In the last of our three-part series on blogging for small business, we look at how to find topics for your small business blog. Coming up with ideas is easier when you realize that nearly everything related to your business can be a source of inspiration. Here are several ways to find blog topics for your site:
Customers are one of your best sources for blog topics, since their concerns or interests are likely to be in sync with those of the majority of your readers.
- Identify your customers’ challenges and what you offer to solve them.
- Interview a satisfied customer.
- Mine comments on previous blog posts to unearth common topics of discussion.
- Ask your sales people or customer support team what they’re hearing most often from customers.
While you don’t want to rehash the same points in your competitors’ content, it’s a good place to look for topic ideas that are relevant to your industry or marketplace.
- Check competitors’ blogs for topics on which you may have a better or different perspective.
- Read the comments on their blogs to find out what their customers are talking about.
- See if there are important industry-related topics your competitors aren’t covering.
There are several ways to use Google’s built-in features as a source for new ideas.
- Set Google alerts so that you receive emails when topics you want to monitor are mentioned.
- Use the Google search box’s predictive feature to find out what some commonly searched-for phrases are. Just fill in the first few words and see what Google suggests.
- Enter a word or phrase in Google Trends to gauge interest in a topic and to see related search terms.
From local newspapers to trade magazines, this broad category can yield topics on everything from current affairs to the latest products.
- Review the columns written by experts in your city’s newspaper for topics relevant to your local customers.
- Build your reputation as an authority with a new take on topics covered in industry publications.
- Check out the comments on articles on publications’ websites for new ideas.
And more …
- Search online for industry conferences and review the themes or topics of workshops and speakers.
- Write about a mistake you made, what you did to correct it and what you learned from it.
- Write a book or product review.
- Create a series of “how-to” articles that tell customers more about your products or services.
Once you’ve started to build up some content, your blog itself can be a source of new topics. By checking web analytics, you’ll learn which posts have been most popular and may be worth revisiting from a new angle.