When you’re not a natural writer, coming up with blog ideas and topics can be painstaking and slow. Here’s my guide to making the process quick and easy – so you can whizz up blog titles during naptime:
It’s hard to come up with blog ideas when you’re not 100% sure who’s going to read your articles once published. The first step to easy-peasy idea generation is to get crystal clear on who you are targeting with your words. Be specific. If you’re writing for parents – what sort of parents are you speaking to? Stay-at-home? Working? Single parents? What are their income levels? Where are they based? What do they do in their spare time? These are all things to keep in mind so you can use exactly the right language and create blog angles which really resonate.
Once you know WHO your target audience are – get to the root of their problems and start triggering them. If you’re going to spend precious business (or family) time on you blog, you need to make sure it’s a blog that convert into sales. You want your blog posts and articles to make your readers think: ‘it’s like they’ve written this for me! I need what they’re offering…’. The easiest way to do this is to get inside your reader’s head. Find out what they’re struggling with and produce blog posts that provide solutions.
Before you put pen to paper, find a place where you are going to be able to concentrate. Does sitting down with a notebook, a toddler, and the distant chatter of Mr. Tumble really work for you? Or would you be better of carefully taking your smartphone in the bath… (I accept no responsibility for that move!) Think carefully about where you will best feel calm, inspired, and ready to let ideas flow freely.
A great place to find blog ideas is to take a look at what’s already out there: blog posts from your competition. Don’t resist for fear of copying – this isn’t about taking exact titles and re-writing the same content. This is about seeing the angles and ideas which are gaining attention with the same target audience so you can get creative in the same areas. It can also help you get a better understanding for what sort of wording works – should your titles be questions, how to guides, interviews, etc. I use BuzzSumo to do research into client competition.
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas off the top of your head (and your competitors didn’t inspire you much either) it’s time to resort to your calendar. Think about what seasonal events are coming up and how you can create content that works with this. Don’t feel pressured to go with the typical ‘gift guides’ (although these might work brilliantly, depending on your business) instead go back to your audience research and think about the exact problems you can solve or ways you can inspire your clients while linking them to events they’ll relate to.
Finally, just get it ALL out. Everything. If you start censoring yourself due to your inner critic, things are going to slow down quickly. Don’t judge your ideas, just keep writing them out. The more you allow yourself to freely come up with topics and angles that won’t work, the easier you’ll find it to let sneaky gems through. Remember, you’re under no obligation to write any of these blog ideas you come up with, so put them out on paper or in your memo app just to keep the creative process flowing.