You know you have to create engaging content. However, sometimes, you just don’t know what to write.
You are not alone. Millions of writers face the dreaded “writer’s block”. Fortunately, there’s an easy way out of it.
Writing prompts can spark your creativity and help you get started. It’s like the ignition that burns the fuel in your car, which sets the car in motion.
In this in-depth guide, I’ll cover several blog post ideas. Use them as writing prompts the next time you hit a writer’s block.
35+ Blog Posts Ideas That Serve as Writing Prompts
1: The Hack/Jugaad Post
Do you know to do something in your industry faster or cheaper in an unorthodox way? Let people know.
Known as hacks (or Jugaad in India), they are practical, cheap to put in place, and solve a real problem.
A hack is most effective when you cover something related to the product or service you offer. Imagine you provide house remodeling services. You could write about decorating your house by reusing junk items you usually throw away.
2: The Cartoon Post
Everybody loves a sharp, witty, and thought-provoking cartoon.
A well-thought-out comic strip can convey your message better than a 1000 word blog post.
A short strip with less than 5–6 frames is usually enough to communicate a message. Calvin and Hobbes, Dilbert, etc. are good cartoon strips to draw inspiration from.
3: The “Behind-The-Scenes” Post
Ever wondered why DVDs come with specials? They include bonus content like behind-the-scenes or scenes cut out from the theatrical release.
Why? Because we are a curious bunch. People like to be part of the “real deal”. The final visual effects are great. However, how did these guys achieve this tremendous feat?
Did you create a video for your blog? Share the behind-the-scene experience including goof-ups and other titbits.
4: The Original Research Post
Conducting original research, while time-consuming and costly, can provide high ROI.
Original research often gets cited in reputed publications. It helps you gain backlinks, traffic to your website, and authority. Bloggers who publish original research are also seen as thought leaders.
5: The Readers Q&A Post
Here’s a task for you. Spend 30 minutes browsing through the email readers use to write to you. Come up with a list of popular questions they ask.
There you have it. Instant blog post ideas. Each of these questions is a potential blog post.
When you add a reader Q&A, make sure you add more depth to your answers. Do you make a claim that the technique you shared on your blog is 20% cheaper to follow? Add credible research data to support your claims.
6: The Employee Post
People who come from different backgrounds, especially new employees, are ideal content creators. They can often bring interesting perspectives to the problem you are solving.
If you have employees, let them contribute content to your blog. It helps with employee engagement and provides a fresh perspective on your blog.
7: The Rant Post
It’s human to let out your frustration once in a while.
A rant is usually the online version of telling people what frustrates you and why.
Rants connect deeply with a segment of your audience. There will always be people who think like you. If you sell healthy food, you can rant about people spending money on junk food that’s unhealthy.
If you do rants right, you’ll get a ton of passionate audience following your brand.
Don’t overdo it, though. Pointless rambling about unrelated topics on your blog can harm your brand.
8: The Connection Post
Do you like basketball? If you sell marketing services, can you spot a connection between basketball and marketing?
Sports not your cup of tea? How about “10 Things You Can Learn About Marketing from the TV Series Breaking Bad”?
The idea is simple. Take a topic you know well (TV series, movies, sports, etc.) Connect it to your industry in a meaningful way and write a post.
Here are some headline templates.
- X Things <your industry> and <some other industry> have in common
- X Things you can learn about <your industry> from <some other industry>
- What <some other industry> can teach you about <your industry>
9: The List Post
Spend 10 minutes reading content online and I guarantee you’ll come across at least one list-post. Some sites only feature lists posts.
Moreover, it’s not without reason. List posts work. Readers like list posts because it helps them skim. Numbers in titles also appeal to people due to the specificity.
Here are a few headline templates.
- X Ways to do <something in your industry>
- Top X <things in your industry>
- The A-Z of <something in your industry>
- X Resources to help you overcome <problem faced by your customers>
10: The Open Letter Post
Open letters are extremely popular in online communities. It’s a long-form version of a usual rant. The candid thoughts and the strong stance people take makes open letters popular.
Take care to see that open letters do not cross the line. Due to its strong nature, it’s easy to alienate people.
Don’t like Trump being the President? Your blog is not the best place to write an open letter to him or his supporters (unless your blog topic is politics).
11: The Controversial Post
Think something in your industry is off the mark? Do you think something calls for reform? Is the traditional way of doing things in your industry broken?
It’s time to stir up some controversy by offering your polar opposite point of view.
Controversial posts attract a lot of shares and comments. It’s also something that showcases your thought process and alignment.
12: The How-To Post
Like lists, how-to posts work well. How-to posts give actionable advice to people. Reading a how-to post on your blog should help your reader do something valuable.
