Have you got a business blog where you once committed to share quality, useful content with your clients? Have you been struggling since to come up with great ideas for business blog posts, and have you even gone for weeks and months without posting anything? You are not alone. Many of my clients come to their Marketing Strategy Sessions with this question: How can I get ideas for writing business blog posts? In this post, I'll share with you proven strategies and a checklist of how you can easily generate ideas for your blog. In one of the business Facebook groups I'm a member of, a question was posted.
I'm struggling. I know how important blogging and social media are to any business but I feel like I'm forcing it. Anyone have any ideas to work on it and have it feel organic. I've tried the editorial calendars but I feel my content is lacking.
This a common problem - you start your blog or social media account (or all!) and then you start struggling with what you will say, how will you say it, what you are going to write about this week, next week... You leave it until the last minute - then something else comes up - and yet again the blog didn't get written.
So how you can make the whole process of getting ideas for blog posts easier?
Other people's content
Give yourself permission that you don't have to write every single piece of content from scratch. And it's totally ok. Your clients won't abandon you for this, and won't think any less of you. The key is you are still providing useful, quality information to them, and you are also introducing them to other experts that might be useful for their businesses. So if you are a business coach - they might be interested to hear from a copywriter, and a web designer, and a photographer, and even a fitness/nutrition coach. There are many professionals out there that will complement what you do without competing.
- So look at curating content creating by others. You can share content from other businesses you follow with your community, especially it's easy to do on social media where you can reshare and retweet updates from others.
- You can set up interviews for your blog posts. These can come as written or as video/audio interviews. Look at Marie TV as an example - some weeks she has her own content featured (Q&A Tuesday) and some weeks - she interviews other experts and authors to get helpful insights for her audience.
- Allow guest posters to share content with your community. Your blog will gain more authority and your reach will increase as guest posters will be promoting their post on their own marketing platforms too. Obviously the key is to be selective about blog posts you publish and how many you publish. The content you would accept would still need to be high quality, original content specific to the needs of your audience.
Sharing your personal stories
Social media is not just about BUSINESS. Or marketing. It's the balance between social and marketing, underpinned by a specific media platform you are using. At the end of the day, hardly any social media platforms appeared with a goal of providing free advertising to business owners! So the business owners who are using those platforms are humans just like me and you. And they are looking for a personal connection, a bit of fun and inspiration, some useful tips, interesting ideas. With this in mind, aim for around 30% of your social media posts being completely personal (photos of you and your daily life, personal insights, stories from your life, reviews of what you are reading/watching). Your business employees can do the same too. You will then feel less like a business but more like a friend, someone they know and like - so your followers will engage more. You can do the same with your blogging by including personal stories and thoughts in your blog posts to help your audience get to know you. We often have plenty of personal stories to share with friends, but we don't share them in our marketing materials. Just be mindful of your brand - if your brand is clean and very professional, keep your stories like that. If your brand is quirky and edgy, your stories can be more risqué too.
Put yourself in your client's shoes
You could spend some time thinking about your ideal clients and their needs. What is your ideal client searching for? What questions do they often have online, in forums, in emails to you, in personal 1-2-1 sessions? What books, tools and programs will be helpful for them? You could create reviews of those as blog posts too. Do some listening on social media and you will uncover ideas for posts. You could look at Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Reddit, Quora and other forums relevant to your industry to find questions that a) you can answer and b) occur quite often. Can you give a behind the scenes in your business? Are there trends for your industry you can cover? For example, I've create 2 posts recently on 2014 Marketing Changes and 2015 Marketing Trends and Predictions. Finally, you could post case studies from projects or results your clients achieved, done in a helpful way you will share what you do in your business, how you help clients, your expertise and transformation your clients go through.
Making writing process easier for you
Do you struggle with finding content or with the actual writing process in front of your computer? If it's the latter, you can try some tips to help you overcome this difficulty.
- You can record your posts as voice notes, especially when you are on the go. You don't have to set aside dedicated time for your blogging - just email your notes to your Virtual Assistant, who will transcribe them, format and load as blog posts.
- You can record yourself on video answering questions from your clients (or potential clients) or common questions you found on social media.
- Commit to writing without editing. Just sit down at your computer or with a pen & paper and write for any length of time you set (from 5min to half an hour). Don't worry about SEO, subtitles and structure at this time, just write down anything and everything you'd like to say on the subject. You can then go back to the piece a few days later and edit it into a blog post.
- And finally a tip for your time management. If it's not scheduled, it's not real right? So put your blogging and marketing time into your diary, like you would the time you set aside for working on your products or services, or working with your clients. Commit to the time no matter what, and you'll see changes happening in your business soon enough!
Your action this week
So what do YOU really struggle with? Coming up with ideas, or writing them down as blog posts? And which of the tips above will make your marketing life easier? Share your insights in the comments below, especially if you've come across some other helpful suggestions on how to come with great ideas for your business blog posts or to overcome writer's block and procrastination. As always, thanks for reading! If you liked this post - please share it with your friends on social media (using the buttons on the side) and subscribe below to get more marketing tips and insights, that will help your coaching business grow.