61 Writing Prompts That’ll Lead You to Your Next Business Blog Post Topic
By Aaron Agius
You’re on board the content train. You’ve got profiles on the hottest social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter), and a beautifully designed and optimized website. You provide a steady flow of various types of content including case studies, infographics, whitepapers, articles, interviews, videos…
And blog posts. Sometimes those content campaigns fail, and sometimes they succeed, but you keep at it because you know it’s a long game.
A quality blog is the keystone for most strategies. That’s part of the problem. It’s a long game. You need plenty of ideas and topics to write about if you want to keep the content creature fed. It can be exhausting and frustrating.
- 89% (with 52% of non-users planning to start in the next 12 months) of B2B marketers and 86% (51% of the non-users plan to begin) of B2C marketers are currently using content marketing.
- 75% of B2C marketers use blogs as part of their average seven tactics, and over half of them (51%) believe blogs to be most important to their success.
- 80% of B2B marketers use blogs as part of their average eight tactics, and 52% of them believe blogs to be most important to their marketing success.
- Top goals (in order) include brand awareness, engagement, and lead generation for B2C, and lead generation, brand awareness, and engagement for B2B…all of which are directly influenced by a consistent, well crafted blog.
Eventually, the well goes dry for everyone. The ideas simply aren’t bubbling up to the surface like they used to, and you’re stuck staring at a blank computer screen. All the while, that damn blinking cursor is mocking you.
But fear not. I’m here to help. A simple writing prompt can be your ticket back to business blog bliss.
Here are 61 to guide you home.
- What is your most inspiring customer success story? How did your product/service impact them?
- Write about the events leading up to and the moment you decided to launch your business/website/product.
- What is your biggest regret as relates to your business? If you could go back and do one thing differently, what would it be?
- Write a behind-the-scenes post about your typical day. Write other posts about a day in the life of your business partner, or your sales team, or your programmer, or whomever else makes your business run smoothly.
- Describe the evolution of your product or service. What was the inspiration? How has it evolved since the early days
- What’s the biggest controversy in your industry these days? Reflect and present your opinion on the issue.
- Who is or was your business mentor? What lessons did you learn from them? What advice sticks out the most?
- Roundup links to your favorite posts on topic X. Briefly comment on each one.
- What books do you think should be on every business owner’s bookshelf? Why?
- What’s the worst mistake you’ve made with your business? What biases or misinformation led to it?
- Become a fortune teller. What predictions do you have for your industry? How are you working to keep up?
- What Twitter profiles do you think every entrepreneur should follow? Why?
- What blogs do you think every entrepreneur should read? Why?
- Discuss your marketing strategy. What tactics, channels, and tools do you employ? What are the pros and cons of each?
- Write about the business tools you use every day. What 3, or 4, or 5, or 10 could you not live without?
- Reflect on the biggest problem or struggle that your business has faced. How did you overcome it?
- Interview an expert in your industry or niche.
- What are your top business priorities for the next 12 months?
- Do a weekly link roundup of the most popular posts in your industry (use a tool like Buzzsumo to help).
- Share and comment on an excerpt from your latest whitepaper, ebook, or case study. Invite readers to download the full version.
- Ruminate on your experience at a recent conference or industry event. What did you do? What takeaways did you leave with?
- Conduct a simple poll on Twitter or a more complex survey using SurveyMonkey and present the findings to your readers.
- Present key findings from recent research in your industry. Do you agree or disagree with them? What’s your take?
- What are the common misconceptions about you, your brand, your niche, or your industry?
- Write a Top One List. Top Ten lists are very popular, but opt instead to create a post that presents only ONE idea, tool, or suggestion in detail.
- Share an epiphany you’ve had about either your personal or professional life.
- Create an “example post” such as 6 Brands Killing It On Social Media, or How 10 Industries Are Using Big Data to Win Big.
- What causes or issues are important to you and your business? Write a passionate plea for others to get involved and care.
- Craft a user-friendly how-to guide for something your readers have trouble with or don’t always understand.
- Write a “stop post” like How to Stop Worrying, or 12 Ways to Stop Wasting Time in Meetings. (Readers love these posts because we’re all looking for ways to stop bad habits)
- Do you have a brand name and/or logo? Write about the story behind its creation.
- Answer a question you frequently get from your readers, fans, followers, and customers.
- What’s your unique selling proposition? What’s makes you and your brand better than the competition? Write about it.
- Launching a new product or service? Give a sneak peek and reveal a bit about its development and your goals for it.
- Check your analytics solution to see what keywords and queries are bringing people to your website. Write a post about those that you haven’t yet targeted (or aren’t targeting enough).
- How do you maintain your work/life balance?
- Reflect on the beginning of your business. At what point did you know that you’d “made it”? How did it impact how you conducted business moving forward?
- What fascinates you about your industry? What appealed to you most about it when you were deciding what to do with your life?
- Interview a long-time customer.
- Argue against a commonly held belief or industry truism.
- Write a series. Create a series of explainer posts about your area(s) of expertise (Google Analytics, sales in the modern world, digital marketing, or whatever). Not only does this fill several spots on your content calendar, but it’s a great way to get subscribers who don’t want to miss the next installment.
- Do you have any exciting company news to share, such as new hires, milestones, partnerships, acquisitions, anniversaries, awards, or locations?
- Highlight some of your charitable work, donations, or sponsorship.
- Discuss your business eco-friendly initiatives and plans for reducing your environmental impact.
- What are some of the unusual and less common ways people use your products/services?
- Are they any insider tips and tricks you can share so your customers can get more out of your product(s)?
- What’s the one thing you wish people knew about you, your business, or your products/services?
- Interview an employee.
- Reveal an industry secret. This does not mean give away your secret recipe for finger lickin’ good chicken, but is there something that no one outside your industry knows that people might find interesting, intriguing, unusual, fascinating, adorable, or even shocking?
- What’s the one thing you already know that your target audience should know? Write a post about that.
- Share a few of your favorite quotes and connect them to you and your business.
- Write a “template post” such as X Ways to [Overcome a Problem], or What X Means for [the customer, your business, the industry], or This Simple Tweak Helped Me X, or What is X, Anyway?, or The Truth About X, or What You Need To Know If You’re About to X.
- What business advice didn’t work for you?
- Write your business manifesto.
- What’s the one thing you hate most about your job, business, or industry?
- Where do you see your brand in five years? Ten years? Twenty years?
- If you weren’t in your current job or industry, what would you be doing instead? Why?
- What would you like to improve about yourself or your business?
- What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in your industry or niche? Or what advice would you give to your younger self?
- Write a review of a product or service (but not necessarily one that’s in direct competition with you and yours) that your readers would probably find useful.
- What are your top productivity tips, tools, and tricks?
Let’s stop there. That’s a solid two month’s worth of prompts to get the creative juices flowing, and you can always google more prompts and ideas later. Or download Problogger’s colossal six months of post ideas templates.
Business blogging is a major commitment. You don’t want to start all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed only to give up a few months from now when it starts getting a bit harder. Go in with your eyes open: it’s not easy, it’s not fast, but it is absolutely worth it.
Get blogging. No more excuses. Your customers — and your bottom line — will thank you.
Any powerful prompts you’d add to the list?
Originally published at www.salesforce.com.