As a savvy business owner, you know by now that blogging isn’t a fluffy extra, but rather a serious necessity.
Content marketing has overtaken traditional marketing methods of yore. The old ways are rapidly becoming obsolete as it becomes increasingly important for brands to engage with customers online in authentic ways.
Just how does one do that?
When you sit down in front of a computer and write something for the blog, you might find yourself staring at a blank screen with your fingers hovering over the keyboard and your mind wandering.
That’s OK; everyone gets writer’s block, even people who aren’t technically writers. So maybe you need a little inspiration to get you going. Read on to find it:
1. Give away your expert knowledge
It may seem counterintuitive to give away your expertise and insider tips, but it’s a brilliant move that will win you new customers and loyalty. If you’re willing to just give this stuff away for free, imagine what paying clients get.
There are a couple of reasons this works. First, it establishes you as an industry leader and a great source of information. Second, it’s because some of the people who read your informative blog will think: “Thanks for explaining, but I don’t have time for all that. Can I just pay you to do it for me?” It’s a win/win.
2. Solve problems
If there’s one thing you know well, it’s your customers. Think about the most common challenges they face, and write blogs that address those challenges.
People are attracted to articles that speak directly to them about a real problem they’re dealing with. If you doubt me, just look at the headlines in the Life & Style section of The Huffington Post.
3. Say the thing you’re sick of saying
What is the one thing that you have to explain to customers ad nauseam? Write it out in a blog, and the next time it comes up, you can just direct them to the blog instead of running through the script again.
4. Get personal
People who do business with you or are thinking about doing business with you actually want to know a little about the humans behind that business. So, pull back the curtain occasionally to reveal something about you and your team.
What did everyone do over the summer? How did you get involved in the industry? What are your passions, and what’s your vision for the future? These are all compelling and engaging topics that are ripe for the writing.
5. Explain industry lingo
Chances are good there’s a nomenclature that’s unique to your field; perhaps you throw industry terms around without even thinking. It would be helpful to have an article that provides a straightforward breakdown of common lingo.
6. Offer case studies
Instead of straight-up bragging about how great your services are, show your results. Write about a specific client or customer you worked with and describe their challenges, the strategies you used and your successes.
7. Examine trends
Explore what’s happening in your industry. Write about emerging trends and how customers can incorporate them into whatever they’re doing. For your field, that might mean talking about new technologies, innovations or styles.
8. Curated content
A curated list is the perfect fail-safe when you’re feeling a little uninspired, because it just involves gathering cool stuff you like. Here are a few lists you can create for a blog:
- Your favorite industry blogs
- Interesting statistics
- Powerful quotations
- Recommended books
- Examples of success
- A playlist of songs related to what you do
9. Try a Q-and-A exchange
Talk to someone in your industry or your company, posing questions that your customers or clients might ask. Then just publish the (edited) dialogue in a Q-and-A format; it’s simple and interesting and requires very little work on your part.
10. Offer your opinion
Sometimes it’s nice to share your own perspective with your customers, even if it’s a little controversial. Take on a current hot issue in your industry, or do some light ranting about something that gets under your skin.
An editorial-style opinion piece can be compelling and can show your customers a little more about who you are as a person. Here’s one that we did recently: It was a little edgy to write a blog about why our services might not work for someone, but that’s what made it interesting.
At least one of these topics should stir up your ideas and inspiration. When it does, you’ll be well on your way to offering real value and forming relationships through genuine engagement.
This article originally appeared on the WebRev Marketing & Design blog.