One of the most crippling scenes a writer can face is a blank slate. Sometimes it is very difficult to find a topic for a blog post, and even worse, to find one without rhyme or reason behind.
This is a scenario I have found myself in a hundred times, and each time I go through the following four step process to find the perfect blog topic.
Know your customer avatar
It should go without saying, but you need to know your target market and your customer avatar. The ability to identify who is buying your products and services will go a long way in determining the direction of your blog post … (and your business.)
When you fully understand who you are writing for, you are able to identify the challenges they face. This will give you all the content ideas you need.
Solving your customers’ issues should always be your primary focus – so make sure you know them inside and out. Once you have a thorough understanding of who your customer is, you will have the basics of a successful blog post.
Identify customer challenges
The best blog posts I have ever written have come simply by taking on a challenge that my clients face.
To do this, ask your existing or potential customers some of the questions below. You can make a call, send them an email, post to Facebook or LinkedIn, or send a survey. Also come up with your own questions. Things that interest you.
• What are the biggest challenges you are currently facing?
• Where have you spent the most time in your business?
• What tools or equipment have you purchased or considered purchasing?
• Are you completely satisfied with all the tools you currently use? Or are you looking to replace one of them?
• What do you need to know to double your business’ revenue?
• How do you plan to grow 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.)
• Are you spending more time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter? Etc.
• What is the best article or publication that you have read recently?
The answers you get will be invaluable. Once you’ve received comments, you’ll start to see patterns in their responses. This is where you can respond en masse to a lot of people’s challenges or questions.
You can also browse some of your favorite Facebook or LinkedIn groups to see what people are talking about or interesting questions they are asking. It’s a great way to find topics.
Create an evergreen topic
By an always-on topic, I mean what problem or problem do your customers face all the time?
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 going on back then and email marketing, but they weren’t exactly eternal. In other words, once the show was no longer popular, the blog post was no longer going to be relevant. It would have had great success due to the popularity of the TV show at the time, but the longevity of the post was nil.
You want to make sure your post is as relevant 5 years from now as it is today.
Are people looking for it?
The last thing I do when choosing a blog topic is see if people are looking for it.
I don’t want to write a blog post that attracts a few readers when launched and then gets lost forever on the internet. Instead, I want to write articles that people are looking for. That way, they are read for months, if not years, after they are published.
My favorite tool is Ubersuggest. I enter the subject (keywords) I want to write about.
For example, let’s say I want to write about the best Colombian coffee. I would go to Ubersuggest and type in “best Colombian coffee” in the prompt and click search.
Then I would look at the search volume. This is the approximate number of people looking for the “best Colombian coffee” each month.
(Note: I know it says “low,” but I usually write a blog post for over a hundred searches.) If it’s very specific to your target market, these searchers might be of help. ‘gold for you. If I had a coffee blog, I would definitely write about the best Colombian coffee.
By using this four step process described above, I am able to overcome the paralysis that looks a blank page consistently. Finding a topic can sometimes be the hardest part of writing a blog post.
Knowing who you are talking to, make sure you identify a challenge they have, make it permanent and make sure people are looking for it, is the fastest way to find a topic that will be read for months and months. years to come.
Next: How To Write A Blog Post That Is Read