Blogging offers so many benefits. If you’re a student, it helps build a library of how you think, opening future doors of opportunity. It creates credibility, trust and likeability – all crucial for business success. It’s one of the best SEO (search engine optimization) tactics available. It drives traffic to your website and creates a referral system (read Blogging is the New SEO). All great reasons why one should be blogging, whether for business, academic or personal reasons. However, sometimes it’s hard to know what to write about. We get writer’s block. So when you don’t know what to blog, here are four (4) tips to help you write articles that pull.
Four places you can find great ideas are:
Let’s look at these one at a time.
Depending on your purpose for a blog (business, academic goal, reputation management, etc.), remember you’re writing for the audience. In other words, it’s not about you. If your audience isn’t willing to read it, then the benefits are gone. However, if you’re active in social media, you have your pulse on the interests of your public. By looking at what’s being said, the questions being asked and what’s being shared, you’ll see what interests them. If you write an article based on that intelligence, it’ll most likely pull well.
WARNING: Just because someone is interested in something, doesn’t always mean you can write to it. Make sure you stick to topics you know, are passionate about and can speak to with clarity and/or authority. An article written for the sake of just writing something, where you struggle to deliver a message won’t read well – hence it’ll most likely be ignored. Remember, you can’t give what you don’t have!
If you’re serious about social media marketing, you probably belong to groups. The great thing about groups is they focus on specific topics. So if you offer wellness and nutrition products and services, belonging to a health or nutrition group will give you access to your demographic. Moreover, if you have notifications turned on, you’ll receive messages about discussions, questions and articles written by other members.
Those discussions are worth their weight in gold! When you see a comment or questions you can speak to – write an article! It’ll most likely pull well because it’s already on everyone’s mind.
If you’re not familiar with Google Alerts, it’s a service Google provides that allows you to request ALERTS on topics of interest. This brings the search to you.
The first two alerts you should create are your name and company’s name. Why? If something good is said about either, you want to capitalize on it. If a negative alert pops up, you want to address it head on.
Then setup alerts about what you do and the micro faceted parts of your industry. For example, I do marketing, graphic design, web design, copy writing and social media. However, within each of those categories are so many topics I can write about. In design, I can write about color, typography, principles of design, balance, etc. I can create alerts for anyone or all of those topics.
When I check my alerts each day, I have plenty that I can either:
Google Trends lets you know what’s trending in the past 24 hours. By trending, I mean what people are reading the most. That’s the PRO. The CON is that it may or may not be on your topic.
When using Google Trends, you want to see if any of the trending topics could be massaged to reflect YOUR topic. For example, as of this writing, one of the trending topics was nicotine and the FDA. If you’re into wellness and nutrition, you could write about ways to combat the damage done by nicotine with foods. A friend of mine, who’s a health and wellness professional, once told me that kiwi’s are good for the lungs. So, if this were my topic, I would search for a citation that verifies that and write an article called, “How to Battle Years of Smoking with Power Foods.”
Blogging takes time and effort. It can be overwhelming sometimes, but don’t get discouraged. Nothing valuable is ever easy. It may be simple (in other words, anyone can do it), but it requires work; hence it’s not easy so most won’t bother. If it were, everyone would do it and there would be no value. What makes something valuable is the effort it takes and the few willing to do it. Keep on writing. You will only get better with time and it’ll pay great dividends.