If you want site visitors to return to your blog frequently, you have to give them fresh material to read. They need to know they can trust you to give them good advice and to give it on a regular schedule. You may be wondering first just how frequently you actually need to create a new blog post.
While there isn't a cut and dried answer to this question, there are some schools of thought you can consider for your own blog.
John Rampton, helper to startup companies, wrote on Forbes that “more is always better.” He then goes on to pull in some stats from HubSpot about blogs that post frequently.
Four posts a week might not sound like much, but life tends to get in the way. You have a business to run, a family to keep up with, and probably a few other personal and business interests that take up your time. Writing may or may not be your forte, and coming up with four fresh ideas every week can be taxing.
When you are required to post that frequently, it is very easy to run into writer's block. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to work through writer's block, come up with fresh ideas, and stick to a schedule.
Consider one of the most popular news sites on the Internet, the Huffington Post. Their frequent posting is likely part of the reason they get around 110 million visitors every month. There are some specific steps you can take to create a publishing schedule that is frequent but works for you.
Tip #1. Creating a Schedule
The first thing you need to do is sit down and create a schedule for posting on your site. While four posts a week would be ideal, you may be at a point where you can't quite manage that just yet. That's fine. If once a week is all you can handle, then make up a schedule for posting once a week.
Your posts should be somewhat predictable for your readers, so they know when to look for the post. So, for example, you can plan to post on Fridays at 1 p.m. and share on social media at the same time. Your readers and followers will come to expect this, so keep a few posts in the queue to meet these expectations.
Tip #2. Coming up with New Ideas
Coming up with new ideas isn't always easy. Once you've gone through the basics in your niche, you may find yourself struggling or fresh content. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to come up with unique posts.
Use idea starters (I'll provide you with 52 in a minute)
Read competitors' blogs. Please don't copy. You are simply gaining inspiration and seeing what they haven't covered or what needs covered more in-depth.
Read blogs outside of your niche. Sometimes the best ideas come from areas outside your own area of interest.
Talk to other bloggers about how they come up with ideas.
Once you have a blog schedule in place, look at the goals you'd like to set for yourself. As your site grows and revenue grows, you should be able to hire writers or increase the time you put into the blog yourself.
So, if you are writing 1 post a week, you might set a goal to write twice that halfway through the year and write 2 posts a week. Just because you create a schedule doesn't mean you can't add to it, either. Start with an achievable goal and you can always up your goals later on.
Studying Successful Blogs for Inspiration
One way to figure out how to make your own blog more successful and keep the ideas flowing is to study other successful blogs.
Let's return to this site and look at it again. There is a reason I keep mentioning this site – it is successful.
Wow! While you probably can't begin to touch that level of publication with a smaller (or even a somewhat large) site, it does go to show how important it is to publish frequently.
Neil Patel is a successful blogger who studies what other bloggers are doing well. You've likely heard his name if you've been in blogging circles for very long. Patel points out that while sites like Huffington Post are successful, that there are many other successful blogs that only post once a week. The key, Patel points out, is to create not just content but “high quality” content.
Patel rightly points out that there is a lot more to publishing online than just throwing up as many posts as you can and he talks about the importance of a smart strategy to do so. Your schedule is the first step toward that.
Chris Hornak, owner of Blog Hands, shared some of his thoughts about coming up with fresh topic ideas. Hornak said:
Start with a keyword and utilize keyword/topic research tools to uncover a broad range of potential topics.
Then when you begin writing a topic, review the top 10 current results for that search and see how you could provide something of greater or unique value than what's already in the search results.
Hornak's suggestion is a smart one, because you'll be looking at topics that people are already searching for.
52 Idea Starters
And now, without further ado, let's get to what you really came here for. Those idea starters to get you going on blog post ideas for your site.
You can use this list of 52 idea starts in a couple of different ways. You can either use each idea starter for one post each week. Or, you can use the idea starter and come up with a series of posts on the topic for the week. A lot will depend upon just how many blog posts you plan each week.
