When you know your stuff, writing a blog is easy, right?
Uh. Not necessarily.
I’d say that I’m pretty familiar with digital marketing. But when it comes to blogging, I still face challenges.
The challenge isn’t my lack of knowledge; it’s translating that knowledge into readable content—content helpful to you and other marketers.
Maybe you’ve faced the same challenge.
For some reason, conveying stuff you know inside and out is a lot trickier than it appears. Writing is difficult enough, but continually coming up with topics that would boost your online marketing efforts seems downright impossible.
In the old days, maintaining a business blog was more about appeasing search engine algorithms than appealing to actual humans. Back then, cramming posts full of keywords was the top priority.
Gone are the days of blathering on ad nauseam about anything your heart desires.
Content marketing via blogging is one of the best ways to increase the online visibility of a brand. These days, though, the posts you create must be engaging, informative, interesting, and generally high in quality to get you anywhere.
Contrary to what you may have heard, quantity does not exceed quality here. Even so, coming up with fascinating topics for a blog is often difficult for business owners. Here are 20 topics and ideas to get you off to a great start.
1. Write a long-form post
In the business world, getting straight to the point is generally the way to go. Quick, snappy blog posts have a time and a place, but your blog will suffer if that’s all you ever do.
Regardless of your niche, there are surely topics you could cover that require more than 400-500 words. Brainstorm topics that demand extensive, in-depth coverage, and then create long-form blog posts about them. The exhaustive nature of such posts will make them fascinating to anyone who is thirsty about the topic.
You may be aware that long-form blog posts—over 2,000-3,000 words—will rank higher, get more shares, and earn more links.
This is the kind of traction you need to gain with your blog.
2. Be a reporter
Even if journalism was never your forte, pretend otherwise by reporting back to your audience about important events in your industry. Ideally, these should be events you have attended yourself.
There are, of course, differences between journalistic writing and blog writing. However, in today’s content-driven world, there is also a lot of overlap.
For example, write a blog about your experience at a recent trade show. At the event, take notes about the things you see and the people with whom you interact. Take photos, and include them in your post. Include your own insights to make the piece more personal.
3. Comment about a popular post
Part of maintaining an interesting blog is staying in the loop about happenings in your niche and industry. You should already be keeping up with blogs in that sphere. When a particularly interesting one pops up, write a post about it.
Doing this accomplishes a few things. First, it lets you engage with the community while delivering your take on the original post. Second, it gives you the opportunity to link back to the original post, which might result in a link in return. You’ll gain exposure and, potentially, some backlinks!
4. Share your secrets
No, I’m not telling you to give away all your secrets. Rather, connect more deeply with your audience by giving them information about your business practices and processes “from the horse’s mouth.”
It’s all about transparency and authenticity, and it resonates strongly with readers. People enjoy feeling like they are privy to special knowledge.
I do this as often as possible, e.g., by updating my audience on the $100,000 challenge, showing all the relevant data, metrics, and revenue numbers, and sharing the lessons I’m learning from my experiment.
Maybe it’s time to pull back the curtain, and share your secrets in a blog post.
5. Round up industry experts
Establish relationships with key players within your industry through persistent social media activity. Once they’ve gotten to know you, invite thought leaders in your niche to share their views regarding a specific topic.
Compile all their contributions—with their permission, of course—and create a roundup blog post with them. Include links to each person’s blog because they might return the favor.
6. Make an infographic
You probably have plenty of facts and statistics about your niche and industry at your disposal. Put relevant ones together, and use them to create an eye-catching infographic to share on your blog.
If necessary, hire someone to create it for you. Include it in a new blog post, and then provide commentary about the facts and statistics within the body of the post. Encourage sharing by providing an easy link for people to use.
7. Look at both sides of an issue
Posts covering the pros and cons of a particular issue, product, or service tend to be received very well, and they are usually a breeze to put together. Brainstorm and write down issues that tend to have significant advantages and disadvantages.
During the course of researching this kind of piece, you will become even more knowledgeable about your niche. In the post itself, speak directly to your audience. Ask them for their take on the issue. Through their contributions, you can develop even more fascinating fodder for your blog.
8. Go behind the scenes
Blog posts about your actual business should be kept to a minimum as they tend to be pretty yawn-worthy. From time to time, though, go ahead and give readers a glimpse of what makes your company tick.
Reserve these posts for behind-the-scenes topics your audience will actually care about. For example, share what your company does to prepare for a big trade show, or introduce a new employee who you suspect will be a real game-changer for the company.
9. Explain how to do something
How-to articles and blogs tend to do well because people overwhelmingly turn to the Internet for advice and instructions on accomplishing various things. If you can incorporate one of your products into a how-to post, all the better.
