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How to find blog topics as a small business owner

How to find blog topics as a small business owner

Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Not only do you need to create your products or services, but you need to market your business, be the sales person and keep your website up to date. In a previous blog post, I wrote about why your website needs content. Writing regular blog posts is a fantastic way to provide fresh content for your site.

Keeping up a blog can be difficult. Continually finding new things to write about can be a chore. But it doesn’t have to be if you use my tips.

Tips for finding blog topics

Übersuggest

Übersuggest is a keyword tool where you can put in a word or two related to your products or services and it will list a whole load of longer phrases, some of which could form the basis of blog posts. You can view those keywords in a list or the more visual amongst us, as a word cloud.
From this you can quickly pick out a few topics such as:

  • Rules for social media management
  • How to create a questionnaire using social media
  • Eight social media hacks
  • Social media statistics to wow you
  • Tips for using social media for outreach

Google autosuggest

When you start typing anything into Google, the clever little search engine starts to suggest what you might be searching for. This can be a great way to see what sort of things other people are looking for so you can put together a blog post to answer their questions.

Forums and Q&A sites

Nichola Stott from the Media Flow presented at the Content Marketing Show in 2014. She talked about using data mining to find buyer objections. You can then create content to overcome these objections.

Sites such as Quora and Mumsnet are amazing for uncovering the problems that your audience face. By using advanced search operators you can grab loads of ideas without having to trawl through the websites looking for them.
Nichola’s client sold kayaks. By finding questions asked on Mumsnet she was able to generate loads of content ideas, including camping with a kayak, kayaking with a bad back and how to capsize safely.

Slide from Nichola Stott's presentation on data mining to find buyer objections

Google AdWords Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner is a tool that is designed to help marketers put together their pay per click (PPC) adverts. However, it is also a great way to get ideas for blog topics. I searched for keywords based on the topic “virtual assistant” and by scrolling through the list it gave me some ideas that I could use as a basic for blog topics, including:

  • What is a virtual assistant?
  • Why hire a virtual assistant?
  • Becoming a virtual assistant
  • Starting a virtual assistant business

Just so you know, you do need a free AdWords account to access this tool.

Questions from customers

A really good place to start when brainstorming content ideas is thinking about the questions that your customers ask. If you find that similar questions are posed repeatedly, that’s ideal blog post material. When someone next asks that question you can forward them a link to your article that explains all they need to know. This makes you look prepared and professional. You’re also anticipating what people are likely to be searching for on Google, so by writing a blog post about it, your article can be found on Google.

If just one customer asks a question, it probably means others are thinking it. There are always going to be potential customers who don’t want to make the big leap to contacting you because they’re not sure about something. Use some of your blog posts to overcome objections and have people contact you when they’re closer to buying.

Read as much as you can

Magazines, blogs and web resources are an invaluable source of content ideas. Take note of the topics they are covering, the headlines they are using and their style of writing. Is there a different angle you could take on the same subject? Could you bring your unique experience and give an example of putting a technique into action? Are they missing tips or information for your specific niche audience?

Don’t think that just because someone else has written an article on the same topic that it’s been ‘done’. There are myriad ways to approach a topic and make it your own.

The content for this blog post has been taken from my ebook, An Introduction to Blogging for Business. To get your hands on a pdf of my book for free, all you have to do is sign up to the Business Glitter mailing list. As well as the 16-page ebook, you’ll also be subscribed to my monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about my latest training courses and online programmes.

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Get your business blog organised with this free, easy to use tool

Get your business blog organised with this free, easy to use tool

Glitter bug, let me introduce to you… Trello.

Trello is my go to tool for organising my blog, my to do list and my life in general. As a busy, plate-spinning business woman, you need structure and organisation in your life. If you’re a fan of a list, like me, you’ll love Trello.

It’s an easy to use, free online to do list. Actually, it’s much more than a to do list. It’s an editorial calendar, a project management tool, a sales CRM, etc. The customisable nature of Trello means that you can do with it what you like.

