"Our industry is soooo boring! No one will read about it!"
"Our competitors will get too much information from our blog posts!"
"There's nothing worth writing about for our business!"
"No one cares what we have to say!"
Do any of these statements resonate with you? The vast majority of small businesses that think these things are really saying this:
- I don't know where to start.
- My competitors aren't doing it, so I'm not going to.
- I haven't spent any time trying to brainstorm what we could write about.
- It sounds like a bigger project than we want to take on right now.
- We don't have any writers in house and don't want to pay for writing.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that all of the 1st list of statements are wrong. If they were true, you would not be in business. Some one cares. Your competitors already know enough about your market and products/services to be dangerous. There's plenty to write to about. Let's take a look at some ways of brainstorming blog post ideas.
When The Phone Rings, It's A Blog Post Opportunity
When clients and potential clients call your company with a question, how is it dealt with right now? I'd bet the person answering the phone either knows the answer and provides it, or finds someone that knows the answer and follows up with it. What if every time someone calls your company with a question, you added it to a list? Then, once a month, you spend 30 minutes looking at the list of questions and decide on 5 that you could write 2-3 paragraphs answering. You don't have write the answer, but the person that is best suited to answer it can. There's 5 new blog posts.
Even better, when someone calls with a question, you can provide the answer to them easier, because common questions have been answered on your blog. You could even ask for their email address (lead generated!) and send them a link to the blog post that more thoroughly answers their question. Chances are pretty good that they will notice more helpful content on your blog. Guess what! They are starting to gain more trust and respect for your businesses. Additionally, they may search their question before calling and find your blog post. You've saved them time by not requiring a phone call, and you've saved your staff time.
Are There Best Practices For Your Products and/or Services?
Of course there are! If you sell cars, the longevity and performance of the car can be directly related to the recommended maintenance done on the car. If you sell pencils, it's probably best to use a sharp point most of the time, and write on matte finished paper. What are 5-10 best practices for EACH of your products or services that you could write 2-3 paragraphs about? You now have 5-10 X the number of products or services that you offer, worth of new blog posts.
By sharing these best practices, you're adding a ton of value for your clients and prospective clients. You will be looked at as an expert, which builds trust. Trust makes sales so much easier.
What Are The RIGHT Buying Criteria For Your Product Or Service?
Find yourself competing on price all the time? Then you need to shift the buying criteria away from just price. What about longevity? What about quality? What about post-sale service and support? What about the risks associated with buying a cheap alternative? These are just some aspects of setting the appropriate buying criteria for your products or services. What are 5 factors to consider besides price when making a buying decision for your product or service? That's 6 new blog posts. One listing each factor, and one for each factor that explains the reasoning.
What Pages, Besides Your Homepage Are Visited Most Often?
What are your top 5 most visited pages on your website, besides your homepage? Is there additional content that you could create to add more value for your visitors?
What Pages On Your Site Have The Highest Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate measures the percentage of website visitors that land on a page of your site and immediately hit the back button or go elsewhere. When a user takes that action, they are considered a bounce. Look at those pages and try to determine (possibly with evaluating keywords they used to arrive there in the first place) why they bounced. Were they expecting a certain type of content, but got something else? These pages should be improved, but they may also be a blog post opportunity.
What Blog Posts Get The Most Visits/Bounces?
The most popular posts on your blog are often a great way to generate more blog post ideas. You can probably expand upon them with similar and supportive posts. Similar to your website, you may find that some of your blog posts have a high bounce rate. That means there's an opportunity to improve on that type of content.
How Does A Client Use Your Product Or Service?
Focusing solely on yourself is a bad idea. After all, I'd bet most of your prospective clients aren't searching for "provider of product or service that thinks they are the best". They are searching for information about their usage of your products or services. That being the case, you should want to rank well for their usage of your products or services. For example, if you sell car wash soap, you may want to write blog posts about the various aspects of detailing a car. This type of content will searched for by your prospective buyers and allow you to build trust with them.
What Problems Does Your Product Or Service Solve For Your Clients?
Let's say you sell a floor coating system for manufacturing facilities. Problems that manufacturers may search for related to your product or service might be, slippery shop floors, chipped warehouse floor, reconditioning shop floor, and shop floor finishes. These are all common problems that your prospective clients have. You should have blog posts that speak to those problems. Answer your prospective clients' problems in your blog posts, and give them an easy way to contact you to discuss more.
Just Scratching The Surface
This list is just a starting point. Most industries have a ton of other areas that can be developed into great blog posts. Once you change your thinking from no one cares, to what would they care about, you will find topic after topic to write about. Best of all, by writing blog posts, you are greatly improving your SEO and the ability for new clients to find you. You establish trust and make sales much easier.
No more excuses! Start blogging!!