There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of blog posts on every topic. The only thing that makes yours worth reading is a truly original idea. Here’s how to create those ideas.
NOTE: This is Part 1 of the “mouth-watering blog posts” series.
Nothing is more important than a truly original and interesting idea for your blog post.
You can wax eloquent.
You can use perfect English.
You can optimize for length and keywords and whatever other metric.
At the end of the day, it’s the idea that counts. But with thousands of other blog posts on the subject, how do you create an original idea?
Here are six things to consider when choosing a topic.
- Choose a proven topic, one you know will interest your readers.
- Choose a fresh angle, one you know your readers have not read before (think “unique”).
- Focus on the audience, not on yourself, when choosing a topic.
- List posts get the most traction and get shared the most on social media.
- Tell a story. People love stories. People keep reading stories. People remember stories.
- Support your topic with data if at all possible. That makes it credible.
But how does one find stories that might match these factors? Here are a few ways to find your best blog post ideas.
Build on your life. This is my favorite technique. As you go about your life, you will see and do so many things. Everything you see can be an analogy for something in your niche to blog about.
What makes this so powerful? It is a fresh angle. In fact, it is unique, because nobody has exactly the same experience as you. But many people have similar experiences, and they can relate. If you can bridge from your experience to how it relates to the audience, you will hit the sweet spot of business storytelling.
Draw lessons from movies and books. Every story could be your business’ story, too. Everything a character does on the screen, on the stage, in the pages or over the radio could have some bearing on your niche.
A great example of this is when I wrote about Doctor Who to explain how writers travel in time.
This is another storytelling technique, since movies and books (at least, fiction books) are stories. They are also a form of “data”, a solid reference point that readers understand.
Tap into your customers. This starts off as one of the standard ways to come up with blog topics: think about the questions your customers are asking.
But you can take it one step forward. Think of an interaction you’ve had with a customer, then consider what it’s an example of. Use that as a springboard to write about that topic.
Did you get a compliment from a customer recently? Then write about it, and describe what you did so well to earn that compliment.
Customer questions are a great way to generate topics for your blog. Customer stories are ten times better!
Stories about your customers are more than a fresh angle. Like your own stories, they are 100% unique and they relate directly to your audience. And customer stories are a form of data. Even better is when you can tell individual stories and show how it fits into aggregate customer data.
Build on your own blog comments. Spend a bit of time commenting on other blogs in your niche. This does a few things:
- It makes you read other people’s ideas, which is important to generate your own.
- It makes you think about what they say, and come up with a response.
- That response will usually be what you agree with, what you disagree with, what’s missing or how you would have approached the topic.
- Presto! You now have at least one, if not several topics for your own blog posts.
These are your unique ideas. Even if you are not an “ideas person”, this pulls out original, thought-provoking blog posts. And if you are responding to a blog post that is already getting traction, you have a fresh angle on a proven topic.
Comment on the news. I pay attention to the news. Every now and then, there are some really interesting stories. While most of the stories are of little interest to a blogger, you will find some that relate to something about your niche.
It might be as simple as a burglar’s comment of “why I did it.” His reason might relate to why people cut corners or jump ahead in line or something less serious than burglary. And that could be an entry into something to write about your niche.
What’s in the news are proven topics. Your comments are fresh angles. And generally, there is some data and/or storytelling involved.
Show off your customers. A blog post about a customer doesn’t have to be about the project you worked on.
Just doing a profile of a customer is worthwhile. It certainly builds loyalty with that customer. It shows that you are serving real people, so that prospects will feel more comfortable working with you. And you can subtly work in a connection to your business (like how you and the customer first connected, or something they said about your work or product on the last encounter).
I often publish introductions to customer books, when they are comfortable with me doing so.
This is yet another way to combine your audience with storytelling, and once again it is a unique angle.
Show off your team. A company is its people. Show off the human face of your business by profiling each team member. Write about their interests and their tastes. Write about what makes them such a valuable member of the team. Tell stories of their interaction with customers. These are original topics, stories no other blog can tell.
It’s pretty rare to come across a truly original topic. But there are still billions of unexplored ideas. Coming up with new ones is the most important step in writing mouth-watering blog posts.
This is a proven topic. People like to see the faces behind the company, the faces who assemble and package and quality check and ship their product. And no two stories are the same, so once more, you have unique content to share.
Review and/or unbox something. People always like to know what something is like before they buy it.
Think about what your audience would use that they might not have access to use before they buy. That’s the perfect item to unbox or review.
Obviously, if you have products of your own to unbox, that’s the best of all.
People love unboxings. Done right, it’s a story about the audience.
Write stories. Write to your audience and about your audience. Finding topics is never a problem. Finding time to research and write about them…well, that could be a problem.
Want to learn more?
Read the free ebook How to create mouth-watering blog posts, based on this Infographc.