Content marketing is one of the most effective methods of promoting your small business. We’ve talked about the benefits of content marketing a lot, and we’ve even created a guide on how to make your content marketing more effective. Today, we want to delve deeper into writing for your blog.
Coming up with original content on a weekly, or monthly, basis can be a challenge. Sure, you’ll have hundreds of ideas when you first start out, but that inspiration can quickly dry up when the going gets tough. Below, we’ve rounded up 26 content marketing ideas for your next blog post. From making tutorials to creating quizzes, we’ve compiled some of the most effective content marketing ideas for you to try out.
Make a guide or tutorial
Whether your business is in catering or consultancy, the chances are that you’re a pro when it comes to what you do. Make your blog a resource hub for your industry by writing guides or tutorials on something you know that others may not.
As a chef, for example, you could create a how-to guide to creating perfect batter mix; as a solicitor, you could write a tutorial on how to get a divorce. The more informative, original content that you produce, the more organic traffic you’ll receive from search engines and the more chances you have to convert those visitors into customers or leads.
Review a product, book or film
Reviews are one of the very best ways to position your brand as an authoritative figure and persuade people to try out your products and services in the mean time. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so writing in-depth, unbiased reviews can be a great way to build your blog and create content people want to read. And, with 77% of UK shoppers consulting reviews before buying, you’re in a unique position to influence purchasing decisions of your readers and get them to buy from you rather than a competitor. Remember to always remain impartial when reviewing products and services – intentionally negative or slanderous reviews could land you in trouble.
Interview an influencer
Whatever industry you’re in, there’ll no doubt be an influencer or authoritative figure that you can speak to. Interviews and exclusive chats are a great way of showing your business thinks about the bigger picture, rather than just its own affairs, and can help you to attract press coverage, links from other websites and new email subscribers. Check out this guide from Income Diary on how to interview for a blog post if you haven’t done it before.
Create an infographic
Infographics allow you to visualise data and concepts in a fun and engaging way – they’re one of the most effective forms of visual content marketing, can be reused again in your guest blogging efforts and on social media, AND they help you build links.
If you’re not a graphic designer, outsource your infographic or use a tool like Venngage to produce one for free, and remember to write a blog post that corresponds with the topics you discuss in the graphic. Don’t create an infographic just for the sake of it – make sure you hammer down on the concept of your graphic and make sure it’s impactful before designing it, or you risk creating content that serves no purpose.
Create a list
People are lazy and don’t want to spend time searching for the information they want to read. Make it easy for them by creating a list post – whether that’s “top 10 things you need to know about XYZ” or “5 ways to improve your XYZ”. Not only are these posts impactful and more likely to be shared than standard blog posts and content, but they’re easy to write and you can follow the same structure for every piece you create.
Share a to-do list
If you want to improve your relationship with customers and visitors, consider adding an open “to-do list” to your website. A blog post on what you want to achieve and when you aim to do so can be motivational to readers, and add some pressure to your schedule. If you’re building an app or software package, for example, you could write a “coming soon” blog post, highlighting features and tools you hope to add in the future. Not only will a blog post like this increase transparency, but it will spark discussion in your comments section.
React to news in your industry
Share your opinions or analysis on a recent news story related to your industry or niche, and you’ll create a whole new market for your business. Nowadays, consumers want to find content that offers something unique and valuable, so if you can share your expertise and thoughts on a relevant and topical story, you’ll boost your brand awareness and position yourself as an authority figure. Don’t regurgitate news articles on your blog – make it a place where analysis, discussion and debate comes alive, and you’ll be on to a winner.
Write a case study
Quality case studies that reflect the benefits of your business and the impact you have had on your clients’ lives can build trust and increase sales. Go in depth and include statistics and testimonials, and you’ll create a piece of content that has a positive impact. If your client has a website, they could even feature your case study on their own blog and give you a backlink in exchange, which will boost your website’s SEO. Case studies are a win-win for all parties – clients get featured, visitors get to see how your business can help them, and you get a quality piece of content that serves to build brand awareness and generate leads.
