Blogs may be one of the best ways to reach your potential customers and make them think you’re better than sliced bread, but finding content isn’t easy.
In fact, finding content for blogs is one of the most challenging aspects of content marketing.
Fortunately, we’ve come up with a few pretty good ways to source and/or produce content for your blog.
Let’s take a look!
1. Create the Content Yourself
We know – it’s a no-brainer, right?
However, there are a few cool tactics that you can use to finally figure out what your next article should be:
1. Turn to Social Media
People have a penchant for discussing things they care about on social media; be that Facebook or LinkedIn.
Now, social media will help you come up with topics.
However, it can also help you come up with an approach.
Your take on a subject is more important than the subject you are writing about.
For example, emergency workers often use gallows humor when discussing their jobs. If they’re your target audience, you can get a lot closer to them by understanding the way they discuss their professions.
Similarly, if you’re writing about a relatively dry subject like HVAC installation, you can make it a lot more interesting by incorporating humor.
However, you won’t know the tone you should use unless you observe your audience on social media.
Additionally, social media will alert you to emerging trends and popular topics.
2. User-Generated Content (UGC)
User generated content has been all the rage on Instagram for a while now. Brands found that it’s an incredible way to engage their audiences and retain their existing customers.
While UGC is native to social media, you can also use it for your blog content.
Simply source opinions and personal stories from your followers and customers. Ask a question, and make sure you’ve obtained all the necessary permissions before using them for your blog posts.
The best part is: none of this requires you to actually sit down and write.
And speaking of writing…
3. Try a Content Writing Service
We get it: sometimes the words just aren’t coming.
That’s what ContentFly is here for.
Using a content writing service doesn’t just save time; it also saves money.
Instead of paying exorbitant freelancer rates, you can get industry-specific and enticing writing for just $499 per month.
All you have to do is submit a creative brief, and lay on back and relax. Your article will be ready in a few days.
4. Repurpose Your Old Content
It always pays to speak the language of data. Simply take a deep dive into your analytics to find the content pieces your audience has loved the most.
Focus on the number of conversions you’ve gotten from that piece.
If that’s not an option, the number of leads (e.g. email newsletter subscribers) generated from the page is a good indicator of what to double down on. If it has worked for a significant portion of your customers before, it’s worth investing your time in.
Then, you can simply update or repurpose the original article.
5. Share Personal Stories
Chances are, your team has interacted with your industry in some way (other than working in it).
When you put your employees at the forefront of your marketing, you are improving your reputation. Your customers will start perceiving you as people, as opposed to nameless entities.
Ultimately, this translates to trust. And trust is what drives conversions.
You can create simple posts sourcing opinions on particular subjects from your team members, or offer industry-related resources you use. Everyone loves insider info.
2. Guest Posting
Now that we’ve covered some of the lesser-known ways of producing your own blog content, it’s time to think about getting other people to write your content for you.
(People you, ideally, don’t have to pay.)
Guest posting is one of them. When you accept guest posts, you’re opening yourself up to interesting new collaboration and cross-marketing opportunities, in addition to enriching your blog with diverse perspectives.
Your guest bloggers will be writing and publishing articles on your blog, giving you a lot more material.
There are a few ground rules:
- The person posting should be related to your industry
- They should cover a subject you haven’t covered before, cover it in greater depth than you, or offer unique insights
- Create guest posting guidelines
- Prepare a content promotion plan
- Keep the conversation going
While your primary goal is publishing more material to your blog, you shouldn’t forget about your long-term goals. One of the best things about accepting guest posts on your site is that you’ll get the chance to create meaningful connections with other industry experts.
Consequently, their expertise will boost your own expertise.
When your (potential) customers see your business collaborates with industry influencers, their opinion of you will improve. In that respect, a guest post can provide as much social proof as a testimonial.
Finally, even Google likes monitoring the company you keep.
If your business has ties to other experts, your EAT score will improve.
3. Interview Your Customers
Your blog may be home to your blog posts, but that’s not all you can publish.
Customer interviews are always a great method of attracting more leads with content marketing. They provide the social proof that prospective customers need to take the plunge and start doing business with you.
Your customers will be vouching for you.
The main goal of customer interviews, from a content marketing standpoint, is to demonstrate the benefits of your products.
However, you shouldn’t outright promote your company.
Instead, focus on asking “why” and “what” questions:
- Why did you choose our company?
- What obstacles were you facing?
- How has our product helped you resolve them?
Gather as much quantitative data as possible to back up the answers.
For example, if you were selling sales software, you’d want to ask how many sales your customers won with your tool.