One of the most powerful templates you can follow is:
How to <do something> without <doing something less desirable>?
Do you offer gourmet cooking recipe? Here’s how to adapt the topic to your blog.
How to Cook Delicious Food Every Day Without Having to Worry About Grocery Shopping?
13: The Satire Post
Satire posts, when done right, can create high levels of engagement and virality.
Be careful, though. Satire posts are not rants. It needs to have the right amount of humor, irony, and exaggeration. Writing satire posts is not for everyone.
Need inspiration? The Onion is an excellent source for well-written satire posts.
14: The Series Post
Sometimes, certain topics need more than a single blog post. Instead of writing a 10,000-word blog post, it’s best to break it down into smaller content pieces.
You now have a series of connected posts.
Series posts are helpful because they don’t overwhelm readers. Each post should be just the right size for people to consume in one session.
You can also convert the series post into an e-book or an e-course delivered over email. E-books and E-courses provide more opportunities to capture leads.
15: The Prediction Post
You see people on TV giving stock predictions all the time. Whether it turns out to be true or not, people consider them experts.
Are you going to predict that on-demand delivery services will shut down in the next five years? On what basis are you predicting this trend?
Using data which can correlate with your prediction decides how people will perceive you. Do you want to be a thought leader or an astrologist?
The secret to a great prediction post:
- Has credible data to back up your prediction
- Built on a strong hypothesis
- Connects with your target audience. If you sell web design services, a prediction on climate change isn’t going to be relevant. Can you tell your audience how web design will evolve in the next five years?
- Is relevant
- Is new and compelling. Nobody wants to hear your prediction about something they can predict themselves
16: The Reaction Post
Came to know about something which you agree/disagree with? You can do a follow-up post on your blog.
A reaction post should always link to or embed the source of inspiration. Take excerpts from the original posts and add your commentary to it.
17: The Story Post
From childhood, we are all accustomed to hearing stories. Good stories can be engaging for as many hours as you want. It will even linger in your mind for several days, months, or even years.
That’s the power of a good story. Stories connect with people at an emotional level. Something most advertisement cannot match.
Do you have an interesting backstory to share? Something relevant and exciting?
Good brands become part of stories. You know that premium watch that gets handed down generations? There are a lot of emotional stories associated with it. The deeper you can connect with someone in a positive way, the better the story you can tell.
18: The Engineering Post
Did build amazing tech? Is it worth sharing with others?
Tech companies often have a separate blog for engineering. They talk about how they were able to do something faster and cheaper. Alternatively, they were able to build something that’s scalable.
Engineering posts serve a dual purpose.
It gives confidence to your customers that you know what you are doing. It signals that you can create complicated stuff that someone else wouldn’t be able to copy easily.
Engineering posts also help you put yourself in front of a lot of potential companies looking to outsource their work. It will also help you land great tech jobs with above-average pay.
Brownie points if you open source your technology.
19: The Case Study Post
Case studies are useful for sales purpose. Your aim should be to build a case study that can do both, storytelling and sales.
A good case study helps readers understand:
- How did someone solve a problem similar to what he or she is facing today?
- How your service helped someone overcome the problem?
- How can your service help them overcome the same problem?
Remember; the focus of a case study is not your business. It’s about the problem your potential customers face. How can they solve it in the most efficient way possible?
20: The Checklist Post
People love checklists. It’s short, actionable, and easy to understand.
A checklist often provides a process for others to follow. Do item #1, item #2, up till item #X and you’ll be able to do something useful.
Breakdown the checklist so that you can complete each action item can on its own. Should your audience follow the checklist in the given order? Can the action items be executed in parallel?
21: The Stats Post
Stats (Or Statistics) are useful because they help you support your claims. They are specific and are often backed by a credible research methodology.
Stats find their way into presentations, marketing content, and sales copy. In shorts, the most recent stats are always in demand.
Can you curate your industry stats and keep the page updated? A dedicated page with stats often get tons of citation and backlinks.
22: The Productivity Post
Buffer, the social media sharing app, grew by posting a lot of productivity posts on their blog.
Since productivity is a topic that interests most people, you can use it in almost any industry.
The best productivity posts are ones that are actionable and relevant to your industry. Do you provide cooking recipes on your blog? How about a productivity tip to cut chopping time by 25%?
Stay away from generic productivity tips like benefits of rising early, exercise, etc.
23: The Follow-Up Post
Did you publish a post last year about the state of your industry? How about doing up a follow-up post this year?
Follow-up posts are often helpful to map trends. It’s also a way to lead people to older posts that are relatively undiscovered.
24: The Cheat-Sheet Post
Ever wondered why curation took off? Especially news?
There’s much content out there. By some estimates, daily, people publish more than two million blog posts. That’s a lot of content. It’s not possible to consume all this content.
