96 Free Professional Blog Topics

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Thinking
Image by HansKristian

The following are 96 topic ideas for bloggers that need a little help figuring out what to write about. They are business centric topics, and there are two for each of the remaining 48 weeks of the year.

Rather than delivering a simple topic, these are proposed via Socratic method. By resolving a question, a blogger can write more authentically, and create their own thesis. This thesis — a one to three sentence answer — becomes part of the (or the entire) first paragraph. The rest of the post explains/defends the thesis from your point of view. There is no need for attribution or credit if you decide to use one of these questions; again answering the question makes the blog topic your own unique thesis.

By using a question-based model, a writer thinks and develops their own take on topics. Practicing with the question-based model empowers bloggers to generate their own ideas without assistance. Further, there are plenty of online communities from Quora to LinkedIn that offer questions for inspiration, too.

Only you know your specific business. Whether the owner of an accounting firm or a social media wonk, these general questions are meant to provoke answers about your views in a way that would interest your community. For more on blogging — in addition to the many great resources out there — please read Blogging Primer, 5 Tips for Blogging in the Post RSS Era, Blog Last, and Headline Writing Drives Traffic.

Here we go! Blog questions are listed by topic area; general business, marketing, media, talent management, causes and green, and civic engagement. There should be something for everyone. Please feel free to add your own idea in the comments section.

General Business

Honolulu

1. What’s your definition of success?

2. How do you harness innovation?

3. What are the biggest challenges facing your sector this year?

4. How has the sluggish economy impacted your business?

5. How do you inspire strategic vision?

6. When do you decide to fire a client/customer?

7. Do you believe in competition or co-opetition?

8. How do you choose strategic partners?

9. When does it make sense to bring investors in?

10. Which type of company is easier to work for, public or private?

11. Do you prefer entrepreneurial pursuits? Why?

12. When do you purchase IT products?

13. Does your company try to outsource as much as possible? Why?

14. What makes an ideal vendor?

15. What are the fundamental underpinnings of your business?

16. How do you protect your intellectual property?

17. Do you believe in Chris Anderson’s economic theories of Free and the Long Tail?

18. What do you think of Thomas Friedman’s the World Is Flat now?

19. What’s a good investment for you or your company?

20. How does physical location and/or real estate impact your business (or how does virtual technology allow you to avoid this expense)?

21. How much input do employees have on decision making?

22. How much impact do external stakeholders have on strategic direction?

23. Do you use an advisory board and for what?

24. How do you adapt your business rapidly in a time of change?

25. What’s the biggest challenge to scaling your business?

26. What do you do when your company makes an error?

Marketing

Pepsi Cola

27. What do customers want?

28. How do you create value for customers?

29. How does one differentiate themselves and rise above the crowd in your industry?

30. What are the best conferences in your sector? Why?

31. Do trade shows matter anymore?

32. How do you see marketing fitting into your overall operations?

33. How do you ensure customer satisfaction after the sale?

34. What’s your ideal customer loyalty program look like?

35. When do you invest in public relations?

36. What’s your process to get a product or service ready for market?

37. How do you involve customers in product/service development?

38. How do you measure return on investment for your marketing programs?

39. How do you balance lead generation with branding?

40. Do you believe influencers or customers are more important for marketing?

41. Can a celebrity spokesperson help your business?

Media

iPad & Friends
Image by Yutaka Tsutano

42. Does the continuing social media buzz represent a bubble?

43. Cries for civility online: What’s your take?

44. So you built a Facebook page and Twitter profile for your business. Did it help your business?

45. How do you build content creation (email, newsletter and/or social media) capacity inside?

46. What additional resources beyond people do you dedicate to media activities?

47. What’s the right mix of online promotion between email, advertising, social media and SEO?

48. Which traditional media still matter to your business?

49. How does online extend your offline networking (or vice versa)?

50. Does a partisan based media (FOX conservative, MSNBC liberal, etc.) hurt business?

51. Do weblebrities matter?

52. How has the Internet changed your business in the past 20 years?

53. Which online tools are helping your business the most?

54. How do you handle reputation issues in the media and/or online?

55. Do you believe that the Internet creates weak online relationships, that it develops strong communities, or somewhere in between?

