The A-2-Z of business blog writing: T is for Topics

Business blogging,topics,customers,posts,articles,business blogs,business writing,writing tipsFinding topics to write about in your business blog isn’t always easy. However it is is very  easy to fall back on the tried, tested and often boring approaches still advised by some so-called blogging experts. Here’s how to approach your choice of topics in slightly more interesting and less hackneyed ways.

Although you  may well want to make sure you have covered all the initial bases in your business – the most obvious topics that are of direct concern to you and your customers – it helps to enrich your content with more probing, deeper topics. How to think those up? Do a bit of role play.

Imagine you have a commercial transport company

You have a fleet of vans and trucks which transport your customers’ goods over medium to long distances around the country. To begin with you’re likely to blog about the quality of your service, what to watch out for if customers consider using your competitors, how your service compares with those of others, what alternatives there are for transportation of goods and why they are inferior (of course!) etc.

Those are all fine and dandy but they are very strong on inward focus. Yes, your customers will be interested to read those posts because they have a need to use such transport services.

But what about your customers’ other needs?

For example, how should they prepare their goods for transportation so they are as well protected as possible? Do they know how important it is for them to give you a detailed inventory of the goods being transported, so that your people will know how best to handle them en route?  Do you know someone who is an expert packer whom you can interview for a blog post, sharing his/her expertise to help your customers pack properly?

Moving on, what advice do your customers give to their  customers who receive the goods transported by you? Could you help your customers improve their own service by issuing better instructions for unpacking, goods inward handling, etc.?

And then what about stock control, plus even JIT and other production strategies that relate to goods outward and transportation? What tips could you get from external experts to advise your customers on how to improve these elements of their business?

Make your blog your customers’ favorite point of reference

The whole point about this example above is to give you an idea of how to dig deeper into what you can blog about that will really resonate with your customers. You could apply this approach to almost any type of business, big or small.

If you have a hairdressing business, don’t just blog about topics relating to your actual customer herself. She has a family. What advice can you give her about her children’s hair? Head lice? Baby’s first haircut? Hair care for the elderly? Nutrition for healthy hair? Choosing the right style to suit people’s faces and shapes, whatever age they are? Why a hairstyle can look great on a friend but won’t work for you?

If you have a software company, don’t – ever – get carried away with all the features of your product: focus on what it does for your customers. But don’t merely write about how it helps them. Think about what products or services they are offering to their own customers, and emphasize how your product helps them deliver a better service. If your product is used by a range of different industry types, write posts about each different type – customers in other types of business will still learn from this.

Creating really valuable business blog posts requires some creative thought and a bit of clever digging

To remind you, here are some more topic prompts available on HTWB – just click on the headings to go to the posts.

The news
Newsfeeds
Local, national, international media
Specialized/trade media
Monitor the Web
Google Alerts

Case histories
Demonstrate a learning point
Good stories
Allows customers to share their journeys and advice
Useful endorsement for you
Use topical angle where possible
The value of good quotes

Children and families
Business connected with children and families
Business not directly connected with children and families
But all these topics are covered in magazines
Making your take on the posts unique

History
Not for every type of business
Needs research
Entertaining
Stories
Relating to present day

Readers’ emergencies
Demonstrates your expertise
Big-time emergencies
Smaller emergencies
Advice they can use

Tips, checklists and countdowns
Tips – adjust number to overall words count
Checklists – action points not necessarily in order
Countdowns – points in chronological order
Way to repurpose earlier content

How other countries do it
Depends on your business
Equivalents in developed countries
Equivalents in developing countries
Use Google

The future for your readers
Business blogging,topics,customers,posts,articles,business blogs,business writing,writing tipsSpeculating is enjoyable
Research realistically
Make predictions
Use common sense

Threats your readers face
Warn –don’t scare
Dangers of inferior products/services
Show how you help
Don’t knock competitors unfairly

Humor
Humor is popular
Tailor humor carefully to audience
How to find jokes
How to customize jokes
Using Google

Jargon busting
Nearly all businesses have some jargon
How to describe jargon
What jargon to describe
Get customers involved

Reviews
Products and services
Always appreciated
Make sure it’s relevant
Always write in readers’ own “language”

Interviews
People like to be interviewed
Not the same as case histories
Keep content relevant to readers
How to get a good interview

Health and safety
Relevant only for some businesses
Health and safety for business
Health and safety for families
General health and safety

Seasonal topics
blogging,writing,blog writing,business,newsletter,HowToWriteBetter.net,How To Write Better,Suzan St MaurObvious seasonal topics
More subtle uses for the seasons
Major events
Regional events
Local events
How to customize your posts to seasons/events
photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc
photo credit: Wesley Fryer via photopin cc

Comments

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  1. Lynn Tulip says:

    Great tips again Suze, just need the time 😉

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