Remember the plan is to build up a pool of ideas to avoid facing that dreaded blank page when you start to write an article. Some of them require a bit of research, reading around topics to get more details, but to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader.
1. Other peoples’ ideas
See what your competitors, influencers or others in your industry have written and make them your own. You’re not directly copying what they’ve written but using their headlines or approach to see how you can make it relevant to your audience.
2. Look up popular posts
Check which posts generate a lot of engagement. Are there ways you can transform these types of posts into your ideas? How does the headline grab and what are the content hooks that keep you reading to the end. Check out your popular posts. Can you use the same theme to write further on the topic, or repeat it if there’s been sufficient time. Try and identify any gaps that you could fill with your posts.
3. Recurring columns
These are easy to develop – create a format that can be quickly replicated on a regular basis. Deliver to your audience what they want, such as an instructional video, handy hints and tips, an infographic. Once done regularly readers will expect it if it hits the mark. One to prepare in advance.
4. Acknowledge your audience
What questions are your customers asking in emails, when you meet them face to face or if you’re conducting a customer survey? Compile a list of recurring questions and provide the answer them in longer, individual posts.
5. Educate you customers
In today’s selling environment customers are looking online to learn about products and services so produce ‘how to’ articles on what you offer.
6. Spotlight on customers
Writing case studies about clients you’ve worked with works well for both them and you. Pick a customer you’ve worked with identifying the problem they had, how you worked with them and the solution you provided. Get good quotes from your client too.
7. Research and analysis
Look at other peoples’ research and identify the angle you can write about. What is your viewpoint on the research? How do you think it will impact on your particular industry? If you can conduct your own research focusing on a particular topics. This could be part of testing ideas for products or services.
8. Attending events
Write up the pertinent facts from presentations, interview speakers or speak to delegates to see what they have learnt from the event. There should be plenty of people to chat to, some may even be willing to do a video interview too.
Don’t forget all these ideas for longer posts can be used for shorter communications on social media. Once you’ve written the longer article think of ways you can use it promote and spread the message further on your social media channels.
Why not give these ideas ago. Last week’s article focused on generating ideas on a daily basis. Even if you spend 15 minutes each day you’ll soon build up a large supply of potential blog posts.
I had a virtual ticket to this year’s Social Media Marketing Expo that takes place in San Diego each year. Over future weeks I’ll be providing information across a broad section of topics, looking at different social media channels as well as blogging, podcasting and content marketing.