In case you hadn't already noticed, 2013 is all about content.
Content is king and the days of keyword stuffing, or writing meaningless content that would only impress search engines, are now over. Producing great content that engages your visitors is the new model to build brand-awareness and search engine optimization. One of the best ways to incorporate this new model into your company website is by writing a company blog.
According to HubSpot, "companies that blog get 55% more website visitors and 97% more inbound links to their site than sites that don't" which makes sense because if someone finds the information in your blog post useful, they are more likely to check out your website for even more information.
Struggling to create content?
We are all too familiar with the challenges of creating compelling and valuable content.
Whether you’re a business owner, freelance writer, or in-house marketer, you have to find topics that are interesting to your customers and present them in a way that’s helpful, entertaining and relevant, and publish them on a constant basis.
The question that we hear most often is "where do I find great content to write about to keep my website's blog rolling"?
Fret no more! We've come up with 7 creative ideas + a bonus one, to help you come up with great content for your business blog.
1. Write about your products and services
Your products are the focus of your business so this is a great opportunity to talk about little known or unusual ways of using your product or services. You'll want to tread lightly with self-promotion, but if it's done sparingly, your readers won't be ticked off.
Blog Post ideas:
- Write about an upcoming product launch (How about creating a time-lapse video of your product coming to life? Customers love an inside look!)
- Create infographics about your industry are also really popular these days and post them on the blog.
- Talk about an event your company hosted.
2. Listen to your customers
One thing that businesses often ignore is their customer. You can use the company blog to extend the communication with your clients, from helping them learn how to better use your products and services to engaging them in the creation of a new product.
Blog Post ideas:
- Use the blog to answer questions you receive from customers.
- Run a poll on a topic and write a post about the result.
- Are you thinking of launching a new product? How about asking for feedback from customers and readers.
Take for example San Francisco-based apparel company ModCloth, which not only allowed its customers to vote on the items their stores should carry, but it has taken the concept of co-creation to a new level by creating an entire collection of user-generated designs.
3. Join the Conversation on LinkedIn
LinkedIn Groups are a great place to find and participate in conversations that can give you ideas for blog content. Much like forums, like-minded business professionals are constantly connecting and asking questions in the 'Answers' section of LinkedIn.
4. Write about industry-related trends and developments
If you haven't used Google Alerts until now, this is a good time to start. Go to http://www.google.com/alerts and type in a keyword or topic from your industry. Google will send you news, stories, and content about your topic straight to your email. This is a great way to generate new ideas from fresh current content. The best part about it: doesn't cost a thing.
5. Read related industry blogs
It can be helpful to see what your competition or other business in the industry are doing. If that doesn't inspire you to write some amazing blog posts, you can expand your research to include sites like Alltop, that list the top blogs by topic, from A to Z.
You can also find related blogs by doing a Google search: you can insert a keyword specific to your industry and add "blog" to the end of your query.
Blog Post Ideas:
- Write about a current news item in your industry that brings about changes with a wide impact.
- Write about trends that may affect your industry or clients.
- Review a recently-published book from your industry.
- List & review applications or sites useful to your industry.
6. Turn your customers into celebrities
Your costumers are using your products and services to improve their business so this would be a great opportunity to highlight the results they achieved. You can share your customer's success stories via case studies, interviews, whitepapers or testimonials. This way, your prospects can get a better idea of your company and what you can do for them.
Blog Post ideas:
- Share your customer's success stories via case studies and testimonials.
- Create a contest with cool giveaways to motivate your customers into sending photos or video with your products.
7. Make it Special for the Holidays
Holidays are also great opportunities to create some wonderful content by relating the holiday back to a product or service. You can also set-up a cool giveaway.
+ 1 Bonus. Attract Guest Bloggers
We know that time is often in short supply for small business owners. One way to help alleviate the stress of posting content is to accept guest posts from businesses that compliment your own products or services. Be sure to include a "Guest Posts", "Guest Bloggers" or 'Write for Us" section on your blog so it's easy for interested parties to volunteer.
One last bit of advice is to plan your content ahead of time and use a calendar to schedule posts for the following month(s). You can also vary your content between written articles, video and images.
Have any of these ideas worked for your business blog? Need more content ideas? Let us know by tweeting @BFMweb.