Are you stuck for new blog ideas? You’re definitely not alone. Even if you start out with tons of ideas for a blog, it gets harder to think of topics after a while.
According to HubSpot, 92 per cent of customers that blog multiple times a day attract customers through those blog posts. Inbound marketing works. Content is its cornerstone. Investing in your blog is a failsafe way to increase website traffic, and including a variety of styles and topics will keep people interested in what you say.
This post will give you five ideas for ways to vary your blog and add different types of content. Once you’re on a roll with these techniques, you should find it much easier to come up with new blog ideas.
1. Write Pillar Posts
Pillar posts get their name from their purpose: they prop the website up over time.
They are the shareable, detailed, high quality blogs that will help your blog gain traction, and are absolutely essential in your content strategy.
While your static service pages tell people what you do, the pillar posts should prove how well you do it.
When formulating ideas for pillar posts, remember the golden rules:
- Pillar posts should not go out of date. Look for evergreen topics that will stand the test of time
- These posts should attract your most valuable, high-spending customers and prompt them to take action
- Pillar posts should be of a high quality to have a better chance of earning links
- You need to make these posts as shareable as possible.
If you have a set budget, plan to allocate at least half of it to developing excellent pillar posts. It’s never too late to add them, and once you do, they will bring in traffic effortlessly for months.
2. Share News Updates
There are three forms of updates you can share on your website:
- News and trending topics
- News about your own business
- Case studies about your product linked to topical events.
Of these, news stories and trending topics are a short-term strategy, while the others will hold more value longer term.
It’s important to spread your investment in content so that you aren’t putting all of your money into content that will only rank for a short time. For example, you can update old blog posts in a content audit, but news articles are often better off combined or trashed.
So in terms of generating ideas and varying the content on your website, using different types of news can be helpful, but be smart about it. Case studies are a great way to promote your own work. By linking your case studies to news stories — such as a client overcoming adversity using your product — you can tap into news trends while creating something more evergreen.
3. Write a Listicle
Love them or hate them, list posts are here to stay.
A list is an easy way to give the reader information combined with a predictable length to read, which is appealing.
However, there are some things to keep in mind.
List posts with a short word count are too brief to offer anything new in the content. If your list contains five items (or more), and the blogger is writing to 500 words, there simply isn’t space for detail, and that’s where the value is lost.
If you like lists, go the extra mile:
- Aim for a top 19 list, instead of a top 5 list. Or a top 101 list.
- Make your top 5 list 2,000 words long instead of 400 words long.
- Break it up: post your top 5 list as five serialised blogs over the course of a week.
Right now, content marketing is all about quality and relevance. Throwing up a quick list won’t necessarily tick those boxes. But there are ways to make list posts work if you’re willing to invest a little more.
4. Comment and Discuss
Many entrepreneurs have built their business on being their own person, and doing things their own way. Look at Lingscars: Ling Valentine is furiously independent, and has broken every rule in the PR handbook. This is her strength, and her USP.
On a smaller scale, I’ve written some personal opinion pieces for the Huffington Post – and some opinions were certainly more popular than others.
Being authentic can win traffic as long as your content is:
- Directly relevant to your business and industry
- True to your own beliefs
- Unlikely to genuinely offend
- Published with genuine intentions – not simply as clickbait.
Commentary and opinion blogs can build bridges to customers, but they can also burn bridges if you’re not careful. Don’t post anything you don’t stand by 100 per cent, and think carefully before hiring a ghost writer for these posts unless you’re willing to check the result carefully.
You can always run a separate Tumblr or Medium blog for your personal rants, if you’re not sure about putting them straight onto your business website.
5. Answer a Question
Have you thought about using these questions to drive your blog calendar?
If there’s something you’re repeatedly being asked, and you’re well-practiced in explaining it via email, it’s a clue that your website isn’t giving people the detail they need. It’s also a golden opportunity for getting some long-tail keywords onto your website, helping to boost highly targeted traffic.
You don’t have to label these posts as FAQs, necessarily; you can just put a spin on the content by posting them in a question format. This gives them a list-like appearance, which can help to break up other posts.
New Blog Ideas Aren’t the Only Way to Improve
Managing a blog is time consuming, and maintaining constant effort is sometimes difficult. Not everyone is a natural writer, and it can be difficult to find the time.
Despite that, it’s important to focus on quality, keep publishing regularly, and vary the type of content you post.
If you’d like help maintaining your blog, check out our blog service pricing and get a helping hand starting today.