One of my favourite things about freelance writing is the opportunity to start someone’s blog from scratch. Whether the blog belongs to an organisation or individual, there’s something entirely fulfilling about being responsible for the birth of their online content. But thinking up blog titles when there is no existing blog content to work from can be tricky.
Today, a members of our exclusive members group disclosed to me that she really struggles to think of ideas for blog posts when the overriding topic is very niche or unfamiliar to her. Interestingly, I feel the opposite way. For me, broad topics like ‘healthy living’ and ‘fashion’ can leave me stumped for what to write about. But, each time I get a minor brain-block, I perform the following tasks to ensure I have a wealth of interesting content ideas to present to my new client.
Have a go for yourselves!
- When trying to think of blog title ideas from scratch, it’s important to visualise the reader. What does the typical reader of this blog look like, enjoy doing, aspire to be etc? Once I have visualised that person, it becomes easier for me to hone in on the key topics they’d like to read about. For example, if I were working for an eco-friendly, ethical fashion range and thinking up blog titles for their typical blog reader, I might visualise them as being healthy, aged 25-35, caring, compassionate, politically active, intelligent and animal-loving. Once I have a list of their typical traits, I can begin to formulate blog title ideas. Is there a political angle I can put on a fashion-focused blog post? Has anything been highlighted in the news lately that these readers would care about? Can I discuss something relating to animal rights, veganism or anti-cruelty campaigns as part of my piece? You get the idea…
- The next step is to look at what competitor / similar blogs are talking about. So, using this same example, I might research companies of a similar size that sell a similar product and read their latest blog titles for ideas. Of course, it’s bad practise to steal ideas, but it’s harmless to gain inspiration from them.
- Lastly, it’s good to think about common search terms people might use to find answers to their questions. So, for example, if I were to google the phrase, ‘Which fashion brands are animal cruelty free?’, the very first post I am presented with at the time of writing this is one by Farm Sanctuary, listing vegan fashion brands. By considering common search terms that are highly likely to be used by your typical reader, you can try to place your blog post so that it directly answers their question (this is called good SEO practise).
Of course, thinking of a blog title is just the first step to writing a great blog post. But when working with a new client and producing a whole blog from scratch, coming up with a series of titles for the client to choose from is an excellent way of beginning.
If you’d like some help, we are here. Just sign up to Learn Freelance Writing and enter our exclusive group to receive customised support and advice. This is applicable whether you’re already an established writer or have never written a blog post in your life. Have a question? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org