Sometimes it's a challenge to come up with consistently new blog content on the fly, which is why the editorial calendar is an important part of building your inbound marketing program. You're full of insights, experiences, and opinions. Your computer, whiteboard, and notepad are probably chock-full of ideas for things to write about. So with all that great fodder, why are you still stuck in topic limbo?
Because as it turns out, it's tricky to translate a raw idea into an angle for a blog post that will get people reading. So while there are tons of ways to feed your blog with great content, here are a few ideas that should keep you writing on those days when writer's block hits hard.
1. The Trusted Expert Post
Guest posts from well-recognized industry leaders can be an effective way to build a strong blog presence. Some experts have legions of fans, followers, and passionate supporters that may get drawn to their post on your site. The endorsement--real or perceived--of your product or service can influence reader opinion and encourage trial, even without overt sales messaging. What’s more, their active fan base could mean an uptick in exposure for your company.
2. The “We Solved a Problem” Post
There’s nothing like a teeny, tiny problem to derail your whole day (or entire project). And problems you didn’t even know you had until someone pointed it out (possibly in front of your boss)? Yeah, well, those are even worse. But what if someone delivered a bright and shiny solution right in the form of a blog post? That post not only has the potential for repeat visits, but it also has great propensity for sharing, especially if you're the first in your industry to take the time to solve and explain this problem.
3. The How-To Post
Historically, this type of post performs well for most bloggers, and with good reason. While we enjoy a good philosophical discussion or a hot debate that puts our cerebral cortex into overdrive, the fact is that we all want to get stuff done. Stuff for our boss. Stuff for our freelance gig. Stuff for our online lives. “How-to” type posts draw us like moths to a flame because we assume we’re going to learn how to do something faster, cheaper, or better than other people or shave some time off a tedious, outdated process that makes us want to stick a fork in our left eye. If you can incorporate images or video to make the process visual, you'll likely see even greater success.
4. The FAQ Post
The best part about a FAQ post is that it provided answers to questions that people have all the time, which means it will be consistently referred back to. If there are tons of little nagging questions about something in your industry that you can compile and answer in one post, you'll get forwards, social shares, and bookmarks up the wazoo. Plus, that post will continue to drive traffic for months and even years, depending on how evergreen the topic at hand is.
5. The Excerpt Post
Not to be confused with the expert post (har har), the excerpt post takes an important section of a piece of long form content, and repurposes it on your blog. For example, if you've just written a new whitepaper or ebook and one section can stand on its own, republishing it on your blog with a link to the whitepaper/ebook not only gives you some quick and helpful content, but it can also drive more downloads of the long form version.
6. The Comparison Post
Are there some non-competing tools or services that your audience uses quite frequently? Do a product comparison and review (a buyer's guide of sorts) to help make their decision easier. With so much information out there, taking the time to do the research and distill what you've learned for your audience will win you big brownie points and get you trusted advisor status. Just make sure you don't review competitive products with your own, accept bribes, or forget to disclose affiliations with a certain product or service you're reviewing. Your credibility will take a serious nose dive.
7. The Research Reveal Post
Been conducting your own research? Good for you! Reveal the data and findings in a research reveal post. People love data, especially when you provide them with key takeaways. That means you should not only reveal your findings and methodology (bonus points for pretty charts and graphs), but also tell your readers the "so what" of it all. What is the key takeaway? What can your readers do with this information to be better at their jobs, make more money, be happier people, and so on? Last but not least, remember that people love sharing data, so make it easy to tweet data points with a tweet link generator.
We know your company is doing great work building stuff and servicing customers. How can you parlay technical knowledge, institutional experience, customer affinity, and lessons learned to help build awareness and your community? Get out there and blog!
What types of blog posts help lift you out of writers block and seem to resonate well with your audience?