A blog article will only get meaningful traction if it provides value -- content that people will want to read, find helpful or feel compelled to share with friends or colleagues. But often, we see would-be-bloggers struggle to pull together ideas to draft interesting or worthwhile content. The solution is easier than one might think.
Consider these suggestions:
Develop an editorial calendar based on areas of expertise, products or services you wish to promote, seasonal trends, or issues for which you want to raise visibility, etc. Of course, your calendar can change along the way, but it will keep your content focused and keep you on schedule.
Make smart use of categories. Develop a list of the main topics you’ll blog about. Most of what you write about should fall under 5-7 main topics that will attract the type of reader you are looking for.
When attending industry events, take notes on possible industry shifts and emerging trends and use that info to compile posts. Similarly, interview experts, authors, speakers, etc. at events and use those conversations as jumping off points for a blog post. Be sure to attribute where appropriate.
If you author any bylined articles, give speeches or even issue client memoranda on various topics, you can pull ideas from those to create a blog post.
Start an interview series. Invite other experts to participate in short interviews and turn those into posts. Be sure to use these experts’ names in the blog title and encourage them to share the post with THEIR audiences.
Identify and strategically use keywords in post headlines, body copy, when labeling visuals, etc. Focus each post on one keyword and link to relevant info on your website. However, avoid “keyword stuffing;” you are writing for a human audience first.
Read blogs focused on similar topics. Take note of any questions that readers ask or concerns they voice and use this info to shape future posts.
Invite guest posts from well-respected industry experts who will contribute unbiased, valuable and interesting content (ideally for the exposure, not for a price).
Create lists. People LOVE them. This could be “10 considerations when…,” “6 best resources for…,” “4 new legal ramifications you need to know about,” etc. Explain the reasons behind your recommendations.
Similar to a poll, pose a question to your social networking communities and use the feedback for blog posts.
Announce your own live events, speaking appearances and new services or products. Any time you have something new going on, let your community know about it.
Be sure to follow the 80/20 Rule – 80 percent of your blog content should be about something other than you, your business or your product. It SHOULD demonstrate your expertise and establish your thought leadership in a particular area. The other 20 percent of your blogs can subtly promote your company or you, more specifically.
If you need help developing blog content for your business website or have any questions about how blogging can help position you as a thought leader and market your business, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.