20 Apr How to pick topics for your blog
By Beth Graddon- Hodgson
Once you have a focal point for your blog and have decided whether you’re going to focus on writing your blogs in a topical or personal style (or combination of the two, it’s time to actually sit down and start blogging. If you think making those decisions was a challenge, then you’re in for what’s the hardest and most essential part of creating an effective business blog. After all, some of those elements are decisions you only need to think about once; choosing a specific blog topic has to be on your mind whenever you sit down to write on a weekly or daily basis.
This is one topic that’s a bit harder for me to write about, because there are endless examples, so it’s hard to put a specific guide in place. What works for one company also won’t necessarily work for another even in the same industry either. Since I can’t tell you WHAT you’ve got to write about, I will provide you the process I go through with my clients determine which direction I should go with each of the posts.
To help you figure out each topic, it’s a good idea to keep the following in mind and ask the questions below when something dawns on you that you think your clients, existing and prospective might enjoy reading about on your blog.
- Who cares? – remember who your audience and really ask yourself if the topic you’re thinking about would matter to them. This philosophy works in more ways than one, because you’ve got to ask who cares, and don’t want your readers to think “who cares” because that’s not a reaction that results in repeat visitors and that’s a big blogging FAIL!
- What are they looking for? – think like your clients. If they were looking for information that relates to your service, what would they be plugging into Google? If you provide green home building services, for example, your prospective clients may be drawn to your blog by searching for green building materials, or the tolls of traditional construction on the environment
- What are others doing? – you won’t be authentic by following in the footsteps by another industry blog, but by being aware of what they’re doing you can get an idea for what is engaging to readers and what tends to flip and learn from it
- What comes up when you search for relevant keywords? – use Google or another search engine to your advantage. Search for keywords relevant to your industry. Using the example above, you may search for “green building”. Seeing what appears on the first search engine page gives you an idea of what people reading about your industry are most interested in online
- What’s new? – focusing on hot news in your industry means your blogs are current and relevant. Enough said
- What’s worked before? – once you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ll have an idea about what sort of blog topics your readers enjoy. You can keep an eye on your stats and comments for this, but we’ll focus more on that later
If you’re reading this not because you’re blogging yourself, but you’re curious about how pro bloggers come up with the blog topics, this gives you a general idea. I find this is the most common question that I’m asked when starting up a new blog for a client because there are no rules or limitations and the sky’s the limit. So there you go, now stop reading and start writing because reading about it is all fine and well, but eventually you’ve got to write!
Beth Graddon-Hodgson is a professional writer/blogger and the founder of WriteSourcing a professional blogging, writing and editing service.