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It used to be that you could just vomit out your thoughts to paper (or keyboard) and people cared about you (or your thoughts) enough to read it. Those were blogging pioneers and those days are over…
Social media and the mass consumption of information online in our society today has changed everything.
It’s probably a good thing because while some people vomit out some great thoughts, a lot more people don’t…
Now, if you want people to read what you have to say, you have to create your content with a purpose. One way to do this is through keyword research — aka creating content centered around keywords that people are actively searching for.
You can read more about how that works in our article on keyword research tools.
But that’s not the kind of content we’re talking about in this article. Today, we’re going to talk about the other 20%.
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is something that we made up but we very much believe in its importance based on our own experiences as professional bloggers.
80% of the content that you write should be based on keyword research and searchable content. The remaining 20% should be created with the sole purpose of connecting with your audience.
Why is it skewed so much?
Well, the majority of your content should be focused on keyword research because that’s what brings in your initial visitors. It’s what drives the traffic in because it’s what helps your content get found on search platforms.
But the 20%… The content that connects… That’s what turns your readers into subscribers. And subscribers into buyers.
It’s what makes your audience connect with you and trust you and hang on your every word. And maybe you’re thinking… Well, why can’t all of my content be like that?
It’s great if you can create perfectly keyworded content that also connects and some of the blog ideas that we provide below may be able to be used in that way.
But it doesn’t always work out that way.
In order for content to be found in search, it often has to be written in a certain way with a pretty specific set of secondary keywords and topics. It becomes a little technical.
The 20% is where you have more freedom to write it exactly the way that you want it — however, that will best serve your readers.
And we’re going to give you our best blog ideas and topics for the 20% in this article. Below, we’ve given examples of these blog post ideas and topics from our blog as well as our first health and wellness blog.
1. How-To Guides
One of our favorite types of content to create is how-to guides.
These are usually very instructional in nature and can come in the following forms:
- Beginner guides — Very basic. Intended to start from square 1 and teach a complete beginner on a topic.
- Ultimate guides — Similar to the above but are often more comprehensive (or just differ in title)
- Tutorials — Because you are explaining “how to” do something, you can also structure these more like a tutorial with detailed instructions.
These posts can also be related to the following topics or ideas:
- Solving a problem — How to lose weight fast
- Achieving a goal — How to build an email list
The best place to get these blog post ideas is straight from your audience.
What kind of problems are they struggling with? What kind of goals are they looking to achieve? These are perfect topics for how-to guides.
One of the best examples of a how-to post that is also more like an ultimate guide is our post on how to make money blogging.
2. Experiences And Stories
This one is my personal favorite.
Personal experiences and stories are by far the best way you can connect with your audience because they serve as evidence that whatever problems your audience is dealing with, they CAN be overcome.
They are also what help your audience to see that you’re a normal person and not just some big influencer persona on the internet that just “got lucky.”
Following people on the internet is a little like watching people on TV. We tend to feel like they aren’t “normal” people with “normal” problems.
Sometimes you need to remind your audience that you were once living in their shoes. You KNOW how they feel because YOU have felt it before.
And then you tell them exactly how you overcame your struggle. Or achieved a goal. Or whatever else it is that you are writing about. Just remember to highlight the feelings that you believe they are experiencing right now (or have felt at some point).
THIS is what will begin to make them feel like you understand them and how you can begin building a relationship with your reader (one built on trust).
One of our most popular posts that falls into this category is our post on the phases of blogging success.
3. Trending Topics And News
These are great because there is always some new fad or craze in the headlines every month, week, etc.
This gives you new and “fresh” ideas to share with your audience while also giving you the opportunity to weigh in on the topic. Your audience wants to know your opinion!
If you’re talking about the hottest new topic in your blog niche, it will catch your readers’ attention because fewer people are talking about it.
Rather than giving straight facts or a general overview of a particular topic, consider being a little more polarizing if you have a strong opinion. Your audience wants (and deserves) your honesty!
Here are some examples from various blog topics:
- Health: new fad diet
- Travel: latest news on carbon emissions
- Politics: election news (there’s always SOMETHING here)
- Pets: latest news on pets traveling on airplanes
- Beauty: anything on anti-aging technologies is always a hot topic to discuss
- Business: taxes and legal are topics that are always being updated
You get the idea!
This isn’t an area that we post often in but here’s an example of a blog post idea in which we provide a rather polarizing opinion on the topic of Google Adsense.
4. Lists And Round-Ups
Numbered lists are great because they give your content some organization and people love lists!
There seems to be something about knowing that there is some defined ending to your content. Something psychological there…
There has been a lot of testing on clickthrough rates of headlines and lists are without a doubt super popular and often more likely to get you clicks!
You can put anything you want into a list, including some of the types of content we are discussing in these articles.
Here are some popular types of lists for blog post ideas:
- 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make When…
- 7 Most Popular Myths About…
- 17 Best Tools For…
- 6 Ways to Use…
- 12 Reasons Why…
You can also do round-up posts in a list format.
A round-up post is a list that you put together of other resources (i.e. recipes, websites, products, etc.). You feature other people’s content with a link to the resource.
5. Product Reviews
Product/service review articles are great because they serve two purposes:
- Provide helpful information for your audience
- Potential to make a few extra bucks on the side
You can earn a commission from certain products and services that you recommend on your blog when people click on your links to purchase that product or service.
This is called affiliate marketing, and it’s a major way that many bloggers monetize their content.
