50+ Startup Blog Ideas
Coming up with ideas for your startup’s blog can be mentally taxing. While keyword research can help you find opportunities in Google results, it can leave your blog topics feeling a little bit flat.
Three Steps to Generate Blog Ideas
One strategy is to publish a mix of SEO-driven content with more creative, shareable posts that help you build organic backlinks and social proof. If you want to make sure you always have some ideas in the hopper, you need to put a healthy backlog of creative blog post ideas into your publishing calendar.
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Step 1: Expose yourself to inspiration
“Original ideas do not come from within. They are given to us, from without. A writer should not look inside, but outside, at external sources, stories, events, and emotions.” - Robert Bruce
Ideas won’t come to you if you spend all your time writing and editing - you have to get out of the busyness trap and read, learn, and listen. Here are a few ways you can expose yourself to good ideas:
- Talk to a customer - If you can get some face-time with a customer, ask them what they searched for to find you, what websites or newsletters they read regularly, or what issues they’ve faced recently.
- Talk to your teammates - Ask your sales or marketing team about common questions they hear from customers, talk to your dev team about projects they’ve recently worked on, and ask your boss to have a chat with you about the company’s vision.
- Talk to other blog managers - Technical blogs face unique challenges, but you can learn a lot from marketers in other industries too.
- Subscribe to newsletters - Subscribe to a handful of newsletters, filter them in a particular folder, and review them once or twice per week.
- Subscribe to Hacker Newsletter - It’s easy to get lost in Hacker News, so avoid the time-sink and subscribe to the once-weekly Hacker Newsletter.
- Subscribe to your competitors’ blogs - Be unique, but aware.
- Read a book - I like a blend of fiction and non-fiction. Read whatever inspires you.
- Keyword research - Using a tool like Ahrefs, you can do in-depth keyword analysis to generate ideas that are likely to be searched for on Google.
- Listen to podcasts - They’re a great way to expose yourself to new ideas on the go.
- Do a deep dive into Stack Overflow - Look for common questions relevant to your blog’s audience and consider if any would make useful blog posts.
- Watch YouTube videos or conference talks - A lot of new technology is announced at conferences, so being plugged into the conference circuit can help you come up with timely ideas.
- Use your product - Sometimes, it’s hard to know what unique challenges your customers face until you become one.
- Create an idea matrix - An idea matrix is a multi-dimensional collection of combinations of ideas. See this startup idea matrix for an example.
- Take a break - Take a walk, go for a run, or just sit outside. My best ideas come when I’m just reflecting on past conversations or projects.
Step 2: Collect ideas
“Ideas Won’t Keep. Something Must Be Done About Them.” - Alfred North Whitehead
When I read something that triggers an idea, I write it down.
I don’t think it matters which to-do list you use. Just have a consistent and reliable way to capture ideas at any time, and make a habit of putting those ideas somewhere regularly.
Step 3: Build a backlog of pitches
“Plan ahead: It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” - Richard Cushing
If you expose yourself to inspiration and collect ideas for very long, you’ll have more ideas than you could ever write about. You need a method of refining and filtering them.
I spend a little time every week going through my ideas and doing cursory research on them. Many technical blog posts require a high-level understanding of several frameworks or tools, so I’ll read the introductory docs and skim the APIs.
By the end of this process, most ideas are left on the cutting room floor, but the ones you do have are much stronger.
50+ Startup Blog Post Ideas
Over the past decade, I’ve written a lot of blog posts and I’ve seen many of these ideas work for myself or clients. While not every idea in this list is going to be a good fit for your startup, these might help spark your creativity.
1. Product Awareness
These ideas are great if your startup is still in the launch and product-market fit phase. Once you start building a collection of posts explaining your product, you can send these to prospective customers to help make your case.
Later on, as your product gains traction, these posts will offer Google searchers authoritative information that guides them into your funnel. If you’re going to start blogging, covering these topics should be at the top of your list.
- Highlight a little-known feature of your product.
