It can be a challenge to start a blog for your business and then have a system in place to ensure you keep writing and publishing to it on a regular basis. Everyone at some point can end up feeling uninspired or stuck for new ideas on what to write to about next. Even if you already have a long list of ideas or ‘almost-finished’ posts you’ll need to resist the temptation to put your blog writing on hold ‘temporarily’ and find yourself switching over to other items on your ‘To Do’ list.
A successful blog takes time and effort – more time than most people realise. You may not see any significant results in the first year, but you must keep going, even if your monthly website traffic barely reaches the double digits at first. So in the early days, when your traffic is sagging, the phone hasn’t rung, your inbox is still empty and your website or social media accounts aren’t showing any comments, likes, shares or retweets, here are a few tips for beating the blog writing blues – tips that might ignite your imagination for your next blog post.
- Share a secret
What ‘trade’ or ‘in-house’ secrets have you learned while being in business? What tricks did you learn along the way that have made your life easier? What mistakes did you make? Any horror or shocking stories that you would be prepared to share? What would you have done differently, knowing what you know now? Sometimes by sharing a story from your personal experience clearly outlining a ‘lesson learned’ makes what you write more personable and relatable to your audience.
- Start your blog with a list
The possibilities of writing a list are limitless – for example, write about the lessons you learned in your first year of business or common mistakes you’ve seen others make in your industry. Think about writing lists which might contain the ‘best’ or ‘biggest’ or ‘worst’ or ‘dumbest’ or ‘silliest’ or craziest’….get the idea? Use these words to help you describe and make your list different from others lists.
- Teach a lesson
You’re successful in business because you have a unique talent or specialist skill that not everyone has. Draw on your uniqueness and write it up as a ‘how-to’ style post. Even if your livelihood is entirely dependent on your skill, go ahead and explain how to build that retaining wall for your customers’ garden or how to effectively grout tile in the bathroom. A lot of people like to tackle DIY projects and go searching on Google or YouTube for how to do these practical home projects. Few experts take the time to explain how to tackle these how-to projects simply, safely and easily.
- Answer your customers’ questions
Listen to your customers, what do they frequently ask you? What are their concerns? What do they tell you they want from your product to do for them? What do they frequently misunderstand or get wrong when they use your service? What do they mention ‘in-passing’ or complain about from the last person they hired to do the job – i.e. the reason why they’ve now hired you instead? Every piece of feedback or conversation is potential content for your blog. By paying attention and listening to your customers and then including that content in your blog writing you’ll be talking to your customers directly about exactly what they want to know. Just ensure you don’t reveal their identities.
- Tell a story
Who doesn’t like to read an amusing anecdote or an uplifting story? Whether it’s a success story or a story written from an underdog’s perspective, write it down and share it on your blog. Your customers and followers will love to get involved, supporting you and others who are struggling or have struggled. When you tell the story, write about the lessons you have learned along the way.
- Respond to your customers’ concerns
Enter into the conversation by tackling a debatable subject – offering alternatives and solutions. Write an unbiased balanced view and clearly explain both the advantages and disadvantages of the topic and how your product or service can help. Your honesty and views will be appreciated.
- Shoot a video and make a short podcast
This doesn’t have to be an expensive, highly edited and well-polished video. Just make sure you have good audio. Sit in front of your computer webcam and think about a short, interesting narrative to discuss with your customers. If you’ve got something to say, then say it – there’s no rule which says all blogs have to be written. Try writing ‘out loud’ for something different.
- Share the blog writing workload by conducting an interview
This exercise doesn’t need to be overly complicated. Simply ask one of your best customers about their business and include a few questions about how they feel about your product or service. Confirm whether they’ll be happy once you have written it up if you could share it on your blog. Hopefully, your customer appreciates the recognition and you’ll end up with a great testimonial.
- Create an article series
You may find a topic which has multiple threads and aspects which make it too long to publish as one long post. Consider breaking it down as a series of separately published blog posts. Keep your loyal readers interested by writing ‘part 1, part 2 etc’ and publish each post a week or two apart.
Show your customers that you know what you’re talking about. Reinforce what they want to know. Don’t be afraid to get a bit more personal or reveal more of yourself by showing some empathy with their circumstances. A little humanity can go a long way. Give your customers the opportunity to show you their support and gravitate to your openness, transparency and honesty. Your readers could end up motivating you more than you realise and provide you with more of ‘the right stuff’ for your future blog posts. Your writers block will hopefully disappear and you may end up suffering from writers’ cramp instead.