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Blog Strategy: How to Come Up with Great Topics for Your Content Calendar

Updated on September 25, 2023
Posted on September 27, 2021 by Michael White

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Coming up with new topics is a challenge for content marketers. You always have to produce new content ( content creation ), so you have to keep thinking of new, exciting topics to share. It sometimes feels like you’re running on a content creation treadmill—working hard but going nowhere fast.

According to HubSpot, the ideal number of posts per week to increase organic traffic is between four and five. That’s a lot of topics to come up with!

But content creation and coming up with new topics doesn’t have to be painful, especially if you know where to look for ideas. Here are ten tips to help you create a killer blog strategy and come up with great topics for your content calendar.



What Makes a Topic “Great”?

There’s no doubt that blogging and content creation can propel your digital marketing strategy to new heights, but only if it’s done correctly.

So, before we jump into the tips, it’s important to understand what makes content “great.” It's a challenge to come up with a blog strategy for your content calendar that addresses topics people want to read, increases lead generation, and increases revenue.

What makes content great? Relevance.

The more relevant your article is to your audience’s needs, the more likely they’ll click on it, read it, and follow your call to action. If you give your audience content that’s relevant to what they’re searching for, your website views and conversions will soar.



10 Tips to Come Up with Relevant Content Ideas

The key to thinking up relevant content is to understand your audience members and their needs. After all, how can you solve their problems if you don’t know what they are?

Here are seven content creation tips to power a blog strategy for your content calendar that will help you define your goals, understand your audience, and identify relevant content topics.

You can keep your content calendar full.


content creation calendar1. Consider Your Marketing Goals

This easiest way to come up with great content topics (no research required) is to think about your own marketing goals:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What do you want them to do?
  • What do you want to achieve?

Answering these simple questions can generate tons of ideas for your content calendar and help develop your content creation strategy.

For example, if your answer to “What do you want to achieve?” is “Sell more vacuum cleaners,” your brain might jump to thoughts like “Why does someone need a vacuum cleaner?” “What different types of vacuum cleaners are there?” and “How much does a vacuum cleaner cost?” Boom, you have three highly-relevant blog topics to throw into your content calendar.

The best part is that all the topics you think of when you answer these questions will directly support your marketing goals. Win, win!


2. Think About Your Customers’ Pain Points and Solve Their Problems

Ready for a hard truth? Nobody goes to your business blog for entertainment. They go to your blog to solve problems. So, if you create content that solves those problems, potential customers are more likely to make their way down the sales funnel.

Ipso facto: Think about the problems plaguing your customers, and you’ll find great content ideas.

What problems would cause someone to search online for a vacuum cleaner? Maybe their house is too dirty to tolerate.

A great content topic would be something like “The best ways to keep your house clean.” Don’t forget to mention your vacuum cleaners in the post, and be sure to soft sell your vacuum in the process. Note: Hard selling anything in your blog gives off a "salesy" air that will make your post seem inauthentic, and make your prospects question whether the content is reliable or just pushing a product. When in doubt prioritize adequately answering the question and solving the problem.

The most difficult part about creating content based on your customers’ pain points is that it requires you to understand your audience through and through. You need to know their specific problems if you’re going to solve them.

One of the best ways to understand your customers’ pain points is to create buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers. They have names, backgrounds, interests, and, most importantly, problems. Build out a few different buyer personas and think about the problems plaguing their lives. Then, come up with content topics to help solve them.


content creation help3. Go Through the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey is the path that customers take as they go from random stranger to bonafide buyer. There are three stages in the buyer’s journey:

  1. Awareness – During the awareness stage, potential customers have a problem but haven’t realized what they need to solve it, and they’re casually looking around for answers. This is your broadest demographic.

  2. Consideration – During this stage, customers know what their challenge is, and they’re committed to fixing it. They just need to gather information and consider which solution is right for them.

  3. Decision-making – At this stage, potential customers know what their problem is and have chosen a solution. This last step is where they decide who they want to turn to for that solution.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and make your way through the buyer’s journey. What would potential customers in the awareness stage want to know? What about customers in the decision-making stage? All of this helps with the content creation process.

As a budding vacuum cleaner company, your topics might look something like this:

  • Awareness topics, i.e.
    • How to keep your house clean
    • The best way to remove dirt from your carpet

  • Consideration topics, i.e.
    • How much does a vacuum cleaner cost?
    • Benefits of owning a vacuum cleaner

  • Decision-making topics, i.e.
    • What are the most reliable vacuum cleaner brands?
    • Which vacuum cleaners have the best warranties?

By the time you get to the end of the buyer’s journey, you’ll have a whole list of relevant topics to add to your content calendar.


4. Ask Your Team – Or Anyone Else!

You’re brilliant, but it never hurts to get ideas from a different perspective. Someone else might come up with great topics that you would never have imagined.

Invite other members of your team to help fill out your content calendar. Not only will it take some of the burden off your genius shoulders, but they probably have good ideas. For example, the sales department interacts with customers much differently than the marketing department. They might know of a few pain points that the marketing department wouldn’t have thought of.

This method of topic creation isn’t limited to your work team. You can ask anyone for content ideas:

  • Other departments
  • Customers
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Freelancers
  • Random strangers

While this is a great way to generate a wide range of topics quickly, take them all with a grain of salt. Take time to weed through the ideas to make sure they’re relevant to your marketing goals and customers’ needs.


