How to Never Run Out of Content Ideas for Your SaaS Blog

Every SaaS Blog starts out strong. 

You have a blogging strategy in place – you are thinking of product-led storytelling, niche content, and even multichannel promotions. You’ve got so many ideas running through your head and not enough time. Everything is being done by the book. 

It’s perfect. It’s better than Christmas! 

And then, without your knowing, the content ideas run out, and then *crickets*

Before you know it, you are hosting a dead blog that does not bring you any traffic. 

Is it bad? Well, 83% of all traffic for SaaS products does come from organic search results or blogs. So, yes. It is indeed quite bad. 

To gain steady traffic to your website, you must blog consistently. And that is a tricky job if you don’t have a steady stream of content ideas to keep your blog growing.

Here are a handful of nifty tricks to consistently come up with new ideas and create quality content.

1. Steal competitor blog ideas, but create better

When you’ve exhausted blog post ideas for customers at every stage of the sales funnel, take inspiration from your competitors. Check out their list of published blogs and analyze their most popular posts.  

For effective analysis, you can use free tools like BuzzSumo and Ubersuggest to help you with it. 

Here’s a quick rundown on how you can recognize popular blogs using both of these tools (with steps).

Recognizing pages/blogs generating traffic with Ubersuggest

  • Visit Ubersuggest’s website and go to the Traffic Analyser.
  • Click on Top Pages by Traffic.
  • Enter your competitor’s website on the search bar to find the pages generating traffic for the site.
Ubersuggest site traffic dashboard

We checked the blogs that brought the most traffic to Salesforce to give you a glimpse of how this works.

Like Ubersuggest, BuzzSumo allows you to find which blogs received the highest engagement and shares on a competitor’s website.

  • Visit BuzzSumo’s official website and scroll down to the Try BuzzSumo section.

  • Enter the link to the competitor blog. We entered Salesforce’s for illustrative purposes.
  • Click on the search icon, and voila!

Both these tools give you a clear idea of which blog posts rank well and tell you which posts are popular based on geography. With this information, you can start analyzing individual competitor blogs to understand what those blogs got right.

  • What are the highest ranking topics?
  • When was the blog last updated?
  •  Have there been new developments that haven’t been addressed in competitor blogs?
  • Can you bring a new perspective to the blog topic?

The answers to these questions will help you figure out gaps in your competitor’s content. This sets the stage for original content ideas. If not, it helps you approach the same blog topics with a fresh perspective.

2. Create a swipe file for original content ideas

When creatives feel unmotivated, they go back to dedicated places to find inspiration. A swipe file is an equivalent of a place for inspiration for SaaS bloggers like us. 

It is where we collect any interesting pieces of content, from trends to expert advice to articles. Eventually, these become starting points for new blog ideas.

Now, a swipe file could be as simple as a Google Doc or Trello board with links and snippets of interesting information. 

This exercise is also backed by Ross Simmonds, a renowned digital strategist, who advises creators to sift through their swipe files whenever they run out of blog topics to write about.

Of course, listing out interesting snippets is a great way to start building a swipe file. But one can develop more methodical systems to make the idea-generation process easier.

Take a look at Mariya Delano’s Source and Content Inspiration Database, aka personal swipe file on Notion, for instance. It has inspirational content from various platforms organized neatly by content type, author status, genre, and more, for easy content categorization and navigation.

While looking at inspirational content alone can help us spin new blog post ideas, most other times, we could use some extra help. Content Agency, Animalz, has a modified swipe file method dubbed the Idea Farm for all those times.

Unlike the traditional swipe file that includes inspirational content, the Idea Farm method pushes users to summarise the best bits of inspirational content. 

It requires writers to also add their own ill-formed thoughts to the same file. The idea is to form new connections between unrelated ideas over time from inconsistent thoughts and to do so routinely. 

Here’s a snippet of how the Animalz team does it.

Source: Animalz

For those who don’t know, Google Trends is a free SEO tool that lets users compare keywords and shows the popularity of the said keywords across regions and time ranges. You can use it to generate original content ideas that your readers will enjoy based on real-world search data. 

Consider the example below. This is how you can create a list of content topics for your SaaS blog using Google Trends.

Say you want to write blogs that revolve around Desktop as a Service (DaaS).

  1. Visit Google trends.
  2. Once you enter the search term ‘Desktop as a Service’, you can visualize the search trends by region, time, and mode of search (Google News, Google Images, etc.) or by category (Real estate, Lifestyle, etc.). We left the settings worldwide and for the past 12 months in this case.

3. Once you scroll down, you should see the ‘Related Topics’ and the’ Related Queries’ section. As the names suggest, this is what people typically search for along with the search query.

You can use these topics to recognize user interests and develop blog ideas. For instance, you could pick the related topic ‘policy’ and research how it links to “Desktop as a Service”.
We found doc files from Citrix that talked about DaaS policies here. These are the blog topic ideas we generated based on it.

  • What are the policies, and why do you need to use them when implementing DaaS?
  • How to optimize your DaaS Policy workflow?
  • What can you do to create a DaaS Policy template?
  • How X optimised their DaaS policy template?

4. Check customer service, review logs, and forums for original content ideas

Topics around customer pain points is an excellent way to boost engagement. But what about sustaining it?  

After you exhaust your list of quality content ideas, try the following. Look up customer service logs, review logs and forums your customers frequent, understand your customer’s concerns, and create blogs to alleviate them. 

Here’s an example of how it works in practice.

If your customers use Salesforce, visiting pages dedicated to Salesforce customers is the best way to get a gist of their problems. We visited Salesforce stack exchange, a community forum here.

We first selected a niche (CRM) and typed CRM in the “Search on Salesforce” box to find answers to CRM-related questions in one place. We also navigated to “tags” tags to view unanswered questions related to CRM. And lastly, we converted questions to blog post topics.

For instance, the query “side-input CSS doesn’t work” inspired a couple of short blog posts that covered:

  • Why side input CSS is important
  • How to solve the side input CSS problem without consulting your in-house IT support

5. Repurpose content to update stale information and improve quality

If you haven’t successfully generated original content ideas with the above tips, consider repurposing existing content into new blogs. 

Convert that expert webinar into an insightful blog post, expand the Twitter thread showcasing your learnings, and expand on a newsletter snippet you sent out years ago to subscribers.

This is the perfect way to generate new blog ideas with minimal effort if you have a repository of valuable content in different formats.

Here’s how Hootsuite got content repurposing right.

Source: Foundation Inc

Hootsuite originally published the “The Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide for Business” blog in 2016 and updated it in 2021. 

This alone increased the total views from 3K per month to over 232K monthly. And the updated blog had a new title, updated subheads, and hashtag tips relevant to 2022, which resulted in higher organic traffic over time.

Hootsuite also routinely converts video interviews to long-form blog posts and research insights to case studies. Case in point: their 7-second Tiktok experiment exists as a case study on their blog.

Additional read: Why Original Content Matters Now More Than Ever (and How to Do It Right)

Create a flywheel of original content ideas

The above tips only act as a starting point to help you generate quality content ideas for your SaaS blog. This also means you never have to stick to just one of the above methods. If you find that one method of blog idea generation is ineffective, you can quickly change methods.

That said, keep in mind that generating original content ideas takes varying amounts of time through the above methods. 

Moreover, some blog idea generation methods (like content repurposing!) require you to have pre-made content resources. So, choose a blog idea generation method well in advance. This way, your team isn’t scrambling for new quality content ideas just before the publishing due date.