Writer’s Block? 5 Ways to Find Blog Post Topics

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In my free time, I am a harp player and music nerd. It happens to be the one other industry besides digital marketing that I’m passionate about, and know extremely well. Occasionally I’ll write an article or two for my friend’s blog—she’s a professional harpist. On the topic of maintaining her blog, she will either say:

  • “I don’t know what to write about.”
  • “I don’t have time to write.”

I understand that it can be hard for business owners to come up with topics for their blog, and my harpist friend is no different. Consider this: as a business owner, you are an expert at something specific. Your insight is valuable, and people on the outside don’t know what you know. Here’s a few ways to accumulate a list of topics.

  1. Consult your keyword research results. Typically keyword research results in a list of words geared toward optimizing your service or product pages on your website, but often there are blog post ideas littered among the “rejects”. For instance, if my friend’s key services are “harp lessons” “live wedding music” and “live reception music”, putting those words into Google’s keyword planner tool will also return results like, “ceremony songs for weddings” and “best beginner harp”. She should have some really good ideas and insights on these topics, and writing about them will position her website in the path of a casual searcher, and hopefully will result in a lead!
  2. Sign up for as many industry-specific publications as you can find.If you believe there are no publications for your field because it’s too narrow, you just haven’t looked hard enough!
    • Look for events or conventions that are industry-specific and sign up for their newsletters.
    • Seek out your competitors and sign up for their email list.
    • Find other bloggers and subscribe to their RSS feeds.
  3. Troll through twitter.Spend a little time “curating” the people you follow on twitter. Are they posting things you find interesting? Is it industry-specific? Dump people that are spamming nonsense every 10 minutes; they will be of no help to you. Note the topics your followees are tweeting about, because these are clues to what your industry feels is important.
    • Every once in a while you will see a big surge of “hot” news via twitter, and you should jump on that topic immediately while it’s fresh.
  4. Read books about your industry. Table of Contents are perfect places to find neatly categorized topics. Look at each chapter title and imagine yourself writing a post about it. When you find one that piques your interest, read the corresponding chapter in the book you picked up, and then find 2 other books on a similar subject. Synthesise. Repeat until you have to buy another book.
  5. Ask your customers about what is confusing to them; identify pain points. This is very good blog material, as people are likely to be searching for help in these areas, and you can position your business as the potential solution. Funny enough, this is exactly the inspiration for the very post you are reading now.

The great thing about these five ideas is they are a well that never goes dry. There will always be new keyword lists, fresh publications, latest tweets, and new books to read.

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Jesse Schoff

Jesse Schoff

Navigator of the series of tubes that is the Internet. Handler of the masters of the web. Translator of geek speak from developers to the world.


 

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