Enthused about your new blog and where it can take your business, you open a Microsoft Word document. But, faced with a blank page, you think … “actually, what do I write about?”
Here’s how to decide what to blog about:
1) Decide who your blog is for
Firstly, figure out who your blog is aimed at. What are your existing customers like? What type of customers do you want to attract? What are they interested in?
Determining who you are writing for, and what makes them tick, will help you come up with topics that will interest them. Once you’ve decided who your blog is aimed at, keep your target audience in mind when writing every single word. This will ensure you stay on track when coming up with blog topics and don’t end up writing a blog about irrelevant things that your audience doesn’t care about.
If you sell and repair wooden floors, don’t write a post about “How to groom your pet dog” purely because it’s something you find interesting. It’s not about you, and it’s not relevant to the product you’re selling. Remember, it’s about your audience and the things they care about.
2) Answer your customers’ questions
If you own a small business, the chances are you get involved on the “shop floor”. You talk to your customers; you know what they look like; you know why they come to you for help. Most importantly, you know the kinds of questions they ask. FAQ are a brilliant way to come up with ideas for blog posts as your customers are essentially creating content for you.
Answering customers’ questions in your blog allows you to show off your knowledge and establish yourself as an expert in your field. When someone reads your blog post on “How to clean a solid wood floor” and finds it useful, the next time they need their wooden floor repairing or sanding, they’ll think of you; the helpful company that helped them figure out how to clean their new floor.
3) Keep up-to-date with new developments in your industry and comment on them
Follow the news and see which topics are trending on social media in your industry. Can you add anything to a debate about the latest trend in wooden flooring? What are your thoughts on yellow being the most popular stain colour this year? Write a blog post that discusses the latest developments in your industry and include your opinions on them.
4) Don’t worry if a topic has been written about before
You’ve come up with a brilliant idea for a blog post based on a question a customer has just asked you. You Google the topic to check a fact or statistic and realise, to your dismay, Bob, who owns a rival wooden flooring company down the road, has already written an article about it.
Instead of being angry with Bob for getting there first, remember you can write about the topic too. You’re also an expert on the subject and most likely have your own opinions on it.
The chances are he hasn’t spoken to the same customer with the same question and given them exactly the same advice as you. He won’t have followed exactly the same business path as you, faced exactly the same hurdles and had the same thing for breakfast that morning. Your take on the topic, your tone of voice and your wording will be slightly different to Bob’s.
There’s also a chance your audience is slightly different, so the people reading your blog post may not have already read his.
5) Use customer case studies
If a customer has left you a brilliant testimonial or review about your product or service, ask them if you can use it in a case study. Write a blog post that includes the problem your customer had, how you helped them, and what the outcome was.
Case studies are a great way of proving to your audience how good you are. If you show potential new customers how you helped someone with similar problems to them, and how pleased they were with the outcome, they are more likely to buy from you.
But don’t make up fake case studies or testimonials. Consumers are extremely savvy nowadays and can spot a fake online review a mile off.
If you’ve got lots of interesting blog ideas but don’t have the time to write the blogs yourself, I can write them for you. Check out my blog packages for small businesses that include regular blog posts, ways to share them on social media and a monthly catch-up to discuss blog topics.