By Donna Gunter (c) 2009
“So, what do I blog about each time?” is a question I often get from clients. To keep your blog active and healthy, I recommend blogging at least 3 times per week. However, that notion is overwhelming for many. Even though you may be an expert in a topic, your mind may go completely blank when it comes time to blog, and then at other times when you’re not blogging, your idea cup runneth over.
The primary thing to remember is that blog posts don’t have to be long and complicated. You’re not writing an article, a report or a thesis. Many times a blog post is only a paragraph consisting of a few sentences that contain your thoughts about something. Now, doesn’t that sound easier than composing a 600-word post each time you sit down to blog?
Here are 20 ideas you can use to help you create a blog post when you’re stuck for an idea:
1. Current events. Can you link what you do in your business to a current event? Open up your daily newspaper or your RSS news reader and see what’s happening in the world, your country, your state, or your city. Give your opinion about the event and a solution, if you have it, and relate that to your business if you can.
2. Trends in your industry. I read constantly and subscribe to more industry publications than I have time to review. However, there are a handful that I do regularly read, and it’s to those that I look to for what the trends seem to be. When you blog about the trend, put your unique perspective on it, or write a rebuttal post, disagreeing with the relevance of the trend.
3. Get personal. Tell a story about what’s happening in your life or in your business that would be useful or instructive for your readers. Chronicle both your highs and lows, your wins and your struggles. One key to successful blogging is getting personal with your readers. The more “real” you are with your readers, the better your reader gets to know you and begins to like and trust you. You become a “real, live” human being to them who faces similar issues that they face.
4. Top 10. Most of my writing is in the form of a Top 10 list because it’s an easy way for me to outline the points I want to make and then go back and fill in the details for each point. In this case, each of your points for a topic can become an individual blog post, and when all the points are complete, you can compile the full list for an article for your ezine or website.
5. Frequently asked questions. If you’ve been in business for awhile, you know the questions that clients and prospective clients ask you to answer over and over again. Instead of repeatedly responding to the same questions, write a series of blog posts that answer your target market’s most frequently asked questions.
6. How you helped a client solve a problem. Clients hire you to solve a specific problem they’re having, whether they do that when they buy your service or your product. List 3-5 most recent problems that you have helped your clients solve. Create a post that talks about the problem and the solution you provided (either with your client’s permission, or by making it generic enough to hide the client’s identity) that becomes a learning experience for your readers.
7. Interview an expert. What people do you know and admire in your industry? If you admire them, chances are that members of your target market do, as well. Contact them for a short email or recorded interview and ask them 3-5 questions that you’d like to hear them answer about their lives, their businesses, industry trends, or how to solve a particular problem. Publish the interviews as blog posts, adding audio and graphics if you have them.
8. Solicit and answer questions. Ask your ezine subscribers or blog readers to ask you their most pressing question related to what you do. I do this and get questions for 1-2 blog posts per week, and it helps me stay in touch with the needs of my readers, as well.
9. Review something. Read a good book lately related to your industry? Just purchased a product to help you solve a problem? Reviews aren’t limited to the critics at the New York Times. Blog about your experience with a product, book, or service, highlighting both the high points and low points, and whether you would recommend that others use or purchase it.
10. Read other blogs. Go to Google’s Blog Search or Technorati and find other blogs related to your industry or your target market. Add those to your blog reader and take an hour or two each week to read the posts on those blogs. Do you agree or disagree with the post? Have another point of view? Think the blogger was on target but you want to expand on her point of view? Reading other blogs is a great way to generate ideas for your own blog.
next 10 continued tomorrow