But even the most knowledgeable professional occasionally runs out of ideas. If your Write About This list is running dry, here are a few instant sources of blog post ideas that will get your fingers flying again in no time.
Find out what your customers what they want to know, and tell them.
You don’t have to set up a fancy pop-up poll to get valuable feedback. Just check with your customer service representatives (or your own email inbox). If customer service is telling you they answer the same question a few times a month, consolidate those answers into a blog post! Not only does this solve your immediate content problem, but you can save your own workers’ time by giving them a useful resource to direct these inquiries toward rather than writing an essay for each person asking.
I do this frequently myself. Our copyrighting division receives countless questions about exactly what constitutes copyright infringement. I asked our order processor to give me a few of the common ones, and I wrote a blog post about it. (Then, a few weeks later, I got some more feedback from our copyrighting division and wrote another one—bonus! Your customer’s inquiries are a stream of blog topics that will never run dry.)
This leads us to another point to keep in mind when you’re considering blog post ideas:
Blog posts don’t need to directly translate into sales.
Blog too much about your specific services and offerings, and your blog itself becomes just another extension of your website: great for SEO in that you’re continuously updating content and putting good keywords out there, but not so great for your readers. (If they want to know about your services and products, they’d be looking at your website—right?)
Our copyrighting division doesn’t provide legal advice, nor do we provide services to musicians with copyrighted material who believe their work is being infringed upon. But our customers have shared their concerns and misunderstandings about copyright infringement with us, and we responded by doing some research and providing information about musicians and copyrights.
Blogging about what your customers want to know, rather than solely yourself, places you in a position to gain customer respect and become known for your helpful advice. You may not make an immediate sale as a direct result, but customer loyalty and respect is an excellent first step!
Don’t assume that every reader is an expert in your industry.
Here at Click Industries, we’ve come to understand that our business filings division attracts two main groups of clients: busy corporate professionals who just don’t have the time or desire to track down and draft paperwork to register a DBA or a foreign corporation, and brand new entrepreneurs, excited about their new business opportunity and bewildered by the myriad requirements and options.
While we don’t tell people what they should be doing in their specific situations (this would constitute legal advice—one of the reasons we’re able to keep our prices so low), we do provide general information to our customers so that they can make good, informed decisions about their businesses (in consultation with their lawyers, of course).
While our website language is designed to be informative to small business owners in all stages of their entrepreneurial journey, the blog is an excellent place to go into detail above and below that level of understanding. We’re able to spend one blog post on accounting software, and the next exploring the basics of corporate bylaws.
Your non-industry family and friends are great sources of feedback in this department. Find a volunteer and have him or her read your last few blog posts. If they’re scratching their heads halfway through the first one, ask them to explain what’s confusing them, and write a blog post on the very basics. Sure, some of your readers will already know—but you might provide valuable clarification to a whole other level of readers (as well as a refresher course for the rest).
You can’t go wrong with a Top Ten list.
Really. It’s scientifically proven. (Or it should be, anyway.)
Your list could be anything. Start jotting down some ideas: top ten best _______, top ten worst _______, top ten ways to _______ . . . the list goes on. And with an introduction, an annotated list of bullet points, and a conclusion, you’ve got yourself a complete blog post before you know it!
Just start writing!
If all else fails, it might be time for some good old-fashioned stream-of-consciousness writing. (Hey, it got me through my undergrad English classes!) You know your industry. Put your fingers to the keyboard and just start writing until you can’t write anymore. Then, skim what you’ve done, isolate your strongest cohesive thought or idea, and expand on it until it’s a blog post (and, of course, save the rest of your musings for later inspiration)!