56. Are you finding video to be more important?

Talent Management

The Awakening

57. When is the right time to hire?

58. How important is talent in your mind?

59. How do you recruit talent?

60. Which executives do you admire the most in your sector?

61. Which female executives do you admire the most in your sector?

62. Which minority executives do you admire the most in your sector?

63. What’s the state of the glass ceiling in your business?

64. Which schools provide the best education for your profession?

65. What is the mark of professionalism in your mind?

66. Do you provide employees the fish, or teach them to fish themselves?

67. How does your business engage in continuing education?

68. What’s the best way to inspire positive morale on your team?

69. Do “personal brands” help or hurt business?

70. What makes an ideal employee?

71. Who was your best mentor? Why were they so special?

72. How does your organization better employees’ lives?

73. How do empower other people in your organization to shine?

74. How do you manage staff virtually?

75. What’s your vision for work life balance?

76. What’s the best way to reward a great employee?

Causes and Green

At Work in the Capital Area Foodbank Warehouse

77. Do you integrate causes into your marketing?

78. Which causes are most important to you or your business?

79. Is there such a thing as altruism in business?

80. Should nonprofits run like businesses?

81. Should companies donate, participate in cause marketing, or both? Why?

82. How does your company work towards sustainability?

83. Is the sector’s future green? Why or why not?

84. Can green innovation be profitable?

85. Should tax codes be used to encourage more environmental action within the sector?

86. What do you think of hybrid social enterprises, businesses (at least by tax code) that engage in social change?

Civic Engagement

Library of Congress Great Hall

87. Does federal government policy positively or negatively impact your sector?

88. What political issues concern you the most?

89. Which trade organizations do you recommend in your sector? Why do you like them?

90. How do your trade organizations work for you?

91. What’s your take on U.S. competiveness compared to the rest of world?

92. Do you use your elected representatives to help your business? Why or why not?

93. How should government help businesses?

94. Should businesses provide healthcare like they used to?

95.What do you think of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, giving companies the same rights as individuals?

96. How important is net neutrality to the future of business?

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  • http://doughaslam.com Anonymous

    Just as we add “in bed” (or for the kids, “in school” – yeah, I do that) to fortune cookie fortunes, I think nit is important for any vblogger to add “and what it means to (my business, passion cause, etc)” to each of these topics.

    The larger point is, any topic suggestions are great, but in the end it is still work to make content that really matters.

    But you knew that

    • Anonymous

      Yup, good point. Thus the opening line to the fourth paragraph: “Only you know your specific business.” Any generic topic is somewhat destined to fail because it isn’t tailored enough. I hope by phrasing the topics as question, they at least invoke individuals to come closer to their actual work.

      • http://doughaslam.com Anonymous

        I’m a three-paragraph guy. It’s a right-brain thing.

  • http://richardrbecker.com/ Rich Becker

    Geoff,

    Free topic ideas in a world where some people think they have monetary value? You’re a mad man, especially since not one of these ideas contain a single fill in the blank.

    On a more serious note, this also demonstrates there is a difference between offering something of value vs. pretending to offer something of value.

    All my best,
    Rich

    • Anonymous

      Well, my video watching capability was taken out by the snow storm last night so I had to do something. It took my 3 hours+, almost twice as long as a normal blog post. Hard to believe people — albeit a just a very small few — are paying $120 a year for this. Well, at least there’s another alternate.

      • Mack Collier

        I think your comment explains exactly why people would pay $10 a month (or whatever it is) for blog topics. You say it took you 3+ hours to come up with this list of topics. My guess is if a blogging exec (for example) was going to come up with a list of 96 post topics, that it would take them at least twice as long.

        So that means an executive can either spend 6+ hours figuring out blog topics for the rest of the year, or they can pay a guy $120 to do it for them. On paper, the idea makes perfect business sense and content creation ideas are a big sticking point for a lot of blogging companies. I can definitely understand why there is a market for this.

        • Anonymous

          Actually, Mack, I really object to that comment. Teach people to think so they can develop their own ideas and innovate, regardless of whether it’s a blog or simply product marketing. It’s unacceptable to me that leaders like you cosign this type of service.

