Nearly every B2B business leader who writes blog articles has been there: sitting at your desk, staring at your published post with its minimal number of likes and shares, wondering if your prospects are even reading your blog. Ugh.
Sometimes it can feel like you’re writing into a black hole. That’s because, sometimes, you are.
Most B2B companies have blogs these days. Chances are your competitors do. And you don’t merely compete with the products and services they offer — you compete with the blog articles they share as well.
We tend to see the same, tired, blog posts being written over and over. You see them shared on social media daily. The topics aren’t necessarily bad, but the posts just don’t really deliver value. They’re shallow, and they repeat the same things that dozens of other blog writers have already written.
If you want to get results from your business blog, you’ve got to start writing posts that are genuinely valuable and that aren’t already out there in myriad forms. But how are you going to come up with ideas for these posts? With these 26 ideas, you’re bound to find a few that are perfect for you.
1. Ask your clients what they struggle with.
Next time you meet with each of your clients, tell them you’re looking to make your blog posts more valuable and you are asking folks what issues keep them up at night. What’s frustrating to them? What questions keep nagging?
2. Ask your sales team what questions they’re hearing.
As your sales team talks with prospects, they likely get asked lots of questions. Listen for questions that are asked so prospects can better figure out the problem they’re facing and what solutions can solve those needs. These questions make ideal blog topics.
3. Ask your social media followers what their top challenge is.
Your social media followers are a goldmine for blog post ideas. When you’re looking through their responses, keep in mind your posts don’t always have to be on topics within your own field of expertise. For example, if your prospects are struggling with productivity, interview a productivity expert. Of course, most of your blog posts should be in your area of expertise, but showing prospects that you’re able to connect them with other valuable resources will help set you apart from your competitors.
4. Create an expert roundup.
Consider creating a post from interviews of several experts in your field. Even if you don’t have personal connections with experts, you may be surprised at how many people are willing to chat with you for a few minutes to provide insights. A bonus is that these experts are also likely to promote your post once it’s published.
5. Ask your social media followers what projects they’re working on (related to your field or the problems you solve).
Pick one of those projects and consider how a blog article could offer help as they’re working on it.
6. Look at discussion groups on LinkedIn or Facebook.
The questions you see asked in discussion groups will provide an ideal launching point for a series of blog posts.
7. Survey your email list.
If you do email marketing, send your subscribers an email asking what they’d like to learn about. You could also create a list of topic ideas and ask them to rank the topics in order of interest.
8. Read the comments on your previous posts or on your competitors’ blogs.
What follow-up questions are people asking that you could answer in a blog post? Don’t limit yourself to your own blog. Look at comments on competitors’ blogs or on industry blogs where your prospects spend time.
9. Attend a webinar, workshop, or conference.
Live events are a great place to learn and brainstorm with other attendees.
10. Look back through your analytics to see what posts performed well.
You’ll have some posts that were more popular than others, or that generated more engagement than others. Consider how you could revise those popular posts, or look at another angle on those topics.
11. Look back through the general overview posts you’ve written.
Are there subpoints that would warrant their own posts? Could you do a deep dive on a particular issue?
12. Expand a short list post into a more thorough, longer one.
Use Google to search a topic and see what list posts appear in the results. If you find a post titled “10 Ideas to _________” Then create an expanded version with 30 or 40 or 50 ideas.
13. Ask “How can I make it better?”
Take a look at your competitors’ blogs. What topics are generating engagement? Then take a look at the blog posts that are performing well and ask yourself how you can make them better. Do they offer enough detail to be truly actionable? Do they offer illustrations of each point so readers can better visualize what’s being discussed? Could they be better organized?
14. Consider visual content.
According to Buffer, content with images gets 94% more views and receives 150% more retweets. And 64% of the population consists of visual learners. Consider industry stats that could be used to create an infographic.
15. Create a roundup of “best of” posts.
Feature a list of popular insightful posts on a topic, and add your insights. This strategy is also good for building relationships with thought leaders.
16. Create a list of helpful resources.
These resources could be eBooks, videos, software, or anything your target audience would find valuable.
17. Share insights on a recent news event.
Just make sure the event is truly relevant. We’ve all seen too many “10 Ways Such-and-such is like Justin Beiber” blog posts.
18. Create a series of video tutorials.
If you’re in an industry that focuses on educating your clients, such as consulting or financial services, you could create a series of video tutorials and create a post for each.
19. Create posts featuring insights delivered via video.
If your business doesn’t involved educating people, video blogs could communicate tips or industry updates that impact your target audience.
20. Write about a personal experience and share insight from it.
People love stories. Share the story of an interesting personal experience and pull out actionable takeaways.
21. Pull a lesson from one of your hobbies.
Like to run? Chances are you’ve learned something you can apply to business while running or training for a race. Practice yoga? You’ve likely gleaned insights you’ve put into practice in your business. Whatever your hobby is, mine it for insights.
22. Write about a mistake you’ve made.
Even experts make mistakes. Writing about what you learned through a mistake is not only helpful, it also provides transparency that people crave.
23. Pull out business lessons from stories you’ve read.
Stories you come across in books, magazines, or the newspaper can inspire you. Stories that feature people who have overcome great odds to achieve success are a great starting point to write about lessons or takeaways we can apply to business.
24. Share actionable insights through case studies.
Case studies can be used in your blog posts effectively if you pull out tips and tricks for readers to put into practice.
25. Write a next-level post based on facts and stats.
Most posts that feature facts and stats don’t go beyond the facts and stats themselves — they’re just a list. But if you go beyond to show the impact of the fact or what your prospects need to do because of the stat, you offer additional value.
26. Discuss a trend.
People want to stay on top of what’s happening and what’s coming up in the future. As with your facts and stats post, go beyond reporting on the trend to discuss the impact of the trend and what prospects should be doing about it.
When you’ve got “write blog post” on your to-do list and you’re staring at a blank screen, it can be tempting to just crank out a post as quickly as possible. But those kinds of posts just won’t cut it in today’s content-rich world. Your prospects have many choices when it comes to where to look for answers to their questions and insights to guide or inspire them — you don’t want prospects passing by your posts because they just aren’t compelling enough.