Now that I have tackled why you should blog for your business, I want to address the “how?”. Lack of ideas on what to write about is a challenge that businesses may face.
Last year at the Lincolnshire Marketing Expo, I did a joint presentation about the effectiveness of combining your online and offline marketing methods. I talked about blogging as a means of building credibility, trust and recognition, then suggested to write at least one informative article a week. One response from the audience was “Who has time to do one a week?”
I strongly believe that if you know what you’re going to talk about, then you can write 500 words in 35 minutes, which is only 1.25% of a 40hr week.
Here are five of the techniques I use to gather ideas. Just one of them will keep you busy, but all of them will give you a great action plan for you or your team.
Take note of other blogs
What topics are other blogs in your industry talking about? Which ones are getting the most comments and social engagement? This will highlight the trends and hot topics. Also, read the comments. You’re looking for additional questions to see what else people want to read or learn about.
Recent client questions
Write down the common questions you get asked during consultations, telephone enquiries or from current clients. Can you create a simple step by step guide or explanation that can be printed and used away from your website?
Your opinion of recent affairs
Has something quite complicated happened within your industry that you want to put across in simple words for your customers? Or has a new technology or product just been launched that you want to review?
Use the table of content in eBooks
Look for the best-selling eBook around a specific topic and use the table of contents for ideas. Don’t copy any of the eBook content (that’s lazy!), you’re simply looking for things to write about to put your opinion across. You could even buy and review the book!
Look in forums and discussion groups
Places like the UK Business Forum or LinkedIn discussion groups are a great way to get ideas of the latest questions people are asking or wanting help with.
Hopefully, the above has given you enough to get going and be consistent with. Please make sure you do not copy anyone’s content — not even a sentence. Make everything you write your own, and inject your own personality and wit into it. Search engines don’t like duplicate content and it will hurt your overall search performance.
Phil Kelsey is the Managing Director of Spiral Media, a Lincoln-based website and online marketing consultancy. Phil and his creative team create online strategies for their clients by combining their design, development and online marketing skills, which involves search engine optimisation to increase traffic and conversions.