For example, perhaps there’s a special way to use one of your products few people know about, or maybe there’s a process people should follow to make the most of it.
Be as thorough as possible in your post. Explain it as meticulously as you can. Include videos and photos to drive home your point and to ensure people bookmark and share your article.
10. Interview people
Yep, I’m asking you to be a journalist again. Remember those thought leaders and industry experts from a previous tip? Interview one of them to create a full-fledged blog post about your niche or industry.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be in the same room as your interviewee to talk to them. Come up with a list of questions your audience would be curious about, and email it instead. You could also post the questions via Twitter or another social media channel.
11. Make an FAQ post
Since you’re already actively engaged with your niche and industry on social media—you are, right?—you can easily keep your finger on the pulse of what people are saying. More importantly, you can quickly figure out what they are asking.
Scour social media for questions from everyday people regarding your niche. Compile a frequently asked questions post to address them. You might even include links to questions on sites like Twitter and Facebook to gain a little link juice too.
12. Give readers the hard truth
I don’t care what niche or industry you cover. There are sure to be at least a few elephants in the room or subjects that people are generally afraid to broach. As long as you have something useful to say, go ahead and have at it.
Controversial posts shouldn’t be the bread and butter of your blog, but they can certainly stir up interest under the right circumstances. Tell it like it is in your blog from time to time to really wow your audience.
13. Share a case study
Blogs that explain how everyday people make use of a company’s products or service can be pretty engaging. However, resist the temptation to make something up. Wait until you have something truly special to share, and then share it.
Ideally, you should get permission from the client or customer to feature them, and include their input in the case study too. While the piece will obviously be promotional to some extent, write it in a factual, journalistic way to avoid alienating your audience.
14. Start a series or a regular feature
Some topics are so extensive that they can’t be covered adequately in a single post—not even a long-form one. When you run across one of these, consider breaking it up into a series for your readers. Create cliffhangers at the end of each one to keep them coming back for more.
You could also come up with a weekly or monthly feature for your blog. For example, you could highlight happenings regarding your niche in social media every Monday, or you could feature a new product or service every month.
15. Make a really long listicle
By now, we’re all familiar with the standard listicle, which typically contains 5-10 related points. This has been done so much that people don’t get very excited about it anymore.
Improve on the concept by coming up with a really long listicle that pertains to your niche. But do so only if the topic at hand is deep enough to warrant it, or you will end up with a bunch of similar-sounding points.
16. Stir controversy
Think of some common views or beliefs regarding your niche. You are sure to disagree with at least a few of them, so write posts expressing your viewpoints, challenging the accepted opinions.
Doing this will likely invite controversy, so be sure to write these posts in a tactful way. Don’t attack others. Instead, explain why you think the status quo has it all wrong, and challenge readers to convince you otherwise.
17. Debunk some myths
What are some common misconceptions or myths regarding your industry or niche? Compile a list, and then use it to create a really fascinating post for your audience.
Make sure you back up your claims, though. Otherwise, readers will lose their interest when they realize they’re reading the rants of someone who really doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Approach writing such an article with the intention of providing as much useful and usable information as possible.
18. Share customer success stories
With any luck, satisfied customers will occasionally contact you to express their appreciation. When this happens, ask them if you can feature their comments in a blog post for your business.
In this type of post, begin by describing the problem the customer was facing. Describe the product or service they used, and then explain how they were able to solve their issue by using it. If possible, include additional comments from the actual client to make the post especially engaging.
19. Perform research to delve deeper
At a certain point, you will exhaust the resources regarding facts and statistics concerning your niche. Avoid becoming repetitive, and conduct your own research.
This could mean something as simple as posting an online survey for your existing readers and sharing the results. However, you might even want to hire a market research firm for assistance. If you can present brand-new facts and information to the world, your blog will be better, and you will have a lot more to go on.
In your post, include visual representations of data to help people make sense of it. A simple pie chart or bar graph can make a huge difference.
20. Share a link roundup
As you run across interesting posts, memes, and other content regarding your niche, save them. After accumulating 10 or 20, write a link-roundup post featuring each one.
This is great for a few reasons. First, it forces you to stay up-to-date on your industry news and helps you bring relevant information to your audience. Second, it lets you branch out and opine about all kinds of content. Finally, it may even enhance your link-building strategy, which never hurts.
In a perfect world, none of us would ever have to cope with writer’s block.
The ideas would flow freely and continuously. Since that’s not the case, use this list of topics and ideas to kick-start your new blog.
When readers visit your new blog and are presented with an array of fascinating posts, they’re likelier to engage with it, bookmark it, and keep coming back for more.
And that’s exactly what you want to happen.
Have you already covered one of the ideas listed above? Which new ones are you excited to try?