Even if you’ve partnered with a virtual assistant or content manager to create your online business content (i.e. blog and social media posts) you’ll still need to come up with the topics that your online content will be about. As an entrepreneur, you are probably great at coming up with new ideas—for your business. Coming up with topics to address for your audience may not be as easy. When you live, breathe, and move in your business every day, you have an unlimited amount of information about your principal service or product; it can be challenging to know what information is helpful to share with clients and what they’ll pass up. Here are 5 prompts to help you come up with blog topics for your business.
1. What Questions Are You Asked?
If you’ve been asked the same questions by multiple clients chances are that most of your clients (and your potentials) have the same ones. Save them time and meet them halfway by answering their questions up front in an FAQ-style blog post.
2. Put Yourself in the Client’s Shoes
As a small business owner taking care of a litany of tasks, from the tiniest detail to the big picture, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. While the most important detail or project you’re working on may be endlessly interesting to you, it may be irrelevant to your clients. Put yourself in your client’s shoes by asking yourself the following: How much do my clients know about my business, and how much do they need to know? Will sharing what I’m currently working on benefit my clients, or confuse them? What is the current focus in my target market, and how can I address it in a way that lets my clients know that I share their concerns, interests, and questions?
3. What Are You Learning?
Addressing the research you’re doing in your industry, your professional involvement, and what you’re learning by conducting your business is a great way to engage your client base. Not only will you teach clients something about what you do, you’ll build trust and enhance your credibility and professional reputation by showing clients that you aren’t taking their business for granted—you’re constantly learning, growing, and improving. Discussing new developments and discoveries within your industry is also a great way to engage your professional network of peers because it’s likely that what you’ve learned is something they’ve also just learned, are curious about, or are unaware of but would benefit by learning about. It can also be humanizing and build trust to discuss a mistake you’ve made professionally and how you seized it as a learning opportunity to become better at what you do.
4. Write a How-To Post
How-to posts, step-by-step posts, and posts that include tips and suggestions are a great way to engage with clients via blog posts. Posts that offer instructions or numbered lists are easy to read, and your clients can take what they need without having to read the entire blog article as they choose (most people spend between 15 seconds and 7 minutes reading online content—depending on their level of engagement). Another added bonus of this type of post is that you’re providing free, helpful information to clients—something that always goes over well!
5. Share Your Vision and/or Story
You’ve probably addressed your vision, mission, and background on your site’s “about” page, but the fact is that clients may never make it to that page, and are likelier to learn about you if you present the same information in an engaging, human way. Keeping it brief, write about what inspired you to start your business, why you want to help your clients or a personal background that led you to your current work.
Your Turn: How do you measure readership and engagement? What kinds of topics and blog posts have your clients responded the most positively to?