Do you ever wonder what makes a blog post go viral? How it generates all those likes, shares, comments and revenue? Do you have trouble coming up with those golden ideas?
A select few content experts have an uncanny knack for generating ideas that engage readers, generate leads and convert to revenue. Original blog post ideas must be the main ingredient in your content marketing strategy. It’s essential.
Here’s a fact. 61% of U.S. online consumers have Coming Up With Better Posts Start with a Clear Purpose made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.
But what’s their secret?
Read on to discover seven surefire tips and tactics that separate the blogging pros from mediocre writers.
Coming Up With Better Posts Start with a Clear Purpose
When planning your editorial calendar, you need a purpose. Know who your audience is, what you want to achieve with each piece of content and how you’re going to achieve it.
Check out these stats:
Blog posts with a purpose achieve 16% more market share, 21% more consumer engagement, 11% more revenue growth and 9% more marketing ROI than posts without one.
Back up your purpose with S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, reachable and time-based) goals for the best results.
Get to Know Your Audience: The Importance of Buyer Personas
Ninja warrior content marketers always start their journey by identifying buyer personas. These personas are semi-fictional characters that represent your ideal customers. They are crafted based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When developing these personas, it’s crucial to go beyond basic demographics.
Creating Detailed Profiles: Start by creating detailed profiles of your ideal clients. This should include:
- Demographics: Age, gender, location, income level, education, and family status.
- Professional Information: Job titles, industry, company size, and career path.
- Goals and Aspirations: What are their primary and secondary goals? What are they striving to achieve in their personal and professional lives?
- Challenges and Pain Points: Identify the specific problems they face in achieving these goals. What obstacles stand in their way?
- Psychographics: Understand their attitudes, values, interests, and lifestyle. What are their hobbies, preferences, and dislikes?
Gathering Data: Your sales team can be a goldmine of information. They interact with customers daily and can provide insights into the customers’ needs and feedback. Customer service interactions also reveal common challenges and questions customers have. Additionally, consider using surveys or interviews to gather first-hand data from your target audience.
Analyzing Online Behavior: Look at how your audience behaves online. What kind of content do they engage with on social media? What search queries are they using? Tools like Google Analytics and social media analytics can provide valuable insights into their online behavior and preferences.
Empathy Mapping: Go a step further with empathy mapping. This involves delving into what your personas are seeing, thinking, doing, and feeling. This exercise helps in understanding the emotional journey of your customers.
Utilizing Personas in Content Creation: Once you have your buyer personas, use them to guide your content creation.
- Tailored Content: Develop blog topics that address the specific challenges and interests of each persona.
- Tone and Language: Adjust your tone and language to resonate with each persona. A professional tone might appeal to a C-level executive, while a more casual tone might resonate with a young startup founder.
- Content Distribution: Consider where each persona spends their time online and distribute your content accordingly. LinkedIn might be more suitable for B2B personas, while Instagram or TikTok might be better for younger consumer audiences.
Review and Revise: Remember, buyer personas are not set in stone. As your market and customer base evolve, so should your personas. Regularly review and update them to ensure they remain accurate and relevant.
A key component to successful blogging is knowing where your persona is in the buyer’s journey.
This buyer’s journey consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. Plan your content wisely by writing a separate post for each stage.
- Buyers in the awareness stage are searching for information about their problem online. At this stage, they usually aren’t ready to buy, so tread lightly.
- Buyers in the consideration stage are researching their problem.
- This stage provides a great opportunity to convert your reader from a visitor to a marketing lead.
- Direct them to your signup form and you’ve got a lead to nurture.
- In the decision stage, the buyer is ready to typically ready to make a purchasing decision. This is where talking about the benefits of your product or service in more detail will help the sale.
Coming Up with Great Blog Posts
After you know more about where your prospect is in the buyer’s journey, It’s time to churn out some great content!
With so much regurgitated content online, where do you find those fresh story gems of ideas?
1. Draw Inspiration from Current Events: Get Them from the News
Becoming a News Junkie: To create relevant and timely content, become a voracious reader of news, especially within your industry. Regularly check out leading publications, industry blogs, and news websites. Subscribe to newsletters and set up Google Alerts for specific keywords related to your industry. This habit ensures you’re always in the loop with the latest developments.
Connecting National and Local Issues: One effective strategy is to take a national issue and give it a unique spin relevant to your industry. Alternatively, you can take a local issue and elevate its significance to a national or even global level. This approach not only shows your engagement with current events but also demonstrates your ability to provide unique industry-specific insights.
- For a Tech Company in the Hospitality Industry:
- National Issue: Consider the growing concern around cybersecurity.
