How to Brainstorm Great Blog Topics & Write High-Quality Content – A Beginner's Guide

Content marketing is the bomb for business.

It's true. In our hectic, overflowing, distracted internet, content marketing is the most effective strategy to bring together all of your digital marketing in one place, working toward one goal: driving your business.

Part of what makes content marketing so successful is how strategic it is – when done right. That means developing a coherent strategy and sticking to it. By setting goals and approaching your strategy systematically, content marketing can be an incredibly effective business tool.

How effective is content marketing?

By consistently creating high-quality content, we grew our monthly website traffic by 1,607% in just two years.

1,607%. That's HUGE. We've seen an incredible growth of business thanks to that hard work.

But when we encourage non-marketers to get started creating their own content, there's one big problem:

The challenge of creating strategic, sales-driven content when you're not from the marketing world can be intimidating AF

Even when non-marketing business ballers see the value in content marketing, they're flooded with questions"Where do I start? What do I write about? How do I know what my customers want to read? How do I know when a blog post is done?"

Getting started is so tough and intimidating that many businesses just give up. But getting started with content marketing doesn't need to be hard.

In fact, you already have all the knowledge you need to create great content. You just need to know how to put it together.

Well, we're here to help.

We want you to be successful, so we're giving away our secrets

We've come up with these clear, actionable tips to empower you to convert your knowledge into content that targets your audience, builds search engine optimization (SEO), and makes your audience know, like, and trust you – and, ultimately, do business with you.

Enjoy!


Looking for blog post ideas? This how-to guide is for you:  we're showing you a great brainstorming process, concrete categories that ALWAYS perform, and tips and resources for writing high-quality blog posts. Enjoy! | Hoot Design Co.

1. Get into the mindset of your dream client

 

This first step is INCREDIBLY important. 

Before you get started creating content, stop thinking like a seller – and start thinking like your dream client.

Your dream client is that one person you love working with. Who do you wish all of your customers were like?

Get into their head. What do they want? What do they need? What are their pain points? What's their biggest issue? You're going to need to refer back to your dream client again and again throughout creating your content.

Need some help with that?

We've got a step-by-step blog post on finding your dream client and digital download to seal the deal.

 

2. Brainstorm great content – using these easy shortcuts

 

Alright, it's time to figure out just what you're going to write about. That's a pretty big question. 

To get started, narrow your search by brainstorming a few potential topics in each of the no-fail categories below. Write them all down – we'll come back to them later.

Tip: Brainstorming is always better in groups!

 

• "Newsjacking"

Terrible word, great blog content. Newsjacking is simply creating content around a development in your industry. Perhaps it's a new technology, a new process, or even a new fad – the point is to pick a recent development in your field and respond. Use this blog post as an opportunity to show your expertise, prove you're staying relevant as your field evolves, and speak to your clients' needs in a clear and simple manner.

• "What others do wrong (and we do better)"

This type of post is a classic across all industries. Again, this genre is a perfect opportunity to articulate your process or products in terms of their clear benefit to the client – while giving concrete examples of how you differ from your competitors.

• Case studies

Yes, case studies can make great blog content. Highlight a success story with a real-life example to show what a difference working with you made in one customer's life. The with creating content around a case study is to focus on how the client has benefitted from your services; avoid the temptation of talking solely about your own success, growth, and processes. The client is the main character; you're the sidekick here.

• FAQs

What's a question you get all the time? Yep, you guessed what this suggestion is going to be: write an explanation to a question you're always getting. Remember, focus on the client all the way through.

• Roundups/lists

Got helpful resources for your client? Have a selection of products that fit a theme? Make a quick, list-based roundup post. Make sure to include relevant links and sources!

• Demonstrations

Create a demonstration of how your product works or create a walkthrough of a typical contract with you. What can your client or customer expect? Visual content is particularly suited to this type of post.


