As a content strategist and copywriter, I never run out of blog ideas to write about. It’s my job and I’m good at spotting what makes good content. Yet, for many vegan and sustainable businesses, it can be hard to find blog ideas to write about that are entertaining and do their best content marketing job (that’s lead to a sale in case you weren’t sure).
Yet, you’ve gone into business because you’re passionate about what you do. And as a vegan business or sustainable business, you’re led by your mission and values. So, finding something to write about should be a doddle, right?
My experience of talking to lovely business owners like you is that you know your business, you know your customers but you didn’t go into business to write reams of blog content in the hope that something will stick.
So instead, I’m going to help you capture some bad-ass blog ideas.
1. Talk to your customers
When you write your blog, it forms a piece of the bigger marketing puzzle. So, your blog needs to speak to your customer. This means you need to speak to your current customers.
Whether that’s on the phone or reading through old messages and emails, find out what they are saying when it comes to what you do or produce.
Here’s a couple of examples…
Over the past few months, I’ve spoken to three or four people about working with them. We’ve chatted about their businesses, who their target market is and what they want to achieve from the content.
Then they’ve said the same thing: “you make it seem so easy to come up with blog ideas, but I’ve no idea what to write.”
And now you’re reading a blog that’s based on several conversations I’ve had with my customers. They’ve told me their problem, you’re currently reading one of many solutions that I can offer.
Or that handful of sales calls I had where they all echoed each other: “I’m totally lost when it comes to content strategy”. Guess what? I wrote a whole series of articles about content strategy.
Or the people who I talk to that have simply had enough of social media. I wrote about how to market online without socials so they can see what other options are out there.
You see, talking to your customers is the best thing you can do when you want to find blog ideas to write about.
2. Do some SEO research
If you want people to find your business on a search engine, then you need to know what kind of things they are searching for. You’re going to need to do a bit of research.
There are some free tools you can use to get an idea of what people are looking for around your business. KW Finder, SemRush, Answer the Public and Keyword Planner are a few. They usually have a free trial or give you some basic information on search volume and how many other people are writing about this topic.
Start by putting in some words that describe what your business does. Get specific about it and see what suggestions they come up with. It’ll show you what people are typing into the search engines. This should then give you a question or two that you can answer with your blog.
Not only are you getting ideas to write about, but you also know that it’s about a subject people want to read about.
Then go and see what other blogs exist about this subject. What new perspective can you add? What do you bring that those other blogs don’t?
If you some help with this, I run a free monthly SEO Masterclass showing you exactly how you can do this. Sign up here.
3. Go out and interview someone
I love doing interviews. There are not enough blogs out there that have interviews or quotes included. I’m very much guilty of not doing enough of this on my blog.
“But wait,” I hear you say, “who on earth do I interview?”
Good question. Think about the people who work in your industry that inspire you. Who do you look up to? Or who is doing something extraordinary that you can get a quote from?
Maybe your work depends on a network of other people. I often need to talk to web developers, graphic designers, branding agencies as part of my work. So, I might interview one of these people and ask them what they think about an idea I’ve had or a shared problem.
For one of my blogs, I spoke to another copywriter to get her perspective on my angle. It adds a richness to the article and gave it a higher degree of authority. Not just one person is telling you this but two.
You don’t even need to interview someone in the same industry. You could ask someone who is doing something interesting in a completely different industry and ask them what we can learn from how they did it.
As long as your audience cares, it’s worthwhile.
4. Have a bit of lateral thinking
Lateral thinking when it comes to blog ideas is my favourite. You can make your life easy by scouring through subjects on places like Reddit or Quora, where people ask the most wonderful questions.
I’m a big fan of Glosters in Porthmadog. Their blog doesn’t talk about how they make their ceramics. It doesn’t cover glazing techniques or behind the scenes of running a business. It shows their customers how to fold napkins into cute shapes. Or what flowers to pick. And recipes for food that you’ll be eating off their gorgeous plates.
I want to see them do a blog on how to make the perfect brew in one of their mugs. Maybe some peppermint tea that’s been homegrown and dried.
You see, it doesn’t just sell the product but the feeling that goes along with owning the product.
5. Read more
This is usually my advice for anything writing-related. But if you’re stuck on writing ideas, then one of the best things you can do is to read more. Find out what your competitors are posting about. Do you have a different take on it? Is there anything you can add to it?
What’s the latest discussions happening in the vegan and sustainable world? Goodness knows my Google alerts on these subjects are growing exponentially at the moment. They are full of insights and ideas for blogs.
When you’re reading articles online, think about what made you stop and read them. What is your take on it for your particular industry?
Even things happening in the news and on TV can give you some inspiration for content. You can use popular culture as an analogy or illustrate a point you want to make. Or even make a parody of it.
The weird cousin of this is to use Awareness Days as a source of inspiration. Now, this doesn’t mean going off to post about something unrelated to your business simply because it happens to be a national day of creating national days. But think about how it relates to what you sell and, more importantly, what your audience wants to buy.
Most of my newsletters are inspired by something I have read the week before. For example, an interview with musician Tom Morello inspired a newsletter on getting into the flow of creating. It’s about letting an idea sit with you for a while and bloom.
6. Use your interests
If you’re passionate about something, then you are going to find it far easier to write about. Think about how your interests have influenced your work to date. I’m a huge music fan and love it when I get a client who’s into the same stuff as me. It means I can sneak in a few song lyrics or references to brighten up the copy.
But it’s fun to use your interests as a source of inspiration for a blog idea.
For example, in my blog about SEO and record labels, I took a subject I’m passionate about and a conversation I’d had with a friend, then looked at how I could apply it to other businesses. The message is pretty universal to all industries. The record label is simply an analogy to demonstrate my thinking on the subject. But because it’s something I’m knowledgeable about, I could write that longer blog without difficulty.
Plus, the great thing about using your interests as inspiration, is that you’ll start to attract other people who are like you. It gives you some common ground and makes your copy relatable.
If you get super stuck
I am a firm believer that there is no business too boring to write about. If you are getting stuck on ideas, get in touch, and I might be able to help. Or you can check out my top 10 blog writing tips here, and if you’re short on writing confidence, this might help.
But before you get stuck into any of that, I’d like you to go back and re-read point one of this blog and talk to people. Talk to your customers, your network and your peers. Listen to what they are saying. Go back and read comments and emails. I bet there are lots of seeds in there that can sprout up into an interesting blog. Because that’s all this is really, a conversation between me, the writer, and you, the reader.