No matter whether you have just started your blog or have a list of posts already published, I bet it’s happened to you too: you stare at a blank page unsure of what to write. Yes, you have an editorial calendar but you also need to fill it in. Which blog post ideas should you use and how often should you post?
While there is not a one size fits all solution, there are some strategies you can use to determine the best type of posts for your business. What if we could “steal” some of the best blog post ideas from top SaaS blogs and adapt them to any business niche?
That is what we did in this article. We looked at our 10 favorite top SaaS blogs, analyzed their editorial calendars, and picked 5 ideas that you can use and re-use in your own editorial calendar so that you’ll never stare at a blank page!
What Is An Editorial Calendar (And Why You Need One Right Now)
A content marketing editorial calendar is at the center of your marketing strategy. It’s the place where you plan what content you’ll produce and with which timing. It may seem a boring exercise, but it is not – and you can create one easily and at no cost at all.
I’d suggest a step-by-step approach, but here’s a quick recap of the key benefits of having an editorial calendar:
- Organize your work strategically and be able to deliver on time
- Easily identify your goals and effort
- Work smoothly with your team on assets and deadlines
Why You Need Different Blog Post Types In Your Editorial Calendar
There are many reasons why you’d want to have different blog post types available on your website. The first is if you get bored, chances are you are writing boring stuff. And there is no such thing as an annoyed reader, they’ll literally fly away.
The second reason is the opposite – you do want to write again about something that worked. Even more, you’re aiming at replicating now what was successful in the past. Keeping a list of blog post ideas that performed well will solve many writer’s block nights.
There are at least two different ways you could sort blog posts based on whether you create or curate the content or which is their main intent.
The first differentiation you could make is whether the blog article you are reading includes created or curated content. Created content will give you more freedom as you’ll own the content you write of course – but there are other tangible benefits when you curate content, such as it will build on your authoritativeness and will save you time.
The second approach includes taking into consideration the main intent of the blog article you are reading: what objective you want to achieve with their post? Each prime intent has a number of blog posts ideas that will fit the purpose – for example, if you write about a time-sensitive issue, that will end up in the timely post type.
With Which Frequency Should You Post On Your Blog?
As for the majority of the most interesting questions around, the answer is: it depends.
Would you rather prefer reading 2 well-written, on-topic, funny articles or 5 short, vague, ill-defined blog posts?
Well, I may be exaggerating a little here, but I’m sure you’ve had that feeling when getting at the last sentence of an article you are reading and you’re still wondering the point the author is trying to make. You don’t want to do that to your readers.
While researching for this blog article – and in the analysis that will follow, I’ve reported a wide range of approaches. In some cases, you may have as few as 9 articles each month for one SaaS company blog and as many as 35 for another one. Some will even post twice on the same day, while for others 2 times a week is enough.
And that’s ok.
You know your readers better than anybody else – or you should (and we can help, too!) – and what works for another company (albeit successful) may not work for you.
If you’re starting out, you can try publishing a blog post 1-2 times a week. Be consistent – if you decide to go live with a new article once per week, stick to it. And write something that resonates with your audience – it’s better to post awesome content with less frequency than vice versa.
Anatomy Of 10 SaaS Blogs
When I started my research for this article, I kept asking myself how established editors would pick blog post ideas to turn into articles in a given month.
The key to success, as we mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, is thinking strategically and deliver on that. So what better than choose my must-read SaaS blogs and analyze how they are doing it?
When reviewing these blogs, I found some recurring features on the main page. Not surprisingly. This topic may be worth an entire article, let me share some of them here with you:
Most websites have direct access to the blog page from the bar at the top of the page. You’d aim here at having a max of 2 steps between your home page and the blog.
To help readers browse your content, you can add a navigation menu. Most frequently, I’ve seen content tagged by category as well as having a search bar that will allow visitors to search for what they’re most interested in.
Not all posts are created equal. Some of them may be pillar content that you know your reader will love or just your brand new post you may want to give more relevance to.
In some cases, one or two sentences from the article are used as meta description, to recap what the reader will find in the complete article. Something I found useful signaling how long it will take to read the post.
Most popular content.
Your best posts may not be the ones your readers are currently looking for, but it’s a good idea to show them off. That’s even more true if you present them as a path to follow for success with your product.
Newsletter signup and CTA.
That’s the dream, right? If they like what they’re reading, your visitors may want more! You don’t want your newsletter or tripwire signup to be buried in your site, but just one click away from your audience's eyes.
