Okay, so you’ve decided that your business website needs a blog. Great news! Now what do you write about? Many people begin a blog with a bang but have difficulty sustaining momentum…they simply run out of ideas. Here are my seven tips to help you find blog topics that will build and maintain customer interest…without losing yours. Let’s keep them coming back for more!
Let’s Start Generating Blog Topic Ideas
- Create an editorial calendar. Before you write your first blog post, I recommend planning a six-month editorial calendar. This way you’ll know what’s on your to-do list, what to assign to others, and which stories take the longest lead time. This is an internal document, one you may wish to share with your staff but not your website/blog audience. It’s a work-in-progress which you can revise as new blog topics pop into your head, or when news and industry events trigger more ideas.
- Educate your customers. Studies show that most of your blog topics should be educational. No matter what you manufacture or sell, there are people out there who want to learn more about what you already know. For instance, let’s say you own a jewelry store (a profession close to my heart). Your topics might include gemstones, birthstones, precious metals, jewelry styles throughout history, and “insider” industry news and special events.Anchor your editorial calendar with educational topics twice a month for six months out. Consider interviewing industry experts you know in your field…and use resource trade journals and online articles as topic source material. Also, listen to your customers! Their questions and your answers will form the backbone of your educational blogs.
- Get blog topic ideas from holidays and big events. After you’ve seeded your editorial calendar with educational topics, pay close attention to national holidays and special events. These will naturally give rise to interesting blogs. Include major holidays, seasonal fashion changes, major sporting events, local and civic celebrations…use them all as “hooks” for topics about your business.Perhaps you’re running a February white Sale, a back-to school promotion, or a tax-time seminar…let the actual calendar inform your editorial calendar of blog topics and see how many article “slots” you can fill in ahead of time.
- Be a trendspotter. This is my favorite blog topic generator. Your business blog does not have to compete with trade and consumer publications and websites in your arena, but it is a place for you to write about your unique perspective. Your blog is an opportunity to let people know what you think.For example, if you run a fashion boutique your customers will undoubtedly be interested in your interpretation of the Oscars Red Carpet…or the latest runway shows in Paris. Yes, they can watch them on YouTube, or read about them on Vogue.com, but your interpretation and unique spin will engender curiosity, loyalty, and ultimately help you build authority.
- Polish the nuts & bolts. Remember, your blog can serve as an extension of the information on your business website. As such, it’s a good place to provide customers with more details about how you do business. Do you have a unique warranty policy? Write about it on your blog. A gift-with-purchase? Entice customers with a photo and short description. A success story of a particularly satisfied customer? You get the idea…
- Go behind the scenes. Your website’s blog is the perfect platform to share stories about your employees, awards you have received, and charitable causes that are important to you and your company. People want to do business with those they know and trust; here’s your chance to put a “face” to your business profile. Have fun writing about it!
- Invite guest bloggers. As you plan your editorial calendar, be mindful of your own vacation and business travel schedule. Mix things up by asking a staff member or a colleague to write a blog to post while you’re gone (be sure you edit it first). You’d be surprised how many folks secretly harbor the desire (and ability) to write. In this era of Social Media, no one is afraid of over-sharing!
Does starting a blog for your business seem difficult or too time consuming?
Hire Us! We’re blog experts to support your blogging efforts.
Sharon A. McKee (aka Sam) is a freelance writer/editor, advertising copywriter, and professional blogger. She is a former Creative Services Director of Mademoiselle magazine, Promotion Director of Redbook magazine, and Marketing Director at Inc. magazine. Sam has written for: Avon; Coty; Revlon; Pfizer Pharmaceuticals; The KE Diet; FinancialWorld; Sports Illustrated; The New York Times; Dan’s Papers; eMarketer; Paul Tudor Jones Properties; Collins Wealth Management; Levitt & Sons; Arthur Rutenberg Homes; Padraig Construction; Molina Jewelers; Black, Starr & Frost; Picchiotti; and Assael. She also serves as editor/senior writer for www.obsessedbyjewelry.com, a weekly blog published by Connoisseurs Products Corp.