Some industries appear to lend themselves better to blogging than others. In our field I'll always have far more blog post ideas than I do time to write. But what about more challenging industries?
How do you come up with 30 to 50 compelling blog post ideas for Plastic Products/ Rugs / or the Petroleum Industry <insert challenging client industry>?
This is the third in a 5 part series looking at Blog Strategy with a focus on Clients. In this post, Im going to discuss How to Come up with Blog Post Ideas for Challenging Industries.
Chris Winfield put it nicely in Dave Harry's interview a few weeks ago when he said "...there are people interested in your products/services (or else you wouldn't have a business) so there is a way to reach them through social media marketing"
Your client's blog will be about them. The end customer who is interested in your client's product / services. Think about blog post ideas that would appeal to them.
1) Start with your client. They know their end customer best. Get them to help you come up with 7 to 10 potential categories for posts. To do so you should ask them a series of questions designed to get to know their customer better. Ultimately it's their customer who's going to become the audience for their blog.
Who is your customer? Why do they buy from you? What problem does your product or service solve?
For example, if we were going to use the Rug Industry, people buy rugs for a number of reasons: because they can add to a home's decor; because they want to make a decorating statement; or maybe it's a simple as they warm up cold floors.
Based on these needs, one could come up with many categories for Rugs: Home Decor, Design, Healthy Living, Environment, Art and Culture, Weird & Wonderful facts about rugs, Rate my Room - Designers answer questions from readers photos, Video tutorials on how to select carpet, install, dispose of etc, there are many different categories that one could come up with.
Based on your discussion with your client you now at least 7 to 10 potential categories for the posts.
2) The next step is to come up with 3 to 5 ideas for each category.
One approach you can take is to brainstorm ideas that will solve the end customers' problems. How do I...
...match my rug to the rest of my home decor? Do I start with the rug or end with it? (home decor - how to idea)
...pick a contemporary colour theme? What colors are in this year? (Design - how to idea)
...Select a rug that is home healthy? (Environment - how to idea)
Use Keyword Selection Tools A second approach is to think about what keywords people might use to find your blog posts and plug these into a keyword selection tool. I really like Wordze for this because it gives a lot of 3, 4 and 5 word phrase results back. These results often make great blog post ideas.
By doing various queries around "rugs" I found these additional Keyword Phrases which would also make great blog post ideas:
- "organic rug allergies chemical sensitivity" or as a blog post "the best organic rugs for allergies and chemical sensitivity"
- "custom size area rug" or as a blog post "How to measure your room for a custom area rug solution"
By using keyword selection software to brainstorm blog post ideas, you'll end up writing posts about topics people are actually looking for.
Take Concepts and Turn them into more Specific Ideas A third way to come up with additional blog post ideas is to take existing ideas and flesh them out a little more. Broad, high level ideas are often good ideas that if thought through a little further would become great ideas.
For example if your client is a vet then you might use "dogs" as a topic. Compare this with "how to reduce dog smells" or even better "home remedies to cure your dogs bad breath".
After easily coming up with 5 ideas X 7 categories, your client will realize that there are hundreds of potential post ideas.
Coming up with a bunch of blog post ideas is only the beginning.
Ideally you will take these ideas and create an editorial schedule. This schedule should detail who is going to write which posts and when they'll be required.
Sometimes the easiest and least expensive approach for the client is one that includes mixed accountabilities. Perhaps your client wants a daily blog post but doesn't have the time to write 5 posts a week (neither do you).
The best way to deal with this scenario is to have many people contributing to the blog (as per a schedule of course)
Monday - ghost writer
Tuesday - the client
Wednesday - a delegate within the clients company (this could be a rotation of 4 people so each delegate only has to write one post per month)
Thursday - a guest blogger from within your industry. Think suppliers, resellers, customers, or even competitors from a market you don't serve. Again, this could be a rotation of 4 people so that each delegate only has to write one post per month.
Friday - ghost writer
By brainstorming many post ideas in advance and setting accountabilities and deadlines you'll have a much better chance of the Blog being a success.
This is the Third in a 5 part series on Blog Strategy with a focus on clients. This series will explore:
- How to Sell your Client on a Blog Strategy
- How to develop a Blog Strategy? What makes it a Strategy versus just implementing a Blog?
- How to Come up with Blog Post Ideas for Challenging Industries
- What are realistic measures of success for your Clients Blog?
- How to get your Blog Traffic to Convert