One question we see all the time is “how do I get more blog readers?” and while that could have MANY possible answers, one of them is simply: write better blog posts. When we say better, we mean blog posts that posts that are actually HELPUL to people – not just, “here's what I did this weekend” or “here are some vague business tips.” In this post we're sharing six ways to develop content ideas because even if people are interested in YOU, your blog posts should really help you relate to THEM. The more you create helpful, relatable content >> the more likely people will share it >> the more likely your blog posts will be discovered by new people >> the more your readership can grow.
Six ways to develop share-worthy content ideas
So what makes blog posts “share-worthy” anyway? Obviously the content has to be relevant to your audience (because if you're audience is interested in organic beauty and you blog about pizza, that's just confusing) but more than that, you want people to be able to walk away having learned something from your post. So rather than sharing just for the sake of sharing, share something because you want to teach a lesson / inspire action / build a connection / or provide REAL value to your audience in some way.
Expand on popular post topics
The first place you can start when it comes to content planning is your existing content. Know what topics and types of posts your audience is responding to – and do more of what works and less of what doesn't – this is our mantra when it comes to anything marketing related. When we do our quarterly content planning, we look back at our blog analytics to determine which topics have been most popular. From there, we think about how we can expand on those popular posts to give more audience even more information about the given topics in order to develop content ideas for the future.
For example, this post on our Founder Elle's blog, this post 10 ways to grow your Instagram (how I grew from 0 – 15,000 followers without spending any money) was the most popular post in 2015, so she wrote a follow up post on how to double your Instagram following (how I grew from 15,000 to 30,000 followers in 2 months).
Take action: Think about how you can expand on a particular topic by giving an update, teaching the next step, or sharing even more knowledge about whatever it is your audience is interested in!
Create a tutorial
Some of the best blog posts are blog posts that actually teach you how to do something! Think about how many times you've googled “how to ______” when you didn't know how to do something. You probably do it all the time. Everything from “how to customize Canva templates” to “how to fishtail braid” to “how to teach your dog to rollover” – we've got Canva and fishtail braids figured out, but we're still working on rollover…
The more specific and actionable your tutorial is – the more helpful it will be – so take things step by step and share images / screenshots / videos whenever they are helpful. You could even break down a process with a lot of different steps to develop content ideas for multiple blog posts.
Take action: Think about all of the things you know how to do (in relation to your industry + target audience) – you may have learned things because of your education or your experience (or both!), but there are definitely things that you know how to do that other people want to learn. Even if there are other tutorials online, no one has your exact point of view – so don't be afraid to share your knowledge!
Frequently Asked Questions
You probably get asked questions from your customers / clients / followers / subscribers / etc. – and how many times have you typed out the same responses? Blog posts can be an easy way to respond to frequently asked questions in a more in depth way. You might get questions in your comments, via emails, on social media, or in other forms of your community – this is an easy way to come up with content ideas that you KNOW your audience wants to know more about because they are already asking you for it!
For example, one of the questions we get most frequently regarding my stock photos is “how can I use these for my business / blog?” While I have a broad explanation on our FAQ page, we also have a blog post on 15 ways to use styled stock photos that goes into more specific detail with a lots of different examples.
Take action: If you're not already keeping a running list of frequently asked questions, start now! And if no one is asking you any questions then either 1) you should probably be engaging more with your audience so they feel more comfortable interacting with you or 2) you need to increase your visibility + reach more people!
Survey your audience
Most people aren't going to tell you what they want – until you ask them. That's why periodically surveying your audience can be eye-opening in terms of learning more about what your audience actually wants learn more about. We recommend asking your audience a combination of multiple choice and open-ended questions – multiple choice makes it easy for them, and open-ended questions give them the opportunity to tell you in their own words exactly what they want / what they struggle with / what they have questions about / etc.
For example, last year we surveyed our audience to ask them what questions they had about branding and it turns out… they had a lot of questions! So we wrote posts like Your Brand is More Than Just a Logo, What You Need to DIY Your Brand, and 3 Ways to Update Your Visual Brand.
Take action: Survey your audience at least once a year to learn more about them + their needs. We use Typeform for our surveys, but you could also use other free tools like Google forms or Survey Monkey.
Pinterest is one of our favorite search engines for developing new content ideas because you can not only find keywords but you can also find popular content. On Pinterest you can search for keywords related to your business and see what other people are searching for as well as pinning in relation to those keywords. Not only can you find relevant pins, but you can also also find relevant Pinterest boards that may have other topics related to your keywords.
For example, if you sell fashion jewelry, you might search “statement necklace” and you'll see other people are searching for “statement necklace outfit” and “statement necklace how to wear” which tells you that people are looking for content to help them visualize how to wear statement necklaces. From there you might create a blog post on how to style statement necklaces for special occasions or how to wear statement necklaces at work (or date nights or wherever your target audience might wear statement necklaces).
Take action: Think about key words related to your business and search for a few different phrases on Pinterest to see what other people are searching for as well as what types of relevant content are being pinned. Use these examples to help you develop content ideas and when you write the posts, make sure you are sharing them on Pinterest!
Search Facebook groups
Another place to find blog post ideas is within relevant Facebook groups. This strategy can be extremely helpful if you run your own Facebook group, but even if you don't have your own community, you can take advantage of other relevant groups to see what types of questions people are asking related to your business.
For example, if you are a graphic designer who specializes in the wedding industry you might search within Facebook groups for wedding industry professionals to see what types of questions people are having relating to design / branding / etc. Even if questions in the group aren't directly related to certain “keywords”, you may find that there are relevant questions or discussions that could be tied to your expertise. In this case, you may find wedding professionals asking for help in getting new clients so you might write a blog post on how intentional design can help wedding professionals attract new clients.
Take action: If you're not already a member of relevant Facebook groups, find 2-3 groups filled with members who might be your ideal clients / customers and search for keywords related to your business in the group discussions. If you're not getting results that are helpful, try scrolling through the group for a bit to see the types of questions being asked and determine if they could relate to your business.
So those are six ways to develop share-worthy content ideas for your blog (or any other form of regular content you are creating). From my experience, even using 2-3 of these strategies can help me come up with enough content ideas for an entire quarter (or more!), so if you're struggling to figure out what to share on your blog / vlog / or other content channels, give these a try and let us know what you think!