As you may already know, maintaining a business blog is a great way to boost your brand online. It can help tremendously in driving traffic to your website, highlighting your services, and gaining a wider following. If you’ve already started blogging for your business, then you’ve recognized the major benefits of starting a business blog and are ready to begin posting regularly. But now what? Perhaps at one point, you were bursting with ideas for topics, but now you can’t think of anything new or interesting to write about.
The good news is you are not alone. Most bloggers hit this roadblock at some point. There are certain steps you can take to get yourself back on track and re-ignite the creative spark, and with the formula described below, you’ll have plenty of material to write about. Follow these steps to keep coming up with great blog post topics and get your blogging game back on track.
1. Business Blogging Topics: Determine Your Target Audience
Who Are They?
Before you determine what to write about, you first must know who you’re writing to. Who is your audience? It’s best to be very specific in the questions you’re asking and your overall final description. Writing to “all young adults in the region who like cars,” is a start, but “young car enthusiasts in their 20’s and 30’s who actively engage in car-related pages on Facebook” is much better. The more specific you are, the more successful your results will be.
Begin with basic demographics such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, income and occupation. Then, if you want to really engage with a niche market, dive into psychographics, archetypes and personalities. Ask yourself, who is your ideal customer, really? What kinds of things get them excited? What sorts of things bother them? What are their day-to-day problems? If you can answer these questions, you’re off to a great start.
Why Should They Care?
Once you’ve established who you’re writing to, it’s important to understand why they would want to read. Figure out how your pieces might appeal to them. Why should they take time out of their day to read your post? After all, people are busy. If you want to catch people’s attention, you must deliver a strong argument that your blog is worth their time.
There can be a variety of answers to why they should care. Maybe they have a need that is currently unfulfilled that only you can provide. Perhaps there is a topic they are interested in that has yet to be explored. For example, maybe they’ve always wanted to invest in nicer furniture for an affordable price, but only you can explain to them how and where to find good deals on high-quality pieces in their city.
You will have the most success if you leverage your blog to meet your consumers where they’re at. You should be able to pass every blog post through the “why should they care?” test, and every post should serve as a potential source for your reader to learn interesting information, solve a problem, fill a need, or better their lives.
2. Business Blogging Topics: Do Your Research
Once you’ve answered the who and the why, you can begin to answer the what. What content does your target audience already engage with? The best way to answer this is through research.
Analyze the Market
You can begin by investigating the market. Remember that your readers are trusting that you are the expert, so you should know exactly what issues are hot topics in the area, what new information is emerging, and what the latest buzz is in the industry.
This doesn’t mean you have to constantly write about the top trending issues. Simply be aware of them–because the more knowledge you can demonstrate that you have, the more credibility you will build with your audience, and the more they will trust you as a resource.
Something to maintain a strong understanding of is your competitor. It’s important to know what competing brands are up to so you can make sure your posts provide an edge that makes you different (and better!). Know what’s happening in your market so that you can incorporate this information into your pieces when it’s relevant and keep on top of what your viewers are consuming.
Observe Other Bloggers
Another great place to go for research is other blogs in your market. If you want to figure out what topics are most successful, look at what has actually worked for others. Analyze popular blogs from businesses that are similar to yours and take note of what kinds of topics get the most engagement.
There are several tools you can use to find blog posts in your market. One great option is using a feed reader, such as Feedly.com, to find the most popular blog posts related to whatever category you choose. Also, if you already know of some related blogs, check if those bloggers have a blogroll. This is an archive the blogger creates with a list of sites they recommend to their reader.
When checking out other blog posts, take note of which posts get large numbers of views. Is there a certain kind of topic that gets people talking more than usual in the comments? Figure out what your audience is already drawn to so that you can get a general idea for what topics will incite the most interest.
Talk to People
Note that at this point, it’s often helpful to talk with others. Start by talking with your staff and coworkers to get their opinions, which are usually based on their own experience and customer interactions.
You can even ask your customers what topics would appeal to them. If your company gives out electronic feedback surveys or emails, you can add a question that gets people talking about what they’d be interested in reading about in the future, or what topics they’d like to learn more about. In these surveys, as well as in reviews, you can also find out what needs and concerns they have so that you can leverage each blog post to provide something that can both help your consumer and lead them to your store.
3. Business Blogging Topics: Make a Decision
Once you have gotten to know who your audience is, what they want, why they want it, and how you can provide it for them, you are ready to start brainstorming. Get out a blank document and, using all the new information you now have, begin jotting down whatever ideas come to your mind. You can worry about polishing them up later, but it’s important to not stop or delete anything as you go. Let the creativity flow organically so that you can get as many possible ideas on the page while they’re fresh in your head.
Lists like these will not only help explore your creative side for new topics, but they are also a great resource to reference in the future if you get stuck again. With all the new information floating around in your head from doing research, brainstorming is great way to make connections and expand your perspective on potential topics.
Make a Choice
If you are prone to indecision, this step is often more difficult than it sounds. Look at your list and pick a handful of topics that seem like they would be the most interesting from your target audience’s perspective. It is sometimes helpful to ask someone else to look at your ideas and pick some that jump out at them.
If you’re really stuck, it’s okay to choose one at random, just so that you have some foundation to start building on. Remember, the only way to figure out if a topic works is to try it out. You can always change your mind later. But often you have much more to say about something than you might initially think. After all, you are the expert.
Find Your Voice
While writing, it might be helpful to keep referencing other sources to help guide your piece, but it is important that you determine your own unique perspective. What do you have to say, offer, or inform that no other source has yet? What brand authority do you have on the issue? Keep these questions in mind as you go. You have something unique to offer your consumers–you just have to find the best way to show them!
It may sound tedious, but once you start using this method it will all start to come naturally. As businesspeople, we often get so caught up in the busy, day-to-day tasks that we forget about the bigger picture. Remember why you started to begin with. You believed you had some unique service, insight, or authority to offer. You wanted to connect with your customers and help them get to know you as a business, to encourage them to see your brand the way you see it, to trust you and to keep coming back to you. That’s the purpose you need to remember when writing your blog. It is when we are focused on our vision that we can engage with our audience in the most genuine and effective way.
Did you know that blogging is a big part of our work here at SocialNicole? Writing and publishing our own blog is part of our own social media marketing plan, and as a leading social media agency, we know blogging inside and out! Want to learn more of what we have to offer you and your business in the world of blogging and digital marketing? We would love to hear from you. Contact us today about partnering with your business to take your social media presence to the next level.