If that type of data doesn’t apply to your business, you can always ask questions about time (e.g. “How long have you been struggling with that obstacle? How quickly have you resolved it with our service?”).
Finally, incorporate customer interviews into your content marketing strategy.
You wouldn’t write an article without knowing what kind of customer it speaks to.
Similarly, each interviewee should represent a customer persona. This way, you’ll be able to tailor the questions to satisfy the curiosity of specific prospective customers.
There are two ways you can approach customer interviews:
- Starting with the customer
- Starting with the problem
In the first scenario, you’d interview individual customers while keeping the customer persona in mind.
This way, you can emphasize the obstacles a big portion of your audience faces. Then, you can clearly highlight how your product has helped them achieve their goals.
In the second scenario, you’d start with a common problem a lot of your potential customers face.
You can even crowdsource answers from different customers to create a well-rounded blog post.
4. Create FAQ Blog Posts
Google loves them, customers love them… It’s a FAQ world, and we’re all just living in it.
Why Google Likes FAQ Posts
Mobile searches account for over 60% of search traffic worldwide, so it’s no wonder that Google took notes.
As it turns out, mobile searchers want answers and they want them now.
This is why all of our search results look so dynamic these days. With frequently asked questions, snippets, and knowledge cards, Google no longer looks like it did a few years back.
All of this is because our queries have fundamentally changed.
Today, people are asking more conclusive questions. They know what they came to search for.
So by serving searchers with instant answers to their questions, Google is able to service them better.
Consequently, it prioritizes content that’s structured as a FAQ section – even if it’s a 2,000-word blog post.
Why Your Leads Love FAQ Posts
There are billions of gigabytes of data being produced every day, and yet…
Finding answers to some questions is harder than it should be.
Often, you’ll come across posts with dense paragraphs and no quick way of finding the information you’re looking for.
When you come across a neatly structured post, it feels like a slice of heaven.
How to Create Great FAQ Posts for Your Blog
Fortunately, you don’t even have to sit down and ideate hard in order to create a FAQ post.
Instead, use your regular keywords, and analyze the search results:
- What questions and answers are showing up as Featured Snippets?
- What questions are listed in the “People Also Ask” section?
- Are there any related searches?
Answers are usually always provided, so you can put your spin on it.
List the questions, list the answers, and presto!
You’ve got yourself a blog post you didn’t have to spend dozens of hours on.
5. Buying Articles
While outsourcing writing to ContentFly is definitely one of the best options, you can also buy pre-written articles.
Some platforms offer the services. Individual writers sell articles they wrote for specific niches.
However, keep in mind that if you buy pre-written articles, they won’t be adapted to your brand style. You are always running the risk of being just one of multiple buyers, as well.
And when you republish content that has been published elsewhere, you won’t get the SEO benefits. In fact, you could even risk getting a manual penalty from Google and losing your traffic-driving rankings.
Consider buying articles as the very last resort.
6. If You Don’t Like Writing, Talk
Not everyone is born to be a writer and hey, that’s totally fine!
You can always record your thoughts and transcribe them.
You can do this alone, or with your team.
If the transcription isn’t article ready, you can always submit a content request at ContentFly and have one of our professional writers turn it into an engaging blog post.
Outline Your Conversation
Before you start talking, jot down the things you want to talk about. Having an outline will help you steer the conversation (or the monologue) in the right direction.
The era of index cards may be behind us, but it’s still good to have talking points you can reference.
7. Case Studies
Case studies are a great way to demonstrate your expertise without wasting time.
Customers are always on the lookout for case studies and examples they can learn from. If you can provide such a valuable resource to them, you bet they’ll convert.
Simply pick a product or a company, and succinctly sum up:
- Who they are
- What you liked (or disliked) about them
- What your potential customers can learn from them
Case studies are a great method of finding content for blog if you’re not as verbose.
Similarly, you can always write a review post.
The majority of review posts don’t even require you to get creative; you simply have to state the facts and your own opinion (or your company’s position on a matter).
In fact, you can use crowdsourcing for this one, as well.
There’s not a lot you can’t do with a little help from your team members, friends, and customers.
Finally, you can repurpose your content by creating a new post with the most useful blog posts you’ve published.
Add descriptions to every link you post, and explain how your (potential) customers can benefit from it.
If you can stick to a particular theme, that’s even better, as that will give you SEO benefits.
8. Write about Other People’s Content
Finally, there is a lot of content out there. From blog posts to infographics and tweets, finding content for blogs doesn’t have to be a hardship.
Save all the interesting resources you come across.
Then, write a blog post that incorporates them.
Offer your business’ unique take on it, while giving credit to the original poster.
It’s not cheating.
It’s content curation.