Blogging for business is one of the best things you can do to grow your target audience and consumer base. As such, it’s essential for businesses to include it in their content marketing strategy. Among the benefits, as Danielle Winski of Three media girls, are that blogs can:
- “Improve your online business visibility with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Position yourself and your business as the go-to experts in your field
- Give you access to a global audience
- Establish your credibility with your potential consumers
- Amplify brand awareness and recognition »
While most would agree that blogging for business sets your business up for success, it can be a very time-consuming process, especially when you hit writer’s block (which you inevitably will). The three girls Blog discussed this previously and has many tips for overcoming this particular hurdle.
But what if you’re struggling to figure out what your target audience would be interested in? You have the energy and the creativity, but you just don’t know which way to direct it. In this blog post, we discuss ten blog ideas that will resonate with as many readers as possible.
1. Ask your target audience what is important to them
If you really don’t know what your target audience would be interested in reading about, ask! Create posts on your social media channels encouraging your audience to suggest blog post ideas they would like to read from you. This is not only a great way to build a list of blog post topics to write about, but it also increases engagement on your social media. Plus, it shows your audience that you care about what they want and are listening. You might be surprised how many ideas you can find from a simple message!
If you find that few people respond to your request for ideas on social media, look for other places to consult with your customers. If you have a physical store, ask people when they come to shop. If you have an email newsletter, ask them to respond to it. Use what you have to communicate your need to your audience. You could even offer some sort of contest where they win a prize for coming up with a blog post topic!
2. Blog about what you know
It’s no secret that it’s easier to write about something when it’s a topic you’re familiar with. The words come more naturally and you don’t have to search for a lot of information. For this reason, when blogging for business, always start with what you know. Tell the story of how your business was founded, explain something about your business that may be difficult for your consumers to understand, or try to teach your audience something related to your business. Just be sure to avoid jargon as much as possible or explain it in easy-to-understand language.
Whichever direction you take, make sure you’re actually an expert in the area you’re blogging about – or check out reputable resources that will help guide and educate you. Readers (especially those familiar with the subject) will be able to tell if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
3. Create a step-by-step guide
One of the best things you can do when blogging for business is to create a step-by-step guide for something related to your industry. Not only is this useful for your audience, but it’s also something that’s quick and easy to read. Not everyone has time to sit down and read a long, heavy blog post, but when it’s broken down into manageable chunks and tips, readers generally find it worth the effort.
Think of something you can explain in the area of your business or industry and go from there! There are bound to be several topics that you can suggest that your readers would be delighted and interested in discovering!
4. New information about your domain
Businesses and consumers prefer to stay informed about what is happening around them. Stay up to date with industry best practices, breaking news, new technologies – basically anything happening in the world related to your business. When something new happens, write a blog post about it!
One of the benefits of writing about new information when blogging for business is that you have the potential to be one of the first to share your perspective on the subject. This gives your company a chance to portray you as experts and innovative thought leaders in the field, giving you an edge over your competition. It’s also a great way to improve your SEO on particular topics related to your industry.
5. The mistakes you made
Consumers like to know that the brands they are loyal to are real people with real experience. What better way to show it than by blogging about the mistakes you’ve made and the lessons you’ve learned from them? Being relatable and showing you’re human with your blog posts will not only help your audience engage with you, but it can also teach them something in the process.
Writing about your flaws or mistakes is a great way to help others avoid making the same mistakes you did. Sometimes it’s hard to be honest, especially if the mistake was particularly egregious, but being transparent can go a long way to engaging customers and showing people that your brand is trustworthy. You may even find that this reflection leads you to learn something about yourself and your brand as well.
6. Answer frequently asked questions
Using your blog posts to answer frequently asked questions isn’t just a quick and easy thing to write, but it’s incredibly useful for your audience. Many companies have FAQ pages on their website, but often there isn’t much space to fully explain the answer. A good idea for blogging for business is to take some of these FAQs and explain the answer in more detail.
You may find that when you write about frequently asked questions, your readers will submit their own follow-up questions. This not only creates engagement on your posts, but also helps you identify different topics to write about in the future.
7. The future of your industry
When blogging for business, it helps to look to the future. What changes do you see coming for your industry, or what do you hope will change in the future? This information is useful to your audience and also shows them that you are as up-to-date in your field as possible. Remember that in this type of blog post, the idea doesn’t have to be feasible now. The idea is to dream of what your industry might become in the future.
Webinars, in-person workshops (when available), and new articles from trusted sources are helpful ways to find out where your industry expects to be in the future. As long as you commit to being a lifelong learner in some form, you’ll be able to stay on top of what’s happening in your field.
8. Link Gatherings
One thing that many companies do when blogging for business is to create summaries of current news and articles that are relevant to your field. This type of blog post is easy to write because it requires less content creation for you, but it does require some research on the posts you want to share.
One way to help with this is to create Google Alerts for certain topics. Search Engine Journal explains what Google Alerts are, why they’re useful, and how to set them up. Setting alerts allows you to be notified by email when a relevant article or link matches your alert terms. Keep a spreadsheet or folder to collect this information so that every two weeks you can write a blog post featuring several posts and a small description of each.
9. Promote a local business
Sometimes it’s a good idea when you’re blogging for business not to just talk about your own industry topics and instead promote a local business near you. Writing about local businesses that aren’t necessarily related to your own field has several advantages. The first is that it shows your readers that you are invested in the community and want to help it succeed. Another reason it’s a good strategy to blog about local organizations is because it shows them (the businesses you feature) that you watch them and care about their success as well.
A final benefit to writing about local businesses is that it can increase your exposure. When companies know you’ve written about their brand, they’re likely to share your link on their social media or on their own professional blog. Their audience has now become your audience.
10. Promotional Content
At Three Girls Media, we encourage you to be careful about the amount of promotional content you share and not just focus on selling to your customers. In fact, we generally subscribe to the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your content should be non-promotional and only 20% promotional in nature.
However, it’s worth writing blog posts every now and then about your company’s services and special offers.
As long as you have a healthy balance between each, you can promote your business from time to time. It can be tempting to try to sell yourself as much as you can, but it can be annoying to consumers if they feel like you’re only trying to sell to them. It’s hard to build brand loyalty and consumer trust if they feel like all you want from them is a sale.
Blogging for business can have a very positive effect on your brand. It establishes your business as a leader in your field, increases your brand visibility, and potentially gives you a global audience. Although it takes time and effort, it is something worth it in the long run.