Updated: Jan 27
Stephanie Burns My company, Chic-CEO.com, is an online resource for over 100,000 female entrepreneurs.
One of the most paralyzing scenes any writer can face is a blank page. Sometimes it's really difficult to come up with a blog post topic, and even worse, coming up with one with no rhyme or reason behind it.
It’s a scenario I've found myself in a hundred times, and each time, I go through the following four-step process to come up with the perfect blog post topic.
Know Your Customer Avatar
This should go without saying, but you should know your target market and customer avatar. The ability to identify who buys your products and services will go a long way into determining the direction of your blog post… (and your company.)
When you have a good grasp on who you are writing for, you are able to identify what challenges they have. This will give you all the content ideas you’ll ever need.
Solving your customer’s problems should always be your main focus - so make sure you know them inside and out. Once you have a deep understanding of who your customer is, you’ll have the foundation for a successful blog post.
Identify Customer Challenges
The best blog posts I’ve ever written have come simply by addressing a challenge that my customers are facing.
In order to do that, ask your existing customers or potential customers some of the questions below. You can hop on a call, email them, post on Facebook or LinkedIn or send a survey. Come up with your own questions too. Things you’ve been curious about.
• What are the biggest challenges you’re facing right now?
• Where have you been spending the most time in your business?
• What tools or equipment have you bought or have considered buying?
• Are you completely happy with all the tools that you’re using now? Or are you looking to replace any of them?
• What do you need to know to double your business’s revenue?• How are planning on growing your business this year?
• What are your favorite online publications?
• Are there any forums or groups that you visit or contribute to? (Also include Facebook, Reddit, and LinkedIn.)
• Do you spend more time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter? Etc.
• What was the best article or publication you’ve read recently?
The answers you get will be invaluable. Once you get some feedback, you’ll start to see patterns in their answers. This is where you can address a lot of people’s challenges or questions in mass.
You can also scan through some of your favorite Facebook or LinkedIn groups to see what people are talking about or interesting questions they are asking. This is a great way to find topics.
Create a Topic that’s Evergreen
By an evergreen topic, I mean what issue or problem do your customers face on an ongoing basis?
When I first started blogging, I used to write articles like “What (insert popular tv show) can teach you about email marketing.
These types of posts were creative in drawing analogies between what was happening at the time and email marketing, but they weren’t exactly evergreen. In other words, once the show wasn’t popular any more, the blog post wasn’t going to be relevant. It would have a big hit due to the popularity of the tv show at the time, but the longevity of the post was nil.
You want to ensure that your post is as relevant 5 years from now as it is today.
Are people searching for it?
The last thing I do when choosing a blog post topic is see if people are searching for it.
I don’t want to write a blog post that gets a few readers when it is launched and then is lost to the internet forever. Instead, I want to write posts that people search for. That way they get read for months, and years, after they’ve been published.
My favorite go-to tool is Ubersuggest. I enter in the topic (keywords) that I want to write about.
For example, let’s say I want to write about the best Colombian coffee. I’d go to Ubersuggest and enter “best Colombian coffee” into the prompt and click search.
Then I’d look at the search volume. That’s the approximate number of people looking for “best Colombian coffee” every month.
(Note: I know it says “low”, but I’ll usually write a blog post for anything over 100 or so searches.) If it's super specific to your target market, those searchers could be gold for you. If I had a coffee blog, I’d definitely be writing about the best Colombian coffee.
By using this four step process outlined above, I’m able to constantly defeat the paralysis that is staring at a blank page. Coming up with a topic can sometimes be the hardest part of writing a blog post.
Know who you are talking to, make sure you’re identifying a challenge they have, make it evergreen, and make sure people search for it, is the fastest way to come up with a topic that will get read for months and years to come.