Blogging is great for search engine optimization (SEO), as long as you can find useful and interesting topics to write about that coincide with the things your customers search for. But every day, blog topics pass you by unnoticed. The good news is that they’re all around you once you train yourself to look for them.
A conversation, a step in a process, a sheet full of data — all of these can trigger an idea for a blog post. Use these seven tips to start finding great blog topics to fuel your SEO campaigns everywhere you look.
1. Remember Questions
Say your coworker Roger sits down by your desk and asks you a question. In addition to a request for information, Roger has just given you a potential topic for a blog post.
If someone is curious about something you have knowledge about, it stands to reason that others might be as well.
The questions that you can answer without giving away company secrets are the ones to jot down in your list of potential topics. Just be careful not to consider everything you do a company secret. Unless your business is a disrupter, most topics you could write about will be somewhat familiar to those who might want to use them.
2. Sit down with Sales
Your sales force speaks to potential customers and closes the sales. They’ve heard every hope, dream, question, and objection out there. That’s amazing fodder for blog posts!
Even better, by capturing some of the dialog they use to uncover those wishes and concerns and turning it into blog posts, you can help shorten the sales process. In addition, salespeople could send your blog posts — or have them write the posts — to potential customers as a follow-up after their conversations.
3. Talk with Customer Service
Similarly, customer service representatives speak with a lot of customers but on the opposing side of the sale. People who call in to customer service typically already have the products or use the service your company sells — and they have questions or concerns.
Buy your customer service rep a cup of coffee and ask them about the questions they get most routinely … and about the most bizarre ones. The routine questions will be excellent blog fodder because you already know that people want the answers to those questions badly enough to bother slogging through a phone menu to talk to someone about it.
Your blog posts can even help customers find answers to their own issues online, improving satisfaction and reducing call volume.
4. Use Question Suggestion Sites
A small subset of keyword research tools mine different sources for the questions that people ask online. Pop a keyword into their search fields, and some of the questions that they return could trigger an idea for a blog post.
The first site, answerthepublic.com, gets its data by scraping search engines’ type-ahead auto-suggest features and arranging it both as a selection of questions and a list of phrases. A similar site, questiondb.io, gets its data by scraping topics from forums like Quora. Between the two, you’ll get a wide swath of topics to consider on just about any subject.
5. Read the News
Industry news and even mainstream national news sources can turn up ideas for blog posts, as well. Look for timely topics that you have a different take on, can give deeper insight into, or that trigger an idea for a different approach. Don’t just regurgitate what you find in the news source. There’s little value in recycling an idea without including your unique point of view.
6. Mine Paid Search & SEO Data
Check your Google Ads and Google Search Console for the keywords that send you traffic already and elaborate on those topics. The data will tell you which products or services you’re most visible for now. You can use that in two ways — write more on the topics that are popular from different angles, or look for the ones that you would like to be more visible and write about those.
7. Think about Your Day
Reflect on your day. It’s good for the soul but also good for plucking more blog topics out of your brain. What did you do? What did you talk about? What did you learn? What did you wish you knew? Out of the myriad answers to those questions, you should be able to pull a few blog topics. As an added bonus, when you write about the things you wish you knew, you need to do the research to learn enough to write about them. It’s a win-win: new skills and a blog post all wrapped into one.
All of these seven ideas can help you come up with new ideas for blog topics that will be useful and interesting to your current and future customers. Keep your eyes and mind wide open, and remember to look for ideas all through your day. You’ll be rewarded with more ideas than you can write about!
This content was originally published here.