What is the most important thing you can do for your business blog? Publish fresh, interesting content regularly. Easy to say: not so easy to do.
If you find yourself looking at a blank screen and praying the muse will strike, you are making the job of generating blog post ideas harder than it needs to be. Rather than dreading your writing sessions, plan your blog topics and create a schedule. With just a little-up front work, you will never have to face writer’s block and a blank page again.
Here are 5 ways to generate client-centric blog post ideas and article ideas that will engage your audience.
1. Obstacles are opportunities
Make a list of all the things that worry your potential clients about your services . You are looking for the things that might be holding them back from engaging you Then make a second list and detail your responses to their concerns.
This list is a gold-mine of article ideas for clients-centered blog posts that break-down the barriers to buying and help you increase sales.
2. Mark the date article ideas
Your calendar is the richest blog topic idea generating resources on your desk. Calendar based blog posts come with the added advantage of built-in web traffic. People search on terms like Valentine’s, Christmas or the title of industry events and expos and this generates the business blog visitors you want to attract.
A blog post idea like “6 Ways to Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day” could work for a health coach, chocolatier or maybe even a divorce lawyer.
For a good list of commemorative days, visit Wikipedia or browse the interesting calendars link on your Google Calendar.
3. News jacking
This technique is also called “riding the news stream”. Here is how it works. You generate article ideas and blog topics that comment on popular news stories relevant to your industry. This style of blog post gives you the chance to prove your expertise, take part in the online conversation and attract web searchers to your business blog.
For example, a financial planner, therapist or family-law attorney could write a post about the New Jersey teen that is suing her parents for college tuition. Whether your posts are educational or provocative in nature, you can benefit from the public interest and web traffic the story is generating.
4. Lists, tips and cheat sheets
Quick to write and loved by blog readers, blogging ideas that are built on a list of dos and don’ts, tips or how tos, are a bloggers staple and eagerly read by web surfers. To make these posts work for you, be sure to offer the reader real value and insights that demonstrate your expertise.
5. Answer questions
Keep track of the questions people ask you about your business and build-up a file of the things that amuse, confuse, puzzle and intrigue your audience. Do this for a few months and I promise you will have a fertile source of instant post ideas that speak directly to your client’s concerns.
Blog topics that answer ultra-specific questions keep you focused on what your reader or client wants and they help you avoid the pitfall of talking about what interests you.
Don’t forget to create a plan and schedule your best blog ideas
Set aside some time to brainstorm blog content ideas and capture your thoughts as a list, mind map or in a spreadsheet.
Short list the best article ideas, write a draft headline and describe what you intend to write about. Don’t skip this last part – it is too easy to forget the gist of your idea and having the details to hand makes the writing part go faster.
Finally, schedule each post on an editorial calendar. For information on how to use an editorial calendar and to get your copy of my calendar template, take a look at my Plan like an editor post.