I’m recommending it to you as a blog organisation tool. Trello can be used to plan your blog content, from the initial ideas stage through to publishing and promotion beyond.

In this video (my first YouTube video, ever!) you get a whistlestop tour of the main features of Trello:

Isn’t it awesome? Trello really pleases my list-loving soul. Have fun exploring, glitter bugs! I’d love to see your boards in full swing. Screenshot what you’re working on and tweet it with #organisedglitter 🙂

If you have any questions about the tool and how you might use it, pop them in the comments section below. I’ve been using Trello for a number of years. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Want more potential customers to know who you are, visit your website, and hopefully buy your products? Blogging can help you to achieve these goals. Sign up to the Business Glitter mailing list today and download your FREE 16-page ebook on getting started with blogging for business.

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 5 essential tips to help small business owners write their first blog post

 5 essential tips to help small business owners write their first blog post

 

Do you want more sales? Erm, yes please! It’s time to write your first blog post, lovely.

To increase the number of customers buying your products or services you need more people knowing about your business, more visitors to your website, and more people on your list. How can you achieve all this? Blogging can play a massive part.

Blogging for business can bring more people to your website via Google, increase your followers on social media because you have lots of juicy content to share, show that you’re an expert in your field and help to convert those website visitors into hard, cold cash. And let’s face it ladies, however much we love what we do, passion doesn’t pay the bills.

But I can’t write!

Yes you can, glitter bug. Your passion for what you do enables you to write amazing blog posts. Think about when you talk to your customers. If you can have a conversation about your services and products and explain how they will help your customer to achieve their goals, you can put this down in words. Break down all the topics you could possibly write about and you’ll have a huge number of potential blog posts.

Ready to get started? Take a deep breath and read on.

Five essential tips for writing your first blog post

1 – Write an outline

Staring at a blank page, or screen usually in our case, is a nightmare. Some people advocate doing a brain dump to start off an article. This is where to just start writing whatever comes to mind.  But as a busy one-woman band this is likely to take way too much time. You could get caught up writing and then you’re left with reams of potentially unusable material that you have to sift through and edit. Not fun, not to mention a drain on your precious time.

I recommend starting to write a blog post by creating an outline. Decide what you want to cover in your article and write these down as headings – don’t worry about the wording now, you can change them later.

2 – Use bullet points

Under each heading write four to five bullet points for what topics will sit under that heading. These don’t even have to be fully formed sentences, just make sure you’ll be able to understand what you meant when you refer to your notes later!

Include sections for introduction and conclusion. Even if all you write is ‘explain what I’m going to be talking about’. This is enough of a brief for you to expand on later.

3 – Do research to back up your points

Now’s a good time to do your research; finding articles that you can reference to back up your statements. Add in the points you want to include under the correct section heading. I would normally copy and paste statistics or quotes, making sure to also paste in where I got the information from so I can reference it in the blog post.

4 – Start writing underneath your headings

To make sure you cover each point, start writing under the headings from your outline, leaving the bullet points there for reference. When each point is ticked off, you can delete that bullet point. This is a really good way to make sure you cover off everything you want to in a blog post, it also stops you going off on a tangent and keeps your writing focused.

5 – Proofread and edit a day later

Proofreading your own work is a nightmare. You know what you’ve written so it’s really easy to miss typos, grammatical errors, etc. Once you’ve written your first draft of your blog post, leave it alone for about a day. When you come back to it, your words are no longer fresh in your mind so it’s much easier to proofread.

Are you ready to start writing your first blog post? I’d love to read it. Leave a link in the comments below and I’ll mosey on over and have a read!

Want to learn more about blogging for business? Sign up to my mailing list and you’ll receive a monthly newsletter and a FREE 16-page ebook – An Introduction to Blogging for Business. Learn everything from why blogging is important, to choosing blog topics and tips to help your posts get found by your potential customers.

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