- Industry-Specific Angle: Write an article titled “Ransomware in Hospitality: Protecting Your Hotel from Digital Threats.”
- Content Focus: Discuss how ransomware attacks have impacted hotels globally, the specific vulnerabilities in the hospitality industry, and steps that can be taken to enhance cybersecurity.
- Engaging Content: Include interviews with cybersecurity experts, case studies of hotels that have successfully thwarted such attacks, and actionable tips for hotel managers.
Expanding Beyond Your Industry: Don’t limit yourself to industry-specific news. Sometimes, broader topics can be tailored to your audience. For instance, if there’s a significant technological advancement, consider how it might impact or be utilized in your industry.
Interactive Content: Engage your audience by creating interactive content around current events. For example, conduct polls or surveys on how your audience views a particular issue, and then publish the results with your analysis.
Balancing Timeliness and Evergreen Content: While leveraging current events, balance it with evergreen content. Not all your content should be time-sensitive. Mix in topics that will remain relevant and valuable to your audience over time.
Ethical Considerations: When discussing sensitive current events, always approach them ethically and sensitively. Ensure that your content is respectful, well-researched, and avoids sensationalism.
Using Social Media for Instant Feedback: Utilize social media to gauge immediate reactions to current events. This can provide insights into what your audience cares about and how they are responding to ongoing developments.
Harnessing the Power of Buzzsumo: Buzzsumo is a powerful tool for content marketers looking to tap into social media trends. It’s not just about finding popular articles; it’s about understanding what resonates with audiences in your niche. Here’s how to make the most of it:
- Keyword Searches: Start by typing in keywords related to your industry or topics of interest. Buzzsumo will return a list of the most popular articles featuring these keywords.
- Analyzing Shares: Look at how many shares each article received across platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. This data is crucial for understanding what type of content gets the most engagement.
- Content Insights: Beyond just the number of shares, analyze the content of these popular articles. What topics are they covering? What tone and style are they using? What makes them shareable?
- Trending Topics: Use Buzzsumo’s trending section to see what topics are currently popular in your industry. This can be a goldmine for content ideas that are likely to engage your audience.
Exploring Other Tools on Buzzsumo: Buzzsumo offers more than just article tracking.
- Influencer Analysis: Identify key influencers in your industry and see what content they are sharing or creating.
- Content Analysis Reports: Get detailed reports on what content performs best for any topic or competitor.
- Question Analyzer: Find popular questions asked across forums and Q&A sites related to your keywords.
Going Beyond Buzzsumo: While Buzzsumo is a great tool, don’t limit yourself.
- Social Media Listening: Use tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to monitor conversations and trends on social media. Pay attention to hashtags, trending topics, and the types of content that receive high engagement.
- Engage with Your Audience: Directly engage with your audience on social media. Ask them what content they want to see, or run polls to gauge interest in different topics.
Creating Shareable Content: Once you have insights into what’s trending, create content that aligns with these trends while still being relevant to your brand.
- Visual Content: Remember that visual content often performs well on social media. Incorporate images, infographics, and videos into your posts.
- Emotional Connection: Aim to create content that connects emotionally with your audience. Content that evokes emotions like happiness, surprise, or even anger is more likely to be shared.
Ethical Considerations: Always approach trending topics ethically. Avoid jumping on sensitive topics just because they are trending, and ensure your content adds value to the conversation.
3. Tap into Expert Insights: Interview Experts and Influencers
Identifying the Right Experts and Influencers: The first step is to identify who the thought leaders, experts, and influencers are in your industry. Look for individuals who are not only knowledgeable but also have a significant following or respect in your field. This can include industry analysts, experienced professionals, popular bloggers, or social media influencers.
Engaging with Experts:
- Social Media Interaction: Begin by engaging with these experts on social media. Comment on their posts, share their content, and participate in discussions. This helps in building a rapport before you approach them for an interview.
- Subscribing to Their Content: Regularly read their blogs, listen to their podcasts, or watch their videos. This not only keeps you informed but also helps you understand their areas of expertise and interests.
Developing Compelling Questions:
- Research Thoroughly: Before conducting an interview, thoroughly research the expert’s background, recent work, and public opinions. This will help you formulate insightful and relevant questions.
- Focus on Value: Craft questions that bring out unique insights and provide value to your audience. Avoid generic questions that can be easily found online.
- Current and Future Trends: Include questions about current trends in your industry and predictions for the future. This can provide your audience with forward-thinking insights.
