Running out of things to talk about is a common fear of people who are thinking about launching a company blog.
In fact, everyone who has written or managed a blog has probably struggled to come up with a good idea for an article from time to time. Myself included.
But that doesn’t mean you should abandon ship or avoid setting sail in the first place. Blogging is far too valuable as a business tool, from boosting your search ranking to building client relationships to establishing trust and credibility.
In addition to writing down every topic you can possibly think of during a brainstorming session – which you should do on a regular basis – there are a few simple ways to make sure you never run out of blog topics.
Listen to your customers.
Blogs are supposed to help and solve problems for our customers, not sell stuff.
Whenever someone asks me what they should talk about in their blog, I always say they can never go wrong by answering common customer questions.
What questions do your customers ask before, during, and after the sale? Each question can be addressed in a separate blog article and backed up with sound reasoning, hard data, and the experiences of other customers.
Think of your blog as an expanded FAQ that customers and prospects can use to educate themselves and put their minds at ease.
Customers are the most valuable but underutilized source of marketing insights. Find out about their wants, needs, desires, concerns, frustrations, and challenges and develop marketing content that addresses them.
Deal with customer objections head on.
We all have prepared and often over-rehearsed responses when prospects voice certain objections to making a purchase.
But how often do you get the chance to fully state your case? Do you always make an airtight case, or do you sometimes leave room for doubt?
A blog gives you a platform to overcome each obstacle, one per article, by stating your case thoroughly – and without interruption.
Share news and explain research.
Throughout the day, I’m constantly receiving articles and newsletters with information that’s relevant to my audience and me.
If new insight or data that will help my customers becomes available, I want to be the one to introduce it to them. I want them to view me as a valuable source of information.
A news story will often inspire a new blog article and provide you with a timely angle for introducing a topic. It can also help you put a fresh spin on something you’ve covered previously.
If new research is released, look for the statistics that are relevant to your audience. Sometimes a single statistic can inspire an entire blog article.
Just like a news story, statistics can provide you with a timely intro, whether the topic is brand new or something you’ve discussed in another post.
And yes, there is absolutely nothing wrong with writing about the same topic more than once as long as you approach it differently and bring something new to the table each time.
Get involved in industry-related discussions.
Follow social media chatter. Go to networking events, chamber meetings, and relevant business expos. Join a Meetup group.
Talk to people face-to-face, either in person or virtually. Comment on online discussions. More importantly, ask questions and listen to what people have to say.
There’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon an issue, trend, or pain point that you hadn’t considered even though it’s directly relevant to your target audience.
Why not shift that discussion to your blog?
Read what your colleagues and competitors have to say.
Hate to break it to you, but you probably don’t have the market cornered on good ideas and helpful information.
It’s one thing to read a great article, paraphrase it, and attach your name to it. This lazy approach is one reason why most blogs lack value.
However, there’s nothing wrong with taking something you’ve read someplace else and approaching it from a different angle or offering your own unique take on the subject.
Mine your list posts.
Some of you may claim to hate “listicles” (10 Reasons Why Yada Yada), but we’ve all done them. Because they work.
These articles are popular because they typically provide quick blurbs of helpful information that are easy to absorb.
They also tend to lack depth.
For example, in one of my articles, 7 Ways You’re Damaging Your Company’s Credibility, I see at least five items at first glance that can be expanded into standalone posts.
Take the quick hits from your list posts and use them as inspiration for more in-depth explanations that provide added value to your audience – and more keyword density for the Google monster.
Mine your comments.
Using that same article as an example, one of my readers suggested that I missed one way that many companies are damaging their credibility.
She’s absolutely right.
Her comment, and the reasoning behind it, could very well be the inspiration for a future blog article.
What made readers want to give you a high five? What made readers want to punch you in the face?
Use that feedback to write blog articles that directly address issues that are important to your clients, prospects, and contacts.
What do you do to avoid running out of blog topics?