As entrepreneurs, we all need more content to help grow our businesses. Here are a few reasons why:
“Content creation ranks as the single most effective SEO technique.” –Marketing Sherpa
“Small businesses with blogs receive 126% more lead growth than small businesses without.” –Impactbnd
“Per dollar spent, content marketing generates more than three times the number of leads than paid search does.” –Kapost/Eloqua
(Source for statistics: Content Marketing Institute)
But creating content is hard if you don’t know your topic ideas in advance and there’s no deadline attached to them.
So, let’s brainstorm for blog topic ideas for 2020 by asking seven key questions.
1. What problems do you solve?
People ask questions when they want to solve a problem. They ask their friends, family, colleagues, social media contacts, and search engines.
So, create a list of blog topic ideas from the customer’s point of view. Include the kinds of questions they would ask their network to find you.
2. What do you want people to ask you about your business?
A website designer told me that potential customers often don’t ask important questions such as, “Is my website ADA compliant?” So, when brainstorming, think about questions that will help you manage the conversation.
3. What keywords do you want to target?
Google Search has this cool tool called Google Suggest. You type in a keyword or a question and you get a list of related searches. The list appears in the search box as you type or at the end of the search results page.
4. What are your competitors doing?
When you enter a search topic, Google lists websites that have articles on the topic of interest. It also lists questions that “People also ask” about this topic.
Should you copy your competitors? Yes and no. To be competitive, you need to know what your competitors are doing. You may even want to write about similar topics. Make sure your blog content is unique to your small business and website, however.
5. What content do you already have?
Use a spreadsheet to keep your Editorial Calendar up to date. Your calendar then becomes a tool for maintaining and assessing you content inventory.
Your content is a valuable asset. Find ways to reuse it (for example, in a guest blog post or business booster) or repurpose (for example, in a workshop or book).
Also look at content from your customers—reviews, testimonials, case studies—blog ideas.
6. What’s trending in your industry?
People would like to know more about your industry.
You can keep them up to date with blog topic ideas from many sources: trade publications, courses, workshops, conferences, forums, and meetups.
7. What online tools will you use to help you brainstorm?
Check online forums such as Quora and Reddit. They have trending questions that will help you brainstorm for topic ideas.
You can also use news aggregators such as Feedly and Inoreader. They make it easy to keep up to date with your favorite blogs and influencers.
You get seven days of Buzzsumo for free. That’s enough time to find the topics and phrases your targeted audience cares about.
These seven questions should help you generate enough blog topic ideas for all of 2020. Now schedule when you will start writing your blog topics; then schedule blog article distribution due dates.
Alice Brzovic uses her more than 20 years of writing and editing experience to help solopreneurs and nonprofit organizations by creating content that people like and trust. She has been creating web content since the web was the next big thing. When not working, she likes looking at art or hiking in the open spaces in San Diego and beyond.