Idea Starter #1:
I want to know more about…
Is there a topic you personally wish you knew more about?
More than likely, your readers would like to know more about that topic as well. Finish the above sentence and then set out to learn more about the topic at hand.
As you learn, you can share your thoughts with your readers as well.
Idea Starter #2:
What is the latest trend in…
Each industry has trends that come and go. However, those trendy topics/items can be the perfect thing to write about.
What is trending in your industry right now?
How can you turn that into a blog post or series of blog posts?
Idea Starter #3:
What is the most interesting thing about your company?
What is one truly unique thing about your company that makes it stand out from the competition?
This can be a rags to riches story of where you started and where your company is today. It could be that extra mile you go for your customers. Maybe you have an ill staff member and the entire company has rallied around them to help cover their hospital expense.
Whatever it is that makes you unique, share it with your readers!
Think about how you can share a story that relates to your business.
If you own a professional golf shop, can you tell a story about the best golf game ever played?
Not every post has to sell a product. Sometimes you have to sell your brand and the heart behind your brand.
Idea Starter #5:
Have you ever wished…
Think about the most amazing thing that could ever happen, but seem impossible, in your industry. Now, share your thoughts and dreams with your readers. This is a sort of fantasy post. In an ideal world, every golfer would get a hole in one.
Idea Starter #6:
What should readers be cautious of?
You can take a warning, concern, or troubling statistic and turn it into a blog post.
For example, if you sell high quality dog food, you can share information about some of the pet recalls in recent years and why your reader's dog deserves better.
Just don't make your post too salesy.
The key is to provide information and let the reader come to the conclusion that she needs your product.
Who made the first, wrote the first, started the first _____?
When you think about your industry, who were the pioneers?
For example, if you run an online clothing store, then you might point to early fashion designers and share information on them and how one or more inspired you. Try to make it personal whenever you can. Don't just talk about Cocoa Chanel, but explain why Chanel inspired you to open your store or become interested in fashion.
Idea Starter #8:
What have you read recently about your industry?
What article, book, or case study have you recently read about your industry?
Make sure it isn't from a competing site and then feel free to write a review of it and share what you learned and how your readers can apply the information to their own lives or the use of your product.
Idea Starter #9:
Take some photos of your office, products, or workers and share them.
Readers love the chance to get to know you and your company.
Take the time to snap some photos of your offices, your staff, or even an event. Share a bit of info about what is going on and who the people are in the photos. You could even have your staff take selfies and send them to you with a short description as a way to introduce the team to your readers.
Idea Starter #10:
What is trending on Twitter?
The number of people on social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, continues to grow from month to month.
Because so many Internet users are on social media, it only makes sense to turn to this medium for some ideas on trending topics.
When you login to Twitter, you'll see trending hashtags on the left side of your home page. Choose one that you can relate back to your industry in some way, write the post, publish and share on Twitter with that hashtag.
What is the most basic how-to for your product or service?
Sometimes a good old-fashioned how-to guide is the best thing you can write. You might think it is too simple, but someone who has never used your product or service may need step-by-step explanations.
No matter what type of business or blog you run, you are likely to have some favorite resources related to your topic at hand.
Going back to the golf example, perhaps you know of a great video that will help someone struggling with a back swing. Maybe you just visited a golf course that you want to recommend. Whatever the resources you love, gather them together as a list of resources your readers must check out and share them. This also builds goodwill with other business owners.
What did you do today that relates to your business or that your readers can relate to? Share in detail your activities.
If you own that pro golf shop, maybe you spent the day talking to a famous pro golfer and you want to share the inside tips he gave you (get his permission, of course) and share a snapshot of the two of you on the golf course.
Idea Starter #15:
What makes you mad?
This can actually be a great motivator for a blog post.
What makes you mad and how can it be fixed? Share this thought process with your reader. Just make sure it relates to the topic at hand!
Open up to your readers and tell them what scares you about this business you're running.
Are you worried you'll fail at customer service?
