Some questions we frequently hear from our customers and prospects are, “this all sounds great but what should I blog about for my business?” and “how do I come up with interesting business blog ideas?” and “how do I write a business blog that’s interesting enough for my prospects to read?”
These are all good questions. Business owners who understand the concept of business blogging and understand why they should have a blog for their business still struggle to think through what to blog about for their business.
We hear concerns like, “my business isn’t that exciting” or “I only sell one widget/service, how many blog posts can I possibly write about that?”
What to blog about
While we understand these concerns, in our role helping businesses create outsourced blog content, we’ve had the opportunity to work with thousands of businesses over the past six years and had a front-row seat to see how powerful business blogging can be and exactly what businesses who create high-powered blogs write about.
Our clients span dramatically different industries and range from small businesses to large enterprises, but here’s what companies with outstanding business blogs all have in common: empathy and an ability to think and write about the world from the point of view of customers and prospects. The beauty of this approach is it allows companies to write things that reach, are of interest to, and resonate with exactly the kind of people they want as customers (and to continue to build on the relationship they have with existing customers).
So, start with empathy.
Next, consider the buying journey (perhaps unconsciously) undertaken by your customers. We’ve given a high level overview here, or you can dig in more here. As you read through the buyer’s journey consider this key point: you can and should create blog posts for topics relevant to prospects at all stages of the buyer’s journey. Why? Doing this will serve as foundation for good marketing and SEO. We’ll give a quick example, but first, read through the buying journey below. What ideas does reading this inspire for you?
Start by understanding who your customers are. What are their demographics? Interests? Where do they live? What do they do? This is known as the pre-buying stage. Creating blog posts around topics related to who your customers are allows you to capture attention before someone is even considering a purchase. This is great for building brand awareness and allowing you to create interest from the people who visit your blog.
In the awareness stage, prospective customers realize they have a problem. A problem is a broad term that could mean anything from, “my car needs snow tires to drive to the mountains” to “I need a way to keep my pool clean this summer” to “I’m hungry and in the mood for pizza”.
By the time prospects reach the consideration stage, they’ve begun to look for potential solutions to their problem and consider different alternatives. It’s important to note here that alternatives can refer to your direct competitors and other options that aren’t directly competitive – if you sell pool cleaning supplies to consumers, your prospects may consider not only your competitors, but also professional pool cleaning services.
Finally, in the decision stage, customers decide between various alternatives and pick one.
As a quick example: if you sell grilling supplies in Austin, you can target prospects in the pre-buying stage by creating a blog post like, “The 10 Best Butcher Shops in Austin”. A good portion of folks looking for butcher shops are probably into grilling, and your blog post will draw them in. From there, you’ll easily be able to create brand familiarity for your company when they’re ready to buy, as well as cause a few of them to read your post, enjoy it, and poke around your website to see who wrote such good stuff. You could target prospects in the consideration stage with a content piece with a blog post like “The Most Popular Home BBQ Grills in Texas”.
Come up with tons of great ideas for your business blog
We know it can be intimidating to try to come up with enough ideas to fill up your blog. But trust us, once you follow some basic principles and keep blogging in the back of your head as you go about your day-to-day, inspiration will follow.
Here are some principles and tips for coming up with business blog ideas:
- Remember empathy
- Do a rough sketch of your customer journey
- Interview 5 customers to learn more about them – who they are and what their particular buying journey looked like
- Review what you did yesterday, or last week, and ask, “what would be interesting for my customers and prospects to know about?”
- Ask yourself, and your team, “what unique perspective do we have that relates to what we do?” and “what information around our niche is important to our prospects and customers?”
Using these tips will allow you to figure out just what to blog about for business.
- HubSpot put together a list of 10 great blogs in boring industries
- We brainstormed 30 blog post ideas to use when you’re drawing a blank, and for good measure added 30 more.
Ready to get the brainstorms going?
Grab a notebook, or your favorite virtual notebook, and start writing down ideas. Use the list and resources above to inspire you. Don’t worry about editing for now. When you’ve got your list and are ready to start organizing, we’ve got an app editorial calendar for that.