This is the year you’re going to blow the blogging world away.
Every other week, you’ll post an engaging, on-brand blog that has your readers counting down to 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning. After all, you know how important blogs are for growing your creative business and reaching your ideal clients.
But now comes the tricky part.
Generating blog topics to write about when your brain feels as fried as a vinyl-covered diner’s mozzarella sticks.
And not just any blog topic, but topics that are relevant to your business, you feel comfortable discussing, and resonate with your ideal clients.
Unfortunately, unless you’re a retreat organizer, website designer, photographer, or fitness studio manager (I got you!), there’s no real shortcut when it comes to creating blog topics for your business.
But there are some blog writing strategies you can use to get a little juice flowing through your brain.
Let’s start with content pillars.
Content pillars serve as overarching themes in your business that you can endlessly pull upon to engage your audience.
They’re the subjects that interest your audience and showcase your expertise. The broad topics you’re an expert on and have no problem whipping out at a holiday party when you need to make conversation with your third cousin once removed.
Generating blog ideas that are rooted in content pillars is easier than pulling them out of thin air because you’ve whittled down the entire world to just a few areas. Now, instead of starting each blog post from scratch, you have a bank of topics to create from.
Concentrating on 3-6 pillars also makes you a reliable, recognizable, and expert source of information for your audience. Since your blogs will connect and have a direction, you’ll present a cohesive and authoritative presence in your industry.
Your content pillars stem from your services and knowledge, target audience, and overall industry foundations, but they need to be broad enough that you can create multiple blog posts under one pillar.
Let’s take a look at some of my blog posts and content pillars as an example.
One of my content pillars is Copywriting Tips and Tricks, which allowed me to craft blog posts about writing for buyer personas and infusing personality into your copywriting. But if I had narrowed my content pillar specifically to Writing Sales Pages, there are suddenly a lot fewer topics to write about.
Content pillars also need to resonate with your ideal clients and meet their needs.
Many of my ideal clients (that’s you) are either DIYing their copy or deciding if they want to skip straight to investing in a professional copywriter. By sharing copywriting tips and tricks, I’m providing expert advice to those who take on writing their own websites. At the same time, my readers get a sneak peek at the amount of time, energy, and work they’re signing up for.
Finally, the content you create needs to stand out from your competitors. While your content pillars may overlap with your competitors, you should approach every blog post from your own individual perspective, experience, and style.
To choose your content pillars, ask yourself questions like:
What do you want to be seen as an authority on?
What questions, needs, and values do your ideal clients have?
Is there a specific niche audience you’d like to work with?
What are your competitors talking about or not talking bout?
What knowledge, experience, or process do you bring to your industry that makes you stand out?
Website Designers: Design, Tips and Tricks, SEO, User Experience, Marketing, Previous Work
Photographers: Equipment, Previous Shoots, Tips and Tricks, Wedding Planning, Photography Styles or Locations
Florists: Seasonal Flowers, Arrangements, Sustainability, Events, Flower Care
Virtual Assistants: Organization Tips, Systems and Software, Marketing, Online Tools, Business Statistics
Private Chefs: Recipes, Nutrition, Meal Planning, Tips and Tools, Restaurant Reviews
Topics for Everyone: Community, Entrepreneurship, Productivity, Personal Life, Education
Now that you have your content pillars, it’s time to generate your blog ideas.
Your blog’s purpose is to engage with your ideal clients, so their needs, interests, and hopes should be at the root of every post.
Before writing a blog post, you should make sure you know why your target audience should spend their time reading your blog, what they get out of it, and what the next step they should take is after reading your blog.
Let’s take a look at a few different ways to find out what your ideal clients want to know so you can craft content that meets their needs.
Answer the Public: I’ve talked about Answer the Public before, but it essentially mines Google search data to provide ideas for useful content that resonates with Google users.
Google and Pinterest: Cut the middle man (Answer the Public) and use Google or Pinterest’s autocomplete features to find popular topics and questions. Type a keyword, question, or phrase into the search bar and see what suggestions come up that fall into your content pillars.
FAQs and Past Experiences: What common questions or concerns do your clients have? Are there similar trials and difficulties your ideal clients have experienced? Dig through your past interactions with clients and create content that speaks directly to their needs.
Ask: The easiest way to find out what your ideal clients want to learn? Ask them. Create an Instagram poll, reach out to your email subscribers, or ask your current clients what they want more of from you or if they have any burning questions about your industry.
Once you’ve gathered this insight, list out 3-6 topics per content pillar. Examine how the topics flow together, and determine if there are any topics missing that you should include. Then, draft a publishing calendar for the next 3-6 months.
Your plan may change as you write and become inspired by your readers, new angles, or your own experiences. But now that you have content pillars, topics, and a schedule to go back to, coming up with a blog topic won’t seem so impossible.
Need a little more inspiration?
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