle and hook, can all be the focus of a great blog post.
Perhaps your brand has been featured elsewhere online or in a news article. Why not use it as an opportunity to spread the word a little further and highlight the original article in a blog post?
16. Industry news
Great brands and their marketers are usually in touch with what is happening in their industry. Subscribing to popular industry news publications and e-newsletters can provide great fodder and inspiration for blog posts.
17. Curated content
A great time-saver can be sharing other people’s content. Choose a great piece of content specific to your niche. This article from the Content Marketing Institute has some great tips on how to curate content like a pro. The key of, course, is to add value to what you are sharing with relevant comment or insights of your own. And don’t just copy and paste someone’s whole article because…well…that’s just wrong for a load of reasons.
18. Other types of media
Blog posts don’t have to always be text-based. Photos, infographics, audio files, videos, memes and gifs, all can form a blog post, either without words or with just some introductory and explanatory text. These types of posts are also often more engaging than traditional long-form text posts. If you run out of images or gifs, you can always use stock image tools for inspiration.
19. Customer reviews and testimonials
Sharing stories from satisfied customers and partners isn’t bragging. Having a dedicated fan sing your praises, for you, is a smart and super effective marketing strategy. It also makes for mighty fine blog content.
20. Holiday themed
Holidays provide great leveraging opportunities for marketing and blog content. Is there some way you can link your brand to Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s, Mother’s Day?
21. Guest posts
Now if you’re really stuck for ideas and/or time, why not ask a colleague, staff member or another expert to ‘guest write’ one of your blog posts? Often other businesses are more than happy to provide content, as it can give their brand further credibility by appearing on a third party site. They will most likely want a backlink to their site, so just check out the link first to determine the domain and page authority of their site – so that you’re not inadvertently backlinking to a spammy or untrustworthy site).
Don’t let your blog post go to waste
Once you’ve got as far as writing your blog post, it’s important you don’t let it go to waste.
We have all been guilty, at one time or another, of publish-and-forget-about-it syndrome.
There are loads of ways to maximize the reach of your blog post and get a better return for your efforts.
First of all you will want to share it on your social media accounts, but not just the once.
In fact you can tweak a blog post and turn one article into dozens of distinct social media posts.
Using MavRepeater you can set a schedule for repeating your posts, which is particularly useful for evergreen blog content.
In MavSocial you can also access analytics and develop targeted reports, that will help you identify high performing previous posts that may be worth repeating.
And you can also use MavSocial’s digital library to search for previously posted videos and images based on titles, descriptions, and tags, that can be used in your social media posts featuring your blog articles.