You understand the importance of doing a weekly or bi-weekly blog for your business, but you’re concerned that you wouldn’t be able to come up with enough ideas. First of all, you can simply work with an experienced web developer like Your Page Today, where a constant stream of blog content is provided, and you’re able to give input, as much or as little as you like.
If, however, you want to do your own blog content, there are many ways to generate ideas. Here are just a few creative and effective ways to come up with blog topics that will keep your readers engaged!
1. Pay attention to what your customers want.
This seems like a no-brainer, but this is where the nuggets of great ideas can be found. If you listen to your customers through social media and face to face, you’re likely to find plenty of material to blog about. Let’s say you own a paint company. You’ll see conversations on social media about people who have had painting successes AND disasters. With a little research, you’ll discover what the top most pressing questions are that potential customers have. Matching colors, what works best for what room, what the differences are between matte and gloss finishes. No matter what your industry, popular questions can provide you with plenty of angles for blogs. You’ll find many of these questions on FAQ pages for your specific industry.
2. Try an experiment.
People love to read stories online about others who have tried something that they themselves may be afraid to do. If you own a baking company, you could try a daring new recipe, then share how it turned out. Or an adventure travel company—maybe you went to an exotic place and did your first bungee jump. People are interested in your experiences. And personal stories (see #5) make excellent subjects for blogs. Include personal anecdotes as examples to illustrate something, because it’s so much more interesting than dry text. Let’s say you sell snow blowers. Share the experience of Jim Q. and the lesson he learned: “What NOT to do with your snow blower!”
3. Ask questions and take notes.
Even if you do most of your business online, you can still gather valuable information the old-fashioned way. Talk to other experts in your field, get their take on common issues within your industry. Ask them how they handle various customer service situations. Ask if they have ideas about certain challenges you’ve faced. For a plumbing blog, you could talk with five different plumbers and ask them all the same question. Sometimes you’ll be amazed at the different answers they’ll give—what they recommend, what they don’t and why. Also, there’s nothing like face-to-face conversations with people to give you original content not currently found on websites.
4. Seek out information sites.
Google Trends is a great place to discover what people are talking about. Look at the conversations/topics, and see what you can add of value to the discussion. At the very least, it will give you ideas for variations of topics, which you may be able to use. Quora is a website where questions can be asked and answered by experts, sighing up is easy simply use your Facebook account or create a username to sign up. That’s when the fin begins; you select multiple topics of interest and whalla, you instantly see what questions are trending based on your topics of interest. Ubersuggest is another site where you can type in a domain name or a keyword, and not only will it generate topics, but it will suggest keywords that you can use that are trending for SEO. Twitter and Amazon reviews can also show you what is trending, what people like or don’t like and why. Reviews of products can be a great angle to show what is better about YOUR products.
Consider going OFFLINE and reading trade publications for your industry as well. They’re an excellent resource for trends, problem solving, and other pertinent information. You can often find a wealth of things to use in a blog—show how your company is responding to a trend or solving a problem, etc. Again, don’t be afraid to go offline every now and then!
5. Share personal stories.
As a business owner, you’ve no doubt had all kinds of experiences with interesting customers. Some you never thought you’d please. Others were skeptical about green products, which you sell. Or they’ve been kind enough to write to you and tell you how your product or service really came in handy or improved their a) life, b) vacation, c) house remodel. When you have good stories to share from customers, tie them in to your blog topics whenever you can!
Remember to look for variations and try out different topics that aren’t just positive reviews of your company. If you repeatedly talk about how great you are (even if you are), people will get tired of reading your blog because it will sound like an endless infomercial. You want to share all kinds of variations relating to your industry, not only the good news about you. In these personal stories, don’t forget that people are looking for information. You could show them Sally’s adventures with purchasing the wrong sub-floor for her hardwood flooring, and teach readers what NOT to do. They’ll find the information valuable and will be more likely to return for more.
6. Take advantage of CRM technology.
If you use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, it gives you an inside track to your customer profile. Use it to gather a list of email addresses of those who are most likely to visit your site and use your products/services. Then you can email your list a survey to find out what information is most important to them. It’s an excellent way to find out what they want, so you can provide the answers.
This is only a sampling of ways you can create fresh, consistent content in your blogs. Keep checking our blog for more ideas to get the most out of your online marketing strategies.
At Your Page Today, we specialize in crafting engaging, informative, SEO-friendly blogs that relate to your industry and help to promote your company—weekly, bi-weekly and monthly. Contact us today to get started!