          • Mack Collier

            Geoff I never said it was the best use of their money, but I do understand the market for a service like this.

          • Anonymous

            Fair enough. I definitely have my point of view on this, but realize that money spent is an individual person’s prerogative. Thank you for coming back and clarifying, sir!

  • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

    How easy is it to unsubscribe if I don’t get my money’s worth?

    • Anonymous

      You can write all sorts of hell on my Facebook Anti-Fan page!

  • http://twitter.com/JGoldsborough JGoldsborough

    If I write all 96 of these, do I win a new car or something? Seriously, appreciate the value.

    • Anonymous

      You might win a free copy of my next book. Yay. Really, I can see the excitement from here. Really I can.

    • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

      Only if you answer all 96 in the same blog article, and if you can write it inside of 6 hours — slightly longer than the time given for a graduate degree final exam.

      • Anonymous

        LOL, now that’s a challenge.

  • http://www.blog.chrisehyoung.com/ Chris Eh Young

    Well it’s no fair because you just covered all 96 topics in one post. Now i’m just a copycat.

    • Anonymous

      Questions are free. Answers, well that’s original thinking.

  • Anonymous

    Insert Easy Button here. Love that this gets back to the whole concept of giving things away for free to better your community.

    If I could write catchy jingles, I would have a real men of genius one for you.

    • Anonymous

      Wait. Wait one damn minute. You mean social media is meant to have conversations and help each other? Oh. My. God!

  • Anonymous

    Geoff,
    You’re the Robin Hood of the blogging world. Good stuff.

    • Anonymous

      Does that mean we can make the A-Listers sign a magna carta?

      • Anonymous

        I doubt they’d do it willingly but perhaps a few hours on “The Rack” might persuade them otherwise…

  • Peggy

    Excellent post! Thanks

    • Anonymous

      You are welcome.

  • http://twitter.com/BobbieGarner Bobbie Garner

    Love this! Generating ideas as I type.

    • Anonymous

      See, I think it’s all about answering the questions.

  • http://nextcommunications.blogspot.com/ Vedo

    Geoff, I’m enjoying the self-deprecating snark along with the undertones of actual help through thought for bloggers. On the surface, I appreciate (and will sharing as a bookmark) the inspiration as starting point. But I see your deeper meaning. (I know, peeking behind the curtain might make one go blind.)

    In all seriousness, thanks for this portion of the larger conversation.

    - Richie

    • Anonymous

      You get it, brother. You always have. I appreciate your visit. Thank you!

  • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

    On a side note, Geoff, noticed some of the Flickr photos are yours and some are others. The first one has an ‘all rights reserved’ statement; had you requested permission, I wonder?

    • Anonymous

      In the new Flickr, the share option adheres to creative commons licensing. The photographer has All Rights reserved, he has been given full attribution according to the rules and licensing structure he selected in Flickr. If he does not want his photos shared, he can select a more rigid version of intellectual property protection, and Flickr will not give me the HTML code.

      • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

        I didn’t know that. So, when running an advanced search for creative commons-licensed photos that are OK to adapt upon, for instance, if a photo is marked ‘all rights reserved,’ it might appear? That’s the part that confuses me.

        I do like your above article, btw; I added it to my google reader share.

        • Anonymous

          There are photos I have tried to use with more rigid IP protection, and it will not give me the code. I like the new Flickr because this sharing option (or lack there of) saves me a ton of time from figuring it out. I will say that I still provide an extra link with author credit anyway just because I don’t want to get in trouble. :)

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  • http://kseniacoffman.wordpress.com/ KseniaCoffman

    I’m late to the discussion but kudos to calling attention to the paid “blog topic” services. Confirms my suspicion that people can’t think for themselves. (Hmm, how to they blog then? :-) )

    • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

      Yeah, the paid services are utter BS. What a rip off. But you know what they say, every minute a…

  • Anonymous

    Excellent list indeed. Here are some more contributions:

    When should you exit a market?
    How does one win over an unreasonable boss?
    The trials and tribulations of an entrepreneur.
    How to truly “make their day”?

  • Bloggez

     Thanks you ideas, i like it, very difficult to get ideas like this, but, I’ve got from your post this

  • http://www.theuniuni.com/ cheap bras

    Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

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