“What in the world should I write about?”
Regardless of what your goal is for having a blog, my advice is, don’t try to come up with ideas out of clear air, especially if you are just getting started. Here are some great tips for getting blog ideas:
Answer Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
Think about your clients and customers. What questions do you hear over and over again? These questions are fantastic ideas for blog posts!
- For larger brands: Talk to customer service and your salespeople. They are the ones that are interfacing with your customers, and believe me; they know what your customers want to know. Social Media is also a great resource as well, and becoming more important all the time. See what your customers are tweeting about and asking you on Facebook.
- For smaller businesses: It’s very likely that you interface with your clients and customers every day. Listen carefully and you’ll probably hear the same questions over and over again.
Ask Google the questions your customers are asking you. Google is an incredible tool for research. For example: Let’s say you have a business selling Oriental rugs, and customers frequently ask you this question: “How do I tell if an Oriental rug is authentic?”
Type that into Google and see what comes up.
I bet you’ll find tons of blogs and articles addressing that very question, some even written by your competitors. Is the information out there correct? Would you agree or disagree? Remember, what you see on Google is what your potential customers see on Google. Makeyour blog post the most concise, easy to understand, and truthful answer to the question. All the years of honing your skills and developing your expertise will enable you to share your knowledge just enough to make people understand that not only do you know what you’re talking about, but that you talk about it in terms that they can understand.
Set up Google Alerts and Twitter Searches for the topics that are important to you and to your customers and clients.
Read what is circulating around the Internet about your industry, your competitors, and your customers. You will discover gobs of content that you will agree with, disagree with, and that is sharable. (If you share content, be sure to attribute it to the original author). You’ll also probably see a lot of forums pop up. They are best for finding out what questions people ask a lot. Use Forums for ideas.
But how can you be helpful without feeling like you are giving your assets away for free?
- For larger brands: Share how people can use your product or service to get the best results, address issues that come up a lot. Even unhappy customers respond positively when they know a company actually cares about their experience.
- For smaller businesses: Answer your “frequently asked questions” in a fashion that that gives value to the reader without being a “How-To”. Here are some examples:
- Interior designer: Why Home Staging Helps Houses Sell Faster
- Hair Salon: What is the Right Cut for your Face Shape?
- Event Producer: What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Live Tweeting at an Event?
Blogging is not nearly as scary when you understand that you don’t have to create your content in a vacuum. Listen to your customers, read what your competitors are writing, and in a very short time, you’ll find that your mental idea engine will start running on it’s own.
More tips to come including using Keywords effectively and how to get your blog posts noticed. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!