That’s why people love curated content.
A cheat sheet is an easy way for people to understand quickly and grab actionable information. If it helps them, they’ll want to spend more time digging deep into your content.
It’s like a trailer for a movie. If the trailer is impressive, maybe the movie will be enjoyable.
25: The Glossary Post
A glossary is a collection of terms in your industry. It provides a definition of industry-specific terms, and in some cases, gives examples.
Think of glossary posts as more like a curated dictionary for your industry.
Many people tend to overlook glossary post as something that’s not useful. If there’s one thing I have learned over the years, it’s never to make baseless assumptions.
I have been in the marketing industry for almost a decade now. The term “bounce rate” is so familiar to me, I’d be able to describe it in my sleep.
I assumed that people would know what a bounce rate is. After all, isn’t it basic marketing terminology?
One day, the CEO of a big company, during a presentation, asked me what the presenter means by bounce rate. That’s when I realized that technical terms in your industry might not be as widely known as you think.
A good glossary post
- Explains each concept in detail
- Provides practical examples
- Links to more resources if someone wants to learn more about a particular concept
26: The News Post
Did anything relevant to your industry come up in the news? You can write a news-oriented post.
Several companies offer their support in times of distress. Like a natural calamity or terrorist attack.
Use your blog to show the human side of your blog. Show that you have empathy. How are you contributing? How can others can be a part of it? Inspire people to contribute their time and money to help others.
27: The Make-Over Post
Weight loss product advertisements show you the “before” and “after” shots. That’s some magic transformation. However, advertisements over the past several decades haven’t changed. That’s because this stuff works.
People buy products so that they can become better versions of themselves. You purchase a toupee so that you feel confident. You buy an iPhone because it’s a status symbol.
Can your product help someone get a makeover?
If you sell to businesses, you do a case study. If you sell to consumers, create a makeover or a before-after post. Your make-over post shouldn’t be a blatant advertisement for your product or service. It should blend in, in a subtle way.
Can people achieve the makeover without your product or service? Most likely yes. Show them how to do it. Give them step-by-step instructions. It’s OK if some people do not buy. Then, tell them how your product will make the journey less painful and faster.
If your product or service does not have any of these benefits, then it’s not a marketing problem. It’s the product or service you need to worry about.
28: The Customer-Profile Post
Is one of your customers doing something game changing? Are they making a positive impact on the world?
Remember; A customer profile post is not a case study.
The case study tells people how someone else accomplished something using your product or service. Instead, a customer profile talks about what your customer does.
Doesn’t it feel great to empower companies to do great things?
29: The Ultimate Guide Post
An ultimate guide provides great value, is share-worthy, and often gets backlinks.
Pick a major pain point your readers face. Then create an in-depth resource people can refer to when they need help.
Ultimate guides tend to be long-form content. Often crossing 2,000 words (Like the one you are reading now, which is more than 4,000 words).
Due to their content-dense nature, ultimate guides tend to be difficult to consume. People usually bookmark ultimate-guide style posts and refer to them later.
Some people often bookmark these posts and never revisit them later. That’s because the sheer volume of content scares people. You can overcome this issue by including a downloadable cheat sheet or infographics.
30: The Guest Post
Have you watched talk shows on TV?
There are several TV talk-shows people all over the world watch. Every week, they have a new guest. They host movie stars, presidential candidates, TV stars, etc. All popular people, but from different backgrounds.
If you notice, you’ll see that they avoid hosting similar celebrities in consecutive episodes. If episode 1 hosts a movie star, episode 2 might host a celebrity chef.
Even if they have similar guests, they try to break off the pattern soon.
That’s because people like variety.
Similarly, hosting a guest on your blog gives freshness to your content. If the guest is an industry expert, the content will gain even more credibility.
Does your blog talk about sports? What if Sachin Tendulkar did a guest post on your blog?
31: The Influencer Round-Up Post
Every industry has its influencers- people who are experts in their field of work.
Can you curate a list of the top influencers in your industry? People love to get to know and connect with influencers. A list of individuals who they should follow makes it that much easier for them.
A good influencer round-up post
- Lists at least 5–10 influencers in your industry
- Provides headshot and a brief bio to connect with them
- Explains why you consider them as influencers
- A few links to some of their best work
An influencer round-up post is also a good way to get some exposure. When you name people as experts, these experts tend to share your findings with their followers. After all, who doesn’t like to be validated for their work?
32: The Challenge Post
In the old Wild West, issuing challenges were a way of life. If someone issues a challenge, you have to accept it. Your honor is at stake.
In the modern world, people rarely get challenged. Because it happens so rarely, the vanity of a challenge is high. People love to take up challenges.
Issue an open challenge on your blog if you have a big enough audience.
