It’s that time again. Time to bang out another blog post. Your mind and screen are blank. Fingers tapping, you check Facebook for ideas, and then realize your coffee mug is empty. Sufficiently refueled, you’re ready to tackle that blog post. But, what to write?
Your job is to keep your customers in the know, so blogging is key. But for many, coming up with new ideas can be a challenge. Your end goal may be to generate new or repeat business, but your blog should build relationships, generate trust and nurture brand loyalty.
Carol Tice of Entrepreneur writes, “A great business blog doesn’t sell. Instead, it shows customers why they should do business with you and not your competitors.”
Tice serves up 50 blog ideas for when your blog-writing well runs dry. Here are our top 10 favorites, with our two cents thrown into the mix:
TG’s two cents: In addition to blogging about what’s in the news, consider drafting an opinion piece or release to send to local media on the subject, naming yourself as an expert. Papers and TV stations are always looking for local angles to tackle national news. This blog post on co-sleeping with babies, for example, generated a lot of Facebook discussion.
2. Discuss future plans. Give readers a sneak peek at what you’ll do in the coming year to start generating interest.
TG’s two cents: Think of it like a movie trailer – hit the high points without giving away the best parts. If you have the means or ability to make a video, all the better. Which brings us to the next tip on the list.
3. Post a video. Create variety with a video post. You can give a sneak preview of a new product or show a promotional event.
TG’s two cents: This is a creative way to tell your story, mark a milestone, spotlight employees, or share real customer stories or their take on your product or service.
4. Create a day in the life. Give customers an hour-by-hour account of a typical day at your company.
TG’s two cents: We love time-lapse video. When added to a-day-in-the-life video, it can add interest and momentum in a creative way. Video is a wonderful way to show and tell.
5. Be inspiring. Sometimes, customers just like to feel good. Write about something you find inspiring in the course of your day or how you keep a positive work culture.
TG’ two cents: Wear your heart on your sleeve, but don’t make it about you. There’s more to life than work, work, work and sales, sales, sales. A simple encounter while getting your morning coffee. Witnessing an act of kindness. A story you read in the newspaper. What inspires you will inspire others.
6. Show your passion. What aspect of your business gets you excited? What customer experience was especially gratifying? Tell those personal stories.
TG’s two cents: Seeing your good work put to good use can be extremely gratifying. If your gadget or service makes lives easier or better, tell THAT story. One of our client’s highest ranking posts is about a patient with a rare disease whose life was greatly improved, thanks to their diagnosis and treatment. Share the satisfaction that comes from helping your customers.
7. Share a highlight. What were the big milestones in your company’s history? Tell about an important moment and how it changed your business.
TG’s two cents: Businesses are like families. There are turning points that shape them. They often stem from a death in the family (the loss or departure of an employee or thought leader), a new family member (bringing on someone new who incites change), an epiphany (a product breakthrough), or personal growth (business expansion). See where we’re going with this?
8. Show your charity work. If your business gives back to the community, post a video or photo essay of that park your staff cleaned up.
TG’s two cents: Be a do-gooder, but be modest. Share your good work it in a way that’s heartfelt and sincere, without being braggy. No one likes a bragger. So consider asking those who benefited from your good work to contribute to your blog through a written post or video interview. Or draw the attention of local media, then link to the coverage on your blog or website and post it to YouTube, like our friends at McKenzie Commercial did.
9. Report on a conference. Quote inspiring speakers or tell readers about the latest trends and ideas from the conference that you’ll be implementing.
TG’s two cents: We enjoyed this post by Dr. Pilar Bradshaw, a local pediatrician, violinist and client, who watched famed violinist Midori Goto lead master classes for young violinists. In the post, she shares her observations and relates them to life, providing excellent takeaways any parent reading her blog can appreciate.
10. Create an infographic. Fact-filled, graphic posts get shared a lot on social networks. This infographic got more than 10,000 retweets.
TG’s two cents: People are visual creatures, so deliver your message in an appealing way. Infographics make short work of big concepts that would otherwise require a lot of words to explain. Check out at this infographic (scroll to the bottom of the home page) by Fishpeople of Portland, Oregon – it’s simple and fun.
Bonus Tip: Mention a popular post. If you notice a post by a popular blogger in your niche getting a lot of attention, add your viewpoint and link to the original post. Be sure to let that A-list blogger know about your comment and link.
Again, thanks to Carol Tice of Entrepreneur for posting her 50 blog ideas. If you have more ideas, leave a reply, here.