Conducting the Interview:
- Format Options: Decide on the format of the interview. Will it be a written Q&A, a podcast, a video interview, or a live webinar? Choose a format that aligns with your content strategy and is convenient for the expert.
- Building a Narrative: Structure the interview in a way that tells a story or addresses a specific theme. This makes the content more engaging and cohesive.
- Promoting Interaction: If the format allows, encourage audience interaction. For live interviews or webinars, allow time for audience questions.
Building Long-Term Relationships:
- Follow-Up: After the interview, send a thank-you note and share links to the published content. Express your appreciation for their time and insights.
- Ongoing Engagement: Continue to engage with their content and keep them updated on relevant developments or feedback related to the interview.
- Collaboration Opportunities: Look for future opportunities to collaborate, such as guest posts, joint webinars, or co-authored research.
Leveraging the Content:
- Multi-Channel Distribution: Distribute the interview across multiple channels – your blog, social media, email newsletters, and even as a press release if appropriate.
- Highlight Key Insights: Create snippets or highlight key insights from the interview for social media posts or infographics.
- SEO Optimization: Optimize the content for SEO with relevant keywords, especially if the expert or influencer is well-known in your industry.
4. Listen to Your Audience: Customer Reviews, and Comments
Read customer reviews on your website and on review sites. You’ll see what issues matter to your target audience. Then do a write-up on the topic.
This lets your audience know you’re listening. It also presents an opportunity to address issues in negative reviews.
Another way of coming up with ideas for posts is to read the comments on your own blog, social media platforms and in industry forums.
See what questions viewers are posting, what topics motivate readers to act and which ones they ignore.
5. Q&A Sites
Discover what people are thinking by reading questions on Q&A sites. A great site for this is quora.com.
Quora is the go-to website for readers to ask burning questions. Follow the threads and notice how many people ask the same questions like “Which is the best island in Hawaii?”
Q&A sites are priceless because they provide you with the exact questions users are searching. Using these questions improves your SEO in a big way.
6. Base a Post on Eye-widening Statistics
The worst thing you can do is write an article based on opinion alone. A good way to come up with blog post fodder is to use statistics that back up your ideas.
Statistics create value for your reader and show you’ve taken the time to research.
7. Use Blog Post Formats That Work
Here are the most widely read blog post formats. Write one and see if you get more page views.
- Why They Work: Listicles are popular because they are easy to scan, organize information in a digestible format, and often promise quick, value-packed reads. They appeal to our desire for order and simplicity in processing information.
- Crafting Effective Listicles:
- Catchy Titles: Use numbers and compelling adjectives in your titles (e.g., “10 Essential Tips for…”).
- Structured Content: Organize your points clearly. Each item should be distinct and valuable.
- Visual Elements: Incorporate images or infographics to break up text and add visual appeal.
- Variety in Topics: Listicles can cover a wide range of topics, from practical tips to fun and engaging content.
2. How-to Articles:
- Why They Work: They directly address the reader’s needs and provide a solution to a specific problem, making them highly valuable and sought-after.
- Creating Engaging How-to Articles:
- Understand Your Audience’s Needs: Identify common problems or questions your audience has.
- Step-by-Step Format: Clearly outline each step in the process. Use subheadings for each step for easy navigation.
- Include Examples: Provide real-life examples or case studies to illustrate your points.
- Visual Guides: Use images, diagrams, or videos to enhance understanding, especially for complex tasks.
3. “Best of” Posts:
- Why They Work: These posts tap into the reader’s desire to make informed choices by providing curated lists of the best products, services, or ideas in a particular category.
- Writing Compelling “Best of” Posts:
- Comprehensive Research: Ensure that your recommendations are well-researched and up-to-date.
- Categorization: If applicable, categorize items for different needs or preferences.
- Justify Choices: Explain why each item made your list. Include pros and cons.
- Update Regularly: Keep these posts updated as new products or information emerge.
Additional Tips for All Formats:
- SEO Optimization: Use relevant keywords naturally throughout the article to improve search engine visibility.
- Engage with Readers: Encourage comments and feedback. Engaging with readers can provide insights into what they find helpful or want to see more of.
- Promotion: Share your posts across social media platforms and email newsletters to reach a wider audience.
- Track Performance: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your posts. This data can guide future content creation.
Get Writing Better Blog Posts!
Generating brilliant blog post ideas and making them go viral doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge. These seven strategies can serve as your roadmap to creating captivating and share-worthy content. The next time you face a blank screen and a blinking cursor, you’ll have the tools and knowledge to craft blog posts that engage your audience and deliver results. Alternatively, looking to put your blog on auto pilot? Check out our blog writing service.