Share that and ask them for their honest feedback on how you're doing. Be careful not to come off sounding like you are whining or asking for validation, though, as readers will not respond well to that.
Idea Starter #17:
Use an ordinary item – relate it to your topic.
Take an ordinary item and relate it to your topic. For example, you might take a toothbrush and talk about how day in and day out that toothbrush helps keep you healthy by removing bacteria from your teeth, helping you have brighter smile, etc. Then, you have to relate that to your topic. So, you might write that like the toothbrush, a membership at your local golf course can serve you day in and day out and keep you health with recreation, etc.
Sometimes you may have to stretch a bit to accomplish this idea starter, but that is a good thing because you may also think of other ideas to write about.
Idea Starter #18:
Who can you interview?
Is there someone you can interview who knows a lot about a related topic that your readers would be interested in? You might notice that here at WHSR we do a number of interviews with experts in things like hosting, WordPress plugin creators, marketers, etc.
Because everyone has a unique perspective.
Interviewing others can bring in information you might not have thought of otherwise.
As a bonus, they may interview you for their site or link back to you as well.
What is exciting about your company or product right now?
Share this with your readers.
Idea Starter #21:
What is your favorite quote?
Do you have a quote that you refer to often for inspiration or encouragement? For me, I love a poem that is often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson titled Success (some sources state this was written by someone else, but it sounds like his diction, so I'm going with RWE as the author). The poem is rather long, but the part I cite often is at the end and goes:
“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
I could easily turn that into a blog post about my philosophy with my clients and trying my best to help them breathe a bit easier. Running businesses is difficult and coming alongside them as a partner to take some of the pressure off is something I love doing.
So what is your favorite quote and how can you turn it into a blog post?
Idea Starter #22:
What lends itself to a list?
Lists are a quick, easy read for your site visitors. What can you create a list of? If you sell tee shirts, you could create a list of the top 10 things to do with an old tee shirt.
Listen to a podcast and share what you learned from it.
Ideally, this will be a podcast within your industry, but if you can figure out a way to relate a non-related podcast, go for it.
Idea Starter #28:
Find an amazing YouTube video and share it.
Admit it. When you're blocked, you watch funny videos on YouTube, don't you? Instead of wasting time, spend your time wisely by searching for videos on topics that relate to your blog. When you find an amazing one, go ahead and share it with your readers and what you gained from it.
Do your best to find one from a non-competitor, of course.
Idea Starter #29:
What is your favorite charity?
Take the time to share with your readers what you think is a good cause.
Can you tie this into your business somehow? Perhaps you could offer to donate a percentage of sales to an organization for the next so many months?
Idea Starter #30:
What are your favorite tools?
What tools do you use in your industry. Using the golf example again, you might share a typical day on the golf course. You use a specific putter, tees with your initials, and several other specific items you'd like to recommend to golfers just like you. More than likely, you are pretty passionate about the industry you're in, so share that passion with your readers.
Idea Starter #31:
What are 20 facts about me?
Share some in-depth information about your background, you personally, your company, etc. Readers love to get to know you better, so make it personal.
Idea Starter #32:
Who is my most interesting customer?
Can you highlight one of your clients or customers and explain how interesting they are? For example, if you sell golf clubs, maybe you have a vision impaired golfer who has learned to work around his disability and still play the game he loves.
Idea Starter #33:
What is the latest industry news?
Set up Google alerts to keep you posted on what is going on in your industry. Then, spin one or more of those ideas into an article for you blog.
Idea Starter #34:
Attend an industry conference and share your experience.
The more you can absorb in your industry, the more interesting your blog posts will become. Take the time to attend a conference in your niche and then share some of your experiences from that conference, a workshop you attended where you learned a lot, or other interesting tidbits.
Idea Starter #35:
What lessons have you learned along the way?
What are some of the hard lessons you've had to learn in life? Share one of these along with some tips about how your readers can avoid making the same mistakes and instead learn from your experience.
Idea Starter #36:
What exciting things do you have planned for the future?
