We all know that blogging can be a great way to attract prospective customers. But the last thing you want to do is have visitors come to your blog and see that the most recent post is six months old. Talk about a blow to your credibility and image. At the same time, as anyone who’s written a blog for any length of time knows, the question inevitably comes up: “What in the world am I going to write about today?”
When you feel as if you have lapped the track one time too many, and are completely out of ideas, here are some suggestions that will get you stimulated and creative.
1) Think Small: By this I mean: what is one tip, idea or suggestion that you can offer someone that they would find helpful? This isn’t a huge manifesto, just a single valuable tip. For example: What’s the ideal amount to try to save for retirement each year without eliminating fun from your life? How much weight can you safely lose in a week? How to answer the “What do you do?” question in a way that sounds interesting and not lame. How to write a condolence message.
You get the idea. Something small, yet practical.
2) A list of resources to solve a problem: 5 Ways to cheer yourself up when you’re depressed or sad. 3 great questions to ask in a job interview. 7 places to go to hire the best copywriters. People love resource lists and find them incredibly useful. It’s an easy blog post to write with just a bit of research.
3) Case studies: Here was the problem this individual (or company) faced. Here’s what they tried. Initially it didn’t work because of these reasons. Then they tried this. Here’s what happened.
This is a simple formula for telling a success story (aka case study). In fact, you can preface the story by saying you’ve changed the names due to confidentiality reasons, which then enables you to pretty much write whatever you want.
4) Questions from a reader: Again these can be legit or you can use questions you think your readers are asking themselves. Most of us who have some type of expertise get asked certain questions repeatedly. It’s old hat to us, but for those who don’t have our level of expertise, it’s enlightening. Think about the typical questions you get asked a lot once people find out what you do, or the questions someone asks you when they’re sitting next to you on a plane.
5) The Checklist: 5 things to pack when traveling to Asia. 6 foods never to eat on a plane. 9 things your new cell phone must have. This is a bit of a spin off of #2 but with a different slant.
6) Debunk a commonly held belief: Why the world’s most common exercise will actually make you look fatter. What you’ve been told about saving for retirement is wrong, and why most everyone dies broke. Why a happy workforce is a sign of unprofitability. Why behavioral interviews seduce you into hiring the wrong person. Give the blog post an intriguing title and these kinds of ideas will work like a champ.
Remember, the key for blogging is consistency. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write every day, but if your audience expects you to produce two articles a week, that’s what you need to do.
Finally, keep in mind that you never know when a good idea will hit you. That’s the time to log onto your blog and just write the headline or topic you’ve just thought up. Don’t make the mistake I often made of thinking that you’ll remember the topic later on.
Now go write something!
Mark Satterfield is the founder and CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing, Inc. He specializes in working with consultants, advisers, and small businesses on how to get consistent streams of new business. Since 1992, he has helped clients in financial services, insurance, health care, consulting, real estate, advertising, training, recruiting, and more than 75 niche industries grow their businesses without cold calling or hard selling. He is the author of the forthcoming book THE ONE WEEK MARKETING PLAN (Ben Bella Books, August 2014). Visit www.gentlerainmarketing.com