One of the most frequent questions I get from customers about blogging is "What should I write about?". Coming up with a topic for a first blog is not what people struggle with. The biggest challenge is to have an idea for a second, third or tenth blog. If you take 25 minutes (or less) to follow the 5 steps indicated below, you will have enough blog post ideas for the coming 6 to 12 months.
- List 5 questions you have got from customers in the past few months.
Each question you get from a customer is a topic for a blog. Customer questions (CQ) often lead to 'how-to' or 'XX-ways to' type of blogs.
- CQ: I don't know what to blog about. Can you help? - Blog topic: "How to generate 25 ideas for blog posts".
- CQ: I feel that my sales team is not working efficiently. What can I do about it? - Blog topic: "7 Effective ways to make your sales staff working more efficiently".
- CQ: How could we generate more press coverage? - Blog topic: "5 ways to get attention from the media."
How-to blog posts work very well on social media. This type of blogs offers your readers practical insights that can help them to move on, or to look at the challenges they face from a new perspective.
- List 5 people you would like to interview.
For this type of posts you can think of customers, industry experts or business partners you closely work with. Interviews give your content a more human and personal touch. They are often fun to read and give meaningful insights at the same time.
- Select 4 books you have read and create a personal top 10.
Make a list of books that you have read in the last 6 to 12 months. Select 4 books that offer valuable information for your (potential) customers. Each blog post could consist of the key lessons you have learned from the books you selected.
The fifth blog in the category 'books' can consist of your personal top 10 (or the top ten of your company or department). In your blog list all 10 titles (with a link to Amazon) and write down why it is a must-read. This type of blog post is great to publish in December or just before the summer holidays. Again, keep your target audience in mind while compiling your top 10.
- Turn 5 presentations into blogs posts.
Which presentations did you give in the past few months? Which inspirational presentations did you attend? Browse through the slides of these presentations and list 5 topics that can be covered in a blog post. I recently gave a presentation titled 'Social media, what's in it for you?'. I started off with a checklist to ask about people's social media usage. This could already be turned into a blog post asking people 10 questions followed by 10 tips to improve their social media presence.
I finished this presentation with my favorite quote:
"The goal (of social media) is not followers, but connections, relationships and believers. People who see themselves in the soul of your business."
Obviously this quote could lead to a blog "Why you need to know your Why to be successful on social media."
Now over to you. Which topics could you generate from your presentations and the ones you listened to on conferences or events?
5. Invite 5 guest bloggers
Whose business is closely related to what you do, has the same audience but is not competing with you? List 5 of these people. They are ideal to invite for a guest blog post. Guest blogs bring variation in your content and also show who you are associated with. In addition, guest blogs can broaden your reader audience as you might not only reach your readers, but the readers of your guest blogger as well.
In case that you don't feel comfortable with some of the suggestions above, I would like to offer you one more tip: For 5 days, take notes of what you read online and offline. Write each topic you come across that triggers your on a post-it. I am really curious how many ideas you will collect over these 5 days. Stay tuned, I will post mine ideas in 5 days time.