Earlier this week, Josh--Creative California founder and blogging champion--gave you a kick in the pants and broke down how you should approach your company's blog to stimulate the minds of your readers and produce more engagement, social shares, and ...well, respect! If your readers respect your authority on a topic and ability to communicate your know-how, they will be more inclined to follow your blog.
So, as a part 2 to Josh’s guide to improving your blog’s performance, I’m going to dive a little deeper by listing a few topic ideas to get your wheels turning. These topics can be applied to almost any subject matter regardless of your business or expertise. It’s a good refresher, even for experienced bloggers! I do find it pretty hilarious that this is a top ten list (okay, top 7), which Josh specifically mentioned as a pet peeve in his post, but I assure you that the numeration is a formatting choice and not a click bait-y ploy to rope in more readers (though I do have to admit, “The 7 Best Blog Topics to Pull You Out of Your Content Rut” does have a nice ring to it).
If your company has taken a team trip to purchase new materials, visit a conference, or to do market research, then by all means, share (high quality) photos that display your company’s personality and process. If there isn’t a trip in your future, no worries. Share your day to day by providing a behind the scenes look at your stock room, desk, or any other work space. Just remember to make the space as clean and interesting as possible so it’s visually appealing.
Besides your general fabulousness, what else are your customers interested in? Chances are, if they’re interested in it, it will probably be of interest to you as well. Provide your readers with a review that does the work for them by sharing your experience with a relevant product.
People love a good sneak peek. Because it’s just that, there’s no exact science or measure for how much you have to share. Just a little tidbit or allusion to something new and exciting your company has in the works is all it takes to provide your audience with that little extra value. Exclusive information is a great way to justify to your customers why they should be following your blog or social presence.
Hopefully you have an “about” page full of scintillating bios and up-to-date photos that give existing and potential customers a clear idea of who the awesome people behind the scenes providing tip-top service. You should always have that main “about us” page to represent your team. Where your blog comes into the picture is to give you an opportunity to share a more in-depth portrait of your employees’ experience and growth with the company. New and seasoned employees have varying and equally interesting points of view! Another approach would be to have employees do a blog takeover, where they share a day in the life of their particular role, complete with photo diary.
There is a way to do this that isn’t too TMI (although, to quote Lena Dunham’s character on Girls, “there is no such thing as too much information. This is the information age!”). Whether or not you’re concerned about TMI, it is possible to share a struggle you recently faced that doesn’t make you appear weak or “green.” Remember that your customers understand–and even like to be reminded–that you’re human. They also value transparency and proof that your company is committed to making a continuous effort to grow and learn from its mistakes. When you share a vulnerable moment, don’t forget to follow up with how you’ve become stronger as a result. As Josh always says, “Don’t present a problem without also giving a solution.” Sharing what you’ve learned and the changes you’ve made is the crucial conclusion of this topic. Even if your team is still in the process of making adjustments to fix the process, share that! Your customer base will likely find it refreshing that you’re willing to share the not-so-perfect aspects of your business and are making the effort to improve.
This may seem obvious, but many don’t know which content topic has been most successful for their website. Consider views, of course, but also look into the social shares of posts you’ve promoted on your social networks, as well as verbal comments from your readers. If you’re a florist, and your tutorial on creating your own artistic floral arrangement for Mother’s Day took off, try something similar with a post about how to create an expensive looking arrangement using the most affordable flowers. This taps into their interests and draws on your expertise to provide deeper value.
If you’ve helped a customer with a tricky challenge or in developing his or her skill set, ask if they would be willing to share their story on your blog. The easiest way to do this so it doesn’t take up too much of their time would be to provide them with a few questions via email and request they respond by a certain deadline. If they’re a friend or acquaintance of the company, they’ll appreciate the structure and simplicity of what you’re asking. Structure the post as a before/after story, or allow the customer to craft the post with their own narrative.