Share your favourite bloggers and resources
This may sound similar to the “build a list” idea we shared above, but it’s worth mentioning all the same. If you want to position your business and blog as an authority figure, create a list of your favourite bloggers and resources and share them with the world. This blog post idea not only gives your readers access to a whole host of valuable resources, but gives you a chance to reach out to bloggers you admire and let them know you value their work. And, who knows, that exchange could lead to a partnership or guest blogging opportunity?
Allow people to guest blog on your website
If you’re struggling to come up with new content for your blog, or you’re going through a busy period and don’t have time for your marketing activities, consider opening your blog to guest posts. It’s another win-win situation – you get some high-quality content that you can use to maintain your blog and keep customers subscribed, and the guest blogger gets an opportunity to build their name and get a backlink to their website.
However, be careful not to accept any and every blogger – make sure they have a track record for writing good content, analyse the outgoing links in the post to ensure it doesn’t lead to questionable websites, and make sure the content is unique, up-to-date and valuable to your audience.
Answer a blog comment in a new post
If you have an active audience and they post in-depth responses to your blog posts or pose questions, use this to your advantage and channel their thoughts into new blog posts. FAQ posts are popular in some industries, as they allow you to cover a number of questions in a single post, but if you want to produce high-quality, long-form content, focus on answering one question in depth and citing case studies and statistics as and when appropriate.
Write about the history of your business
If you’ve been working in the same industry for a long time, then the chances are that you’ll have a lot to talk about. Write about the history of your business – whether your humble beginnings, the journey you travelled to make your business what it is today, or even the history of your family-run firm. Include photos of your business throughout the years, and open the floor to questions in the comments section so visitors can get to know you on a more personal level.
It’s one of the best ways to expose your audience to your business, show what’s going on behind the scenes of your blog, and boost your ego in the process!
Guest post on another website
If you want to make your blog the best it can be, consider taking some time away from it and putting your content marketing skills and industry knowledge to the test. Start guest posting on other websites to build your brand, get links back to your blog and challenge yourself as a writer. By writing for other blogs, you’ll have to think more about your writing style, the type of content visitors will want to read, and the way in which you approach the topics. Plus, every guest blog opens you up to a new potential audience, which could help you to boost your visitor numbers, email subscribers and, if you’re lucky, customers, too.
Create “link bait”
Simply put, link bait is content that’s designed to attract attention and encourage backlinks – but it’s not easy to create. You’ll need to come up with an awesome concept, add a unique selling point, find an SEO to work with you on the content creation, use graphic designers, conduct blogger outreach and follow through on every opportunity for a link.
Content that generates thousands of links and social media shares is hard to come by, and often requires the help of a marketing agency. However, if you have the right angle and the determination and skills to pull it off, you can create viral content without any third-party assistance.
Bundle your posts into guides
Another idea for a new blog post is to bundle relevant and related posts into handy guides and resources. If you run a web design company, for example, and have written content on how to change your logo, how to add new text to your homepage and how to update your contact information, you could bundle these posts into a “beginner’s guide to editing your website” piece. From there, you can round-up the key aspects of each blog and link back to them, which will improve your website’s internal linking structure and provide one easy-to-digest resource that you can promote to new visitors and potential customers.
Do a round-up of industry news
If you want to educate your readers and help them stay up-to-date with the latest news in your industry, consider rounding up the most popular news in your industry. This could be a weekly blog post – such as “the biggest stories in the hospitality industry this week” – or you could create a one-off post that relates to a particular breaking news story or scandal. For estate agents, builders and property investment companies, for example, a topical and researched piece on Brexit and its impact on businesses and homeowners could be popular.
Create a series of blog posts
Engage your readers and create content that offers value by creating a ‘series’ of blog posts that explore a particular topic or niche. If you’re a groomer, for example, you could create a series of posts on how to look after a dog – pieces on diet, exercise, home life, grooming, general health and bonding could all work together with an overarching ‘dog care’ theme.
