Sharing your expertise through regular blog posts is a great way of supporting your community and demonstrating your knowledge and authority in your specialist area. However, when it comes to designing your content calendar, it can feel a bit like you’re throwing things on the wall and seeing what sticks, if your post titles aren’t consciously informed by the needs and wants of your ideal clients/ customers.
Below are five of the best places to find inspiration for your next blog post. I use them all myself and can vouch for each and every one. So, whether your mind is crowded with new ideas and you can’t decide if they’re worth a post, or you’re running dry and no amount of head-banging is doing the trick, these five places are sure to put you back on the right track.
1. Your current clients
The best source of inspiration for the title of your next blog post will be the minds of your current customers and clients. Particularly if they match your personas / avatars, they are the ideal people to survey or even chat to 1-1, as their pain points will match those of the people you want to attract.
In most cases, customers/ clients are willing to complete a short survey. Make sure your questions are broad rather than specific so that you can potentially gain more than one blog post topic from their answers. For example, rather than:
‘What’s been the most difficult part of writing the copy for your website?’
‘What are the messaging challenges you’re facing at the moment?’
While the first is specific to a website, the second question may generate responses that relate to a website, but perhaps also to emails or product descriptions. As a result, you have more content ideas to work with and save for future posts.
I find that 10 questions in a Google form is usually the length of a useful survey – that should take participants between 5-8 mins to fill out and the best thing is that results are also fairly immediate.
2. Online communities
I’m part of a few online networks where there are other like-minded people, growing their business in the wellness space and other areas. As well as being life-saving supportive environments during challenging times (Found + Flourish, I’m looking at you), they are a great place to share your surveys, get to know new people, ask for 1-1 Zoom chats and find out what challenges people are facing right now.
Online communities are great because people are specifically there to interact, share and chat with each other. If you’re looking for someone to share more about the kinds of topics they'd like more information about, there will usually always be someone to say ‘sure!’ and then you can return the favour later on down the line.
3. Your ideal client personas
Spending time creating your ideal client personas or avatars can seem tedious at the beginning, but it really does pay dividends as you grow your business and build your authority in your field. That’s because the stronger your vision of your ideal customers/ clients, the more they are top of mind and the driver of your business decisions. And rightly so.
Good persona profiles will be informed by real market research (using tools like social media and market insight reports) and essentially convey a 3D version of your ideal customer/ client. From their motivations and frustrations to their personality and where they like to spend their time, they are a treasure trove of inspiration when it comes to communicating your message and new ideas for blog posts.
Need some help creating your ideal client personas? Let’s talk about it.
4. Your brand foundations
Why does your business exist? What is the vision you hold for the future? How do you plan to get there and what are the principles you will live by along the way? The answers to all of these questions and a few more make up your brand foundations. Your foundations are the first line of bricks in your business. They are your DNA.
They inform every decision you make, from the products and services you provide, to the content you share on social media and they ensure that everything you say and do is consistent. This is how you build a strong brand – consistency builds familiarity and familiarity builds trust. And it’s trust that will persuade your ideal customers and clients to buy.
From the outside it looks like magic, but on the inside it’s really a set of strong brand foundations that’s doing the hard work.
Your brand foundations are another treasure trove of content inspiration. For example, one of my values is ‘human first.’ With this in mind, my next blog post could be about the power of storytelling and how this is a way that we’ve passed on information through centuries. Or perhaps I could share tips on writing like a human being in a way that still gets in your rank-raising keywords.
Similarly, your purpose, mission and vision are packed with ideas. And as you share related content, so your ideal customers/ clients will become more familiar with your brand.
Could your brand foundations do with some power? Let’s talk about it.
5. Social media
As well as a place to grow and share insights from your business, social media is a useful tool that you can use to inspire content ideas for your next blog post. Search through hashtags to discover popular topics from your competitors and discover new hashtags that may increase the impact of your posts by furthering your reach.
Also take a look at the content you’ve shared so far. Has anyone asked a question or made a comment that could inspire a more in-depth conversation?
Finally, enlist the help of your community. Stories are a popular feature on Instagram and often, your community will be happy to get involved and share their opinions on a quick poll or Q + A. It’s a great way of getting some ideas for your next post and best of all, you know that the posts will be in direct response to what your current community most desires.
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