There is no shortage of guides available telling you how to generate blog post ideas. These rely on a push mentality: If you generate enough content someone is bound to read some of it.
When you’ve got an established audience, this can work.
But when you are just starting out, it’s important to stock your blog with topics your audience actually WANT to read about. This will encourage them to come back for more and tell their friends about you.
So how do you find out what they want to read about? Answer these three questions and you will have plenty to blog about for months.
#1 What’s Their Problem?
If you can solve someone’s problem they will give you their time, attention and energy. Think about your customers. What’s their problem? Not just the one huge problem that your product or service helps them with, but all the related niggling problems that go with it.
Lucy is a nutritionist. Her client’s problem is that she eats a rubbish diet. That’s not going to make for a very fun or engaging blog post. So what’s her related problems?
* Her nails are weak.
* Her hair is brittle.
* She gets sleepy mid-afternoon and this wrecks her productivity.
* She has dry, sullen skin.
* She finds it difficult to get to sleep at night.
* She’s a little heavier than she’d like to be.
I could go on, but I’m depressing myself.
Lucy could write a blog posts about:
* Foods that nourish hair and nails
* Products and treatments to avoid if you have weak nails
* Products and treatments to give your hair a boost.
You get the idea.
In every blog post she can add a little closing paragraph to bring it back to her services as a nutritionist. But the headline and bulk of the post should be focussed on a problem that is currently causing her client pain. Nobody wants to be told they should eat more healthy food. Everyone wants to know how to get voluminous shiny hair* (*disclaimer: some generalisations have been made here, but you get the idea).
#2 What Do They Want To Know About You?
To keep your audience engaged in your blog, it needs to be personal. If you did a quick search on any blog topic idea, you’d likely find hundreds, maybe even thousands of results. The information you seek to impart is already freely available. But I don’t say that to discourage you. I’m all about encouragement, I’m never here to hold you back.
What will make your audience keep coming back to your blog, is you. You are the unique feature of your blog. Your readers want occasional glimpses into your life. They want to know you are a real human that they can build a real relationship with.
Lucy (our nutritionist) could do this by sharing her favourite recipes, writing up her favourite breakfast, doing a blog post series about overcoming a specific health issue she has.
If you’re a business coach you could share information on books you’ve read, courses you’ve attended or resources you’ve used, that might benefit your readers.
If you’re a restauranteur you could explain how you source your ingredients, set a menu, choose the wine list.
If you gave a client a backstage pass to your business, what are the things they would most want to see?
#3 What are the things you wish they knew about you?
What are the questions you get asked most often by your customers? What are the questions that make you mentally mutter ‘I wish you knew this stuff already’? These topics make excellent blog posts because your customer wants to hear about it + when you answer in person you can direct them to your blog for more information.
That’s it. Three questions. A whole heap of ideas.
Want a pretty printable you can keep on file for future prompting? Of course you do. (Or maybe you have it already, in which case, enjoy!).