By Michelle Salater
You have a business blog, and you want people to read it. And you know the best way to gain a loyal readership is to provide content that is useful to your readers, but you struggle to find something to write about on a consistent basis.
If this sounds like your current situation, fret not. Bloggers’ block happens to even the most prolific bloggers.
Your blog content should provide value to your reader. This means you should strive to show readers how to do something, offer tips on how to improve their lives or businesses, update them on industry happenings, or entertain them in some capacity. Readers should be able to come away having learned something or informed about a product or service, filled with knowledge they didn’t have before, or in better spirits because you made them laugh.
If you give readers what they want, they’ll subscribe to your blog. They’ll relish what you have to say. They’ll share your posts with their friends and colleagues.
So, what do you do when you haven’t the slightest idea what you should blog about? How do you get past the worry that no one will want to read what you have to say or the dread of having to write another dull post?
The solution is quite simple: you must get back to the basics.
Before you can write anything your readers will find valuable, you need to have a good understanding of the people whom you are writing for. You must define your blog readership. Sounds simple enough, but this is the one mistake I see bloggers make. It’s no wonder they don’t know what to write-they don’t know who their readers are.
This bears repeating: having a clearly defined target audience is absolutely essential if you want to build a loyal readership.
Not only will a clear understanding of your blog readership help generate ideas for blog content, but it will also help you structure your blog posts.
An example: Say your blog targets entrepreneurial women who work from home who are looking to maximize their work time and balance family and work life. They are mothers, they run the home and their business, and they are always on the go. Knowing this information, you wouldn’t want to write long blog posts that are over 500 words. If these women don’t have time and are seeking productivity tips in order to have more time, chances are they are looking for short and sweet posts that they can skim and learn from. Writing shorter posts for this uber-busy audience is also a way of showing them that you value their time and their readership.
Once you have a good idea of your readership, ask yourself, what does your audience want to know, read, and learn? I suggest you step away from your computer, take out a blank sheet of paper, and start brainstorming. Write down as many topics as you can; then see if you can group them into categories.
Another way to approach this is to write down questions customers ask you and topics you hear people in your industry discussing. Again, see if you can group this information into categories.
An example: Say you blog about anything and everything that pertains to baking. During your brainstorming session, you notice you can batch all the how-to posts. Similarly, all the cooking-utensil and hardware-product posts can go in a category.
Once you’ve finished brainstorming, look over your categories. Circle one idea in each category. Let’s say you have five categories. Now you have five blog posts right in front of you. All you have to do is start writing.
When writing your blog posts, keep in mind these three tips:
Tip 1: Don’t bore your reader to death: You might be providing readers with useful and important content, but don’t forget people also want to be entertained. When was the last time you enjoyed an industry-jargon-filled blog or a blog that rambled on and on and on? Chances are you never visited that blog again.
Tip 2: Let your personality come through. Don’t be afraid to inject some personality into each post and to let your brand personality shine. How much personality you want to share depends on your audience. If you have a corporate blog read by adventure-travel outfitters, most of whom happen to be male, you probably want to stay away from weaving stories about your new cat Fluffy into your posts. Again, think about your audience when you write.
Tip 3: Batch your writing. Set aside time each week or every other week to write blog posts. Batching helps prevent repetition and ensures you aren’t scrambling at the last moment to find something to blog about.
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