Content marketing, am I right? We’re all supposed to be producing massive amounts of content to compete with the massive amounts of content clogging the cloud. And this content that you create should be phenomenal because the internet is full of garbage.
That’s a tall order for anyone, especially for a busy business or nonprofit that literally has fifty things more pressing than writing a blog post with the hopes that it does something to nudge you up in search or get you a few dozen clicks from social media. In fact, reading the introduction to this very blog post is probably taking up too much of your time. Let’s proceed.
Four Easy Ways To Find Ideas for Blog Posts
- Write about a problem you solved
- Write about something or someone that inspired you
- Write about an event you attended
- Interview someone over email
Write about a problem you solved
In many ways this is the most obvious. In the online marketing and web development world, we’re always encountering problems and questions that we’re unable to find suitable answers for online. So we do our own research to fix the problem or answer the question.
For example, several months ago we realized that we had inadvertently placed advertisements on a website that was incredibly sexist. As a women-owned business, and as humans who want to do good in the world, we weren’t okay with that. We scoured the Internet to find a comprehensive list of sexist and racist websites that participate in AdSense, and we couldn’t. So we did the painstaking work of combing through these truly awful websites based on information from several other aggregators, and we came up with a list.
We realized that other people were probably experiencing this too, and ta-da! A blog post was born. This blog post on how to exclude alt-right websites on Adwords on Facebook is heavily trafficked and drives more search traffic to our site than nearly anything else. We have certainly gotten our share of hate mail as well as thank you’s because of it, and we’re happy we were able to share this knowledge with other organizations who want to be careful about where their ads appear.
We solve problems like this all the time, and while writing a blog post on how we solved the problem so that others can too does take an investment of a couple hours, it’s worth it. Not just for marketing purposes, but because sharing your knowledge with the world is actually just a good thing to do. Marketing or not.
Write about something or someone that inspired you
Where do you consume information? Podcasts? Blogs? Videos? Social media? News sites? Most of us consume all the content from everywhere all the time.
But even in that deluge, there have to be things that stand out. There’s probably something you’ve encountered in the past few days that you spent extra time reading, watching, or thinking about. Did you see a TED talk that blew you away? Did that last episode of No Such Thing as a Fish teach you a fact that is somehow relevant (and hilarious, of course) to what you do? Maybe it was an article you read, a quote by someone famous, even something awesome your kid said. There’s inspiration everywhere.
Don’t let the information you consume just wash over you like a tepid bath of chaos. Process some of that information by writing about it! In your blog! Your mind is full, nay, exploding with information. Get some of it out of there.
Write about an event you attended
This one also has the potential to be incredibly easy. Write about every event you go to for your business, organization, or general professional development and networking. All of them.
Write about the conferences, the meet-ups, the networking events. It can be a short summary with your general impressions of the event, or it can be a longer writeup that examines a larger issue, like this one we wrote about gender representation of SXSWi speakers several years ago.
You know what you can also do, if you’re willing to be a little brave? Make a short video of yourself talking about the event. It doesn’t have to be professional, you don’t have to look perfect, but it’s a lot faster than writing a blog post if you’re willing to accept that it will look homemade. There have been all sorts of studies the last few years that millennials actually trust user-generated content more than branded content. While this is debatable, it’s good to know that your videos do not need to look perfect. Just turn on your webcam and record yourself talking about the event.
This content can be repurposed for social media, since Facebook LOVES video. You could even do this as a Facebook live video initially, then download it and put it into a blog post, too, and upload it to YouTube. Three birds, one stone.
Interview someone over email
The great thing about this is that it can be mutually beneficial. Think of which of your colleagues, friends, co-workers, or mentors you’d like to know more about, then create a list of questions for them.
Promise them you’ll link back to their own website or social profile in your post, if they’d like. This way they’re getting a link from you, and you’re getting content from them. You can have a general set of questions for everyone, but please tweak them for each individual, unless you want to have a standard format that your readers can expect to see. That can be interesting, too.
One thing to be aware of is that some of the people you send these interview questions to may not have much to say. We’ve done email interviews in the past and the responses have sometimes been as short as just a few words. Look at your questions to make sure they’re open-ended so that your interviewees will write enough that it’s interesting.
And that’s it! You can create a blogging schedule to write one blog a week using this as a monthly formula if you’re short on time. First week, interview. Second week, event write-up. Third week, inspiration. Fourth week, a problem you solved.
You can even spend one whole day writing one of each of these blogs, then schedule them to go out over the course of a month so that you’re still blogging weekly.
Good luck out there! May our content cross paths.
Curious about what sort of stuff we offer? Well, check our online marketing services. We can even blog for you!