- Highlight various use cases for your product.
- Write a “how to” guide for using/buying/setuping up your product.
- Create a customer case study.
- “10 ways to solve problem X” (One of which includes your product).
- Mythbusting a problem your product solves.
- Compare your product to your competition.
- Do a screencast or record a video using your product.
- Share an excerpt from an ebook, white paper, webinar, etc. with a call to action to download it.
- Respond to frequently asked questions about your product.
2. Interviews and Surveys
Another interesting way to generate content without quite as much writing work is to compile data from customers, partners, and prospects. I have published many interview posts and compiled the advice from an interview series into a comprehensive guide.
This strategy can net you dozens of blog posts with just a few hours of work, and your interviewees might even share it with their audience.
- Interview customers who are using your product.
- Interview industry specialists.
- Interview someone who used to work for a competitor.
- Interview a professor, recent graduate, or someone who just retired from your industry.
- Interview speakers or sponsors at a conference.
- Ask a question or conduct a poll on Twitter and share the results.
- Do a survey with Survey Monkey (or one of these other tools) among your community members.
- Get experts to offer a tip and do a round-up of their recommendations.
- Feature guest posts from industry experts.
Lists of tools, tips, and ideas (like this one) are among the most widely-shared and easily read content on the internet. Readers can skim the piece quickly and use the roundup as a jumping-off point for solving their problems, and they tend to rank well in Google.
Here are a few ideas for generating lists that might do well on your blog:
- Compile a list of popular sites in your industry (be sure to notify them and encourage them to share).
- Compile the most popular social media posts in your industry this month/year/week.
- Create a list of benefits for doing something.
- Create a list of things to avoid.
- Find tips in other content, create a list of those tips, and give links to those articles as the sources.
- Share a list of conference takeaways.
- Collect the top motivational YouTube videos, ebooks, webinars, or infographics for your audience.
- Collect Tweets from a webinar or conference hashtag, and offer your own takeaways in the blog post.
- Create a list of trends to watch.
- Make a list of products that complement yours well.
- Collect a list of social media accounts people in your industry should follow.
4. Thought Leadership
Positioning your startup’s founders as important leaders in the space is a good way to build your brand and showcase your expertise. Some founders do this naturally, and others work with a ghostwriter. Either way, people in your leadership team should make a point to do some thought leadership content as you get your blog started.
- Take a stand on a controversial issue.
- Make a prediction related to your industry.
- Industry trends commentary.
- Side-by-side comparison of complementary company/service.
- Review a book your customers should read.
- Point out common mistakes in your industry and offer solutions on how to fix or avoid them.
- Relate your content to a current event or a celebrity (eg: “5 Lessons from Lady Gaga” or “What the Election Teaches Us About…”).
- Take the contrarian position on someone else’s article that you disagree with.
- Share your slides from a recent presentation.
- Respond to industry research with your own perspective. Offer a fresh angle to spark conversation.
- Do an in-depth case study about one company, or offer a few examples of how other companies do something successfully.
- Offer industry takeaways about breaking news.
5. Team, Company, and Culture Focus
Finally, if you’re looking to build more content that attracts talent or showcases your team, here are a few ideas:
- Highlight your culture, mission, or values.
- Write about “What we’re not”.
- Create a music video for your company.
- Interview each member of your team about their career and experience.
- Post photos from a recent event/conference.
- Post screenshots from a virtual event.
- Videos/photos of employees behind the scenes.
- If someone gets promoted, talk about how/why they were successful.
- Post about the current season or holiday.
- Sum up the year that was.
Finally, if you’re looking for writers to help you generate more content on your startup’s blog, check out our services at Draft.dev. We focus exclusively on technical content written by subject matter experts, so you’ll get industry-leading knowledge without distracting your engineers.
Build a Blog that Software Developers Will Read
The Technical Content Manager’s Playbook is a collection of resources you can use to manage a high-quality, technical blog:
- A template for creating content briefs
- An Airtable publishing calendar
- A technical blogging style guide