Maybe you are just starting out as a blogger or maybe you have run out of ideas for your next article. Don’t worry, with a little bit of brainstorming and a new perspective you will be back writing for your business in no time.
Blogging for business is not the easiest task. You need to spend a lot of time and/or resources to build your brand and reputation online. It is so hard to gain trust, yet so easy to lose it. If you are only starting out in the business blogging world, do yourself and your visitors a favour and don’t blog about yourself. You don’t build an audience by bragging about yourself.
Quick fix for your next article
Think what makes your business different to your competition. Think about your unique selling point. Are you more reliable, accurate, helpful, affordable, or quicker than your competition? It is what makes you different that’s really important. Have you heard stories about competing businesses treating their customers badly? Have you heard about a new technology that may interest your visitors? Is there a new service on offer? These are all good starting points for your next article.
As mentioned, you shouldn’t write about your business explicitly. When writing your article, imagine you are at a party and you have just met an interesting person. You have already talked for a bit but it is going quiet now. You want to spark an interesting discussion and not bore your listener to death, so you start talking about something shocking, innovative, or funny.
You are not writing for a customer but for an average person who may not even know about the type of service you offer or even that your business exists.
What makes a blog article great
There are many ways to liven up a blog article. Having a passion for the subject helps a lot. Articles don’t have to be long. Something like 600 words is plenty, but I’ve seen great articles consisting of 300 words or less. Have a look at Seth’s Godin blog – he is a professional marketer and a published author of many great books, yet his articles are short and sweet. And you don’t have to be in a business field to understand his point of view.
Your article should grab the reader’s interest from the first paragraph. It’s like a plug on the first page of your favourite daily newspaper. The title and a short excerpt should make a person want to read the rest. A few interesting photos will add a little bit of spice but don’t go for the obvious corporate smiley faces in the boardroom. Find a photo that will correspond with the story at an abstract level – it should leave your reader wondering.
If your article contains a lot of jargon and technical phrases, consider replacing the phrases with easy-to-understand alternatives and never use abbreviations without explaining them.
I have already given you several ideas for your next article, but there is an even easier way to gather more. Here is a technique I use that always gives me a bunch of fresh ideas.
I subscribe to several RSS (real simple syndication) newsfeeds, which are a mix of blogs published by magazines, news agencies, competing companies, and social bookmarking sites from my area of expertise. That way I get a fresh fix of news every morning.
Whenever I stumble upon an article on an interesting subject, I save it to my bookmarks. I write one or two articles a month, so I always have a good few inspiring stories in my bookmark folder. I also carry a small moleskin notebook with me at all times, because I come up with great ideas for articles during my daily activities, such as bike rides, jogging sessions, and so on.
By using this approach, I’ve never had a problem coming up with interesting articles for my blog. The main problem is that I sometimes find it hard to decide which subject to write about because there are so many angles I’d like cover.
Get inspired by the competition
Following your competitor’s blog can be very helpful, too. There will always be ideas you haven’t thought about but your competition has. Be inspired by your rivals but don’t be a copycat and don’t make enemies. Write on the same subject but from a different angle. Fill in the gaps they missed and don’t be afraid to have a completely different take on the subject. Your article should show your confidence. Only this way will you gain your visitors’ trust.
Ignite a discussion
At the beginning, you will be writing without feedback. There will be no audience. But, over time, all your articles will get indexed in search engines and with a little bit of social promotion (on Facebook, Twitter, etc.) people will start reading your blog.
Always try to leave articles open for discussion. Motivate people by asking questions and don’t be afraid to take part in the discussions on other blogs. This is a great way to promote your own articles.
Let me know if you still have problems coming up with new ideas or leave a comment below. Share your own brainstorming techniques with all of us.