Developing topics to blog about can seem like a difficult process…. and sometimes it is. But there are some tools to make it easier.
Every industry has common topics that are easy to identify. But, after you have blogged about the obvious (and you should blog about the obvious even if hundreds of others already have) what do you write about? A good first step is to ask people.
There are several ways to ask people what they want to hear about. Put a form on your website letting people know that you will answer their questions…. or that you WANT to answer their questions. When a web visitor fills out a form asking you a question, email them an answer and then write a blog about it. Or, if you can do so in a timely fashion, write a blog and then email the visitor a link to the blog post.
You can also ask your existing clients. If you are providing a service in someone’s home, or a person is in your shop, take a quick minute and ask them if they have any questions….. is there anything they want to know? If you can’t answer it, let them know you’ll find out and get back with them…. then write a blog. You can even ask your friends if they have any good ideas for topics.
Imagine That You Are Dumb
Another tool is to try to put yourself in the shoes of a potential client. In other words, if you were searching for a service provider in your industry, and you didn’t know what you know about your industry, what would you want to know?
Keep in mind, that this is the information age. People want to know things. They want to feel educated when they speak to others. When imagining what others want to know, try to get beyond the obvious. For example, let’s say Linda owns a landscaping and lawn maintenance company. After blogging about the obvious topics like “How mulched areas cut down on the amount of grass to mow”, or, “Why pruning trees is important to a home owner”, Linda can move into other topics like, “Flowers and shrubs that attract butterflies”, or, “Color coordinating your flowers with your house”.
Linda could even write about more mundane topics. Let say Linda uses the top-of-the-line lawn mower for her service. She could write a short blog on why that mower is better than the others and how it impacts the process of maintaining her client’s lawns.
Other Industries Associated With Yours
Another easy tool is to write about industries or topics that support your own. For example, let’s say George owns an orange grove. George can think about what people do with oranges: they eat them; put them in food; juice them…… AHA! People juice oranges. George might want to blog about a particular juicer that he likes. Maybe he can discuss the difference between 2 different juicers. For the home chef, maybe George has a few recipes for food that include oranges. Way to go George!
Another tool is to go Historical or in depth. Let’s say Jenifer is a real estate agent. She is writing blogs on all of the condominiums in the area. Every other agent in her area have written about the stats of the condos: location, access to shopping, average price, square footage, etc. etc. etc. With a little research, Jenifer can find out many things about the area of a particular condo. Maybe there is history to the area. Maybe there are specific architectural elements. Maybe someone famous lived there in the past. 15 minutes of Googling can produce a wealth of information.
The most important rule to remember when blogging is: People want to be informed or entertained. If you’re only blogging about how awesome you are, it comes off more like a commercial. And people get enough commercials on the television. So, when you write a blog, ask yourself, “is this informative?” …. “is this entertaining?”
If it is neither, try again.