If you've ever felt stuck when it comes to writing content and just don't know what to write about, you're not alone! It happens to us all and that's why it's so important to create a quarterly content plan and strategize posts in advance. When this happens, a great way to start generating blog post ideas is to turn to your audience!
Here are two easy ways to get your audience to generate blog post ideas for you:
Number 1: Ask Questions on Social Media
Your audience is right in front of you, so it's time to start asking questions and talking to them. There are some key things to keep in mind when you're asking questions:
- You control the direction of the questions, make sure they're related to your content pillars.
- Don't always ask open-ended questions, give them two options or ask yes or no questions. Oftentimes you'll hear crickets when you ask someone to give you a long-form answer, simply because people are busy, don't have time, or don't want to stop and think about their response for too long.
- Think about what questions you would answer. Before you ask, is it a question you'd personally respond to?
- Look at the content pillars of your blog (aka your categories) is there one pillar that is lacking content more than the other? Start there when you're forming your questions.
- Don't ask too many! Ask a few here or there but don't overwhelm your audience.
- Ask them in different ways. Ask in the form of a poll on Instagram stories or Facebook, ask in tweets on Twitter, and ask in questions in your social media captions.
Number 2: Look at What Your Audience Comments on and Responds To
Go back through your blog posts and see which ones have the most engagement. Which ones were shared with friends on social media and which ones have a lot of comments? Alternately, look at when you shared your blog posts on social media, which ones got engagement and why? Was it simply because of a picture, or did something you said resonate with them? Then, look at social media posts, which ones go interaction whether they were related to a blog post or not?
By looking at this information you can start to form ideas and learn more about your audience! What's resonating with them and why? It's important to take everything into consideration when you're looking at this data:
- Did it get a better response because of the time of day it was posted?
- Did they engage more because of the image?
- Did a certain topic cause them to interact?
Once you analyze comments and interactions that your audience gives you, you can start forming blog post ideas from that data!
Make a Series: Can you expand on that topic and go in different directions with it? Link the posts together when you have them published (ex: reference the first blog post when you write the second, and go back and edit the first one to reference the second one). Here are a few examples:
- Fashion Bloggers: Did they really like the roundup up fall booties you did? Write a post next on how to style booties, how to transition from fall to winter, or give outfit inspiration using items you already have in your closet!
- Food Bloggers: Was your last cookie recipe a hit? How about creating a series of cookie recipes and linking them together?
- Home Bloggers: What else can you expand on in that room you just gave a makeover? Can you show how you changed one piece of furniture and turn it into a DIY project? Can you give detailed information about how you decorated your accent wall?
- Create More of that Type: Did they really resonate with a certain type of tutorial, list, or style of post? Plan out content of a similar style and see how your audience responds. You don't have to make every post like this, but it's a good idea to keep adding that type of content in if it's lining up with the purpose of your blog and resonates with your audience.
THE AUTHOR: Bree Pair
Bree began blogging in 2011 and continued to blog because of the community. After three years of being a part of that community, she saw the different areas where bloggers were in need of the knowledge to turn their blogs into full-time businesses. When she founded Thrive in 2014, her passion for seeing others succeed was fueled. That passion has driven her to continue leading and growing Thrive to reach and educate even more bloggers. She also has a lifestyle blog where she shares travel diaries, recipes, parties, and more!