So you've decided you need to blog. As the owner of the business, you want to put a human face on the brand and become a source of valuable information for customers. Good for you!
The big question now is, what the heck are you going to write about? And, more importantly, will anyone read it?
Obviously you're going to have to get a feel for what your target audience wants to read. That will come with time. Right now you just need to start writing. To give you a jump start on your blogging efforts, I've come up with 10 specific post ideas that I've found work well with most any audience.
Once you get into the rhythm of writing, it will become second nature — even fun — and you'll figure out quickly what your readers want.
1. The "why I'm passionate about what I do" blog post
If you're an owner, especially in a service industry, you should be passionate about what you do and be able to convey that passion to readers. Use your blog to tell the story of how and why you started your business. Talk about turning points in your career and mentors you may have had along the way. Provide real life anecdotes to demonstrate your passion.
2. The "biggest mistake I ever made in business and what I learned from it" blog post
Nobody's perfect. That's what makes us human. While everyone screws up in life and in business, the ones that succeed learn from their mistakes. By providing concrete examples of your failures and then demonstrating what you took away from them, you give your audience something to relate to. Think of how Domino's pizza took a bunch of negative reviews and turned them into a positive advertising campaign.
3. The "favorite customer feedback" blog post
Every business owner deals with customer feedback on a daily basis. Some of it is positive, often it can be negative. Either way, a discussion of how you dealt with the feedback and how you resolved the issue can go a long way to developing customer loyalty and trust. If you have gotten fan mail from your customers, share it. You can even have a feature like "customer email of the week."
4. The "featured employee" blog post
Every business has employees worth showing off and employees who have interesting personal stories. These stories can be about their work, their hobbies, or even tales of overcoming adversity.
This type of post serves two purposes. On the one hand, it is another way to put a human face on the company; from an internal point of view, it's great for employee morale to get their names, faces, and stories into the company blog.
5. The "what I did on my summer vacation" blog post
When you take a break from work, give your readers a break from a "work" post. Talk about your destination, your family, even how it felt to be away from your office. If you are a workaholic and couldn't get your mind off of business while on vacation, then tell your readers about that. It's something that everyone can identify with.
6. The "10 things you didn't know about our company" blog post
This is a perfect vehicle for giving your customers a behind-the-scenes look. You can cover a wide range of topics including company culture, trivia, philanthropy, the company bowling team, etc. To get more mileage out of this idea, turn each thing no one knows about your company into an individual post.
7. The "new product or service" blog post
When introducing a new product or service, be sure to write a blog post specific to that product or service. Unlike an advertisement, a blog post gives you the opportunity to tell the story behind the product/service and allows you to convey your enthusiasm to your audience. It also gives you an opportunity to make a special offer to your readers.
8. The "I know my readers and I'm going to give them interesting info" blog post
This is really a no-brainer. By providing useful information to your readers, you create customer loyalty and provide them with a service.
If you are a sporting goods store, blog about workout techniques, sporting events, or the latest innovations in equipment. If you are a cardiologist, blog about the latest studies and breakthroughs in medicine. If you are an accountant, provide the "10 deductions people forget to take."
9. The "company history lesson" blog post
If your company has been around for many years, then a blog post is a perfect place to talk about the origins. Here's where old photographs, advertisements, and quotes from founders in the early days can be put to great use. This is an excellent way to talk about company values, employee loyalty, and hint about plans for the future.
10. The "I've got a blog and I'm going to use it to get something off my chest" blog post
This is the most dangerous kind of blog post, but it can be the most fun. You may be a business owner, but you are also a person with opinions on a variety of subjects. If you feel strongly about certain topics and want the world to know how you feel, then the blog can be your broadcast outlet.
On the positive side, it gives you an outlet to vent your feelings and influence your target audience.
On the negative side, there is always the potential that you will turn off current and potential clients and customers who don't share your views.
The more you write, the easier it gets. If you're going to blog, remember these 3 quick tips:
Blog regularly: Fresh content keeps visitors coming back to your site. A neglected blog sheds a negative light on your business.
Write well: Blogging isn't for everyone. If you are not a naturally talented writer, then find someone at your company to help you out. If there's no one at the company, work with a professional copywriter.
Have fun: Remember, a blog is just a conversation with your clients and customers. Think of what you'd talk about at a cocktail party. Be entertaining, interesting and even amusing, and they'll keep coming back for more.
Jon Gelberg is Chief Content Officer at Blue Fountain Media.
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