Are you a B2B marketer struggling to develop new and interesting blog ideas? Coming up with relevant topics for blog content can be difficult over time. Though a content calendar can prove helpful in mapping out topic ideas, a fresh perspective is important in keeping your blog active and readers interested. In this post, we’ll share with you time-tested approaches and new techniques to arm any B2B firm with loads of great ideas.
Time to Start Fresh with Blog Posts
No matter your level of experience as a content writer, it’ll only be a matter of time before you run short of ideas for great blog posts if you rely solely on what you know. For many, generating new blog ideas can be a grueling, time-consuming process, and feel like an exercise in futility.
Seeking out fresh blog post ideas frequently is important
Maintaining an innovative, updated blog that shares valuable content will position you as a thought leader and help you be more competitive in your niche. A frequently refreshed blog is a key piece of a B2B company’s marketing strategy. In today’s digital era, diminishing attention spans mean that you can easily lose your following if you don’t keep them engaged with fresh content ideas that add more value to their lives. Although techniques involving recycling old ideas do work sometimes, they cannot fully serve the need for fresh, original content.
The great thing about living in this digital age is that marketers now have access to new ways of discovering blog ideas on a regular basis. In this blog, we outline 6 timeless and low-effort methods B2B firms can use to create blog post topics.
6 Strategies for Developing Brilliant Blog Posts
a) Brainstorm with mind maps:
This one comes straight out of an academic textbook. Mind maps are a popular means of brainstorming in the academic world, so most of us are already familiar with them. Mind maps are visual representations of a central idea and its associated ideas, where the former is laid in the middle and the latter placed radially around it.
For instance, if you’re seeking out post ideas for a blog belonging to a law firm, you can start out with personal injury as your chief idea encircled in the middle of a paper or an open canvas of graphics software. By doing some brainstorming about sub-ideas and variables that can be woven into this central idea, you can capture some insightful issues on personal injury, for instance, “to hold the individual or his/her employer responsible for the damages”, “the importance of a medical examination in your claims” “the key differences between various types of injury claims”, etc.
The sub-ideas might branch out into other lower-level ideas of note, and you can synthesize many of these lower-level ideas to generate new valuable ideas.
b) Take inspiration from others:
Another excellent strategy for overcoming a shortage of blog post ideas is to take cues from what your competitors and thought leaders in your industry are doing. Using this method, you can tap into the success of your competitors.
Try using a feed reader like Feedly to follow leading blogs and their social media accounts to gain inspiration for your next amazing post. Compare your list of blog posts to theirs to see the popular topics that they’ve covered and you haven’t. An online tool like Buzzsumo can help you easily trace your competitor’s most popular blog posts.
You should also look into posts that are popular based on the number of times they’ve been linked to posts on other sites. The Open Site Explorer, an excellent online link analysis tool, has a ‘Top Page’ function which gives you express access to statistics on the number of times posts on any site in the world have been linked to posts on other sites.
Here’s a blog we did a while ago on leveraging LinkedIn groups – they can be a wealth of information, and when groups are active, it’s easy to solicit opinions and find trends.
You can choose to give these hot topics more in-depth coverage, drill down on a particular aspect, or choose a different angle to cover altogether. You might also want to consult your marketing agency for new ideas or collaborate with a B2B consulting partner. The right partner will have a variety of clients and be skilled in helping with your go-to-marketing strategy.
c) Turn to your audience:
This is another tried and true approach to get blog post ideas moving. The basis of this strategy is to elicit your reader’s pain points from their own perspective, finding out which topics stir the most interest. This method requires you to look closely at user-generated content like comments on blog posts, LinkedIn posts, @replies on Twitter, etc.
You can also check out sites where users generate content themselves, like answerthepublic.com, Quora, Reddit, or Yahooanswers.com. Most of these user-generated items are expressions of the genuine opinions and pain points of your audience, so they are great clues pointing to topics that strike their interest.
You can also do keyword research to find out what your audiences are searching for online most frequently. It’s always a good idea to collaborate with other departments who have regular insight into what clients struggle with. For example, your business development team can probably point to trends that come up regularly in meetings. This is also a great way to come up with new ways to generate B2B leads!
d) Piggyback on your previous posts:
There are many ways you can capitalize on your previous content to unlock new ideas for your blog posts. Try:
- Updating old posts: You can rewrite some of the time-sensitive posts you’ve already published to reflect the latest developments. For instance, you can rewrite a 2019 version of the post on “Top 10 accounting apps for 2018”.
- at an industry conference that you already covered. Many of our clients decide to take on a unique perspective of something they learned from our own blog, for example.
- Developing a fresh perspective: In the example above, once you’ve covered the conference and completed a follow up on the marketing tactics you tried, consider writing about your favorite presenter at the conference.
- Creating mini-guides to your blog posts: Sometimes, you can make something quite engaging using a brief synopsis of some of your most popular posts. You can write a mini-guide that teases your audience to go through some of your better-performing blog posts. Many bloggers create “Best of” lists at the end of the year, for example.
e) Ride a trend wave:
Another surefire way to generate excellent ideas for new blog posts is to look out for news and trends in your space. To do this, you need to put together a list of reliable sources for news and updates that apply to your space. You can use a tool like Feedly to compile and manage sources of local, national, and international news, and sources of content that keep you informed of industry trends. Our favorite tools for helping with this are:
- Google Trends informs you about what people are currently searching for the most online
- A Twitter search reveals what people are tweeting about the most
- Reddit search reveals the content of people’s news streams
There are several ways you can capitalize on what you find to create remarkable blog posts. You can choose to publish an opinion piece on updates, or a predictive piece about events that will most likely trail the news, or a piece sharing how new reports will affect your industry.
f) Source inspiration from those in the know – colleagues or industry experts:
This is another highly reliable way to gather blog post ideas. You can talk to your coworkers and business partners to learn more about certain issues affecting your industry. They might not provide you with a topic to write on directly, but an interview with them can help you frame certain things about your business or specialties in a way you’ve never thought of before. Asking them directly for a blog post idea might also yield brilliant ideas.
Need More? 3 Hacks to Supercharge these Strategies
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of the strategies we just covered.
Create a file for ideas
Great ideas can pop into your mind at any point in time – and be forgotten just as quickly. Since you can hardly create a perfect time to sit down and generate inspiring ideas, you need to have an easily accessible “ideas” file (a text document or a spreadsheet) where you can quickly note any idea that you want to remember. Even if they don’t merit publishing at that time, reviewing the file might help with new ideas down the road.
Flex your creative muscles regularly
Your ability to recognize patterns and relationships in elements of content is very valuable for generating new blog posts. There’s no better way to develop this knowledge than through consistent practice.
Just keep on posting
Don’t stop posting consistently, even if you’re short on ideas that you really like. You never know what potential an unpublished blog post holds until you push it out onto the web. You need to publish as frequently as possible in order to test ideas and learn which ones work best.
With these strategies in your back pocket, you can say goodbye to writer’s block for good. These strategies are systematic ways to push through inertia and establish yourself as a leading purveyor of fresh, actionable blog content. Still curious about more reliable ways to create compelling blog post content? Reach out to us today!