When I’ve worked at a marketing agency, I’ve read industry blogs like HubSpot, Marketing Brew, and Backlinko (to name a few).
One of my main questions every day was, “How do these brands do it? How do they keep coming up with brilliant blog ideas?”
Now of course I work at HubSpot and I know what a blog strategy looks like at a large company with a recognizable brand.
If you take the time to do solid research and come up with ideas, you can create blog topics that will inspire thousands of readers like me while increasing traffic, authority, and credibility.
Today I want to pull the curtain back for you. We’re going to discuss how the HubSpot blog continually comes up with powerful blog ideas.
How the HubSpot blog gets ideas
Before we start, it’s important to know that there are multiple teams involved when the HubSpot team comes up with blog ideas (SEO, blogging, and lead generation). For this reason, we split our brainstorming process into two parts: trend research and SEO themed research. We then combine these efforts quarterly in our Insights Report (which you can download below).
Recommended Resource: Search Insights Report Template
Let’s dive into these two processes below.
How the HubSpot blog generates trending blog post ideas
Blog topics related to trending, research, or reasoning lead to a surge in non-organic traffic which can help you attract visitors while you wait for SEO-driven posts. Since these posts often contain data, quotes, or other exclusive information, they can also get backlinks that indirectly strengthen your search authority.
However, finding trending non-organic post topics is not always easy and often requires brainstorming.
Pamela Bump, HubSpot’s Audience Growth Manager, is responsible for brainstorming our team while managing the blog’s non-organic content strategy.
She says, “While our SEO team uses specialized tools to identify blog posts that are generating organic traffic, I use a number of trending research tactics to identify post ideas that are receiving non-organic traffic from sources like email , Social media and and recommendations. “
Below is the process that bloggers should use during our virtual idea brainstorms.
1. Focus on your blog categories.
Before you begin, it’s important to have some kind of roadmap in mind. Pick and brainstorm the top clusters or blog categories you want to focus on for the quarter.
Knowing just the clusters that you want to focus on can be an instant quick brainstorming or data-driven research post idea.
Each quarter, the HubSpot acquisition team selects seven to ten clusters for each blog property – for us, that’s Marketing, Sales, Service, and Website. Usually the clusters relate to things like business goals or industry trends.
In addition to these clusters, we include other categories such as audience growth, lead acquisition, and user acquisition to help us brainstorm topics related to our lead generation goals.
2. Review the content you’ve already written for inspiration on new topics.
Now that you’ve had a quick brainstorm of some new ideas, let’s see what’s already been written in each cluster that you focus on.
To do this, search your site for the cluster. We do site searches on HubSpot but type in “site: blog.hubspot.com/service customer Experience” in Google. With this formatting, you can change the link and keyword so that it is what you are looking for. Then Google will find articles specifically for this keyword on this website.
When you have blog ideas it is very important to check the website to see if the topic has been covered. The reason you want to do this is because you can find powerful posts that will inspire you to new angles or that you can find posts that you want to update with more quotes, dates, or new research. In addition, you can avoid the cannibalization of keywords.
Caroline Forsey, the real estate manager of the HubSpot Marketing Blog, says. “Think of different angles on popular topics you’ve already covered. For example, let’s say you have a lot of content on LinkedIn – but you don’t have any from a thought leader in the field. Perhaps you could do an interview with a LinkedIn representative.” for guiding a mindset like ‘Top X Tips from a LinkedIn Marketer’. “
3. See what the competition is doing.
While you never want to copy your competitors, it is important to see what topics they are writing about. That way, you can fill in gaps your competitors are missing and potentially improve the blog topics they are discussing.
You can also find out what’s going on in your industry. What is the latest news and should you write about it?
In addition, you can also surf social media for this reason. Social media can help you learn about your target audience’s vulnerabilities and what is going on with your target audience.
Keeping up to date is one of the best ways to come up with ideas for blogging.
Forsey adds, “When new features become available for a social media platform or tool, there are often plenty of opportunities to explore new angles. Recently, LinkedIn released its own version of Stories. Maybe So come up with a topic like ‘X. Best LinkedIn Stories We’ve Seen’ or ‘LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook Stories: Which Are The Best?’ “
4. Have a checklist of criteria for blog topic ideas.
Once you’ve created some blog ideas, it’s a good idea to double-check and make sure that each blog post topic matches your general blog criteria. If you don’t already have blogging criteria, it may be time to set some standards for each blog topic.
For example, at HubSpot, all of our blog posts must add value to your blog audience, align with a cluster or lead gen goal, offer non-organic opportunities, be either trending or evergreen, and offer some keyword opportunities.
5. Stay organized.
You should follow your blog ideas in an organized manner. At HubSpot, we use an idea generation table where writers and editors can come up with ideas for quarterly clusters or just write down ongoing ideas.
Ultimately, this process helps us stay organized when it comes to generating consistent ideas for blog posts.
Jay Fuchs, a blog author at HubSpot, describes his process. He says, “I try to find topics that balance engaging topics with practicality when developing research or trending blog topics. That means finding lively, intriguing topics that make an article with a compelling title and interesting support materials and, perhaps most importantly, actionable advice. “
Fuchs explains, “That could mean avoiding frequent pricing errors or sales strategies that will be prominent in the near future. One way or another, you need to pick topics that will grab your reader’s attention and help.” Let them make the most of it and know they can apply in the future. “
Now that you know the HubSpot process when it comes to generating non-organic blog ideas, let’s dive into the SEO side.
Brainstorm SEO-optimized ideas
While Bump and the blog authors come up with non-organic ideas, our SEO team works hard to create blog topics that have an organic goal. This is their process:
1. Look at your company’s products, goals, and customer base.
First, HubSpot’s SEO team reviews our products, goals, and customer base.
Amanda Kopen, SEO strategist at HubSpot, says, “When creating blog post ideas, the first thing you need to do is look at your company’s products, goals and customer base. At HubSpot, we brainstorm blog posts related to our various products ( Marketing, sales, service etc.). Then we limit ourselves to topics in which we have specialist knowledge, but which present potential weak points for our customers (social media marketing). “
During this phase, our SEO team will review our personas, prioritize blog clusters (set by SEO and Lead Gen teams), and consider what would be helpful to our audience.
Additionally, the SEO team identifies big topics, badly performing topics, and old but performing topics.
2. Do keyword research and conduct a content gap analysis.
After the initial brainstorming session, it’s time to do your keyword research and content gap analysis.
Kopen explains, “Once we have a potential pain point in mind, we use SEO best practices – like doing keyword research and doing content gap analysis – to see exactly what people want to know (like often I should post on LinkedIn). and we start writing from there. “
During this part of the process, our SEO team will be collecting domains with similar audiences and doing a content gap analysis (find out what ranking these websites don’t rank for this HubSpot).
We’ll also look at related searches on Google to see what people are looking for. Then we’ll identify ways where we can update old blog posts or recycle the URL (so that we don’t lose the SEO juice but have updated the content for that topic).
3. Check whether there are any links.
Finally, the SEO team will also be communicating with the HubSpot product and academy teams to see if there are any connection opportunities, such as: B. courses or products from us that we should link to.
Creating traffic generating ideas
And so the HubSpot blog consistently comes up with powerful blog post ideas. To learn more about our process, check out our HubSpot Academy Insights Report course on how SEO works for the HubSpot blog.