I received a question this morning from a client: â€œAny tips on starting a blog and what to post?â€ and immediately put down what I was doing to write this article. I sometimes forget how difficult it can be to get started blogging and thought this would be a great topic for a post.
Iâ€™m a big fan of doing an hours work and having that hour pay me back in many different ways. Another way of saying this is that I like to leverage my time so when people ask questions, instead of answering the question in an email, Iâ€™ve found it to be more effective to answer the question and send it out as a newsletter and add it as a blog post to my site AND then to blast it out via my social networks. (That way you get way more results for the time and effort youâ€™ve spent!)
If youâ€™re like I was when I was new to blogging, youâ€™re likely finding it hard to find the time to write regularly let alone come up with great ideas to write about.
With that in mind, here are 5 tips to help you come up with great content for your blog on a regular basis. Hereâ€™s a bonus tip up front: If you want to come up with great content AND leverage your time like I mentioned above, consider sending out each blog post as an email to everyone on your list. By doing so youâ€™ve just multiplied the potential return on your time.
5 Blog Writing Tips Anyone Can Follow:
- Read the news
- Keep track of your competition
- Follow news & trends in your industry
- Follow new & trends in your clientâ€™s industries
- Answer client questions
1. Read the news
It might seem obvious but I find a great way to come up with blog article ideas is to scan the general news headlines every morning. Why is this helpful? In addition to keeping you up to speed on whatâ€™s going on, often what happens is that a quick scan will get the ideas flowing. You may see something taking shape in the media that relates to something your clients are interested in or something that relates to a past experience and voila: a new idea for post is born. What it comes down to is idea flow â€“ the more you take in on a daily basis the more ideas youâ€™re going to have on what to write about. And remember: timely, relevant content is everything.
2. Keep track of your competition
Keeping an eye on your competitors, especially your most successful competitors or the big shots in your area is a great way to come up with ideas on what to write about. If theyâ€™re covering a story, see if you can write a post with a new angle or come at it with your own twist and insight. You donâ€™t want to play catch up necessarily but you can gleam a lot of great ideas by seeing what others are up to in your field. It also helps you to spot trends and potential weaknesses your competition might have if you follow them regularly.
3. Follow industry news and trends
Using financial services as an example, industry rules and regulations change from time to time (understatement?) and you need to stay up to date on them in order to do your job. So why not keep your clients and prospects in the loop? At the beginning of the year we saw the advent of the Tax Free Savings Account for Canadians â€“ this was a great example of a blog post waiting to happen. Anytime something industry specific comes up thatâ€™s important to the people you do business with â€“ write about it.
4. Follow industry news and trends in your clientâ€™s industries
In order to better serve your clients, generate referrals and build your web presence, Iâ€™ve found itâ€™s a good idea to learn as much about your client base as possible. If you primarily serve business owners in the suburbs for examples, see if you can find some local blogs and websites that target this niche also. Then when they post news, write a quick summary of that news and post it on your site. Subscribe to newsletterâ€™s and blogs that your clients read and pay attention to the things that are affecting them. Then see if you can put a post together about how your services fit whatâ€™s going on in their industry for example. Again the key is idea flow. Pay attention to whatâ€™s important to your clients and then showcase your understanding and ideas on your own site.
5. Answer client questions
Iâ€™ve saved the best for last. My number one tip on what to write about on your blog is to answer questions your clients and prospects ask you. Questions that come in via email, phone calls, social networks or in person chats are the absolute best source of content for your blog.
Much like the question that sparked this post, any time a customer asks you a question, if instead of just emailing a response you take some time to create a content piece (blog post) around it you can then leverage that investment of time by posting the answer on your site and also sending the article out via email, your social networks and even mail if you still use the old fashioned way!
Final Thoughts: Whatâ€™s the ROE? (Return on Energy?)
So how did you like the 5 tips? Sound like a lot of work? Well, it can be in some cases but a lot of the time a quick post with some bullet points will suffice. This article took me about 20-30 minutes to write but after itâ€™s all said and done not only will it be emailed to about 150 people immediately, I will then post it on my own site where hundreds and potentially thousands of people can see it this month (and in the future people will be able to find this article in Google which may bring more visits and views). I will also blast it out to my social networks (Facebook, linkedin.com, Twitter.com, and others) using ping.fm which means 3000+ people will receive a notification about this post in short order.
Based on experience, using this quickly implemented strategy, I will receive multiple responsesâ€¦and likely a few more questions as a result!