The next time you’re looking for a topic for your blog, ask yourself these three questions, suggested by small business marketing coach Sydni Craig-Hart in 5 Simple Steps to Generate Relevant Content for Your Blog:
1. What’s keeping your clients up at night?
2. What’s the biggest challenge or problem they’re facing right now?
3. What information and resources do you have to share to make their lives easier?
Here’s what I love about those questions.
For each one, you can probably come up with more than one answer. Three answers equals three blog separate blog posts. Eight answers? Eight posts.
Here are four more questions I’d like you to consider when trying to find content:
4. What question have I received from someone recently in my email?
Pay attention to ALL questions in your email. When you answer, cut and paste it into a new blog entry, and then elaborate and, if appropriate, link to resources.
5. What’s the most frequent question beginners in my niche are asking? If I’m a speaker, I’d ask myself, what’s the Number One question that beginners in my audiences are asking?
Keep a running tally of all these questions, and use them when you need blog content. Never assume that just because you know the answer, it isn’t interesting to others who follow you.
6. What’s the one issue I’m struggling with right now and searching for the answer?
When I can’t find the answer to a question, I go to LinkedIn and ask. Sometimes, only one or two people respond. But often, I receive several great answers that can be woven into a blog post. I’m suddenly smarter, and so are my readers. I’m careful to explain within the LinkedIn question that I want to blog about the issue.
7. What’s the “hot new thing” or controversial topic in my industry that everybody wants to know about? For example, people in my audience, mostly self-promoters, want to know what they need to do to get a great return on their investment of time with social media. They might know how to use Facebook. But they want to know how to use Facebook to make money.
Patsi Krakoff, who was my guest expert on the teleseminar Time-saving Tips for Smart Business Blogging, partnered with me to create a list of 101 ways to find content for your blog, a handout we offered to teleseminar participants.
Here’s a sneek peek at six more ideas on that handout:
8. Invite your followers to ask you questions. Answer them at your blog. Become “The Answer Man” or “The Answer Woman.”
9. Find inspiration in photos. Browse through photos on a site like iStockPhoto.com. Look for a cute animal photo, or a funny image, or a photo that makes you think, and write a post around it.
10. Industry definitions. Create a list of industry definitions, particularly those that confuse people.
11. Visit Craigslist. You might find interesting workshops, press releases or other material worth a comment in the small business, community or events categories for the cities nearest you. (See How to Use Craigslist as a Global Publicity Tool.)
12. Don’t do it all yourself. Recruit a guest blogger on BloggerLinkup.com.
13. Show readers both sides of an issue. Write about the advantages/disadvantages of something.
How about adding to the list? How do you find content for your blog?