5. Look through Prospect and Customer Inquiries to Find and Answer Customer FAQs

One of the best ways to find and source content ideas is by looking through your customer inquiries. Why start by hunting people down and ask them what content they’d like to see, when your customers:

  • are more accessible
  • represent qualified prospects
  • may have already shared information with you that you can use?

Usually the easiest way to get started is by reviewing forms they have filled out, or emails they've sent. For bottom-of-the-funnel content, start with emails that were sent to the sales department. For example, "How Much Does X Cost?" is a common sales inquiry (if prices aren't listed on your website and require a custom quote.) You can write a blog post that includes much of the information your sales agents provide prospects so they can get an estimate of the costs of your product or service based on different variations and all of the inputs you consider in creating the quote. Not only does this save the customer the hassle of getting in touch with you to answer the question, it saves you time when you need to answer their question.

Besides your sales team, take a look at inquiries sent to customer support or any other department. Document your buyers' common interests, information sources, job types, demographics, and goals in your buyer personas. Scouring your form submissions and updating your personas with information relevant to their profiles will lead to other content ideas. Finally, search the internet for places where your customers talk. Here are a few places to get started:

  • Blog comments
  • Social media
  • Online forums


6. Keep an Eye on the Competition

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You might not think that your competitors could help your business, but in the content topic generation world, they’re your best friends!

According to research, 90% of all organizations use content marketing tactics, which include blogs and content creation. So there’s a good chance that your competitors also manage a blog that’s filled with content relevant to your ideal customers. All you need to do is take a peek at their website and write down a few of their topic ideas.

This doesn’t mean you should steal their content word-for-word and video-for-video. That’s plagiarism, and it’s frowned upon by everyone—Google included! Instead, think of ways that you can do it better and take the online traffic from them.


7. Use Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages

Why think of one topic when you can think of several at once? Topic clusters are groups of related articles that all link to a central pillar page. Not only are topic clusters great for driving traffic to your page, but they’re a helpful way to come up with content that addresses concerns from several different angles.

For example, if you think of the brilliant topic “vacuum maintenance tips,” don’t just stop there. Think of other related topics you can link to this central pillar page as a topic cluster:

  • When it’s time to change your vacuum’s filter.
  • How to remove pet hair from vacuum brushes.
  • How to replace your hose attachment.

Instead of coming up with just one content idea, you now have four! Plus, as you write the topic cluster blogs, you can link them to the pillar page Vacuum Maintenance Tips to give your website an extra SEO boost.


8. Install a Search Bar on Your Website to See What Your Visitors are Searching For

Do you ever find yourself wondering what the visitors to your website are looking for? There's a way to find out: install a search bar on your website and use Google Analytics to see what folks are searching for. This strategy helps you uncover some of those answers AND is an idea generator for great content.

You may need some technical assistance for this one since you'll first need to install a search bar on your website, and then configure Site Search in your Google Analytics account. While this may sound like more work than you want, the rewards are many. After you're setup, you'll be able to see priceless information about how visitors are interacting on your site, including:

  • What people are searching for on your website
  • How many visitors are using your search feature
  • Where visitors start from and navigate to using your site search bar

Visitor searches give you a better understanding of your audience, which can lead to improved content and a stronger business. Besides being a source of content ideas, reviewing these searches may lead to new products, the creation of a new community section for your website, updated product descriptions with better or clearer details, or something else entirely.


9. Review the Most Popular Keywords that Lead People to Your Website Using Google Search Console

A great way to understand both your audience's interests and how Google sees your business is by reviewing the most popular search queries for your website in Google Search Console (GSC). If you haven't set up Google Search Console, go do it now! This analytics tools provides a lot of information that helps with content strategy, but also gives you information to help you improve your overall SEO as well.

One you're in your GSC account, navigate to "search results" under the performance section on the left side of the page. You'll see a bar graph showing total clicks, total impressions, average CTR, and average position, followed by a report with these tabs: queries, pages, countries, devices, search appearance, and dates.

Look at the "queries" tab: this is a list of the most popular queries that are generating impressions and clicks for your website. Make sure to play with and manipulate the date range at the top of the page so view different results. Insights you glean here is one of the best ways to come up with topics for your content calendar.


10. Create a Keyword List and Start Searching on Google, Bing and Other Search Engines

Make a list of keywords and long-tail keywords you want to rank for. Now enter those keywords or long-tail keywords into Google and look at these (these don't always show up for every search query):

  • The organic results
  • "People are also searching for,"
  • "People also ask"
  • Related searches

For the organic results: Pay attention to what is ranking highly and read through the content, and take notes on what you like. Think about how you can make your post different, and what you would improve or add beyond what the highest-ranking posts are doing.

For "People are also searching for" and "People also ask": Sometimes you can literally take those exact questions and answer them in a blogpost. Other times, the results are excellent idea generators for topics you can address.

For related searches: These may also be blog topics on their own, or synonyms for keywords you want to rank for - make sure you include them in your blogs and content as needed.


Develop a Strong Blog Strategy for Your Content Calendar; Win at Content Marketing

Maintaining a blog is one of the most effective ways to maximize your content marketing strategy, but content creation is not always easy and coming up with compelling new topics can be challenging. Use our advice in this article to create content that will draw people to your website and lead them down the sales funnel.

Building a content creation strategy takes time, effort, and trial-and-error. If you need help developing your strategy, our experts at The Creative Momentum are here to help. We love to talk content strategy, so contact us to schedule a free consultation. We can’t wait to hear about your project!


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