What is your vision for your company in a year, five years, or ten years? What are your next steps? Do you have any interesting products or services in the pipeline? Share these dreams with your readers, who are sure to get excited with you and cheer you on.
Idea Starter #37:
What trends do you see emerging in your industry and what do you think about it?
What are some emerging trends in your industry and what are your thoughts?
Take a stand for or against and explain the reasons why.
Some blogs will naturally lend themselves more easily to this type of piece than others, but you should be able to find something you can relate to the topic at hand if you read through industry news and bulletin boards.
Do a roundup so you readers can follow them too. As an added bonus, some of these influencers may give you a shout out on social media.
Idea Starter #39:
Gather customer testimonials and highlight them.
Ask your customers for a testimonial to put into a highlight feature about your customer service and how you strive to please your customers. Even better if you can highlight a problem a customer had, how you fixed it, and then share a testimonial. This can make your trustworthiness factor go up a few degrees.
Idea Starter #40:
Transcribe your podcasts or videos.
Do you create podcasts or videos on your topic. Take the time to transcribe one and share it as a blog post. Not everyone wants to view a video, or might be at work where sound is a no no. However, having it in written form allows you to easily share it with everyone.
Idea Starter #41:
How can you communicate in photos?
Come up with a photoblog instead of written text.
Of course, you'll want to describe the photos, but those can be short and sweet.
Idea Starter #42:
My favorite technology is…
Share some of your favorite technology and how you use it in your day-to-day life. If you can relate it to your niche, then you can explain to your readers how they can benefit from this technology as well.
Idea Starter #43:
What is a book you'd like to write?
What is a topic that you think is so important that you could write a book about it?
Explain to your readers why you find this topic important and what you'd like to see covered. Who knows, the post might inspire you to actually write a book.
Idea Starter #44:
I wish I knew more about…
Is there a topic you really wish you knew more about? Share that thought with your readers and explain what you do already know and how you can build on that with this new knowledge you plan to seek out.
Idea Starter #45:
A person who mentored me was…
Take a minute to give some recognition to your mentors. Did an influencer give you advice in the early days of your blog's birth? Share that info with your readers and encourage them to find their own mentors.
Idea Starter #46:
What are your favorite hacks?
No matter what type of business you run, once you've been doing it for a while, you will learn shortcuts and tricks that help you be more efficient. What are the hacks you've picked up along the way that might save your readers time?
Idea Starter #47:
What wastes your time?
What are some things you've done to grow your business that didn't work out?
Don't worry, every business goes through those growing pains. Sharing them with your readers shows that you are real and upfront. Also share what you've done to fix it.
Idea Starter #48:
In the last year, my biggest lesson learned is…
What lesson have you learned in the last year that has changed your business or your outlook on life?
What is a problem your readers have that you can fix?
What is a problem a lot of your readers face? What are some fixes for that problem? If you can solve a problem for your readers, then that will go a long way toward building goodwill.
Idea Starter #50:
What are your favorite blogs?
What are some blogs that are related to your industry that you love? Share these blogs and a description of each with your readers.
Idea Starter #51:
What did you have to master to grow your business to the point it is today?
Every business owner has to overcome challenges and master certain key elements to succeed. What are some of the things you've had to master? How has that helped you succeed in your business?
Idea Starter #52:
What is your biggest dream as a business owner?
What is your biggest dream about your business? Maybe you want to succeed so you can help your favorite charity. Maybe you want to be the biggest golf pro shop the world.
Take the time to write out your dreams.
As you can see, there are many different ways to gain inspiration and find topics to write about for your blog.
The key is to take the time to brainstorm, plan ahead, and ultimately be yourself with your readers.
The more open and honest you can be, the more real you will seem. Readers respond better to a real person.
About Lori Soard
Lori Soard has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 1996. She has a bachelor's in English Education and a PhD in Journalism. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, online and she's had several books published. Since 1997, she has worked as a web designer and promoter for authors and small businesses. She even worked for a short time ranking websites for a popular search engine and studying in-depth SEO tactics for a number of clients. She enjoys hearing from her readers.