How to Generate an Endless Stream of Blog Post Ideas
You have a rockstar of a blog post idea. The adrenaline is pumping, and you’re ready to blow the world away with your insight. You sit down to write a post focused on your new idea.
Before you start, take a step back and strategize how to get more bang for the buck from your idea. To do this, take that one great blog post idea and turn it into a continual stream of content. Instead of just one blog post, let that idea generate two, three, or even thirty content pieces. By generating more content for each idea you have, your blogging will be more efficient, your blogging ROI will increase, and you’ll be able to scale your content efforts more easily.
There are various ways to efficiently develop a stream of blog post ideas. Here are a few powerful ones to get you going:
Work within SEO Topic Clusters
One of the most effective ways to generate a number of content ideas from a single source idea is to structure your content in the framework of SEO topic clusters.
An SEO topic cluster is a hub-and-spoke model, where you focus on a high-level head term for the main “hub” content piece. And then you organize a collection of supporting posts with each post focusing on a specific sub-topic related to the main content piece. Then, link the hub to the supporting posts, and link each supporting post to the hub, clarifying the relationship among the content pieces to Google. In this way, you naturally approach your content from the perspective of volume and not just one post at a time.
The components of a topic cluster should be long-form content, as long-form tends to perform better in Google organic search and drives 3X the traffic of short-form posts. According to an SEMrush Google ranking factors study, content ranking in the top three positions in Google is 45% longer than what’s ranking in position 20 on average.
One of the key benefits of an SEO topic cluster is that it organizes your content in collections. So instead of focusing on writing a single blog post, you focus on 5, 10, or even 20 related pieces that all work together as a whole.
Develop a Theme
Develop a theme and cover different topics with the same theme. For example, in our own blog, when we decided to write about marketing trends we thought that readers would be just as eager to learn about trends at a more granular level.
So, every year we write a few marketing trend posts, covering everything from content marketing to SEO, branding, web design, and more. Instead of merely one post, we are able to publish multiple posts at the end (or beginning) of the year. And then we replicate the process every year.
The result? Approximately 38,000 page views of our “trends” series alone!
Ask Your Customers
A highly effective strategy for generating an endless stream of blog post ideas is to talk with your customers.
- What are their main challenges today?
- What do they worry about on Sunday evenings?
- Over the coming year, what do they see as their biggest obstacles?
The more you dig, the more critically important blog post ideas you’ll uncover. And beyond helping you develop more content, more importantly it will help your audience to overcome their problems and achieve more.
Ask Your Sales Team
Similar to asking your customers, ask your sales team about the problems they are hearing from prospects. Additionally, what are the objections that they hear from certain prospects about their solutions. Meet with them periodically, and both of these focal points will help you in identifying a continual flow of new blog post ideas.
Leave Them Hanging
A good strategy to get your readers back to your site is to write about a topic in great depth, labeling your first post “Part I.” You would then go on to publish a “Part II,” “Part III,” etc. Not only do you get the benefit of the additional content, you also increase your repeat visitors and brand touchpoints.
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Turn It into an Ongoing Series
Decide on a scheduled series for blog post ideas you can rely on month after month after month. One of our clients writes an industry recap at the beginning of every month. By adhering to a schedule, you have a set topic to write about every month for years to come. This also helps with your efficiency, as you develop refined processes for capturing and writing about the topic over time.
Conduct Brainstorming Sessions
Another way to get more blog post ideas is to crowdsource ideas from your team. Invite them to quarterly brainstorming sessions, and let the ideas flow.
What’s critical in improving productivity of these types of brainstorming sessions is to ask them to bring ideas to the meeting, getting them to think through their recent experiences prior to the meeting and to hit the ground running come the start of brainstorming time.
Also, don’t treat brainstorming as a one-and-done type of activity. At Stratabeat, we have various living documents and databases that allow us to collect ideas from the team on an ongoing basis. This is something that’s useful not just for the generation of new, unique, and interesting blog post ideas, but for any ongoing marketing activities you’re doing.
Discover the Questions They Are Asking
Want even more blog post ideas? Identify the questions that your audience members are asking online. From Google to Quora to online forums, your audience is asking millions of questions online in the pursuit of answers. By understanding the questions being asked, you’ll have a firehose of new blog post ideas to cover.
There are a variety of tools to spot the specific questions your audience is asking online, including:
- Google Question Hub
Solve Additional Problems
What problem is your blog post solving for the reader? Can your idea solve additional problems? If so, then write about them in separate posts. (Again, it’s all about producing many blog post ideas easily and efficiently.)
If you are at a recruiting agency, for example, you may write about effective interviewing techniques for an employer. That’s a good idea, but it solves only one problem.
Taking it further, you could then help HR staff and department heads in tackling related yet different problems you know they are facing with their interviews. For example, you can also write about how to train employees to be better interviewers or ways to standardize interview evaluations. Or, going in a different direction, you can write about how to take those effective interviewing techniques and apply relevant elements of them to enhancing communication among your employees. The idea is to hone in on a single persona and solve multiple problems for that person.
Speak to Multiple Audience Segments
In addition to solving problems that a person in a specific position has, think about ways for your idea to resonate with different audiences. Executive vs. manager vs. day-to-day specialist. Software developer vs. marketer vs. salesperson. Etc.
If you’re at a content marketing software company, then you might plan to write a post about content marketing scalability. Taking this blog post idea, you can write one post covering content marketing strategies directed at a VP of Marketing, another about the steps to take in developing a scalable process directed at a manager, and another with process checklists for the day-to-day practitioner. You might then go on to write another post about building a content marketing team and the roles each team member fulfills, another post about content marketing for the enterprise, a post about scaling content amplification specifically, and another post about content outsourcing best practices, all based on the single idea of “content marketing scalability” and each of interest to different individuals within an organization.
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Shoot Video Like the Sharks
With video, there’s a specific strategy that works like a charm for producing a significant volume of content with minimal effort. The idea is to shoot video for an entire morning (or afternoon). Break it into a series of 1- to 3-minute shots each. You can then generate enough video for months to come. The idea is to make a concerted effort in a limited amount of time, producing outsized volumes of content. (This is essentially how Shark Tank shoots an entire season of episodes.)
You then have video that can be the centerpiece of multiple blog posts. You can also add videos as a supplementary value-add to certain posts. Plus, you can enhance your social media channels with video snippets.
For example, for a series of videos for the biotech firm FerGene, Stratabeat scheduled one video shoot but plotted out a handful of different videos for production. This enabled us to feed FerGene’s LinkedIn account repeatedly with fresh, new video content. The result? Over 25,000 video views in under three months!
Make Use of Content Atomization
If your idea warrants it, develop it into multiple formats.
For example, start with a blog post. Someone who reads your post is obviously interested in the topic, and so it’s probable that they would want a deeper-dive into the subject matter and would download a related, more in-depth guide as a next step. Stratabeat has used this technique to great success with our Blogging Playbook and Branding Playbook.
Take this concept even further by producing your content in a range of formats. For example, how about adding a video or series of videos to the mix, which can be incorporated into your blog post but also available on YouTube, with clips published your social media channels? Other ways that you can slice and dice your content into multiple content pieces include whitepapers, executive briefings, webinars, surveys, reports, podcast episodes, SlideShares, infographics, checklists, interactive tools, etc.
This post was originally published in September 2015 and was most recently updated on April 7, 2021.