This post is my response to a couple of the biggest challenges many of our clients face when it comes to creating great content for their blogs.
The two challenges are:
… you don’t have time…
… you don’t know what to write about…
A successful business owner always has something to do, so not having time is the norm. Think of your blog as income generating – you need to make time for it.
In this post I want to concentrate on the second answer – you don’t know what to write about.
What if I was to give you an easy solution?
The last thing you want is customers returning to your site and seeing the same old content every time. Trust me, it won’t be very long before they head over to a competitor’s blog for new and interesting information, a site where people interact and engage, where information is being shared and problems are being solved.
Anticipating your customers’ problems and providing solutions is the key to repeat business.
How can you do this? It’s very easy!
Think about the conversations you have with your customers, what questions do they ask you on a regular basis?
If you build up a catalogue of FAQs from these questions and use them to create content, you will never be short of something to write about. (Google loves this and the Hummingbird update made these solution-based posts even more powerful.)
Think about the value this brings to your customers and the psychology of how it works
You are not hitting them with a sales pitch upfront, you are giving away information about your product or service that will help them to make a purchasing decision.
Your customers or prospects already have the desire for your product (because they are at your site looking for more) or otherwise, they are looking for a solution to fix their problem. Most customers will want to form a relationship with you and develop trust before they decide to buy.
So, here is my comprehensive range of topics you can reach for whenever you don’t know what to write about, a whole host of ideas you can chip away at over the next year or so.
1. Review a new ‘in-house’ tool that saves your customers time and money and present a case study to validate its authenticity
2. Review the best free apps available online
3. Create a ‘how to’ video or slideshare (easier than you think) about a specific problem your customers are having – here are some suggestions from Danny Brown
4. If you come across some awesome plugs-ins, write a blog post describing their merits
5. The techniques you use to create processes and systems
6. How technology solved a problem
7. How technology has affected society and changed our lives
8. What kids can teach us about technology!
9. Why it is important in business to keep up with technology
10. Innovations in your niche industry
11. Tell your story – how you got to be where you are right now
12. Compile a list of benefits that your different products/services provide
13. Put together a case for following or not following a particular strategy or course of action
14. Show some of your favourite websites that relate to your industry and say why they work
15. Find and curate informative, valuable content and collate it in a ‘best of’ list
16. Find out from your sales team what problems your customers keep coming up against and create posts that provides answers
17. Get each of your sales team to give you five of the most common reasons why people buy your competitors’ products/services and create a post that covers your unique selling position and why they should buy from you
18. Every week ask each member of your staff to submit a post outlining the most satisfying accomplishment of the week and why
19. Sit in on meetings from different departments of your business you wouldn’t normally be involved in. Observe the process and communication style and develop content that helps other members of the team to understand the value of the strategy
20. Ask your team managers what the most frequently asked questions are from staff and write a blog post around that
21. Highlighting employees: find out what your employees do out of work and create a small video that showcases their talents, backgrounds, families, achievements, their daily routines, future desires, etc. Use this information to create profiles on your About Us page.
22. Highlight events and new products with interesting videos/slideshares or a blog post
23. Industry awards
24. Product launches
25. Staff promotions
26. Team successes
27. Staff members that went above and beyond the call of duty and how they did it
28. Outstanding customer service
29. Your team’s vision and creativity in delivering success to clients
30. A new website, newsletter, new store design, window displays
31. Achieving company goals
33. Case studies
34. Go back into the archives of your old posts, update, re-purpose and re-publish as new content if it’s relevant
35. Ask your customers how they would describe your business and write a post around their responses (good mileage here for little effort)
36. Interview clients or customers – ask a few questions and publish their responses with an introduction that explains why the answers are important
