So what if you are an amazingly adept writer? Even the best of us face the writer’s block.
Generating unique and interesting content for your blog is, undoubtedly, a challenging task, especially when it is difficult to quantify the amount of business it is generating. However, it’s important for your site to publish quality content regularly.
A good blog doesn’t only generate a new stream of customers and leads but can also greatly help you in connecting with readers so that they become interested in working with you and are also enticed by your products.
Coming up with a good blog post may seem daunting. In fact, it may even seem impossible, but don’t lose hope because it is very much feasible to get your audience to fall in love with your website.
Deciding on the topics of content might be tough, but before we guide you regarding what you should write on, let us first discuss the topics you, being the owner, should steer clear of. They are as follows:
- The Don’ts
- How to shortlist topics
- Which topics should you write on?
Don’t publish sales messages
Why would anyone want to read a sales pitch? The purpose of generating a new blog post might be to increase sales, but the catch is that you are not writing for the company, you are writing for your readers.
You catch more flies with honey, so you better make sure that your blog is catchy and has unique and interesting content. Don’t ever make the mistake of blatantly appreciating your products in your blog neither praise your company needlessly.
Don’t be too corporate
Your blog provides you the opportunity to step out of your corporate shoes and connect with your audience on a personal level. Your readers need to bond with you, however, if you decide just to keep writing about your company, then nobody will be bothered. Your audience wants to talk to you and likes to hear your voice; nobody wants to chat with a robot.
Therefore, ditch the corporate tone and make your writing conversational. Sprinkle your blog posts with questions so that your readers feel that you are having a one on one conversation with them. After all, a blog is a conversation, not a monologue, so make sure it has that carefree tone to it.
To get rid of the corporate tone, use the words “you” and “your” often. This way your audience will feel close to you. Forego the technical language and jargons and use simple words in an active voice (for example, we will answer your email shortly) rather than the passive voice (your email will be answered shortly) instead. Also, make sure your sentences and paragraphs are short. Blogs are conversationalist pieces, not entries in medical journals.
How to shortlist topics
Once you are well-versed with the things you should avoid writing about and ways of generating a good piece, it becomes easier to shortlist your topics. Readers want to know how your blog can be of any use to them. Is it informative? Does it offer sound advice? Is it humorous? Does it tug at their heart strings and make them experience positive vibes?
To answer these questions, you need to think like a reader yourself, or better yet your readers’ mentor or a friend and not a salesperson. In sales, people tend to concentrate on closing the next deal; a mentor or a friend, however, cares about your welfare. He/she wants his/her friends to succeed in life and be happy and content with it. Hence, to think like your audience’s well-wisher and decide on a worthwhile topic, begin by asking yourself these questions:
1) Who is my audience? Who am I writing for?
Be as specific as possible and try to visualize your buyer’s persona or an ideal reader. Your writing will become more engaging, vivid and personal if you are targeting a specific niche of people rather than addressing a crowd. A profile includes gender, age, location, income, family values, marital status and any other indicator that may be relevant for your business.
2) How can you help your readers?
Those reading your blog may be looking for help on something related to your business. For example, are you a clothing business? Maybe, women are looking for advice as to what styles suit pear shaped bodies the most. Are you an IT company, perhaps your customers want to understand what kind of service package would be suitable for small and medium enterprises? Or maybe you could provide some comic relief or an aww factor with a photo and a story of your kitten curled up inside the custom slippers you supply.
By offering advice relevant to your business, you come across as concerned and engaged. Also, you increase your brand’s authority and cultivate a positive image of your company.
3) What is the language of my audience?
You shouldn’t be assessing the linguistic capabilities of your readers. Rather think as if your audience speaks a foreign language, one that is made up of their wants, needs, values, beliefs and desires. Your job is to figure out what they want to hear so that you get the results you desire. If your message does not match your intended market, it will fail to be impactful along with your blog.
4) What should my posting frequency be?
You could post a blog every day, but usually, two to three posts per week work better. Five years ago, blogging wasn’t as popular as it is today and readers were eager for content. Now there is plenty of blogs to choose from, and readers can get bored and burnt out fairly quickly.
