Creating a company blog can bring a whole host of benefits, such as increasing brand trust and even improving your customer relationships.
However, one of the common problems faced by business owners is deciding what to write about.
It seems people go one of two ways:
They write solely about their products because that is what they are passionate about – without realizing that their customers actually don’t care.
Or, they have no idea what to write about so end up paralyzed by indecisiveness.
It goes without saying that neither of these approaches is great, and they
Even for those who know exactly what they want to blog about, it can be hard to generate idea after idea, especially once the novelty of a new blog wears off and you have covered the most obvious topics.
I’ve definitely struggled with it on occasion, which is why I’ve put together this fool-proof method to take the pressure off.
Choose Your Blogs Core Principles
If you’re just starting out, it is important to choose the guiding principles under which your blog will operate.
Now I get it, this seems like an easy step to skip – but going forward it will make it so much easier to choose what topic to write about and how to write it.
What topic is your blog going to cover? This may seem pretty obvious but it’s important to try and strike a balance between what you want to talk about (eg your products) and what people want to read about.
You can choose to focus on a single topic or a few, but it goes without saying that they should be connected to your business offering.
For example, I offer copywriting. social media management and strategy creation. As such, most of my blog posts focus on these topics. Though they may stray slightly – for example, this post on SEO – they are all still connected somehow (SEO knowledge is vital for copywriting.)
Consider how you want to position your blog – and therefore your business. Some businesses use their blog to showcase their brand personality or values to differentiate them from competitors.
Some position the author as an expert in order to build brand trust and showcase the business’s knowledge in a certain area.
If you are a skills-based business this approach (sharing knowledge) can be particularly beneficial and help present you as an industry ‘thought leader’.
Now, you may be wondering why you should share knowledge on your blog that people would rightly pay for.
To put it bluntly, people are much more likely to pay for your expertise if they can see that you are the expert, as opposed to you just telling them.
After all, I could tell you that I am an expert at aerothermal dynamics, but if you hired me to design a plane it wouldn’t get off the ground.
- Voice & Tone
Whether you are a business of one, or you have a few people who will be writing your blog the voice must appear consistent.
If you have multiple named blog authors, that is not to say they all need to write exactly alike but there should be similarities.
Decide from the start if your blog is going to sound formal or informal. Whether it will be packed full of technical data or instead use anecdotes to illustrate the point. Choose a voice and stick with it.
It is also worth thinking about the images you are going to use. Try to make them feel cohesive, so even without the text, they would convey a similar message to the reader.
Generating Blog Post Ideas
Once you’ve narrowed down the topics you’re going to talk about, chances are that a few blog post ideas will spring to mind – but if they don’t, or when they run out, some tools can help. And the good news is they are all completely free!
If you have an idea but are uncertain as to whether it is worth pursuing, Google trends can be a great place to start. Simply pop your topic into the search bar and you can select the country and time period to see how many people are searching for it and whether interest is increasing or waning.
- Search Engine Autofills
Staying with Google, auto-filled suggestions can be a goldmine. Simply start writing one of your key topics and see what Google suggests, as this is what other people are also searching for.
Don’t limit yourself to Google though, try other search engines and social platforms such as Youtube or Pinterest.
Ubersuggest is a free SEO tool by Neil Patel, simply choose your nation and enter a keyword or your domain. This works best if you’ve got a vague idea about what you would like to write about, however, generic keywords work too!
For example, if you work in interiors you could search ‘carpet edging’, and not only does this tool show you how hard it would be rank on a search engine for that term it also offers lots of keyword suggestions you can then turn into blog topics.
It also shows you a selection of ‘content ideas’ which shows you what other websites are writing about this topic.
Take a look through the suggestions and see if there is one you could update or offer a different perspective on.
- Competitor’s Posts
This one may sound a bit sneaky – mainly because it is. But it is always worth checking to see what your competitors are talking about.
Now, I am definitely not saying you should copy them, but you can definitely draw inspiration from them. If they are discussing one topic in-depth, ask yourself why that is. Think about if you could offer another perspective or add value to the discussion.
- Conversations with Customers
Ok, this one sounds even sneakier, but it really isn’t.
Either talk to your customers whilst dealing with their enquiries or speak to your sales team and find out what questions keep being asked.
If customers are constantly asking for product specifications, write a blog post on that! If they commonly ask for advice in a certain area, centre your post on providing that advice.
Try to answer all of their unanswered questions. I took this approach for one client’s blog and took the blog’s annual website visits from 56 visits to over 37,390 visits!
If you have an engaged audience on social media, you can easily take one customer’s request for advice and ask your customers to share their experience.
This works best in a business to consumer setting where there may be different ways or ‘hacks’ of using your product.
Collate their answers (giving them credit) into a blog post. Any future customers who need similar advice can easily find it through search engines, whilst those providing the advice often feel valued and appreciated by being asked – and eventually featured on the blog.
It’s also a great way to increase social media engagement rates and reach!
If you don’t already use Adwords, I would always recommend signing up.
Whilst I run PPC ads for some clients, I’ve found that is not necessary to actually spend any money to use all the tools provided.
You will need to provide you card details, but if you don’t set any Ads running you will not be charged a penny!
You will, however, have access to Keyword Planner. Much like Ubersuggest, you can enter a topic or keyword and it will suggest others which you can then use as blog post ideas.
To be perfectly honest, if you don’t want to sign up to Adwords I find Google Analytics to be more useful than the Keyword Planner anyway.
Have a look at the search terms that have led people to your site. These terms can often help you think up new ideas because:
a) they are already directly related to your site
b) the wording may contain ideas or phrases you had not thought of before
c) you already know people are interested in it as they have already searched it!
A company blog brings so many benefits, though it is undoubtedly a big (or at least long term) commitment.
I hope these tips and tools have made it easier for you to generate some blog post ideas, however, if you need more support – or someone to write the actual blog feel free to enquire about the freelance and consultancy services I offer.