Blogs are a wonderful way to provide your customers with a great resource while also keeping your website stocked with fresh, SEO-optimized content. Blogs can also be pretty daunting. Once you create a blog, you’ve got yet another demand on your time — and your creativity.
But take heart — every webmaster or content editor runs out of ideas eventually. When you do, there are some tried and true methods for kick-starting the brainstorming process. When you’re out of blogging ideas, take a step back and remember why you’re writing, and who you’re writing for.
What Do Your Customers Want?
You should be engaging with your customers on a regular basis. Otherwise — how will you ever know what they want and need? The best way to do this is on social media. Look, for example, at which posts your customers respond to the most, and how they respond. You can also ask your customers what they want. Feeling shy? You can always run a Facebook Poll.
Another great way to find out what your customers want is to do some quick keyword research. This will tell you not only what your customers are searching for, but how they’re searching.
What Do Your Customers Love?
Another method for deciding what you should do today is looking at what you’ve done in the past. Do some quick research within Google Webmaster Tools (or on Opensite Explorer, if you’re not using GWT) to find your site’s most popular content by looking at your inbound link data. Your inbound link data should provide you with a quick snapshot of the web pages, and blog posts, that your customers have found most useful.
Once you have your data, look beyond your site’s main pages to find the interior (or blog) pages with the highest number of inbound links. Once you’ve got that, you can start to brainstorm topical “jumping off points” — looking for topics that are similar to your popular content, but that provide a fresh perspective or new approach. You never want to cover the same ground, but you can do something similar while staying fresh and relevant.
What Are Your Competitors Doing?
It’s a good idea to follow your competitors on social media in order to keep tabs on what they’re doing. Specifically, take a look to see where they’re gaining traction with your audience:
For information on this last point, you can use Opensite Explorer for a quick look at your competitor’s most popular pages. (Kind of cool, huh?)