Every blogger runs out of ideas sometimes. The same feature that makes blogs so useful — the ability to communicate regularly and continually with customers — also makes them exhausting. What do you do when you feel like you’ve already written about your company from every possible angle, and still there’s another post due soon and the clock is ticking?
Seven ways to create a stong blog topic
At D Custom, we develop blogging strategies for many different companies, often mapping out topic calendars months in advance. Sometimes we are inspired and the ideas flow easily. But just as often we struggle to come up with topics that are fresh, informative, entertaining, and relevant to our clients’ businesses. When we hit a wall, these seven strategies can kick-start the process:
Check what’s trending
Viral topics aren’t always relevant — obviously not every business can blog about Pokémon GO — but they give you a sense of what people are thinking and talking about right now. If you sell fashion, you can react to the latest red-carpet mishaps. If your company values grit and perseverance, you might find inspiration in an athlete’s story. We use a social listening strategy for a lot of our clients and have software we use to do just that. But you can always just go online and see what people are talking about.
Listen to your customers
Another approach is to find out what salespeople are hearing lately from customers. Are they happy about new products or services? Do they need a lot of help with the new web interface? Consider a blog post addressing their concerns or highlighting products or features they appreciate. Customer surveys can offer especially valuable insight and blog fodder. It is always important to know your audience.
Think about what’s changing
The competitive environment, customer perceptions and preferences, even laws and regulations are always changing. You can blog about these shifts and how you’re adapting to them to serve customers better.
Share what you’re reading
You spend a lot of time keeping up with your industry. Why not share links to surveys, news articles, videos, or other materials you find inspiring with your blog’s readers?
Explain how you got here
Your company’s history can be a rich source of blog material. Think about how your company got started, where it saw opportunity, how it has changed over the years, the players involved, and what this history means for your customers. It’s fun to pick one or two historical facts about your company and turn them into blog posts.
Reframe old topics
A new spin can revitalize old topics. Say you’ve done a post on five ways to use a product or service effectively. Now you can turn it around and write another post about five mistakes to avoid when using the same product. You can also look for ways to update old ideas by including new information. Keep in mind that information is always changing, so you can always take an old blog post that’s now outdated and update it to address the current status of the subject.
Ask a guest blogger
Industry experts can give your blog a fresh perspective and a fresh voice. Look for consultants, authors, or academics who have something to say about your business.
Blogging helps connect you to your customers, vendors, and the world outside your business, but it only works if you do it regularly. Next time you’re stuck for a blog idea, try these seven tricks to get past writer’s block and keep the posts coming.
For more information about content strategy and development, contact me, I love to talk about words, writing, process — just not slugs, I don’t like to talk about slugs.