Writing can be hard, but don’t let your blog sit and gather dust!
Pop quiz: Is your business blog being updated on a consistent basis?
If you answered the question “No” then you’ve got some work to do!
We’re frequently asked: “Why blog? I have enough to worry about. Plus, I have a hard time thinking of things to write about.”
We’ve covered our answers to both of those questions in this post!
The Reason You Need a Blog
According to HubSpot, 57% of companies who have a blog have acquired a customer from it:
And 92% of companies who post to their blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from it:
This research indicates that blogs are a great marketing and customer acquisition channel – especially if you are dedicating resources to updating it often.
So, it’s time for you to get serious about your business blog. From this day forward make it a priority to post frequently to your blog (or hire an agency to do it for you).
All right, promising to post to your blog regularly is easy, but actually carrying through is hard. Do you often get stuck sitting in front of a blank word document wondering what the heck you should even be writing about? Does it feel like everyone has already covered all the “popular” topics in your industry?
Stop worrying, your competitors have not covered everything and even if they have, you have your own unique perspective on each topic to share.
How to Come Up with Blog Topics
Here’s a quick guide on how to come up topics for your blog:
1. Google Keyword Research
Google’s Keyword Tool is a great free resource for finding blog topics that people are already searching for.
Let’s say you own a flower shop and that Mother’s Day is a month away.
Type a few phases into Google’s tool that have to do with flowers and mother’s day and hit search:
Google will populate a list of all the phrases you entered above with the search volume for those phrases:
In this case we see that there is a lot of search volume for “flowers for mothers day” but negligible volume for the other phrases.
Right below the data about your phrases, Google will populate a large list of related keyword ideas:
These search phrase lists are your goldmine for blog post topics leading up to Mother’s Day.
Since we know that “flowers for mothers day” has a high search volume you should write a post that uses this phrase. A possible title could be: Top 3 Most Delightful Flowers for Mother’s Day.
We also see from the related keywords list that “cheap mothers day flowers” is another search phrase that can drive some traffic. You might right a post called: Cheap Mother’s Day Flowers That Will Bring a Smile to Her Face.
To come up with your own list of key terms simply go to the Keyword Research Tool and type in some words that are related to your business and/or industry and let Google come up with some topics for you.
Using this method for coming up with blog post ideas comes with the added benefit of knowing people are actively looking for the topics you’re writing about.
2. Browse Through the News
Another method for coming up with blog post ideas is by browsing the news.
Look through some headlines and see if any of them can relate back to your business.
Using the flower shop example again, I might browse the Entertainment section of Google News and see that “The Great Gatsby” movie is really popular.
I could then write a blog post called “Dinner & a Movie: Don’t Forget the Flowers.” I could then write about taking a date to see “The Great Gatsby” and why flowers are a traditional and still well received gift on dates.
When using current events and news stories as inspiration for blog posts be sure that you are tactful. For example, after the Boston bombings writing a post about flowers to bring to a funeral in Boston might not have been well received.
The current even topics you use as fuel for your blog writing sessions are completely up to you – just use good judgment. It’s okay to be controversial as long as you do not alienate your customer base.
3. Publish Your Case Studies
One of the best types of blog posts is a case study or testimonial story. These not only make excellent selling tools (hello, social proof) but people love to read them.
When it comes to putting together a case study you should include:
- The background – a brief history of your customer/client
- The problem – what issue your customer was facing
- The solution – the strategy you used to tackle the problem
- The results – include hard data like increased sales/decreased cost
- Next steps – recommendations for taking things to the next level
Case studies are particularly useful when selling B2B or a very high cost item.
When selling low cost items you might skip the formal case study and simply publish a personal testimonial / short customer story.
In the case of the flower shop, you might talk about a wedding you serviced while including quotes from the bride about how much she loved your arrangements.
Once you have a bunch of blog topics to write about, determine the frequency of posting that you can adhere to.
While publishing multiple posts per day has its strong advantages, you don’t want to publish three posts in one day and then not post anything else for a week.
If you can only commit to posting to your blog once every day or twice per week that’s okay. Once you start seeing an increase in traffic, leads and/or sales from your blog you can hire someone to help you increase your posting frequency.