A common question I’m asked when I meet with a new client is: “how do you come up with blog post ideas?”
If I’m blogging on behalf of their business, I explain that they’ll need to come up with the topics for me to write about – the blog will be all about their unique business and their unique insight, so they’re in charge.
After explaining this, my return question tends to be: “so what would you like to say, and how often would you like to say it?”
It’s at that point that people can start to get a slightly panicked look in their eyes! I take this as my cue to reassure them that ideas are everywhere, and just to prove it, we’ll come up with five great ones together within the next ten minutes.
How will we do this? Let’s take a look at a few methods of ‘blog post idea generation’ now:
Hints and Tips are a great way to showcase your knowledge and insights. For example, if you’re a photographer you could post some tips on how to take the perfect iPhone camera shot, or what questions to ask when choosing someone to take your daughter’s prom pictures.
‘Diary’ entries, or anything that shows off the more personal side of your business, tend to work very well. You’ll be giving your followers a chance to get to know the person behind the business, and you’ll also set yourself apart from your competition. Others may do the same job as you, but your personal take on it will be different from theirs. Show it off!
Introducing your team, if you have one, will also do an effective job of promoting a more personal image. In fact, if you find coming up with blog ideas time-consuming, why not create an ‘idea schedule’ and allocate responsibility?
Check out the competition and see what they’re talking about. Could you offer a refreshingly alternative take on a well-worn idea?
Ask the audience! If you’re struggling with ideas, why not ask the people who’ll be reading your blog just what they’d like to read about?
You could turn this simple question into a blog post all of its own – you’re interested in your clients, after all, so in
Consider universal ideas about business, such as the ‘ideal’ work attire, or what elements make great customer service. These are often topics people will search for and want to discuss online, so you could end up starting an energising conversation!
Whatever you do, remember that successful blogging means consistent blogging. Building a dedicated following from your blog will take time, but it will be worth it.
Blogging regularly will give your followers reason to visit your website (perhaps even buying or signing up while they’re there!), and you could even cut and paste sections and sentences to reproduce as snappy social media content. A great idea could be taken even further, such as a downloadable eBook or webinar content.
Not to mention all the SEO-related benefits of keeping your website updated.
That’s not a bad exchange for a few hundred words every so often, is it?
So when you create your blogging schedule, whether it’s weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly, make sure it’s one that you will definitely be able to stick to. This way, your followers will know exactly when they can expect to hear from you next, and they won’t think you’ve abandoned your blog after that first flurry of excited posts.
Good luck! If you’d like to talk about blog ideas, or anything word-based for that matter, you’ll find I’m the perfect sounding board. Simply get in touch.