Let’s face it. No matter what industry you’re in, the competition is fierce. The proliferation of small businesses in the United States means that nobody has a monopoly anymore. To succeed, you have to find a way to make your business stand out in a crowd. You have to be magnetic. You have to be memorable.

One of the best ways to make sure that your website ranks high on Google is to have an active blog. But even that has its challenges. Coming up with topics is a challenge. It’s especially tricky for business owners who are juggling sales, marketing, accounting, and human resources responsibilities.

We’re here to help. We’ve come up with 10 killer blog ideas – templates that you can use to create content that will:

  • Grab people’s attention
  • Attract traffic to your site
  • Entertain, inform, and educate your target audience
  • Grow your business

You need to tap into people’s natural curiosity and desire to learn. These ideas will help you do that.

Listicle

You can’t go online today without seeing headlines for listicles. BuzzFeed has made an art form out of creating compelling lists with irresistible headlines.

People have a natural tendency to categorize ideas and topics. That’s one reason why listicles are popular. You can make a list of almost anything.

  • Things to do
  • Things to avoid doing
  • Best options in a category
  • Worst options in a category

There are endless ways to make lists and spin them into blog content. The key is to make the listicles you write valuable to your target audience.

How-To

Nowadays, if you want to know how to do something, you Google it. That’s as true of your customers as it is of anybody else. And for that reason, how-to articles are one of the most popular kinds of web content.

Think about things that people who are interested in your niche or products want to know how to do. If you own a kitchen supply store, you might do a how-to article about a particular cooking technique. A home improvement store might post how-tos for a series of DIY projects.

Here again, the key is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask what they want to know how to do.

Ultimate Guides

You’re an expert in your industry, and you have valuable knowledge to share. Why not create an ultimate guide for your readers? An ultimate guide is a comprehensive guide to a particular topic or skill.

If you own a clothing store, you might create an ultimate guide to accessorizing an outfit. The owner of an outdoor supply store might choose to do the ultimate guide to camping. The possibilities are endless. The benefit of doing this type of article is that you can update it regularly to keep the content current and it can be a traffic magnet.

Myth Debunking

Every industry and niche has its myths. Given how easy it is to find information these days, it’s remarkable that myths can have the staying power they do.

The chances are good that you know several persistent myths that apply to what you do. Instead of being frustrated about them, write a series of blog posts explaining why they’re not true. The content you create will be useful to your customers. If you choose your keywords wisely, it can bring in a steady stream of traffic to your blog.

Troubleshooting Guides

One of the cornerstones of marketing is showing customers that you understand their pain. What better way to do that than to help them troubleshoot a common problem?

This is a variation on a how-to guide, but it’s one that can help establish you as an authority in your industry. It’s the kind of thing that provides instant value to your readers. If you do a good job of explaining a problem – and solving it – you’ll attract new business and cement your relationship with existing customers.

Humor

Humorous blog entries won’t work for every industry, but there’s no denying the popularity of funny content. Many companies have made videos or written blogs that have gone viral simply because they made people laugh.

If you see an opportunity to find the funny in what you do, go for it. You may find yourself with a viral hit on your hands.

Gift Guides

Gift guides are especially popular around the holidays, but you can make them for other key gift-giving occasions too. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day are all holidays that include a gift-giving tradition.

People are often stumped about what to give as a gift. You can provide them with an easy guide, and include handy links to your online store if you have one.

Respond to Reader Questions

If you find that you’re getting the same questions from readers over and over again in the comments, you can use those questions to create a blog entry.

The benefit of answering reader questions is that it gives you an opportunity to connect with your readers. It also allows you demonstrate to new readers that you care about your customers.

Local Events and Charities

As a local business owner, it’s important to show that you care about your community. One way to do that is to blog about local events and charities.

Charitable giving is a key to marketing to Millennials. This generation wields enormous buying power, and they are far more likely to patronize companies that give to charity than those who don’t. Sponsor a local charity, participate in a fundraiser, or help with a local event. People in your area want to know what’s happening, and they’ll respond when they see that you’re involved.

Interviews

Interviews are a good choice for blog entries because they practically write themselves. If you can connect with an influencer in your industry, ask if they’ll do a phone interview with you.

During the interview, ask questions that are relevant to your customers. They’ll be grateful for the information.

Conclusion

Coming up with blog ideas isn’t easy, but these ten templates are ones you can use to create content that will engage your audience – and help you grow your business.