In the section below you’ll find a brief description of each blog, their top intent for the month of April 2020, and a special mention blog post idea that did not make it to the top 5 but that was a delight to read. Then, in the next section, we’ll do the math to give you the 5 best blog post ideas for SaaS.
Ahrefs is a data-driven marketing toolset that can help with SEO on many levels, from keyword research to traffic growth and niche monitoring.
- Articles published: 9
- Blog post ideas main intent: Be useful! With a majority of how-to and tips posts, Ahrefs aims at informing their audience as well as establishing themselves as thought leaders in their niche.
- Special mention: Acronyms are everywhere, but they can be complicated. That’s what definition blog posts are here for. In this post, Ahrefs explains all about SERPs.
With free SEO tools available and customized solutions depending on your business needs, Moz provides tools to grow and optimize your search efforts.
- Articles published: 11
- Blog post ideas main intent: Be useful! With their Whiteboard Friday series being the top blog post type, and a bunch of primary research and how-to posts, Moz aims to get recognized as an authority in their niche.
- Special mention: being able to spot trends as they unfold is so valuable that people will literally ask you for more. That’s what they did here, and Moz delivered in this article about what readers want during COVID-19 (B2B).
AdEspresso can help you create and optimize Facebook and Google Ads campaigns. They offer automation for reporting and lead generation syncs and great educational content.
- Articles published: 16
- Blog post ideas main intent: Be useful! The way AdEspresso’s blog builds authority is mainly through strategy tips, problem/solution articles, and guides on advertising.
- Special mention: Guides, guides, guides. In just one month, AdEspresso published three of them. This one gives you useful insights into Facebook and Google Ads targeting.
Wistia is all about videos. You can use their video marketing software to create, edit, and host your video content on a customized video platform.
- Articles published: 15
- Blog post ideas main intent: Be timely! With their (out of) office hours blog (and video) format, Wistia managed to respond to current events while showcasing their products.
- Special mention: where would you go to get a review on a TV show? I’d go to the video experts, that’s for sure. In their review of the Saturday Live Show, Wistia explained the dos and don'ts of remote-produced videos.
Learning is key at DigitalMarketer. They offer online and on-demand courses for small-medium companies to get them successful through digital marketing.
- Articles published: 25
- Blog post ideas main intent: Be useful! DigitalMarketer based their authoritativeness on a mix of lists, tips, and definition posts but also included a number of case studies and inspirational posts.
- Special mention: one of the DigitalMarketer mantras is that the strategies they share with their readers (and customers) are based on real-life experience. What better than a case study to prove it?
Intercom’s offer includes messaging solutions that can help with building more customized relationships with your customers while scaling your business.
- Articles published: 18
- Blog post ideas main intent: Be useful and inspire! Intercom used a mix of how-to and tips posts and inspirational posts to guide their readers through unprecedented times.
- Special mention: primary research is so juicy that if you have it, you really have to show it off. That’s what Intercom did with their Benchmark Report on how COVID-19 impacted key customer support metrics.
Totango is a customer success platform that helps in managing and tracking your key customer engagement metrics such as adoption, retention, expansion, and referrals.
- Articles published: 9
- Blog post ideas main intent: Be useful and promotional! Totango focussed their blog activity on strategy tips and list posts while giving product tips to help customers navigate the current situation.
- Special mention: in-between a promotional post and a review post, Totango reported their virtual Customer Success Summit with transcripts from the live session and a link to the recording available on YouTube.
Within Hubspot, there are a number of different tools helping companies with contact management, content marketing, lead generation, and sales.
- Articles published: 35
- Blog post ideas main intent: Be useful and engaging! By building a remote work section on their blog, Hubspot built on their authority and gave tips and strategy advice in a time when working from home is the new norm.
- Special mention: Not every day you get to read how influential people deal with everyday life. That’s why interviews are so engaging – this one to Slack’s VP is no exception.
9. Crazy Egg
Crazy Egg offers a number of tools to optimize your website based on how your visitors interact with it and includes the ability to A/B test your UX and CTAs.
- Articles published: 11
- Blog post ideas main intent: Be your favorite reviewer! The majority of Crazy Egg’s posts were about listing and reviewing tools that their readers can use to improve their day-to-day work life.
- Special mention: this blog post idea will make it to the top five, but who wouldn’t want tips and ideas on how home page design from Neil Patel? There you have it (thank me later!)
Agorapulse is a social media management tool that allows you to schedule, publish, and manage your content across different channels.
- Articles published: 17
- Blog post ideas main intent: Be useful! Agorapulse chose to focus on how-to and tips articles, while still keeping in mind the current situation for a couple of dedicated posts.