37. Get your staff to write a post about their weekend (only publish if it’s relevant)
38. What you use for your ‘to do’ list and why it works so well for you
39. FAQ posts
40. Ask your customers their most pressing questions and provide solutions
41. The bloggers who encourage and enthuse you… and why
42. Contact some of your favourite writers and ask them a couple of questions
43. Talk about your most viewed blog post and share why you think it is so popular
44. Share top resources in your industry that are relevant to your customers
45. What you have learned from your customers
46. What you have learned from being in business
47. Events that have shaped or changed your life
48. People who inspire you
49. People who have changed your life
50. What you lost by taking a risk
51. What you gained by taking a risk
52. Places you have lived and what you love about them
53.What inspires and motivates you daily
54. Share a photo essay of a recent trip
55. Share a goal and outline your plan on how to achieve it
56. Regrets, and how to avoid them, make it amusing and/or inspiring
57. Write the eulogy you would like to be read at your funeral
58. Blog about your family
59. Blog about your pet – everyone loves ‘dog’ stories
60. Give something up, document how and why you did it and what you gained
61. Your last holiday with lots of images
62. Share a blog post that inspired you and say why
63. Share some of your favourite bloggers with your customers
How To Posts
64. Find some cool stories on TED talks, link to them and share the insights
65. Write cheat sheets on understanding Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
66. Write a ‘quick and dirty’ tutorial solving a customer’s solution
67. How to do keyword research
68. How ‘not’ to do something
69. How to use your favour social media tools
70. How to create a content editorial calendar
71. How to commit to scheduled blogposts
72. Write about your company culture
73. Why your team is on board and share your company values and practices
74. Why company culture is important to your business
75. How your company culture has changed over the years?
76. How your employees act on a daily basis?
77. Ask your team to share a benefit of working in your business that they haven’t experienced elsewhere
78. Write a blog post about a day in the life of an employee
79. Are you being talked about in the press and what are they saying about your company culture?
80. Is your company culture aligned with the strategic goals of the business?
81. Create a buzz around upcoming events with a video
82. Ask to interview key speakers and post the Q&A on your blog
83. Find out from attendees what the highlights of an event were for them
84. Get feedback on the positives and negatives of an event
85. Ask for feedback on how to improve the next event
86. Ask customers/clients for testimonials and add them to your site (keep them current)
87. Acknowledge employees who have been nominated for, or received awards
88. Create a contest and offer customers the chance to win one of your products
89. Have a sale and advertise on your website
90. Offer your customers loyalty or discount cards
91. Give something away as a thank you for customer loyalty
92. Offer free freight for a limited time
93. Back up your product or service with a written guarantee
94. Offer free trials of products and upgrades for customer loyalty
95. Hire a professional to set up a newsletter, mailchimp is free – send out monthly to keep in touch with your customers
96. Have a competition with a prize that makes it attractive for people to make the time to enter
97. Organise half day events where staff members bring their familes
98. Get together with like-minded businesses in different industries and promote your products and services to the same market
99. Offer out of season discounts to move old stock
100. Get your whole team involved in events, photograph and record the process for a blog post
Get your blog going now
Empower yourself, your staff and those around you.
Give generously with your content and share freely your expertise, experience and knowledge. See how it helps to grow your customers, grow your business and grow the pages on your site (Google likes this).
These are some of the benefits you can expect to gain from frequent blogging.
- Search engines love good content that adds value (great for SEO)
- Updated blogs get indexed easily and rank highly in search engines (fresh factor)
- Customers benefit hugely from the information you share
- It’s a very visible way to promote events, innovations and news
- It drives traffic to your site
- Helps to convert traffic into leads = sales
- Keeps you focused on your content marketing strategy
- Makes you think about who your customer really is
- Encourages you to stay ahead of your game and your competitors
- Establishes you as an authority in your industry (this is a biggie)
- Keeps visitors engaged and coming back for more (another big win)
- Builds relationships and networks
- Provides an opportunity to tell your brand story
- Builds trust online (another biggie)
- Gives your company a human voice
- Accentuates and builds brand awareness
- Increases your business footprint
- Perfect vehicle for marketing and communicating with your customers
- Gives you interesting content to share on all your social media channels
- Adds integrity to your business (thought leadership)
- Encourages interaction, comments and feedback
To summarise, I hope you find the suggested topics will provide you with some good starting points for your next blog post and many more thereafter.
Tuck this post away somewhere to use as a resource whenever you feel stuck, or when you are struggling for something to write about.
And remember: anything that you think about, feel, do, see, hear, watch, read, observe, participate in, learn from, laugh at, cry at, get angry at, get pleasure from… all have the potential to be a blog post (and by this I don’t mean that your blog should be a place for negative rants). All that is required, is an understanding of your readers’ interests, so you can write the blog post accordingly.
Keep these four words in mind as you write: Educate, entertain, inspire and summon a strong emotion.