Behold the blank page. Virgin territory or a blog writer’s worst nightmare? How does a blocked blogger get all the ingenious ideas from inside his or her head onto the stark screen when the Word Muse just won’t materialize?
Thankfully there are many tried-and-true thought starters to help the transition. Granted, coming up with original, ongoing business blogging content is not easy. Add to that the titles required for guest posting and eBooks and you’re going to need a ton of topics in your online marketing toolbox.
Top 9 Topic Techniques
Generating subjects to blog about isn’t an insurmountable task. It’s a process anyone can become proficient in with some basic teachings and time devoted to practice. Here are 9 techniques to use while waiting on the muse.
1. How-To Guru
There’s someone out there right now needing to know how to unclog a sink, operate a coffee maker or play canasta. Instructional posts provide useful, searchable, evergreen content. What do you know that you could teach?
2. Just the Facts
The Information Age feeds on facts. Offering a well-researched glossary of specialized terms makes a meaningful blog topic. Future posts could include historical timelines, background, further reading and links to other references and resources.
3. Product Reviews
Fair, insightful critiques and reviews afford instant credibility. Pick some new product and be the first to put it under the microscope. Be the insider who gets the truth out.
4. We Love Lists
Top 10, ABCs, step-by-step…these are some of the best building blocks for building blogs. Try them in posts such as ‘The Top 10 Tricks Salesmen Use,’ ‘The ABCs of Resume Writing’ or ‘8 Essential Steps To Weight-Loss Success.’
5. Q & A
Conducting an interview is a wise way to populate your blog (the subject does half the work!) Readers get an expert’s opinion and you look smart posting articulate answers.
6. Personality Profile
Similar to Q & A, the profile is written about an interesting person in your niche. Based on your readers’ interests, It can be inspirational and informative.
7. Predict The Future
When the time is right, write a review post and put out your predictions for the month, quarter or year ahead.
8. Pros and Cons
Help readers make informed choices by outlining the positives and negatives of each decision. If you sell air conditioners, for example, spell out the benefits and liabilities of a Carrier unit versus a Trane.
9. Rant and Rave
Stir things up with your fervent opinion in favor of or against whatever. Passionate rants about pet peeves or raves about new faves can cause a great deal of controversy. Capitalize on the comments but don’t forget, just like ghosts, words can come back to haunt you!
Before determining what to write, think about the personality behind the blog. Some of the best topics will come from your own interests, opinions and experiences. Who are you in relation to the reader? Do you own the company? Then you have the big picture. Are you a skilled specialist? Then you can teach, advise and demonstrate. Are you a critic or reporter? Then judge away. Having a distinct point of view consistently orchestrated will gain respect and readership.
Rule number one in any writing manual: audience is all. Write as if you were talking in person and they will feel special, take interest and even take action. How well do you know the targeted reader? Have you tried to get to know them by culling the comments left on your website, perusing complaints that come in email and analyzing what they “like” about your social media marketing?
Answer these questions as a litmus test of whether your blog article writing will connect with your readers.
- Does the attitude have the same confidence and compassion you feel? Or is it just a disjointed outpouring of information?
- Is the language at ease and effortless, the way you’d talk to a friend? Or is it stilted, standoffish and generic in nature?
- Has the subject matter been chosen to be relevant to the reader? Or is the topic so general it could appear anywhere?
What’s The Draw?
Picture yourself in front of the magazine section of a really great bookstore. If you love sailing, do you gravitate to the home decorating titles? For a fashion fix, do you grab Popular Electronics? If life is golf, do you stare at Sewing until the store closes? We’re guessing the answer’s a resounding, “No!”
While the examples are silly, the message is not. Visitors arrive eagerly seeking something very specific. Give it to them. Provide blog writing that is not only relevant, but rewarding. Keep the range of your topic narrow if you want to turn them on and not away.
Let’s Say Your Niche is…Quiche
If it is, you better know eggs…and cheese…and fluted pans, and that real men don’t eat it! Drill down to find what’s unique about your business, go wide to find related concerns and master the minutia. The Montana Roué website is “The chronicle of an urbanite’s transition from Manhattan to Montana.” Written by an art director for other savvy advertising creatives, the author uses highly stylized vintage fashion photography, museum postcards, memes and clips from Hitchcock movies to punctuate his daily diary.
When you know your audience, you can address them in a way that’s authentic and authoritative. By doing your research and providing useful content, you’ll gain loyalty– a business commodity well worth cultivating.
For more insight into business blogging and social media marketing, contact us. We can write in your company’s voice on topics that will interest your website’s visitors. You’ll sound like an industry expert and they’ll keep coming back for more!