- Special mention: Got a bunch of questions about a topic? Put them all together in a FAQ post! That’s what Agorapulse did with their article answering questions about TikTok marketing.
The Best 5 Blog Post Ideas for SaaS from Top Blogs
Now it’s time for the top 5! After analyzing more than 150 blog posts from 10 SaaS blogs looking for the best post ideas, I have to tell you – I’m excited!
Of all the articles, the large majority showed a clear intent of being useful, which is writing helpful and valuable information on topics that can be of interest to their audience.
However, a second trend can be spotted in the blog post types chosen by the SaaS blogs examined. And that’s the need for emotional connection. Almost all blogs have at least an inspirational or human article showing the people behind the company.
Finally, whenever a visitor lands to your blog, the first action you want them to do is come back. And that’s done through engaging content, such as series or recurring blog posts. They entice the visitor to subscribe to your content and come back for more.
Blog Post Ideas for SaaS: #1 How-to
How-to posts are the absolute winners of this experiment. All Saas blogs have at least one how-to article in a given month. And for good reason. Try and look at Google Trends how frequently How to + topic is searched keywords on Google – you’ll be amazed!
These posts are quite straightforward, it’s a step-by-step description of a procedure or a process, with the help of media such as videos o images. So how your content can stand out from the crowd?
- Make it easy: The easier the better. Crazy Eggs will show you how to start a business even if you only have $100 in your pockets right now.
- Make it quick: Ahrefs’ How to Start a Link Building Campaign Fast (and Systematize Everything) gives you a how-to that is fast and comprehensive.
- Make it direct: Hubspot’s how to use Instagram is a step-by-step guide on just that. Pretty straightforward, right?
Blog Post Ideas for SaaS: #2 Lists and Tools
Lists didn’t win, but they got close. They’re (most of the time) easy to make and work because they look like shortcuts and give your reader a clear path to follow for success.
Lists are everywhere too. Instead of coming up with lists that nobody ever thought of (they’re probably not really interesting) try and give your own flavor to a topic that is relevant to your market.
- Make it your own: show your authoritativeness with making a tried and tested list of tools for your market, such as Ahrefs did with 44 free SEO tools.
- Make it definitive: list the best resources available around as Crazy Egg did with the best e-commerce website builders.
- Make it a checklist: people love ticking off items from a cheat-sheet, and they (and you!) can do in this customer churn analysis checklist by Totango.
Blog Post Ideas for SaaS: #3 Tips and Strategies
Also popular among blog post ideas, tips and strategies work very well to boost your authority as an expert in your market.
Yes, it’s a sort of list – but the key difference here is that you’re not just making a cheat-sheet, you’re sharing advice about a pain point your audience has and you’re the authority about.
- Make it definitive: if you have a lot of tips to share – just do it! Make sure they are relevant like DigitalMarketer did with their 49 strategies for restaurants.
- Make it easy: you don’t need to oversimplify, but give quick actionable tips just like AdEspresso on which hashtag to use on a given day on Instagram.
- Make it unique: use first-hand tips and strategies from industry leaders, such as Intercom did with tips on how to lead a support team through a crisis.
Blog Post Ideas for SaaS: #4 Inspire and Be Human
This blog post type can be a bit tricky: it’s about sharing a part of who you are to your audience. It will create an emotional bond with your readers and, if done right, can create a community around your product and services.
Don’t be afraid of showing bloopers, or technical issues you’re having – this will make you more real for your audience and it will be even better to show them how you solved them.
- Make it unique: If you have a story, share it – such as Agorapulse with how to create and manage a remote sales team.
- Make it real: in their article on how the development team dealt with working from home, Intercom showed us an operational behind-the-scenes.
- Make it funny: In their (Out of) Office Hours series, Wistia host had to deal with some (unexpected) tech issues.
Blog Post Ideas for SaaS: #5 Engage and Re-engage
Returning readers have seen the value you offer and decided it’s worth their time. This is the first step in their journey to become your customers.
To entice this action, you can decide to have recurring blog posts, a series that your readers can follow – and be subscribed to – on a regular basis.
- Make it agile: the Marketing Mastery series by DigitalMarketer can be read on their blog or watched on YouTube, thus making fruition smoother.
- Make it your own: in the Whiteboard Friday video series, Moz has one expert explaining a key concept using a whiteboard.
- Make it relevant: in their monthly Facebook updates, AdEspresso curates the most important news in the Facebook advertising world.
In this article, we analyzed more than 150 blog articles from 10 SaaS blogs to looking for top blog post ideas to never get stuck with your editorial calendar again.
What blog posts ideas saved your editorial calendar? Share them in the comments below!