Blogging for beginners: 9 tips for pulling awesome content ideas out of thin air

May 21, 2018 Elliott Moore

Blogging is important. For all businesses looking to boost search engine optimisation (SEO), increase reach, showcase expertise and bolster their content marketing efforts, posting quality blogs regularly is essential. Regularly updating content across your website and social media channels—your marketing mix's core elements—can help develop a stronger brand identity, facilitate customer loyalty, and ultimately improve conversion rates.

However, it’s not always easy to find the time to come up with killer ideas, especially if you have numerous other responsibilities and tasks to consider. Luckily, coming up with a winning blog concept doesn’t have to take up too much of your valuable time. Check out this list of nine tips to help you come up with interesting and original content ideas in a matter of seconds.

1. Know what your competition is doing

Reading what others are writing about is a simple and effective way to generate new ideas. Pay particular attention to stories that generate a large number of shares and comments. Read critically and ask whether each article delivers on the promise of its headline, or if it raises additional questions that are not addressed. If it doesn’t answer questions adequately or leaves room for elaboration, that could give you something to focus on.

2. Speak to clients, customers, and co-workers

Just because you are stuck for ideas, it doesn’t mean other people are. Think about reaching out to the person sitting beside you as they may have an idea they’d love to share, or maybe a customer would appreciate a blog that elaborates on a specific product or service that your company offers. It might even be worth setting up a suggestion box in your office where people can deposit ideas for future articles.

3. Revisit your past work and build on it

Don’t be afraid to revisit ideas you have covered in the past. New research or industry development could necessitate a return to previous blogs, and could afford you additional insight, or may even give you a brand-new perspective on something.

4. Write about what you know

There’s likely something you’re doing, or thinking, that’s worth writing about. For example, you might be trying to cut down on meetings, considering adopting new software, or have seen something on TV that links—even if only tangentially—to what your company offers. People want to read content that is original and unique, so give them something only you could come up with.

5. Research some keywords

Performing keyword research is a great way to discover what readers want to know about a given topic. Try a keyword research tool like KeywordTool. Enter your topic, and you will be given a list of popular searches, which can be narrowed down by searches that take the form of a question.

6. Look at your company’s campaign history

What has your company been doing successfully lately? Is there something you’ve been focusing on, or something you do that rival organisations don’t? If so, why not write a blog to promote your activities? If you write a piece that concentrates on internal efforts, speaking to colleagues can add additional colour, and are likely to offer valuable insight.    

7. Take a light-hearted approach

Many people mistakenly believe that successful creative work is accomplished only by constant refinement and unwavering focus, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes a more frivolous approach can be both refreshing and interesting and offer something bespoke. If something fun and thought-provoking piques your interest, go ahead and write about it.

8. Check your metrics

If your blog has been running for a while, then venture into the CMS back end, look at the metrics, and see what’s been performing well. If there’s a particular topic or style of blog that consistently performs better than average, use that as a starting point for your next piece.

9. Play devil’s advocate

Having a controversial opinion doesn’t necessarily make it wrong. Sometimes playing devil’s advocate, and going against the grain, can entice and engage readers. However, always tread carefully if you decide to embrace controversy; never do something that could cause a backlash or could damage your company’s reputation.

About the Author

Elliott Moore

Elliott Moore // North America Marketing Manager // AdRoll

More Content by Elliott Moore
Previous Article
How video streaming service, Viki identifies and converts its target audiences
How video streaming service, Viki identifies and converts its target audiences

Viki, a streaming video service, needed to figure out how to engage customers across different platforms an...

Next Article
Creative best practices for digital marketers
Creative best practices for digital marketers

What makes an ad stand out? Experts from OneStop and AdRoll discuss the dos and don’ts of producing ad crea...