A blogger’s greatest challenge is maintaining an active pipeline of interesting blog topics. There is nothing worse than writer’s block or hitting “publish” on an article that you know is not your best work.
This should especially be the case for me since I have kept a very strict Monday through Friday (and sometimes more) schedule for five months now. But I don’t have this problem.
Let me share a secret with you regarding how you can easily create a long, running list of blog post ideas so that you never run out. It’s an exercise that anyone can use to break through writer’s block and open up a whole new world of content that search engines will love!
I make it a four step process, starting from broad and funneling into detailed questions. But depending on how broad you start or how detailed you want to be, you can add more or fewer steps to the exercise. Just know that the more granular your topics, the better!
So here is our Blog Topic Pipeline Pyramid:
Ready to create your blog topic pipeline? Let’s go…
1. Pick a Broad Category
This should really be the main subject matter of your blog or website. For me, I could really go one or two ways here. I could go ultra broad with Digital Marketing or I could take a step in with Facebook Marketing.
The broader you start, the more steps you should take to complete this exercise. So for the purpose of providing a workable example, I am going with Facebook Marketing.
2. Split That Category Into Three Parts
Now it’s time to break your broad topic into three sub-categories. In the case of Facebook Marketing, the three parts I chose are:
- Facebook Advertising
- Facebook Timeline for Pages
- Facebook Strategy (When, Why, How?)
If you were to break up the broad category of “Blogging” into three parts, it could be:
- Content Planning
- WordPress Themes, Plugins and Tools
- Search Engine How you optimize impacts who sees your Facebook ad. Facebook will show your ad to people most likely to perform your desired action. More
See? Piece of cake.
3. Create a List of Features Related to Those Parts
This is the step when the ideas will start to flow. This one shouldn’t be difficult. It’s basically a stream of consciousness list of everything associated with each subcategory. So let’s use my subcategories for Facebook Marketing as examples…
- Page Post Ads
- Targeting at fans
- Targeting at non-fans
- Targeting strategies
- Directing ads to custom tabs
- Standard Facebook ads
- Facebook reports on CPC (All) and CPC (Link Click). The first refers to all clicks and the second on all internal and outbound links. More
- Cost Per Thousand Impressions
- Page Like Story
- Page Post Like Story
- Advertising Budgets
- Advertising Apps and Tools
Facebook Timeline for Pages
- Cover Photo
- Profile Photo
- Custom Tabs
- Pin to Top
- About Section
- Private Messaging
Facebook Strategy (When, Why, How?)
- Facebook Insights
- Talking About This
- Status Updates
- Sharing Photos
- Sharing Videos
- Best Practices
- Time of Day
- Content that Drives Engagement
These lists could go on forever. And really, the longer they go, the better for you!
4. Create a List of Questions Connected to Features
Okay, so now you have inspiration. Now try to come up with at least one question associated with each item listed above. This could be questions your readers are already asking, or you could anticipate those questions. Maybe you’ve solved problems you have experienced yourself. List them!
The key here is that you want to isolate as many problems and questions as possible so that you can write a blog post covering the solutions.
Let’s use Facebook Timeline as an example…
Facebook Timeline For Pages
- What are the Cover Photo rules?
- What are the dimensions of the Cover Photo?
- How do you create a Cover Photo?
- What are examples of good Cover Photos?
- Should you use a logo or head shot for a Profile Photo?
- What custom tabs should I create?
- How do I create custom tabs?
- What tools are available to create custom tabs?
- How do I edit custom tab icons, and how should I approach it?
You get the picture. Dozens of questions should immediately come to you. These should be the building blocks of your blog posts!
Why This Works
I guarantee that if you do this exercise, you will be a better blogger as a result. You will be more organized and focused, and you will get better SEO results. The reasons are really very simple.
First, by keeping an active pipeline of blog posts, you keep your blog fresh. Your readers — and Google — will love that.
Second, you are forcing yourself to remain focused. The more niche, the better. By creating a focused list, you are preventing yourself from getting distracted with a blog post that acts as unrelated filler down the road.
Third, people want answers!. As I’ve said before, do not try to solve all of life’s problems in one blog post. Keep it simple. People are searching Google for an answer to a very specific question. Broad topics won’t drive them there. Provide an exhaustive blog post on the answer they are looking for.
Finally, your quality will be vastly improved. You’ll no longer have to sit down, staring at your laptop with a blank look at midnight, trying to come up with something to write. Go off of your list, and blogging suddenly becomes easy.
Your List is Dynamic
Of course, things are constantly changing, particularly when you’re talking about Facebook. So feel free to constantly add to this list or refresh the exercise. Don’t feel like you are tied to writing blog posts that are from a list that you created two months ago. Things change!
This is how I create an active pipeline of blog topics. What is your exercise for coming up with a blog topic pipeline? Share it with us!