As a business owner/leader, you’ve no doubt heard that you need a lot of relevant content on your blog in order to demonstrate your expertise and build your credibility with your audience. Lawyers need to write about legal issues that educate potential clients. IT professionals can demonstrate their knowledge by informing readers about critical IT issues. And real estate agents can reach potential buyers by writing about the cities and neighborhoods they serve.
So what is there to write about? What topics do our readers want to know about? Sometimes we’re spoiled for choices of blog topics, but other times we’re struggling to think of a single idea. How do you determine what you should share on your blog? Where can you find the topics? Here are seven sources for blog material I tell my clients to mine for information.
What questions do you answer most?
The best place to find those is to search your email archives and look for the phrase “how do I” or “why should I.” (Ask your customer service staff if they’ve gotten similar questions.) For example, if you’re an accountant, your client may want to know about taking depreciation on a vehicle versus mileage reimbursements. Give examples to show why one choice would be better than another.
Those are the questions you’ve no doubt answered thoroughly, and the answers are just sitting in your email archives. Expand and update them, and share as much information as possible. Some of those topics may need to be explored repeatedly. In some cases, you may even have enough material to write a white paper or ebook.
Any new changes around the office.
Did you hire a new employee or promote someone to a new position? New agent, new attorney, accountant, office manager, sales manager, and so on. It may seem like personal or behind-the-scenes information, but this is the stuff your clients want to know about, especially if you have a lot of customer-facing staff: your customers can actually “meet” the people they’ve been dealing with on the phone or emailing. It helps them feel more connected to your company, which makes them more loyal to you brand.
Any new services/products, even a small change to something you already have.
Talk about why you launched this service or product, what are the benefits of it, and who would be a good fit for it. You don’t have to get mired in the details, but at least talk about the thinking that went into the creation of the new service, or why it seemed like a good idea.
Make this all about your customers and why you thought they would benefit from it. Share some hypothetical case studies and run through any calculations that show why it’s a good purchase for your customers.
Commentary on major industry news.
As a leader in your industry, you’re surely keeping up on the industry news or developments. (You are keeping up on your industry news, right?) Since changes in your industry affect your clients, you need to educate them about those changes.
Share your thoughts and reactions to this news, talk about what it means to your clients, and discuss how your company is changing to keep up with these new developments. This helps you be seen as a resource to your clients, plus it shows that you’re maintaining your knowledge and expertise.
Any pro bono work or any volunteer work you do.
It’s a good idea to show your company doing good in the community. Highlight any pro bono work and volunteer work that you do within the community. Align yourself with an organization you’d like to support and get involved with, such as the local Chamber of Commerce or a nonprofit organization. Talk about what you’re doing in the community and see if you can get your clients involved as well.
Customer success stories and case studies.
Want to show off your skills and abilities to potential clients? Do that by showing the work you’ve done for other clients just like them. You don’t have to name names, but you can at least refer to past clients and the things you’ve helped them do. This is as much about featuring your customers’ successes as it is your own skills and expertise — you want potential customers to reimagine themselves in your customers’ roles, to think “maybe they can do this for me too.”
Professional advice and recommendations.
Share your best knowledge and tell your readers some of the things they should be doing in order to make their own businesses successful. It’s called “giving away the good stuff,” and it shows that you know what you’re doing and what you’re capable of. By sharing your direct knowledge, you can not only benefit them, you can showcase some of your own talents and offerings. And if you do it right, you’ll have articles that people are willing to read all the way to the end.
Case in point: you made it this far, didn’t you?
There’s plenty of content out there just by mining these seven general topics. You can share news and knowledge and become a resource for your readers, or you can share information on your company and build relationships with them. And by publishing it all on your blog you ultimately boost your search engine optimization, bringing in more potential customers to your business.