So, you have decided to start blogging for your business because you know the benefits of blogging for online marketing, social media and SEO. Excellent! Hopefully, you have worked with an internet marketing company to develop a social media strategy that will guide your blogging efforts, or have laid out some strategic details yourself. You have your editorial calendar guiding your efforts, and it seemed really easy to write your first few posts, but now you’re just staring at a blank screen. What to write?
First of all, don’t worry. Writer’s block happens to both blogger novices and pros.
Let’s look at 8 areas that you can glean some blog post topic ideas from:
1. Your customers.
Have a sales force or do you speak to clients directly? What questions do your customers ask? Keep a running list of the questions you get either on the phone or in various meetings. Then answer a question in your post. Don’t be concerned if the question is basic. You may be surprised at how popular blog posts answering simple questions are. If you think about it, if your customers are asking basic questions, chances are many more people are searching for answers to those questions online (and avoiding having to ask a basic question). For example, we like to answer a lot of simple developer questions in our Dear Developer series, which has proven to be very effective.
2. Your products or services.
Have a product guide or instructions? Does your service have a feature that sets it apart from the competition? Write a post explaining that feature or benefit. You can also write a comparison post to really highlight the pros and cons of that feature or benefit compared to other products or services.
3. Industry news.
What’s the latest in your industry? Give a quick review of what happened (with a link to the source.) Then, add your take on the news. How does this affect you or your customers? Do you see any pros or cons about the new development? Do you predict more changes or news because of it?
4. Your reader.
What’s in your Google Reader? What blogs or resources do you regularly read? Chances are, your readers would like to know. Put together a list of great industry resources, blogs, newsletters, etc. Add a short description to each resource. For example, here’s my list of rockin’ online marketing resources.
5. Industry jargon.
Every industry has jargon. Jargon that your customers do not understand. Create a glossary post or write a post explaining one complicated term. You might even consider a series to explain a lot of terminology.
6. Your culture.
No one likes to interact with a faceless corporation. Show the personal side of your business by highlighting your culture or employees. Have pictures from a recent event? Feature them in a post. Have an industry expert on your team? Do a short interview with them. Most people prefer to do business with someone they feel they know and trust. Let your customers get to know you.
7. Recent victories.
Case studies make great blog posts. Tell your potential clients the story about you helped a current client. Showcase recent product launches, service successes or other proofs of concept. When clients can read about how you helped a current customer succeed, it will be easier for them to picture themselves as your client receiving the same benefits.
8. Your social network.
Ask a question on Facebook or Twitter and feature the answer. Make sure you reference and link to the people that answered your question, along with updating them on the corresponding social network once the post is published. Something along the lines of, “I’m writing a blog post on (insert industry topic or controversy here) and would love to hear your opinion. What do you think about (subject)?” Don’t forget to invite readers to keep the conversation going in the comments.
If you’re battling blogger’s block, this list should help generate a few ideas. ProBlogger also has a great resource on 20 Types of Blog Posts that I’ve found very helpful.
Where do you find great ideas for blog posts? What tips do you have for overcoming writer’s block? Tell me in the comments.
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