Blogging is an important element of a successful content marketing strategy.

A strong blog boosts your SEO ​by increasing keyword rankings,​ p​rovides valuable content that​ engages your audience, and drives action by encouraging readers to make a purchase or sign up for your email list.

It’s pretty much a no brainer that you should have a blog for your business. B​log content is exceedingly important as it nurtures various aspects of the sales funnel.

Google’s changes to their SERP environment over the past few years also drives the need for a robust blog- and that’s a fact! Type any research-related query into Google Search and you’ll find no room for organic ecommerce posts. These days, user intent is very research-focused, so you’ll need to have a blog that can fulfill this type of engagement.

Depending on the type of post, a blog could generate brand awareness, generate leads, or both. As such, it is exceedingly important to create quality content to establish your brand as a thought leader in whatever niche industry you are a part of.

Another incredibly important factor to blogging is consistency. Readers crave fresh ideas including trending topics, interesting long-form content articles, and novelty, meaning bloggers should consistently share content that meets this need. Posts also have a higher likelihood of garnering social shares (i.e. backlinks that increase your authority in a search engine) if you’re writing regularly about topics that matter to readers currently.

We won’t sugar coat it: m​aking the commitment to c​ onsistently​ create high-quality content is no easy task for small business owners. C​onstantly formulating creative ideas for blog posts is difficult, writer’s block can be an issue, and most notably, blogging can be incredibly time consuming.

Luckily,​ w​e have a list of some easy topic ideas that will help you save time and write great blog posts that benefit your business and give readers what they’re craving.

Ready to write some popular posts? Here are some great ideas:

1. How-to Posts

Your readers are hungry for valuable how-to posts that provide actionable step-by-step instructions to get started with something specific.

No matter what industry you’re in, there’s something you know how to do that your average person doesn’t. Share an ultimate guide on how to do something in your niche.

A florist can write a post on how to keep flowers fresh longer. A staffing agency could write a post on how to conduct useful job interviews. A​ marketing group could write about how to optimize a business’ social media or instagram marketing.

Your audience will love a step-by-step guide that teaches them how to do something unique.

Example: How to Brand Your Emails So That You Look Like a Pro in the Inbox

2. Posts on FAQs

What questions do you get asked by customers and prospects over and over again?

What about the other people in customer-facing roles in your company, what questions do they hear all the time?

Sit down together and start making a list of the questions you all hear from leads and customers.

Every question that comes up has the potential to be turned into content on a topic you know your audience is interested in.

Example: What’s the Best Length for My Email Newsletter?

3. Product Comparisons

Some businesses shy away from ever mentioning competitors in their content, but when done right, it can be a smart strategy. P​eople always want tips that help them save money and make the best purchasing decisions.

Just think when you’re making a purchasing decision yourself, one of the biggest questions you probably have is how two similar products compare.

An honest look at how two products differ is immensely useful to someone on the cusp of making a decision. And the very fact of being willing to talk about the competition honestly can immediately build trust in your brand.

4. Product Updates

The general rule in content marketing is that most of your content shouldn’t be all about you. You should focus first on your audience and their concerns, interests, and needs.

But that doesn’t mean none of your content can be about your product, you just need to find the right mix.

When you make an update to your product, that’s a good opportunity to promote the changes on your blog. Highlighting the improvements and explaining them to your current customers is exceedingly valuable and may even help leads finally make the decision to buy.

We recently released a new look to our cPanel at HostGator, so we blogged about it to let customers know about the change and hear their feedback.

5. Newsjacking Posts

While you should definitely make an effort to create a good amount of content that’s evergreen (your how-to and FAQ posts will probably fit the bill), it’s worth also looking for opportunities to write about topics that are on people’s minds at a particular moment in time.

That could mean figuring out a way to tie in pop culture, sports, or industry announcements with your content.

You do have to be careful with newsjacking though many a brand has put their foot in their mouth trying to come up with something clever to say about a current event without really thinking through the possible consequences.

Don’t risk offending people with a tone-deaf response to a disaster or something politically controversial.  

6. Highlight Local Events

If you run a local business, use your blog to point readers toward worthwhile events and causes in your neighborhood.

If you run a marketing agency, you could do a roundup of all the networking and education events useful to marketers in your city.

If you run a pet store, collect all the breed meetups or upcoming events at dog parks into a blog post.

Your local audience will appreciate you keeping them informed of what’s going on in your community.

7. Interviews

If there’s information that your audience wants, that you don’t personally have, find someone that does and interview them. Or better yet, take some work off your plate by asking this person to write a guest post.

Interviews with other experts in the industry or community can help you broaden the appeal of your blog and add credibility to what you’re writing.

On the Small Biz Stories podcast, Constant Contact regularly interviews small business owners about how they started their business and their biggest challenges along the way.

Keep an eye out for people giving speeches at events in your community or covering topics relevant to your audience in their articles and reach out to see about setting up an interview.

8. Share Stories

People love a good personal story- it helps us connect as humans. Whether you write an employee spotlight or even write candidly about the triumphs and failures of your business, this type post resonates emotionally with your audience which will help them feel more connected to your brand.

9. Media Posts

Text-only posts can become boring and lackluster after a while. Spruce up your posts by making media-rich blogs. Create an infographic on industry metrics, tell a story through GIFs or turn your how-to into a picture blog.

Use these blog post ideas to fill your own blog calendar

Getting started is the hardest part. The more you dig into researching your industry and audience, the easier it will usually become over time to find topics to write about.

These ideas should help fuel some initial ideas as you get your blog off the ground.

Once you start writing, be sure to actively work to promote your blog. Encourage readers to sign up for your email list to receive new content and use these five ideas to increase your readership.