3. Choose just ONE of your topics to focus on

 

Alright, let's narrow down that list. Great questions to ask yourself when picking out the topic you're about to write on are:

  • Which of these am I truly excited about creating?
  • Which of these will be most beneficial to our current business goals?
  • Which of these do I feel most confident that my existing knowledge is enough to jump in right away?

4. Write a great headline first

 

It might seem strange, but actually writing your headline before you dive into creating your content is incredibly helpful. Why?

Creating a structured, specific headline keeps your focus narrowed on your primary objective for that post.

Here's how to get started: Generate a bunch of ideas for your title – and I mean a bunch.

When you start, focus on just getting some ideas down. Don't be critical of your creative process!

Next, start to refine your concepts with an eye toward specificity and shareability. CoSchedule's incredibly helpful article How To Write Headlines That Drive Traffic, Shares, And Search Results is an amazing resource to read up on headline strategies.

Next, use an awesome tool like CoSchedule's headline analyzer to evaluate your headline and hone in even more.

You want your headline to score a 70% or above to be most effective: look for that green bar!

Type type type type type type

Type type type type type type


5. Get creating – with help from our blog post A Step-by-step guide for creating effective, efficient blog posts

 

Time to make this baby happen.

We've outlined this step of the process in detail in one of our favorite blog posts with our 10-step process for writing awesome blog posts.

And great news! You've already done the first step in our 10-step process. The nine steps you have left are:

  1. Brainstorm a bunch of ideas [check!]
  2. Keep an eye toward the next few weeks of content (use those other ideas in upcoming weeks!)
  3. Record your initial thoughts
  4. Build your skeleton
  5. Write it out!
  6. Organize your ideas if needed
  7. Add images
  8. Spruce it up with some narrative structure
  9. Proofread your work – (Tip: If you're working with a marketing agency [like us], it's time to hand your content over to us for the final finessing – clients, that means sending what you have on over to us when you reach this stage!])
  10. Get a second set of eyes – (That's us!)

Bonus tip: Cross-linking your content to other relevant parts of your site (like your about page, services page, contact, or related blog posts) is a great way to start giving your blog a little SEO boost. 

[Related: 5 Ways to Boost Engagement on Your Squarespace Website Right Now]


6. Finalize + publish your blog post

 

Alright, we've got the blog post written and formatted. But! Before you hit that button, it's important to double-check some essential elements. 

This step is SO important we created an internal tool for our own blog posts, then decided we had to share it with the world.

Head on over to our post on how to make sure your blog post is ready to publish to ensure it's all ready to go.

[Bonus: We've rounded up a list of the five best free writing resources that we use on a regular basis – I absolutely LOVE these tools!]

Aaaaaand... time to make your beautiful content live!

Our final blog post checklist is essential to making sure your blog post is ready to go!

Our final blog post checklist is essential to making sure your blog post is ready to go!


 

That's all, folks! You did it.

Time to share that blog post on social media and via awesome e-newsletters. You should feel proud of your new content! Keep at it, and you'll get this shizz down pat in no time.

 

The final word: Content marketing can be intimidating. It can be tough.

But getting these processes down will help you create better and better content – and it will get easier with every post you create.

And if you decide you'd like some help along the way? Well, you know who to contact! (I'm talking about the best marketing agency around, of course! 😉)


 
Psssst... Still need a bit of a boost?

Sometimes you want something more than a how-to method – something that really gives you a jump start on your blog post, complete with a ready-to-go structure, skeleton, and easy fill-in-the-blanks guide

If that describes you (and I KNOW it describes me!), we've got you covered with our signature blog post template and workbook shortcuts. Give 'em a whirl to get started creating the smoothest, most accessible – and more importantly, most efficient! – blog posts ever:

 

Do you have more helpful tips for getting started with blog content? Questions? Requests? Let me know in the comments below! I try to get back within one business day, so ask away. 

Until next time,

– Avery

PS: Did you find this post helpful? If so, consider sharing it with your peeps on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest. They'll thank you later.