You could decrease the frequency to post once a week or even once every two weeks, as long as your blogs have something genuinely useful to say rather than just blogging for the sake of it. At the end of the day, there is no hard and fast rule regarding how often you should blog. You can decide on your frequency depending on your aims and abilities of your firm.
5) Does consistency matter?
Yes, it does. You cannot blog every day for a week and then take a break for a month. You need to commit to a reasonable schedule and set readers’ expectations, accordingly.
Frequency depends entirely on how much time you are willing to commit to creating valuable content on your blog. Remember, you need to make a schedule of only as many blogs as you can write. But the schedule should be consistent so that your readers are not disappointed when they open your blog page expecting new stuff.
Your blog showcases your company, and lack of reliability may indicate a lack of reliability of your company. Thus, it could adversely affect your credibility.
6) Who is going to do the writing and where is it going to be published?
As the owner of the company, are you going to do all the writing? Is the schedule going to be spread out among your team members or are you going to outsource or will you be using guest bloggers? Everyone has their own expertise of writing. Business blogs benefit from being written by more than one person since most companies have blogs with more of a magazine feel to them. You need to know who your primary and contributing writers will be and where you are going to find them to be able to deliver high-quality content, consistently.
Which topics should you write on?
So now that you know what not to write on and the parameters of what you should be writing on, the final step is deciding the actual topics of your blog.
The list of choices will be endless because the options and topics are boundless as a simple google search will tell you. We have still broken down the very long list of possibilities into categories, to inspire you so that you never run out of topics to write on.
● Useful blogs
These blogs can include solutions of common problems that customers usually face. They can be about the new tools or applications that you have used recently to improve your workflow or the questions and answers that helped you the most in hiring the relevant person for an opening in your firm. Reviews of products and when and how to use them, helpful checklists, good go-to books and websites for explanations and relevant details are all options for writing blogs that can be useful for your target audience.
You can humanize your company by providing regular weekly or monthly updates. You can blog about how your company is doing and what new projects you have taken up; not in the way of promotional content but more like friends sharing highlights of their week. You can also talk about the bring-your-daughter- to-work-day you held recently or the volleyball tournament your HR department won at your annual beach party.
History blogs can cover a lot of aspects of your business. They could be the story of your grandmother and how she perfected the recipe of the tomato sauce you are selling today. Or, you could narrate your story of how you went from a 9-to-5 employee to an entrepreneur. You could talk about the milestones your company has achieved over the years and the hurdles you have overcome. You can give the history of your offerings as well or talk about the origins of the industry you are operating in.
● List posts
These blogs could have steps that a reader should ideally perform to achieve an end result or just a compilation that you think your readers can find interesting or useful.
For example, if you sell beverages, you could provide a list of 10 best sweets or savories that go with that beverage with photos. Or if you are a travel agent, you could provide a list of the top 5 economical destinations that a couple can visit during their vacations. Or you could write down steps a reader should take to unclog the kitchen drain quickly. List ideas can be endless and tend to be one of the favorite blogging formats.
These are just a few ideas that you can use to churn out enough blogs to have your site’s blog’s section running well for the next six months at least. If you are still stumped, you can also use Hubspot’s blog topic generator to give you ideas on what to write on next. A Google search for what your competitors are doing and the popularity of their blog posts could also be a starting point for the topics of your blog.
Blogging is a strong tool for any business. As a matter of fact, it is one of the best ways to grow your business, generate more leads and become a thought leader in your industry. A great blog is a cornerstone of your marketing strategy, can build brand loyalty, target the audience you want, and boost your bottom line. But all this can come about only with great content. And to generate great content, you need to know what to write about and what not to write about.
Once you have identified your audience and narrowed down your parameters, the options of topics for your blog will be infinite.
By knowing your readership base well and writing light conversationalist blogs that can enlighten and entertain your readers, you can increase traffic to your website. The suggestions we have given for your business blog should help you achieve your goals and keep you busy blogging in the near future.