What can you blog about? Tips, checklists and countdowns

small_2493066577Getting good business blog ideas is becoming an increasing headache for many business people. In this series, we take a look at some key areas of inspiration to help trigger ideas for your next blog post. This time, we look at tips, checklists and countdowns.

All the so-called blogging experts out there will swear up and down that posts headed “Top Ten Tips to (whatever result)” is a sure-fire way of attracting lots of traffic to your site. I’m a little worried that the “tips” format has become just too much of a cliché, and that readers seeing such a headline will yawn and move on to something a bit fresher – on another site. But that’s just me being picky.

Tips

Certainly, tips have the advantage of providing you with a vehicle for a collection of short pieces of advice on a topic that you can then display in no particular order.

If you’re going to use that format, make sure that you adjust the number of tips according to the amount you want to say, so that your overall wordcount is under 1,000. Readers’ attention spans are getting shorter all the time which means there’s increasing pressure on bloggers to keep it short, tight and sweet.

So with tips, if – say – each tip takes 100 words to explain, you don’t want to include more than 10 tips in the whole piece. If you tips are much shorter though – say 20 words each – you can up the overall number of tips, although you still don’t want to take that to the limit and include 50 tips.

The trouble with as many as 50 is, no matter how short they are the concept of 50 tips will make readers think  they haven’t got time to read them all…even though that’s erroneous.

Checklists

Checklists are useful for a series of actions or points you want readers to consider in related order, but are not necessarily directly related to each other. Some examples…

Car dealer – checklist of things to check on your car before winter

Wedding planner – checklist of crucial stages of the wedding planning process

Horseriding  trainer – checklist of all the things you need to pack into your vehicle before going to a horse show

Countdowns

These are seen less frequently but are a very good and useful way to help your readers tackle a series of actions or points in a given sequence. For example…

Car dealer – countdown to starting your car on frosty morning

Wedding planner – countdown to the wedding day

Horseriding trainer – your horse’s warm-up countdown to a dressage test

Topics

Tips, checklists and countdowns also make great business blog ideas because they’re handy ways to repurpose earlier content. If you look back through some of your earlier articles you’ll probably spot quite a few that could be turned into one of this lists.

Similarly, when you write a full article on a given topic, you may well find that you can develop a list from it at the same time. Then you can do one of three things:

  1. Incorporate the list into the article
  2. Run the list as your next blog post, as a follow-up
  3. Run the list some months later, as a reminder

All you need to is add a short introduction and summary, and voilà – ready-made blog post that won’t take you long to put together but  that will be useful and interesting for your readers.

For more business blog ideas, give me a shout on suze@suzanstmaur.com.

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family…

photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc

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