The 10 Questions That Will Lead to a Never-Ending Stream of New Blog Post Ideas
Have you ever wondered why some blogs continuously churn out compelling posts that keep you coming back for more, and why others fall flat? It all starts with a stream of fresh new ideas that directly engage the reader.
And you can come up with plenty of great ideas on your own. In fact, research shows that individuals are more likely to generate a higher number of original ideas when they don’t interact with others, such as through group brainstorming sessions.
But how to get started generating amazing ideas is a problem that stumps many personal and business bloggers alike. However, it’s not hard to brainstorm never-ending blog post ideas when you ask the right questions. Here are 10 to get you started.
1. What Are My Readers’ Pain Points?
A quality blog addresses its readers’ pain points to create value and keep them coming back for more. Take some time to scroll through recent comments on your blog to see what questions your readers are asking or what they’re struggling with.
A survey is also a great way to prompt your readers to let you know what their pain points are – but don’t expect them to readily identify them. Sometimes people need context and a specific line of questioning to get to the root of their issues. Here are some questions to consider:
- What are you frequently struggling with in your business that takes money or time to resolve?
- Tell me about what you’re stuck on in a project that is keeping you from moving forward?
- If you could change anything about your business or life right now, what would it be?
2. How Did I Solve a Problem That Relates to My Audience?
Chances are high that your audience would love to hear about a problem you’ve solved in your own business or life. Give your readers the tools and resources to replicate your problem-solving skills by sharing the apps or websites you used and the results you had from the process. Screenshots, images and infographics also help, as people are more prone to remember visual information than just about anything else.
Walk your readers through the entire problem-solving process from start to finish, and ask them for feedback. Remember to incorporate any comments or questions your readers have back into the post to make it even stronger.
3. What Are Some Common Misconceptions About a Popular Topic?
Just because a topic is popular, viral or commonly in the news doesn’t mean it’s accurate. For example, low fat diets were once all the rage, but they could actually lead to obesity by causing over-snacking. And research shows our bodies need quality, unsaturated fats to stay healthy.
Think about some of the things your blog readers, peers or people in your own network frequently discuss that you know aren’t true. Perhaps your network talks about how raising sale prices will result in lost revenue, but you’ve found the opposite to be true. Write a blog post detailing how raising prices attracts quality clients who are willing to spend more, and that in turn lets you work less.
4. What are Some Books That Impacted My Life?
A good book review still makes for a popular post, but the trick is to niche it down. Pick books that aren’t on your readers’ radar and write up reviews outlining their best assets. You can get ideas by looking at reviews on Goodreads, or scrolling through your Amazon order history to see what you read in the last few years.
It’s also okay to be a little surprising in your book reviews. Discuss a book your parents gave you when you were a kid that inspired you to be an entrepreneur, like Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” and take your readers off guard. Make sure to ask them about their favorite books to keep the conversation going and get inspired for your next round of blog post ideas.
5. When Is the Last Time I Failed or Felt Vulnerable?
People listen to experts, but they also want to know you are a human being who fails, feels vulnerable and can pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Being vulnerable in front of your readers can give your blog a dramatic boost. In fact, some reporting shows that people distrust experts when they no longer see them as human beings.
Sit down and think about an uncomfortable or embarrassing moment that your readers would relate to, and then be bold enough to actually write about it. Detail a blog post about how you burned out running your successful small business and what you did about it afterwards. Or discuss how your family felt alienated from you after you worked around the clock for too many months in a row. The more you can show your audience that you made mistakes and overcame them, the more they will trust and relate to you.
6. How Did I Overcome a Huge Fear?
Similar to showing your vulnerability in front of your audience, sharing your fears and how you beat them can rally the support of your readers. Start by sharing your vulnerability in a post, then continue on to how that fear was holding you back in business and life. Use the “How Did I Solve a Problem” tactic above to walk through the process of how you overcame that fear.
The results are twofold: your readers see you as human, and they are motivated to try the same thing you did. Ask for feedback from your audience, such as what they liked about the post, and what kinds of fears they overcame themselves.
7. What Experts Do I Look to for Advice?
Take a step back from devouring the content of experts in your industry and write an email instead. Ask them if you can interview them for a blog post or podcast to talk about common questions or pain points your readers have.
This technique not only brings new credibility to your blog, but it helps you forge new connections. You could end up creating valuable relationships that bring a new audience to your blog and boost your career. Another smart move is to ask readers in advance for any questions they might have to further refine the blog post and cater it especially to their needs.
8. Is My Idea Valuable to My Readers?
You could have a really clever or interesting idea, but if it doesn’t add value to your readers’ lives or business, it’s unlikely to hold their interest.
Fortunately, addressing their pain points or solving a problem are good ways to validate your content. But so is asking your readers directly. Find a Facebook group or page catering to a similar audience, like personal finance for women, and ask if your idea would be helpful or offer added value to their lives. They may say ‘no’ altogether, or they may offer insights on how to give your idea a twist to make it the right fit for their needs.
9. What Are the Current Trends in My Industry?
What’s going on in your own industry that’s being written about over and over? While you don’t want to add a “me too!” post to the overall industry conversation, you can take a current trend and put a unique spin on it.
For example, instead of talking about why small business owners need an optimized website, talk about the specific trends in modern web design all business owners must know and why they should know them. Then lay out exactly how to do it, including what types of assets they’ll need, from social media to quality photos.
10. What Keywords Are People Searching for the Most?
Don’t forget that Google will tell you what people are searching for with the Google Keyword Planner. Type in topics related to your blog or business, and see what pops up the most. And best of all, you can also see how often those keywords are searched for, and how competitive it is for advertisers to run ads based on those keywords. You want to find a sweet spot in the middle. If the competition is high, it may be tough for your blog post to stand out. Measure it correctly, and you could have a quality blog post people are eager to read, and enhance your organic search results at the same time.
Another quick tactic is to open up a web browser and starting to type a topic into the search bar. Google will automatically show you a list of popular searches you may have never considered. In the case below, a search for personal trainer tips came up with the search results for “personal trainer tips for beginners” and “personal trainer tips for belly fat.”
A topic called “Personal Trainer Tips for Beginners Looking to Get Rid of Belly Fat” could be a big hit.
At the end of the day, keeping your reader in the forefront of your mind is what really drives a great blog post and can inspire endless ideas. The trick is keeping it authentic and aligned to your own expertise and insights to bring it the personal touch it needs.
What are some of your favorite ways to come up with a never-ending stream of new blog post ideas? Let us know by leaving a comment below: