Your best blog post ideas are hidden in plain sight
I’m going to share some game-changing tactics that have helped me to transform my own business and the businesses of my clients.
Once you wrap your head around these concepts, you will become a marketing machine for your brand without racking your brain for content ideas.
Did you know that just one good blog post can bring your business magnitudes of success in ways you probably never considered? I’m talking about using blog posts to acquire new customer leads and to streamline your process for turning leads into customers.
Yes, a good blog post can do all of that for you. It did for me and for some of my clients.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- How just one good blog post can change everything for a business
- Where your best blog post ideas have been hiding and how to recognize them
- How to leverage your blog posts to help with customer acquisition
Leveraging your knowledge and experience
True story …
Consider this blog post and the simple fact that it was born out of the need to explain something to a prospective customer. I was speaking to this building contractor prospect that I’ll call Ray.
Ray didn’t understand the value of blogging as a means to grow his online presence and acquire new customer leads. No surprise there. This was why he was talking to me. If I wanted to pick someone’s brain on what kind of siding to use on my house, I’d be talking to him.
When I pitched Ray on the idea of using his blog as a long-term marketing strategy to drive organic traffic, get new customer leads and outrank his competition, he laughed at my comments and blurted out …
“The long-term game is for losers.”
– Ray the contractor, 2021
His comment was priceless for the simple fact that it provided an opportunity for me to shed some light on a topic I knew a lot about and he obviously knew very little.
I have more to say about his comment but I’m going to save that for another post because, well … it gave me some good blog post ideas which is kind of what this article is about.
Ray also told me that even if he did use a blog, he would have no idea about what to write about. A lot of business owners share this perspective.
The idea of blogging sounds like a lot of work without a tangible return, but, it’s actually just the opposite.
Many business owners get this wrong simply because they just don’t understand the full picture. I’ll share more on the mind-blowing reality in a moment.
Back to the situation with the contractor. I gave Ray an earful on how content marketing works and why blogging should be the single most important part of his long-term marketing strategy.
It was during this conversation that I realized the gift Ray was giving me. It’s pretty simple really. Your prospects and your customers are the best friggen source for blog post ideas that you will ever have. My conversation with Ray gave me some juicy ideas for blog posts. This being one of them.
Let that sink in as we take a deeper look at what you can do with this newfound perception. You might be surprised at my ideas. (You might not… but you might.)
Recognizing a great blog post idea is easy when you’re open to the queues
So, I talked Ray’s ear off about how blogging could help his contracting business and why content marketing was an important long-term strategy. Ray listened to me and I think the enthusiasm in my voice opened his mind a little to the idea.
I found myself passionately explaining something to Ray I have done a ridiculous amount of times… Doh! How many years did it take me to see that? (Way too many.) Have you ever done this in some way?
Maybe you wrote a long email to a client or prospect in response to a question? Or perhaps you were explaining some facet of what you do or something about what you think they should do or why they should do it? Maybe you had to explain the nuances of a product or service?
If you’ve done this type of thing in a presales situation and spent way more time on it than you know you should have, I feel your pain because I’m guilty too.
That’s why you need to leverage your knowledge and make it work for you. Pay attention to these situations and turn your free advice into a blog post that can work for your business in a multitude of ways.
If you find that there are certain topics or concepts that you often explain over and over again to customers or prospects, then you are looking at potential ideas for educational content.
The snowball effect makes blogging even easier
Once you start writing blog posts inspired by your customers’ questions, it snowballs. One article spawns two more because you touch on sub-topics that are related. It all happens naturally without effort. You’re rolling.
Sometimes the problem being addressed by your content is simply to help bridge a knowledge gap. You may need to bring a customer or prospect up to speed on a concept so that they understand the value of your offer, service, or product.
You may need to educate your prospect so that they are more prepared on their end and ready to hire you. For example, oftentimes homeowners who want to do large renovations approach contractors before having architectural drawings drafted. You would be surprised at how many homeowners don’t know you need blueprints for a larger project like an addition.
Imagine if you could just get your educational content in front of the people that need to see it before they contact you, or if you could get them to see your content immediately after they contact you. You can. It’s part of content marketing.
Visitors enter your business website through Google searches and land on your article before they even know who you are or what your business is about. A blog post can also be considered a landing page.
Did you know that leads can also be nurtured with blog content after a prospect contacts you?
This is why educational content can be so important for lead generation and the sales process. Stay with me on the sales process angle because I’m going to give a video walkthrough example a little later.
There is a payoff for paying attention
As I write this post I’m envisioning using it myself to educate prospects and perhaps existing clients about how to recognize great ideas for blog posts.
I may even send a prospective customer a link to this article if content marketing is something I spoke to them about because I want them to see that the best ideas are available to them every day.
They just need to train themselves to recognize the good customer questions. The best content ideas will come from real-world problems, situations, and questions your customers and prospective customers are having.
This is why business owners need to have some extra awareness around conversations they are having on the phone, through email or in-person.
From my perspective, the better trained my clients are to do this, the easier it is for me to coach them on writing content for their blogs. Sometimes I’ll even record conversations with my clients, transcribe them, and turn them into blog posts as a concierge service, and you could do this for yourself if you’re a small business owner.
If you prefer speaking to writing, speak into a recorder about a topic and then get it transcribed so you can spin that into blog content yourself.
The better you are at recognizing blog post ideas, the more success you will have with your website and your business.
If you are going to be blogging yourself or you are hiring someone to write content for you, the best ideas are almost always going to come from the business owner but only if that person is paying attention to his or her customers’ questions and concerns.
10 Pro-tips on prospecting for content gold
The questions customers ask you and the language they use are gold. Once you’re tuned into this idea, you start to notice when the good questions arise. If you are in the mix with customers every day, you could be coming up with insightful topics daily.
Every estimate you go on, or phone conversation you have has the potential to serve as a springboard for blog content. If one customer has a question others might have the same or similar questions.
Real-world tips for finding great ideas:
- Do prospects often ask you what your process is? You could put that in writing on your blog. You could direct prospects there if they ask. There are likely many possible sub-topics in your process documents that you could write about.
- Mine your voice mail messages for interesting phrasing, questions, and comments that only a true customer could come up with. Some of this stuff you could never make up.
- Comb over customer email inquiries and look for interesting questions, themes, or patterns. Do similar questions come up like, “I’d like more information about your process”? or “How do I get started?” or “What’s the difference between…?”
- Are you wasting time on the phone with prospects who aren’t ready for your services just yet? Think of the kind of blog content you could create to help get them closer to being ready for your services. Are there steps they need to take on their own first to prepare for a meeting with you? (e.g. Do they need to get clear on what they want or need? Do they need to take steps first? Do they need to get clear on styles and colors? etc.)
- Think about all of the ways you advise customers or prospects about issues they are asking you about. Then start writing about those topics and form a library of documents that live on your website as blog posts or even videos.
- If you like to create short videos to explain things to customers, think about turning those videos into blog posts. You could transcribe your comments in the video and put the transcription on the blog post with the embedded video.
- If you can’t write well, but you can talk the tail lights of a dump truck, then use the voice memo app on your phone to talk about topics you are an expert on. Then use an online transcription service to have your recordings transcribed. It’s usually about $1/minute. (I like rev.com)
- If you have an email list, ask your current customers questions, or you could do this on Facebook too.
- Start a private Facebook group for your niche and start fielding questions in the group. This can work great for the right industry. (e.g., I work for a summer camp with a strong LGBTQ population. We started a Facebook support group for parents of LGBTQ teens. We asked screening questions users must answer to gain entry to the group. Those questions and the content in the group give us great insights into what parents are struggling with and future topics to blog about.)
- Interview people if you have no customers. Find people in your target market and invite them for a cup of coffee, or pay them if you have to. Do it virtually if it makes more sense.
The gift of organic traffic can be a game-changer for your business
Even if I do nothing with this article that you are reading right now, I know that there are people that will stumble upon this through a Google search because they may be on the hunt for good blog post ideas.
This kind of traffic is considered organic traffic. It’s another way your blog posts can serve your prospective customers and your business. As long as your blog posts are optimized correctly, Google will do its thing and organic traffic will come.
Here’s an example of a blog post I wrote for a contractor client. The idea came from a topic the contractor found himself explaining over and over again to prospective customers, the pros and cons of fiber cement siding versus wood siding.
We decided to create a blog post about this and we used it in some creative ways, but the biggest benefit was the onslaught of organic traffic and the inbound links acquired that point toward the article.
This boosted the authority of the website and increased search engine ranking site-wide. Then there are the customer leads that come in as well, this one came in as I was writing this.
Check out the thousands of unique page views each month.
3 ways you might use a blog post with prospects and existing customers:
- You could link to an article you wrote from within a proposal to elaborate on a topic that needs deeper understanding.
- After an initial phone consultation with a prospect, you could send them an article or two that you wrote. This could prime them so that they will understand the value of the services you just spoke to them about or services you might want to offer them soon.
- For existing clients, you could send them an article or two on a topic to explain why they might want a new service you are offering.
Not only can educational blog posts help your sales process, lead generation, and SEO but the simple act of sending a prospect or customer a well-written blog post demonstrates your expertise. This shows what could be possible for them if they decided to blog or hire someone to help with content creation.
In this video demo, I show how we used an automated email reply to assist in turning customer inquiries into paying customers:
A true story that surprised the hell of me and generated thousands of dollars
I first learned this tactic years ago completely by accident when a prospective client asked me how they might go about organizing their website content. I told her I would send her something.
So I wrote something up that day and then realized I had the makings of a blog post that I could reuse for other clients. If one client asked, I figured others would too.
So I sent her a link to the article thinking it would both impress her and help her solve the content problem she mentioned over the phone.
I never found out if the article solved her problem or if it impressed her very much because she never hired me. But that article was a homerun!
It has brought me almost 100,000 visitors over the years, a ton of inquiries, and some links to my site, which boosted my overall website authority.
This has allowed me to rank on Google for a lot of different keywords and get a ton of customer inquiries as a result of that one article.
I wrote that article back in 2013 and look what it did.
Let’s sum it up
You should be thinking about using your blog as a long-term marketing strategy to attract visitors via search engines and to help streamline your customer acquisition funnel.
Your customers and your prospects will always be the greatest source of content ideas but only if you are paying attention to their questions and concerns from the different channels we discussed.
Once you start writing content based on this principle, the ideas will flow non stop and each new post will feed ideas for more new posts.
Don’t let the idea of having to keep up with a blog stop you from blogging because the simple truth is that you can write once a week or once every couple of years as I did for my own business and still reap major rewards.
Of course, if you publish quality content regularly you stand the chance of broadening your reach considerably more.
If you found this blog post helpful. Please do comment below and share.