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Help! 7 Ways to Come Up with an Idea for your Next Blog Post

In a world where information has become one of the most easily accessible commodities, it’s no surprise that content is being consumed faster than ever before. As a result, marketers have been assigned the responsibility of generating a constant stream of relevant, valuable and time-sensitive content to engage their target audience. In the B2B space, large-scale content creation has become the norm, given the tendency of prospects to conduct extensive pre-purchasing research on a brand before reaching a final buying decision.

Although marketing content comes in a number of different shapes and sizes, blog posts are still considered to be one of the most effective ways to establish thought leadership in an industry and connect with relevant leads. Yet, to secure repeat visits from readers, marketers face the dilemma of having to come up with engaging ideas, and writing high-quality, helpful posts on a near daily basis. Here are a few guidelines to help overcome this challenge, streamline your thinking process, and ensure that posts are fresh and on point with the latest industry news.

  • Keep an On-Going List of Ideas

A blog post idea can come to you at any point during the day, so why not keep a running list of them? Create a spreadsheet which includes topics, objectives and keywords, and update it when any new ideas arise. Don’t forget to share it with the rest of the marketing team so that each member can contribute his or her ideas as well.

  • Start Listening Socially

Research major social platforms to see what your industry peers and prospects are saying. For example, use TweetDeck or search Facebook to follow hashtags related to various keywords, competitors, thought leaders and trends. You can also join LinkedIn Discussion Groups to understand what questions professionals in your industry have been asking and discussing. This provides deep insight and ideas on which topics users find most engaging and captivating, which can serve as great inspiration for your next blog post. Once you’ve published several posts based on socially engaging topics, you can use a platform such as Oktopost to measure the performance, and optimize your messaging for the next post.

  • Monitor What’s Being Said

Sign up for Google Alerts, and receive media monitoring reports to your inbox that cover news items and blog posts pertaining to your industry. Set up alerts to track mentions of broad and more specific keywords, and read articles related to your industry, consumer expert opinions and competitors on a daily basis. Media monitoring is the best way to stay on top of current trends and breaking news, and then approach them from the unique perspective of your company in a blog post.

  • Do Preliminary Research

If you already have a broad topic in mind, use Google to help you narrow it down. Start by typing in the name of your topic and see what appears in auto-complete to gain unique ideas related to your sector. You can also add question words to the end of your search query (such as: how, what, when, why, who) to see more potential suggestions. While conducting the search, a great way to save time is to bookmark all of the relevant articles you found; they may be helpful to your writing later on.

  • Brainstorm with Your Colleagues

Having trouble coming up with ideas? Schedule a brainstorming meeting with other people in your department, or with members of the customer retention or sales department. This is a valuable way to understand precisely what customers are talking about, and then create a blog post based on their questions, concerns and feedback. If it is relevant, you can also speak to a product manager to find out about new products or features that will soon be launched and can be promoted on your blog.

  • Go Back to Basics

Sometimes, stepping away from your laptop for a second and using a notebook or a whiteboard can breathe fresh air into your ideas. Take a few minutes to write a general subject matter at the top of your page – or even several ideas, and then make a list of associated keywords below, until you reach a topic that you’re satisfied with.

  • It’s All About Statistics

Try to think of a statistic that recently caught your attention, or read a white paper or research study published on an industry-related topic that you find interesting. Look for a statistic that really stands out – either a very high or low figure, and cansupport a particular argument or concept that your target audience will find interesting. Keep in mind that using a statistical figure in your blog post title is also a good way of grabbing reader attention.