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How to Blog for Business. Part 3

Posted on July 05, 2011 @ 4:02 AM in Uncategorized

If you’ve been following along, by now you’ll have decided WHY you want to blog and WHEN you’re going to post. Now it’s time to figure out WHAT to write about.

If you feel stuck, you’re not alone. It happens to professional writers all the time and the idea of blogging can seem very intimidating.

The author of the ebook I was telling you about, Michael Hayward, has seven suggestions. I won’t go into the detail he does, but I’ve paraphrased his list and hope you’ll find it helpful. I did!

(I chose this week’s picture based on a blog I read about hoarding ideas. It just seemed fitting…).

1) Keyword Tools

If your main reason for blogging is to be found by the search engines, you’ll have to learn the basics of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. There are several free keyword tools online, Google Keyword and Wordtracker are popular and helpful. I also like Market Samurai, which is a paid service although there is a free trial available that can get you going.

Once you determine what keywords to use, simply write your blog posts around them.

2) Useful Content

What kind of information could you provide that your readers would find helpful? If you have a Q&A section on your website, you could pick a couple of the more popular questions and answer them in more detail as a blog post.

When you advertise, you try to put yourself in your client or customer’s shoes. Do the same here. If you didn’t know anything at all about your product or service, what would you appreciate knowing more about?

3) Your Story

We all think our own stories are boring but that’s not true! Everyone loves a good story and there’s bound to be something entertaining or educational in your background that could help others.

Why did you choose the business you did? What do you like to do when you’re not working? Do you volunteer at the hospital, play in a band or collect antique cars? Tell a funny or touching anecdote. Posts like these build rapport and trust. Customers like to know there are real people behind your logo!

4) People-focus

Similar to story-telling, this idea is a bit more specific and definitely less about you! Hayward suggests that you showcase the accomplishments of an employee or highlight a customer success story. You could even profile someone who has used your product in an unusual way.

This type of blog post has the potential to generate publicity and help you develop a community around your brand.

5) Resource Posts

Plumb the depths of your expertise to create content so relevant and useful, people will save it as reference! As a business owner, you have acquired a great deal of knowledge about your products or services. “List” posts are easy to write and for people to share. Here are some ideas:

Top 10 Foods You Must Avoid to Lose Weight
5 Ways to Stretch Your Weekly Food Budget
3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Retire Earlier

6) Comparison/Review Posts

These posts are great for soft-selling your products and services without making an overt pitch (which people HATE, by the way). By providing impartial lists of features and benefits between two (or more) products or services, you can help your readers make informed choices.

You might compare two different models of toaster based on price, performance, appearance, number of slots or any number of factors. This provides you an opportunity to upsell and cross-promote, too, without being too “sales-y”.

7) “Day-in-the-life” Posts

Again, this type of post is terrific for truly connecting with your readers. So many “reality” TV shows are based on what people do for a living. Why not your blog post? We’re all fascinated by what others do. (Remember The Osbournes? LOL…)

Many professional bloggers suggest keeping a notebook handy to jot down the ideas that inevitably come to you at odd hours and in strange places. View ordinary life events from the new perspective of: “Hmmm…would this make an interesting post?”

If you found this helpful, please leave a comment below.

Share with us what kind of blog posts you like to read – and write!

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