A company blog forms a key component of many a successful content marketing strategy for good reason. According to Hubspot’s annual State of Inbound report 2014, marketers who prioritise blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI than their counterparts. Further Hubspot data, published earlier this year indicates companies that committed to not only running a blog but updating it regularly “reap the biggest rewards in terms of website traffic and leads”. In a nutshell: the more you post, the more interest you will generate.
This is, of course, all very well in theory, but how does it work in practice for the SME marketer who, in all probability, has limited time and resources to dedicate to all this content generation? The ideas might come thick and fast at first, but when your to-do list is so long it has unravelled across your desk, dropped off the edge and rolled out the door, you may find that you have simply too many things to think about to keep up a constant stream of original topics and ideas. Before you know it, you are in the grip of that age-old affliction: blogger’s block.
The temptation to put your blog to the back of your mind until you feel sufficiently inspired again might appear to be the easiest course of action. However, the facts speak for themselves – sideline your blog whilst your competitors are staying on top of their game and you could be losing out on valuable customers.
Fortunately, we fancy ourselves as knowing a thing or two about generating excellent content. Here are a few topic ideas to help get those creative juices flowing again:
1. ‘How to…’ posts
In this day and age, when people encounter a problem or want an answer to something, what do they do? They consult the oracle of Google. As a result, common search engine queries will often start with the phrase ‘how to…’ – capitalise on this by imparting some of your expert wisdom to your readers. A good place to start is to address common FAQs your readers might have.
2. Current industry news
Who knows your industry best? You do. So keep your readers up-to-date with the hottest trends and topics. This is where social media is your friend – check out trending topics on Twitter and craft a post with your own opinions.
3. Current or upcoming events
What is your business up to at the moment? Do you have an upcoming product launch perhaps, or a special offer? Have you recently attended an event such as a conference or a trade show? If you have been impressed by a talk lately, let your readers know about the speaker – link back to their site or use a hashtag to generate conversation and a feeling of community.
4. Showcase customer testimonials
A post that focuses on a case study of one of your satisfied customers will, no doubt, prove interesting to potential customers. Demonstrate how your services or products worked for them and use testimonials to quote praise – readers might recognise their own needs reflected in your story. Additionally, adding links into your post can encourage your satisfied customer to do the same for you.
5. Use humour
Show the human side behind your business with a funny story or two. Keep a notebook to hand to record any amusing anecdotes or comic situations that might crop up in the day-to-day running of your business. Why? Because humour grabs attention and is infinitely shareable. Just ensure you exercise caution and stay on the right side of good taste. Run your post by a few ears to check you haven’t got it all horribly wrong.
6. List posts
One of the easiest yet most helpful and effective posts you can write, there is a reason that good, old-fashioned list posts are so darn click-able. They help you to keep your points focused and succinct and offer the reader a range of ideas, set out in a clear, easy to digest format. Think about your area of expertise – what sort of tips, shortcuts or useful tools can you recommend to make your readers’ lives a whole lot easier? Giving advice in this way builds trust and will make you stand out when it comes to customers taking the next step and choosing who to spend their money with.
If blogger’s block is getting you down, perhaps consider taking it off your hands and delegating the responsibility of your blog to those that make it their business to never run out of ideas.
Any other top tips to beat blogger’s block that we should add to our list?Ben Hollom
September 3, 2015