How to get ideas for your blog
You’ve decided that you need a blog. It’s all beautifully designed. And there’s nothing in it.
Instead of waiting for inspiration to arrive out of the blue, use these questions to help get the ideas flowing.
1. What questions come up when you talk to your customers? If you’re an electrician, maybe your customers keep saying that their safety switch has tripped. You can blog about the things people can check themselves before calling an electrician.
Answering customers’ questions is a winner on so many levels.
- You show that you understand your customers. This builds trust.
- You’ll be known as the expert in that field.
- You can streamline customer contact. If customers keep asking you for particular information, run through the basics on the phone, then send them a link.
2. What product or service do you most want to promote? Jot down the issues around that product, and blog about them. Common pitfalls, demystifying jargon, ‘how to’ guides, pros and cons – any of these angles can work.
Our electrician could write a post to help people choose between ducted and split-cycle air-conditioners. If he gives useful information, he knows that whatever type of air-conditioner his readers choose, they’ll ask him to install it.
3. What’s happening with your business? You can humanise your brand by sharing some interesting news. Or maybe it’s Christmas, and you want to do something a bit more playful.
Common blogging pitfalls
1) Oversharing. This can be a tricky one, particularly for sole-traders, where the boundary between you and your business can get blurry. A good rule of thumb is don’t post anything you wouldn’t tell a stranger on the plane. If you blog about your family illness, people will feel sorry for you. Then they’ll unsubscribe.
2) Blatant promos. Think of a magazine you like to read. Then imagine that it’s all ads. Would you keep buying it? Me neither.
If you do have a new product that you want to feature in your blog, then craft a story around it. Be subtle. Perhaps the electrician can talk about common pitfalls with wiring speakers to a computer – and why their approach is better. But don’t hammer people with the ‘buy now’ message.
Test your ideas
When you’re generating ideas, always test them against your audience’s interests and desires. It’s a constant challenge, knowing what will interest other people, and what’s just interesting for you. If you begin with a thorough understanding of your customers’ common questions, you’ll be on the right track.