In previous posts, we’ve said again and again that creating good blog content is one of the most important factors in online success. However, something we keep hearing from our customers is that they’re doing their best to consistently post new articles to their blog, but they’re having trouble coming up with ideas to write about.
If you’re in the same boat, don’t worry! Even professional marketers sometimes struggle to come up with ideas for blog posts. Fortunately, there are a few straightforward post categories that anyone can use to spark some ideas. Check out the following list for some great blog inspiration!
Try a how-to article
How-to articles (also called instructional articles) are one of the easiest posts to produce and, even better, one of the most useful for your customers. No matter what industry you work in, you can give your customers tips or even a step-by-step guide for something related to your work. You could show them how to use a product you sell in a new or interesting way, or you could demonstrate how to make a simple repair or perform some other DIY project.
At the Wordpress Daily Post, Michelle Weber wrote a great guide to writing how-to posts. Follow the link for a great breakdown of how to structure one of these posts, but the biggest takeaway from her article is that your instructional article doesn’t have to be a dry list of steps – insert your personality into it. That way you give your customers useful information AND the feeling that they are connecting with you and your company. In fact, making your personality shine through is great advice for every type of post on this list.
Try a list post
List posts are one of those classic, popular types of blog posts (this post is technically a list post). They have been one of the most frequently used styles of articles as long as blogs have been a thing because they work well to attract traffic and readers love to share them.
The goal of a good list post is to entice the reader with a tantalizing headline and then follow up with bite-sized pieces of information that the reader will find useful. Brian Clark at Copyblogger wrote a great breakdown of different types of list headlines. The basic idea is that you are letting the reader know that you have information that they want, and that you’re going to make it easy for them to get it. With a little bit of imagination, it’s easy to write a great list post for a business in any industry.
Answer a question
If you are like most business owners, you get a constant stream of questions from your customers, and many of them are likely repeating the same questions over and over. When you hear these kinds of questions, it can be a great idea to make a note of them because these make an excellent basis for a blog post!
Answering a question gives you the opportunity to tell your customers what you wish they knew about your business, and it provides a great resource that you can direct future customers to when they ask that question. Answering a question is also great for SEO, because people doing web searches often phrase their searches in the form of a question. If your blog is answering that question, it has a good chance of being one of the top results.
Respond to another blog or news story
A great way to attract visitors is to comment on something they are already thinking and talking about. If you come across a news story or a blog post that is relevant to your business, write a response to that piece from your perspective. You can argue with it and say the other writer is wrong about something, or simply add your own voice to the issue.
Everyone is attracted to a debate. If you include a link to the article you’re responding to, it will also let your readers get in on the action. This is a great kind of post for increasing engagement, as readers will be encouraged to add their own opinions on the issue.
Make your “boring” information interesting
This is more of a general point than a specific suggestion for a topic, but one of the things we hear most often from our customers who are struggling with their blogging is that they believe that their businesses are too boring to write about.
There’s a great post by Corey Eridon at Hubspot about how to make “boring” industries seem interesting, but the most important thing to remember is that helpful information is never boring for the people who need it. Don’t worry too much about trying to make your blog posts entertaining for a general audience – just focus on providing information that will be helpful for your customers.
Don’t give up!
Regular blogging is one of the most effective ways to build an audience for your website and attract customers. It can be tough to stay motivated, especially if you aren’t seeing immediate results, but stick with it and you will reap the benefits. If you’re really struggling to keep up with the blog schedule you’ve set for yourself, LinkNow Media offers content writing services. For more information, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help. The web is waiting for you!