Me: “Let’s talk about your blog and email list.”
Client: “Oh, that’s okay, we don’t need either of those.”
Me: “Really? Why is that?”
Client: “We don’t have anything to write about. I really wouldn’t know what to say.”
And there’s the catch. One of the top two reasons —the other being lack of time— that many professionals and small business owners never build an email list, never stay in contact with site visitors, and never achieve a fraction of the potential return from their website is because they have no idea what they would write about.
Over the past few months, I’ve shared how blogging can boost your leads by 67%, how to automatically promote a single blog post multiple times to your social networks, and how an email list is a service professional’s best tool to nurture prospects and increase sales.
All of which is fine and dandy but it begs the question: What should I write about?
For most small businesses, your blog content is also your email content. You’re simply using your email list (and social media) to distribute your blog posts to the widest audience possible, not creating new content for each medium.
Of course, there will be times when you send out an email with exclusive offers or advance announcements just for your subscribers. And you’ll certainly share additional thoughts and relevant links across your social networks but for the purposes of idea generation, let’s consider your blog and email content to be one and the same.
With that in mind, following are 26 sources for ongoing blog post inspiration:
Starting with the Basics: Time-sensitive Information
- Share news that will benefit or affect your readers
- Limited time offers, like free shipping or discounts on new products or services
- Holiday specials
- Clearance sales
- Special events, celebrations or open houses
- Vacation schedules and holiday hours
- Let people know what you’re up to
- New (or updated) products or services
- Speaking engagements
- Media appearances
- Webinars, teleseminars or other training programs
- Community involvement or charity work
After you’ve gotten a few of these straightforward, newsy posts under your belt, try stepping it up a notch by sharing content with a longer shelf life.
In-depth or “Evergreen” Content Ideas
- Educate your audience about your field and your unique services
- How-to articles, tutorials or demos
(Remember, your blog doesn’t have to be strictly text – video is a great way to mix things up and can often be faster to create!)
- Basic or foundational concepts people need to know about your service (in order to understand what you can do for them)
- Answers to your clients’ most frequently asked questions
- Solutions to common stumbling blocks or sales objections
- Break down one specific detail or aspect of your service, going in-depth beyond the marketing copy on your website
- Explain the terminology behind a line item in your proposals
- How-to articles, tutorials or demos
- Inspire prospects or repeat customers to contact you
- Client success stories or case studies
- Selection criteria and comparison guides
- Product photos or video walkthroughs
- Expand on current social media conversations about your industry or service
- Share your expertise to build credibility
- Your take on industry news and events (and how those events may affect your readers)
- Opinion or thought-leadership pieces
- Audio segments of you being interviewed
- Video clips from a presentation or promotional event
- Expert interviews with others in your field
- Reviews of and links to useful resources (books, articles, studies, whitepapers)
Bonus Tips for Generating Blog Post Ideas
Finally, if all else fails and you’ve completely run out of blog post ideas, ask your readers what they want to know. Put an “Ask us a question” link on your website and in your emails and invite people to send in their burning questions. Send out a survey to find out what topics your readers are most interested in.
A Bounty of Blog Ideas
Keep reading in the new year! Every couple of weeks, I’ll tackle a different business or profession and brainstorm as many specific blog ideas as possible. Even if it’s not your particular industry, one of the ideas on those lists could easily spark a brainwave for your next blog post!
Would you like me to brainstorm blog post ideas for your business? Just post your profession in the comments box below and I’ll make sure to include yours on the list!