One of the biggest hurdles many business owners face when they start a blog is knowing what to write about. Everyone has their own unique knowledge and experience but it can be tricky working out where your expertise lies and how you can translate it into something that other people will want to read. I’ve recently started running some blogging brainstorm sessions to help people come up with ideas for their blog and I’ve put together a list of useful blog resources. I sometimes use these resources myself when I’m struggling for fresh content for the website, so I thought it was worth sharing them and hopefully they will help inspire you in your blogging too!
5 useful blog resources
Google Adwords Keyword Tool (http://bit.ly/LsNUIh )
The Google Keyword Tool has been a vital part of my marketing and SEO for this website, and I also use it to help me come up with blog topics too. It’s designed primarily for people who use Adwords to advertise their products and services, but it’s one of the best blog resources for anyone with a website or blog as it shows you roughly how many searches are made for any keyword locally (in the UK or your chosen country) and globally each month. Better still, it shows you other related phrases – which is where you can pick up ideas for your blog posts.
As an example the very random search term “bearded dragon” brings back ideas like “what to feed bearded dragons”, “bearded dragon care” and “how long do bearded dragons live” – all great blog posts if your site is about beardies!
Ask Jeeves Q&A section (http://uk.ask.com/ )
I used to use Ask as a search engine BG* but I’ve recently gone back to it as I love the Q&A feature. Because people often talk to search engines in “proper” language Ask gets asked lots of questions – which, of course, are a good basis for a blog post and better still, because they are in the Ask database you know people are looking for the answers. Simply input your search term and then choose the “Q&A” option in the left hand column.
Going back to our earlier random term, a search produces questions like “How intelligent are bearded dragons?” and “What are the signs of a pregnant bearded dragon?”
* Before Google
Quora (https://www.quora.com )
Quora is one of the newest blog resources around. It’s a dedicated “question and answer” site where people who have expertise in their particular field seek out questions to answer. Search for your term and choose the “Questions” tab. The section on the right shows the most popular questions and unanswered questions – if you can write a post on any of these it’s likely to be popular! Quora tends to focus on more academic or business-related topics and has some pretty niche subjects on there so it isn’t so relevant for everyone – but is still worth a look.
Back to the beardies: Quora suggests “What is the best period of the year for bearded dragons brumation?” (Yeah I have no idea either!)
Other blogs and forums
Don’t be afraid to “borrow” ideas from other blog sites or forums. Of course you should never ever copy what someone else has written – apart from the fact that it’s blatant plagiarism and there may be copyright issues, Google doesn’t appreciate duplicate content either. That doesn’t mean you can’t monitor what other bloggers in your field are talking about, and then use some of those ideas with your own twist. For example, a “5 useful things” post may actually use ideas from five different blogs, all written in your own style.
To find relevant blogs put your keyword into Google, click the “More” tab underneath the search box and choose “Blogs”. Amazingly there are 835,000 blogs related to bearded dragons! You can also use Google to search forums to find out what people are talking about by clicking the “Discussions” link (also under “More”).
Perhaps one of the most useful blog resources is your own customer base. Think about the first time you spoke to a new customer – what questions did they have about your product or service? Make a note of those questions and turn each one into a blog post – perhaps categorised as FAQ so people can find them easily on your blog. You could even email your customers and ask them what topics they would like you to cover!
If you’ve recently started a blog, or are struggling to find ideas to write about, you may find it useful to have a Blogging Brainstorm with me. We’ll talk for 60-90 minutes about your business to draw out the areas of expertise you feel comfortable writing about and you’ll go away ready to put together a blog schedule for the next three months (based on one post a week). The Blogging Brainstorm session costs just £50 and we can do it face to face (if you live in the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire area) or over Skype. If you’re interested give me a call on 0367 888229 or email me for more information or to book.
And if there are any sites you find really useful blog resources, leave me a comment and let me know!
“Alison’s knowledge of the blogging/social space have lead her into an area that she is clearly made to do, training business owners on the nitty gritty. The brainstorming session has provided focus to my blogging for my business and made me think about things to say that my client base might find interesting or useful. I went away from our session armed with lots of ideas and new found enthusiasm and most importantly the focus to follow through on what Alison and I discussed. I highly recommend Alison for business owners that need focus with their blogging!”
Phil Hawley, PH Positive Studio