GUEST POST | Who better to reveal all of the expert tips than one who has proven her chops via her successful blog? We convinced Emma Madsen, aka talented wordstress and the lady behind lifestyle blog LOVEFLOCK, to share her savviest strategies for coming up with blog post topics when that blank page is starting to give you the heebie jeebies...
I know you already know how advantageous having a blog linked to your biz can be — it increases engagement, improves SEO, creates a platform to serve your following and is an opportunity to prove that you really know your stuff.
But a successful blog requires more than just one or two posts every few months - and what often causes us to lose our posting steam is coming up with blog post topics.
So for some inspiration, here are 5 hacks for coming up with blog post topics...
1. Give the people what they want
Your following always comes first, as you exist to serve them (no clients = no biz). So, when creating blog posts, always start by asking yourself, What can I share that will help my people?
With this simple question, you’ll get yourself in the right frame of mind.
This is exactly why I started my own blog, as I realised there was a gap in the blogsphere for raw and helpful content (okay, you gotta remember here, this was a few years ago when #mummybloggers and #lifeunfiltered were new). By sharing honest stories about mummyhood, wanderlust, wellbeing, and creativity, I filled a need, resulting in a loyal and steady following.
If you’re struggling to think of your clients’ needs and wants, go back to your frequently asked questions. What do your clients want help with? What are their pain points? Are you a bookkeeper and they’re struggling with Xero? Are you a hairdresser and they are wanting to stop their colour fading? Or perhaps you run a travel agency and peeps want to know the best family-friendly deals before school goes back.
Create blog posts around what you’re most often asked about and you’ll be positioning yourself as an authority in your market.
If you're struggling with how to structure your post, list-style posts with titles like 5 smart AF hacks for coming up with blog post topics (see what I did there?!?) are easy to read and allow for actionable, bite-sized advice.
2. Collaborate, mate!
A fantastic way to expose yourself to a whole new audience and gain some street cred is by collaborating with another business or influencer (yep, I drop the influencer bomb in here). Don’t go for a direct competitor, but someone within your industry who shares a similar audience. You can do an interview, DIY, feature, guest post and even create a joint giveaway to increase social media reach.
On my site, I’ve created a whole feature section called Women We Love, where ordinary women doing extraordinary things are highlighted. Many of these women are business owners and influencers. Every single time, these women share the blog post with their own followings, resulting in peaks in traffic to the blog, along with increased followers on social media.
Some examples of potential collaborations include...
· a real estate agent featuring an interior stylist doing a DIY on How To Style Your Home To Sell
· a nanny agency interviewing a children’s sleep consultant
· a financial advisor sharing budgeting tips for start-ups on a business influencer’s blog
The options and opportunities for collaborations are limitless!
3. Turn to the calendar
Jumping on the bandwagon isn’t a shameful thing to do when blog posting. Have a look at the upcoming calendar year and plan some posts around it. You know that Christmas, Easter, EOFY, and various international days come around every year, so create posts for these occasions and your content calendar won’t be empty anymore.
Creating blog posts around yearly celebrations also has the bonus of being picked up on trending hashtags when promoting on social media. Yay!!
Take Christmas, for example. On my own blog, I’ve written posts on easy and healthy Christmas treats, how to toddler proof your Christmas Tree, and packing a capsule wardrobe for spending the holidays at the in-laws’. I also do ‘mini blog posts’ on Instagram and Facebook every Book Week, where each day I share one of my favourite children’s books.
Easter is around the corner and is a perfect opportunity for anyone selling chocolates, kidswear or stuffed bunnies, for example. Just remember to make your post useful to your followers, and not just a thinly veiled attempt to get them to purchase off you.
4. Capture inspiration when it happens
Why do our best ideas come just before we fall asleep, when driving or in the shower? Apparently, it has to do with sensory deprivation. One study by Ignite80 showed that 72% of people have their best ideas in the shower. The researchers concluded that as we minimise distraction and relax, different parts of our brain are activated, allowing for creative thinking.
The only thing we can do is capture those golden nuggets when they fly into our minds. Keep a notebook and pen next to your bed to write down those late-night thoughts. When driving or playing with the kids, I often use my girl Siri and ask her “to take this note” to save a topic idea in my phone. Sometimes all you need is one key word to jolt your memory once you're back at your desk.
5. Get personal
Now I’m not asking you to reveal your children, or delve into your relationship issues, or even be as open as I am on LOVEFLOCK, but people do biz with people, and your blog is a great place for potential customers to get to know you.
Behind-the-scenes content is not just for Instagram stories. You could do a post on your experience at a large-scale trade show or small market. You can try A Day in the Life of our Founder or even a monthly staff profile, highlighting different members of your team.
And finally, make sure your posts sound like how you talk – sure, you might want to leave out some of the swear words, but I guarantee you’ll have more chances appearing human than a boring, monotone robot with no soul. Keep it natural and the rest will follow!
Emma Madsen is a Canberra girl having a new adventure on the Sunny Coast. When not wrangling her three kiddies, she is a blogger at LOVEFLOCK and freelance copywriter.