A challenge need not be overly complicated. It could be as simple as asking people to write 50 words a day, every day, for 15 days. If you propose a hard challenge, help them stay on course. Provide tips to help them meet the challenge.
33: The Trend Post
People like to know what’s trending. That is why fashion and related industries are big businesses.
Can you curate trends in your industry? Share with your audience trending topics once a week or twice a month.
If you create a lot of content in a week, you can use trending posts to uncover your content.
34: The Review Post
People are always searching for product reviews. People look for the pros and cons of the product online before making buying something.
Can you review something in your industry?
If you sell electronic devices over the internet, you can review mobile devices. An unbiased review helps the customer make the right choice. If you consistently help people make the right choices, you will gain their trust.
An excellent review post:
- is unbiased
- provides a detailed review of the product or service
- takes different use-cases into account
- discloses how long and how often you have used the product or service
- takes a stance
There are two common review mistakes I see people make.
- Reviewing products they have not used. Writing a review based on other people’s review is easy. But that’s shallow and doesn’t provide any unique insight. It could also be wrong and misleading.
- Reviews do not provide a reliable conclusion. I have read too many reviews that leave me in a more confused state. Tell me- should I buy the damned thing or not?
35: The Interview Post
Interview posts are like guest posts. However, with an interview post, you channel the direction of the content.
You can hold interviews with just one or many people.
If you are holding a solo interview, zero down on a guest who’s not a frequently interviewed person. They will often have more insights to share.
If you are interviewing several people, an exciting format is to have people “duel”. In a duel, one set of people favors an idea and the second set is against it.
Interviewees can present contrasting points of view for the same questions. For example, if you are hosting an interview about stock investing, one person could vouch for stocks and the other against it. An open question can be “Should you invest in stocks?”
Duels need to be moderated and require better coordination. Since each interviewee will have arguments for or against a topic, it leads to an indecisive outcome.
Interview people who do the actual work. If you want to write about Facebook marketing, interview someone who works on it full-time. Not the VP of Marketing who has to ask the marketing executive for interview answers.
While the VP of Marketing will have a broad idea, the person doing the Facebook marketing will have more practical insights.
36: The Comparison Post
Comparison posts help people on the edge make a purchase decision. It’s not just for products or services. You can also compare two processes. Combine a comparison post and a list post to make a genuinely engaging post.
A good comparison post:
- Compares and contrasts related products, services, or processes
- Limits options to less than five
- Provides a quick comparative overview (Feature comparison tables or infographics)
- Identifies strong and weak areas
Brownie points to you if you can highlight the best option. Remember that our goal is to make the decision process easier for our audience?
Companies use comparison as a sales tool. Like reviews, people also look for alternatives. If your competitor is Gmail, you could make a comparison of your mail app and Gmail. With the right on-page and off-page SEO, you can rank high when people search for alternatives to Gmail.
37: The Personal Update Post
Now you get to talk about you! Career changes, life events, conference attendance, all fall into this category.
Some people shy away from talking about themselves on their blog. Blogging, after all, should be about your readers- right?
No. That is not always true.
In one of the companies I worked, I gathered feedback from our audience. That’s when I realized that our audience thought we were just a blog. We tried to be too user-focused and let our company identity slip.
If customers do not know who you are or what you do, how do you expect to get positive ROI for your blogging efforts? It is OK to use your blog to talk about yourself and your accomplishments. Just make sure it’s not a blog that’s hosted just to sing praises about you.
38: The Personal-Learning Post
Did you do something personal recently when you had an epiphany? Maybe not as big as Archimedes. However, still, something useful?
Like a connection post, a personal learning post hooks into your own learning. As long as it’s relevant and useful to your audience, personal learning posts can be part of your blogging strategy.
39: The Contest/Giveaway Post
Do you plan to run a contest or give away something for free? Then today you should start creating your contest/freebie post.
Contests and giveaways are popular tactics companies and bloggers use to gather new audience. You can also use them to engage your current audience. Make sure “the ask” from your audience correlates with the value of the contest prize/giveaway. You can’t expect people to write a poem praising you on their blog for a chance to win a free t-shirt.
If you are doing a giveaway, make sure it’s scalable.
You should also let people know when the contest/giveaway is no longer valid. Take down any third-party websites that have scraped your content.
I have had an instance where a third-party site copied our contest announcement and posted it on their site. Even after the giveaway ended and we removed it from our site, the third-party did not remove it. Many people ended on the third-party site and completed contest requirements. We started receiving angry emails from customers accusing us of not delivering on our promise. It took several weeks of our time to solve this issue even though we were not at fault.
Be proactive and take steps to avoid such issues.
Now that you have more than 39 blog post ideas, what content are you going to create today?