How to start sourcing ideas for your knowledge base

A well-written and thorough knowledge base, whether internal or external, can be an extremely useful tool for both your team and your customers. However, especially if your business has never had one or you have no experience building one, navigating the world of knowledge bases can be intimidating.

One of the most complicated things about building a knowledge base is figuring out where to start with sourcing ideas for what it should include in the first place.

Obviously, a lot of the content in your knowledge base will have to be written from scratch. That said, you’re likely already sitting on a wealth of data that can help you figure out what exactly to include (or at least get your thought process going).

Here are some ideas for where to find inspiration to get your knowledge base content brainstorming started:

Your help desk (if you have one)

You probably have some kind of support tool or system set up. Go through it, and look at what’s in there.

  • What are the most common and easy to answer questions you get from your customers? What about from people before they buy?
  • What are the most common issues that are reported?
  • What are the processes or steps that are most confusing to your customers?

Finding the most commonly asked questions and problems that need solving constantly gives you a good initial understanding of incoming inquiries you could reduce with a knowledge base.

Search queries

If you have access to an SEO tool (such as Ahrefs), you can look at which non-marketing related search engine terms related to your company are most commonly used.

For example, the results could be things such as:

  • “*Your company* pricing”
  • “*Your company* sign in error message”
  • “*Your company* customer support number”
  • “*Your company* privacy policy”
  • Etc.

These search terms can give you a good idea of which questions people need answers to most often, or which things they’re most confused about—both are necessary to include in your knowledge base.

Your team members

Collaboration is important for a project as big as building a knowledge base from scratch. Let your team members know that you’re working on it, and ask them about which things they would include.

This shouldn’t be just support team members, either.

Your employees in product, development, design, marketing, and sales can also have good insights into what people struggle with most, which questions they ask, or which topics they’re most interested in.

Your competitors

You shouldn’t just copy your competition—after all, your product is different, but it’s okay to see how your peers have structured their knowledge bases. What sort of questions do they answer? Which questions do they highlight or prioritize?

Looking at the knowledge bases of your competitors or other businesses in your space can spark ideas about the type of content you want to include in your own knowledge base.

Keep track of your thoughts

There are a lot of places you can find ideas for what to include in your knowledge base, and as you’re scanning them, you’ll most likely come up with even more things on your own.

As you’re going through your sources, make sure you note everything down as you go, so no good ideas slip through the cracks—knowledge bases tend to be long and complicated things, and you don’t want to rely on just your memory as you start brainstorming.

A simple Google doc with a bullet list is good enough to start with, and it’s also easy to share with other people in your organization later on to get their input.

Need more guidance?

Do you have more questions or concerns about how to get started with your first knowledge base? We have a whole ebook for you!

Cover your bases: how to build a useful knowledge base is completely free, and will teach you everything you need to know, including:

  • The different types of knowledge bases, and what they typically consist of
  • The main benefits of having a well-executed knowledge base
  • How to get started with brainstorming, writing, and setting up your knowledge base
  • How to maintain and measure the success of your knowledge base
  • ...and more.

If you’d like more hands-on help, our certified experts are here to help. Learn more and get a free consultation here.

Elen Veenpere