BUT remember that you are still essentially asking for a sale here…
In order for product reviews to be successful in creating a connection with your audience, you really need to include personal experiences with the product you’re discussing.
Linking products with descriptions isn’t generally enough to get people to buy your product.
Any article on the internet can do that much. You need to form that connection with them by discussing your personal experience with the product.
THAT is what will make them want to learn more about the product or service.
And remember that it isn’t just about making a sale. You need to provide the right kind of information that helps them make a decision about the product.
For example, we recommend ConvertKit as the best email service for our new bloggers. But a lot of them aren’t sure and want to try a free service first.
So, we created an entire review on ConvertKit with our experiences to help them make a decision about what is right in their business.
A couple of other examples:
6. Interviews And Testimonials
Interviews and testimonial posts are great because it gives your audience a chance to hear from someone else, which can further add credibility to what you are teaching.
This type of post can be structured in a variety of ways, including…
- An interview — with a client, student, reader, another authority figure in your niche, or anyone else that can provide relevant insight for your audience
- A testimonial — with a client or student (this can help to sell your products)
Interviews and testimonials can be written, in video format, or in podcast format.
When you are interviewing someone or asking for a testimonial for your blog, these are some helpful questions to consider:
- What is their background? How is their story relevant to your audience?
- What questions can you ask that would provide the best insight for your audience?
- What problems did they struggle with in the beginning?
- How did they overcome these problems?
If their story is transformational in nature (i.e. reached a big goal), remember the points we discussed above in the blog post idea of personal experiences and stories.
Our best example is from one of our blogging students, Ramona. She took our blogging courses and explains how she started her fitness blog and made money in the first few months.
Her story provides inspiration for our audience while also providing proof that our courses work. We also allow her to add a link back to her blog, which helps her out as well.
It’s a win-win for everyone.
7. Guest Posts
Guest posts can be similar to interviews and testimonials, but the main difference is that someone else is generally writing the entire guest post for you.
People generally offer to write guest posts for the following reasons:
- Backlinks — Getting a link back to their blog can help with Google SEO
- Brand awareness — Being featured on bigger blogs can help you get more recognition and traffic back to your own blog
- Sell products — That awareness can also be related to promoting a relevant product or service to someone else’s audience
The point is that people who write guest posts for you generally only take the time to do so because there is some type of gain in it for them.
But there should also be some benefit(s) in it for you, which could include:
- Great content for your audience to read (that you don’t have to take the time to write!)
- Selling products — you can earn a commission by selling the products as an affiliate
The best relationship you can hope for here is one in which both parties benefit from the exchange.
A great example is a guest post written by one of our blogging students, Amira Law, on how to protect your blog with legal pages.
In this post, Amira first provides a ton of helpful information on WHY bloggers need legal pages on their blogs, including what types are needed and where you can get them.
Then, at the end of the article, she briefly discusses the legal page templates that she sells. We are an affiliate for the templates, so we receive a commission if our readers purchase them from the article.
It provides helpful information for our audience, potential revenue for both of us, and a backlink to her blog and her products. Win-win-win.
8. Frequently Asked Questions
Wouldn’t it be great if you could write the EXACT content you knew your audience was the most interested in?
Well, you can! You just need to LISTEN.
What are the most frequently discussed topics you hear from your readers?
Are there any common questions that get asked more often than others?
There are a few ways that you can get blog post ideas from the questions your audience is answering, including:
- Comments on your posts
- Email responses
The other thing you can do to get ideas is to simply ASK your audience what they want to hear more about!
You can end your articles or emails with a question that will help get the conversation started. Some of our favorite questions to ask include:
- What is the #1 thing you’re struggling with when it comes to (insert topic here?
- Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any questions about (insert topic here)? If so, please leave us a comment below! We’d love to hear from you!
When you answer your audience’s most important questions, it helps to build more trust in your relationship with them and make them more likely to purchase something from you.
An example of this in our business is the article that we wrote comparing two email marketing services: MailChimp and ConvertKit
A lot of our new bloggers on a budget are curious about MailChimp because it’s a free service and we get that question a LOT in our support groups for our courses.
So, we wrote an entire article to direct them to when we get the question.
It also helps to have a resource like this to direct your readers to so that you don’t have to answer the same question over and over again!
On our health and wellness blog, one question that we got asked a LOT related to our weight loss program was about how to lose weight with hypothyroidism.
So, we wrote an article about it to help our readers that face that problem. And it also helped to well our weight loss program!
Last up on our list of blog post ideas is busting through the top myths surrounding some of the most common topics you are writing about.
People are skeptical of information and products online because they don’t generally know or trust you.
Busting common myths and misconceptions can help educate your audience and sell your products!
These posts can also provide a “shock” factor to your audience because you’re delivering information that is generally contrary to their belief.
The best example that we have on this blog about busting through myths is our article on how much bloggers make.
There is a common misconception that bloggers don’t make much… Or a common perception that they don’t make enough to earn a full-time income. A lot of people believe that bloggers are just running their blog as a side project or hobby rather than as a full-time business.
Another great example is this article on health and fitness myths.
Okay, that’s it for our article on blog post ideas and topics!
We hope that creating this kind of content helps you better connect with your audience and build a more loyal and engaged list of fans and subscribers!
Which one was your favorite? Are you already using any of the above that you feel work really well?
We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below! We’re also here to answer any questions you might have!