A well-written and regularly updated blog is a great marketing tool for a variety of reasons: it drives people to your website, helps you build your personal or company brand, and allows you to develop a relationship with customers or readers.
But let’s face it, the blog that you vowed to update every two or three weeks can seem like another mind-numbing chore as time passes and your enthusiasm wanes. What’s worse is that, pretty soon, you start running out of material. After all, you already covered everything obvious and worthwhile, right? What’s left to write about?
Plenty, as it turns out. You just need to put yourself in a position to attract great ideas and snag them as they whiz by. Let me nudge you in a few directions that should help feed the blog beast that haunts your doorstep every couple of weeks or so.
Follow the daily news to see what’s creating a stir nationally, internationally or within your industry. For example, the recent debate over whether the mountain in Alaska should be called Denali or Mount McKinley could be fodder for someone like you who sells classroom resources on subjects including history, geography, adventure and weather.
Check social media to see what topics have people the most excited. They can provide jumping-off points for your next blog entry. Pinterest is a good source to discover what teachers are talking about. See Pinterest’s list of top back-to-school trends based on top searches, top pins and Pinfluencer insight.
Steal from yourself. Revisit ideas from blogs past but give them a fresh approach. What did you post about the presidential elections in 2012, the 2014 Winter Olympics, or last year’s Academy Awards?
Remember, there’s no need to wait until the last minute to start formulating ideas. Keep an ongoing list, adding to it whenever a topic pops into your head. Here are a few tips for fleshing out your topic into a quality blog entry, and for attracting the greatest number of readers.
Online searches are your friends. Background information about your topic is just a search phrase away using Google or another search engine. Look for real-life examples or recent news on your subject to add depth and reinforce your point of view. Just make sure your sources are legitimate. You will want to cite those sources, too, because that will add to the credibility of your post.
Statistics, studies and surveys. Specific numbers and recent studies also bolster the points you want to make. You could, for instance, write that “there are a lot of libraries in the U.S.,” but it’s less vague and more impressive to write, “The American Library Association estimates there are 119,729 libraries in the U.S.” While you can often track down surveys, studies and data with a general Google search, you also can zero in on specific websites. For example, if you are writing about a medical topic, the Centers for Disease Control provides numerous statistics about how many people suffer from various maladies.
Integrate SEO keywords. People search the Internet using keywords or phrases they hope will uncover articles or websites with the information they want. The more you understand which keywords could bring the highest amount of traffic to you, the better. Research what might work best. You can integrate those keywords into a headline or the body of the blog entry. Keywords shouldn’t be too generic, though, because your blog will be lost in a blizzard of other blogs, websites and news articles that use the same words.
Coming up with and carrying out great blog ideas on a regular basis certainly presents a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. With any luck, your worries soon could change from “What’s left to write about?” to “How will I ever find time to write about all these great ideas?”
Public relations expert Marsha Friedman has developed publicity strategies for celebrities, corporations and media newcomers for 25 years. She is the founder and CEO of EMSI Public Relations, and the former vice president for marketing at the American Economic Council. She is the author of the Amazon bestseller Celebritize Yourself.
by Marsha Friedman