Blog series can create a buzz around your blog and keep visitors coming back week after week, so add a subscribe box to the bottom of your posts to alert visitors when new blog posts go live. And, if the series proves popular, you could spin-off into over avenues, or even consider compiling your blog posts and turning them into an eBook for your visitors.
Go back and update an old blog post
The more posts you write, the better a blogger you’ll become. So, if you’ve been blogging for a while, go back over your old posts and give them a refresh. Add more information, expand on a particular point or update the links to more up-to-date and relevant resources.
Updating your old blog posts can help you increase traffic to your website – add images and other visual media to make your post more engaging, update keywords to rank for new terms and improve your SEO, and improve deep linking by linking back to related posts and resources from your blog. These simple tweaks will offer long-lasting benefits.
Create a video blog
Whether you like it or not, the future of content marketing is in video. By the end of 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic – and that number is only set to grow. Video is an accessible, convenient way for visitors to consume content, so you should consider creating a video blog or serialising some of your most popular blog posts into video or podcast format. It’s important to think more like a publisher and less like a marketer when creating content for your visitors, so take your time and bootstrap with royalty free images and music until you’re certain you’ll get a return on your investment from video.
Curate facts and statistics from your niche
If you’ve spent any time working in content marketing, you’ll have no doubt Googled “niche + facts”. Make it easier for others to find facts and statistics that relate to your niche, and increase your chances of getting backlinks from other websites, by curating the very best and most interesting facts and statistics that relate to your industry. Or, if you can’t find any relevant and up-to-date statistics, conduct your own survey and report the results.
We use this technique as part of our content marketing strategy on social media – posting The Daily Bite with relevant marketing news and statistics that our users find relevant. It’s a simple way to boost engagement and position your brand as an authority figure.
Create a glossary of terms
Create a glossary of key terminology and phrases in your niche to help people who are new to it. Check out this list of hair terminology from Seventeen as an example; it’s packed with buzzwords and phrases, along with a short and easy-to-read description for each one.
Offer a free download
Create content that your visitors can download, whether that’s a content calendar, a worksheet, graphics or an eBook. Remember to ask for their email address before offering the download link so that you can add them to your email marketing campaigns. Oh, and be sure to write a blog post that complements your free download – introduce a topic, offer a resource and let them know how they can use your resource in a way that will benefit them.
Write a pros and cons post
Pick a topic that’s related to your industry and weigh up the pros and cons. If you’re a mechanic, for example, you could write about the benefits of automatic cars over manual cars, or the pros and cons of winter tyres. Keep it relevant, go into depth and remember to add a call to action or feature your products or services somewhere in the copy.
Live blog an event
Attending an industry event, watching a TV show or launching a new product? Celebrate with a live blog – a minute-by-minute account of what’s going on and your thoughts. If you can, add images and videos to your live blog, and follow it up at the end of the night with a more in-depth review or feature on the event. Link the blog with Twitter and Facebook so that you can engage your audience, and respond to comments and questions from visitors so that they feel like they’re part of the action.
Experiment with a poll
Polls are a great way of boosting engagement and encouraging social shares. Create a blog post where you discuss or debate a contentious subject, and create a poll to ask people for their opinion. Encourage them to sound off in the comments and keep the discussion going on social media. And, depending on how popular the post is, follow it up with the results and a review of your findings – and choose a title like “X% of homeowners prefer X over Y”.
Create a quiz
Quizzes are another way to engage your audience and create content that goes viral on social media. Use a WordPress quiz maker plugin – some even require your readers to share the quiz on social media before you reveal their results, which is excellent if you’re looking to boost conversions and social media shares. Experiment with quiz styles, use GIPHY to find humorous GIFs to add to your results pages, and use the quiz as an opportunity to have fun.
Developing an effective content marketing strategy can take time, but with these content marketing ideas, you’ll be well on your way to success. Do you have any other types of content marketing that you think our readers should know about? Let us know on Twitter and we’ll add them to this blog post!