When brainstorming ideas for your content calendar, do your creative juices often run dry? The most challenging part of regular blog post creation—in addition to the writing portion—is deciding what the heck to write about. 

When thinking of topics, write with your reader in mind. Your readers come to your website with specific interests and problems they’re trying to solve, and if you do not solve those problems, they have no reason to stick around on your blog. So, to keep readers interested in your website—perhaps interested enough to book an appointment—figure out a strategy to provide fresh, insightful content. Here are five ways to get you started.

#1: Ask clients on social media if they have questions about their pets

Your clients, who are generally your readers, are your best source for applicable content topics. Remember—your blog post is for your readers and clients, not for you, so turn to them for topics that interest them. 

Frame a question on social media, scroll through popular pet blogs, groups, and pages, and look for common questions, or create a list of questions you’re asked in the exam room. You may feel that you have answered a question a million times, including in previous blog posts, but you likely can tackle the topic from a new angle. For example, you can answer those puppy house- and crate-training questions again and again, focusing on various aspects to answer the question as thoroughly as possible. 

#2: Scope out competitor blogs

Your competitor’s blogs are a topic goldmine. See which posts are the most popular and have the most action, and put your new spin on the same topic. Sign up for a Feedly account that creates a feed of the most recent, most popular web content related to your topic of choice. For example, if you follow #pets, you’ll discover blog post ideas that include child safety around dogs, ways to stop your dog from barking, and how to switch to a new dog food. These are great ideas to include in your content calendar, since you know pet owners are searching for these answers. 

#3: Use technology to help create content ideas

Technology tools are another great way to help generate content ideas. Let autocomplete be your guide for commonly asked pet care questions. Pull up Google, and then type in a partial question, like “Why do dogs …,” and you’ll have multiple blog post topics. This autocomplete search feature, which is based on current search trends, is not only an excellent tool, but also can quickly snag you long-tail keywords that are useful for optimizing your blog posts. 

Another technology tool that can help create content ideas is AnswerThePublic. Similar to Google’s autocomplete feature, AnswerThePublic spits out phrases and questions people are asking about your keyword. The free account option allows three free searches per day, which should be ample to design your 2022 content calendar. 

Topic’s blog content generator lists several ideas for your keyword, and the tool can also create a content brief and outline. This website will show you the most popular blog posts for your chosen topic, and what you need to do to rank higher. 

#4: Include a brainstorming session in your next staff meeting

Although your brain is a wondrous tool, your entire team’s combined power is even better. At your next staff meeting, brainstorm to generate content ideas. Group brainstorming sessions start discussions, debates, and new trains of thought, making them an excellent method for fleshing out your content calendar. As your team chats, people can bounce ideas off each other, and take the thoughts down innovative, fresh paths.

#5: Repurpose old content

Check out your most popular old blog posts, and figure out new ways to liven up their useful content. Take similar ideas down a different path, so you are still answering pet owner’s popular questions, but in a new vein, so they will be as popular as their previous counterparts.

Another way to generate new ideas with old content is fleshing out various points you made in previous blog posts. Turn a key point or a subhead into its own blog post. You can then link these posts together to make a series—for example, in last spring’s blog post about atopic dermatitis, you briefly glossed over intradermal testing. Grab that topic, and turn all the ins and outs of allergy testing into a full-length blog post.

Are you stuck trying to think of topics for next year’s content? Reach out to Team Rumpus for help planning—and creating—your content for 2022.