“Do I really need a blog?” My answer, plus what to write about!
I believe almost any company - no matter the size or industry - can benefit from a blog.
There are several reasons why keeping a regularly updated blog is important. For one thing, it can help to position you as an expert and thought leader in your space. A blog is a great way to share information that gives your brand credibility. You can also use your blog to create a more personal relationship with customers. Remember that people buy from people - not companies - and so they want to get to know you. Sharing information from the actual people that make up your company is a great way to engage new customers and build stronger relationships with current ones.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, a blog is important for SEO purposes. In today’s digital world, getting found online is half the battle. A relevant and ever-changing blog is critical for content. You can use it to integrate key words and phrases that help position your website in search results. Developing valuable online content around your industry is one of the most important things you can do to improve SEO results.
The keys there are “valuable online content”, and “regularly updated”. Most people struggle with a blog because they are not sure what to write about. It can be very difficult to update your blog when you’re stumped for topics. Here are my go-to ideas when you’re coming up short:
Find inspiration elsewhere. Don’t copy your competitors - but keep a pulse on their blogs so that you can get a feel for what people are talking about and responding to. Use a tool like Feedly to follow blogs and social media and see what is getting traction. You can find hot topics using a platform like Buzzsumo, that will allow you to find blogs from other companies based on popularity.
Ask your audience. In this tried-and-true strategy, simply ask your customers what they want to hear about. What are their pain points? What do they wish they had more information on? Another great resource is your company’s own sales team. They likely get feedback from customers all the time. What are they hearing? The more you can address pressing challenges in your blog, the more valuable the content will be. A unique take on this is performing an interview that you share on your post. Readers will be very interested to hear what your CEO has to say, for example.
Give new life to previous posts. If you’re short on time but pressed for a new blog, there are a lot of ways to repurpose what you already have. Follow up on old posts with a second, related topic. For example, if you wrote about attending a conference, add a second blog about how you implemented what you learned there. Then, you can add a third sharing the results of how your efforts are going! Create “best of” lists - “The Top 10 Posts of 2019”, for example. Another example is a “mini-guide” style. For example, “5 Posts to Help You Implement Digital Analytics” compiling every post on that topic. That type of post doesn’t require much effort, just gathering links of the posts you choose.
Be a trend follower. Watch for news and trends in your space. Google Trends informs you about what people are currently searching online, and the search function in Twitter is helpful in revealing what people tweet about the most. There is no end to the amount of information you can find online. Use the tools at your disposal to capitalize on topics that people want to learn more about, right now.
Have I convinced you that you need to start - or at least update - a blog? If you need more guidance on starting a blog that gets traffic, let me know. Do you have a blog now? Share your idea generation process in the comments!