What to Write About on Your Blog
I’ve talked to you about the importance of content marketing and having a blog. It is still one of the best ways to spread the word about your website and place yourself as an expert in your industry.
Content marketing is not just about sending out generic blog posts
A great blog is more than just words on a screen. It’s the creation of interesting and relevant content. Writing is sometimes hindered by the much-feared writer’s block—not being able to think of something to write about or not being able to finish writing something. It’s the worst.
I won’t lie to you, it’s happened to me before. I stare at the blank screen—the flashing cursor mocking me—trying to think of something to write. As terrifying as it sounds, it’s called “writer’s block” for a reason: it’s just an obstacle, not the end of the road. There is plenty to write about, and there always will be. The problem lies in our struggling to translate the ideas into words.
So I’m going to provide you with some of my personal tips for jumping over that obstacle and putting pen to paper—or fingers to keyboard.
In last week’s article, I sneaked in a little preview of what you’re reading right now…
Start thinking in terms of content
Not until recently have I found myself thinking in those same terms, and the more you do, the more natural it becomes. I’ll be watching a movie, working out, having dinner—when suddenly, there it is! The spark that sets off the ideas. You may not realize it yet, but you’re generating content just by going through your everyday life.
Merriam-Webster defines blog as “a website that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.” There are a couple of ideas right there in the definition! Your own opinions and comments. I’m sure you’re starting to get the idea—the whole point of a blog is that you can write about almost anything.
You may already have several diamonds in the rough, and with just a bit of refining and polishing they can be turned into valuable content gems. Here’s a list of things you may already have that you can write about:
- Frequently asked questions from your clients. There are websites with pages and pages dedicated to FAQs. Why not turn yours into valuable and helpful blog posts
- How-tos and DIYs. Think about the things you frequently have to explain to your customers about your business. Or maybe you have helpful tips on how to use your products. For example, imagine you’re an interior designer. You could post arts and crafts for your audience to try out on their own.
- The current trends in your industry. You’re probably already aware of the current industry trends—but are you using them to your maximum advantage? Take, for example, a plastic surgeon. Maybe he reads an article about the most recent medical development and knows a way this may help his patients. He should share it in the form of a blog post.
Let your creativity flow!
The amount of content you generate—without even knowing—is massive, you just have to find out how to put it into words. For example, take our client John Linney, from the International School Climate Institute.
John hosts a podcast on a regular basis. And with some creative thinking, each podcast episode becomes a post on his website. In turn, these posts are shared as updates on Facebook and other social media sites, exponentially increasing his audience.
As you can see, a little bit of creative, out-of-the-box thinking will get you where you want to be.
Find your forte
Another way you can narrow your topic options is by finding your strengths:
What separates you from the others in your industry?
What are you—and your business—passionate about?
How would people describe you? And your product or service?
What problems do your products or services solve?
Those are just a small number of questions you can ask yourself regularly to get the ball rolling.
“Life is short, break the rules.”
That’s the opening sentence to one of my favorite quotes by famous rebel James Dean. And we can learn something from it. Don’t be afraid to break the rules every once in a while.
You may be limiting yourself by looking for content ideas exclusively in business textbooks and on business websites. Granted, you will find some awesome content out there, but true inspiration comes from within—from your own experiences. I’ve been inspired by everything from watching a movie to browsing through a store, and the resulting posts are always well received. Try to experiment to find out what works for you.
You might be thinking: “Okay, but writing as a person is very different than writing as a business. I can’t be breaking those rules!” And you’re not entirely wrong. You may have the most compelling content idea ever, but it will never replace having an engaging style and voice. But this is easy to do. Think of it like having a nice conversation with an old friend. That will help you relax and get the words flowing, which, in turn, will also give your posts an interesting and readable format.
Don’t give up
Constantly thinking of new content may seem like an intimidating experience, but let me assure you, it is not. There will always be a new way to express something. Every person is a universe, and everyone has their unique perspectives. You have a unique way to see the world, so use it to stand out from everyone else.
Take a look at these writing tips and tricks to help you get started:
- Practice Writing Sprints. If you feel like you’re falling short on ideas, try writing in bursts. Find some free time to sit down, open your notebook or word processor, and write about anything—without worrying about the quality. Don’t stop and don’t look back. You’ll have plenty of time to go over it later. I have found that once I start, it’s way more difficult to stop.
- Carry a notebook or notepad everywhere you go. Keep your eyes open and stay on your toes. You never know when an idea will find you. Trust me, it’s a crying shame when a brilliant thought hits at a time you don’t have something to write it on, and you end up forgetting about it.
- Don’t torture yourself about getting it right. As writers, we have to check our work and then check it again—multiple times. After that, we might even ask people to revise it for us. A helpful tip is to leave your piece of writing alone for some time, maybe even a day or two, then come back to it with a refreshed mind. You’ll see it in a completely different way.
- Have fun! Writing shouldn’t feel like a chore. I enjoy writing, and it helps me stay updated about my business. As the saying goes, you never stop learning, and writing gives you that opportunity. And remember, it will also allow you to place yourself as an expert in your industry.
It’s understandable that even if you have the skills to write, your schedule may be packed and you might not be able to find the time to do so. That’s one of the reasons 8 Signal is here—to be your very own writing department. We can take care of your writing and marketing needs so you can focus on what matters the most in your business. Give us a call at (915) 585-1919. We’re here to help!