After several conversations with B2B thought leaders and with my TopRight colleagues, I am reminded that many of us still struggle to come up with good blog post ideas. I’ve been the editor for several companies and managed content for many clients – and this is always the biggest challenge. It’s not that people don’t have expertise, stature and something important to say, they just freeze up when it comes to producing a few hundred word article.
Perhaps the biggest barrier is thinking that every blog post has to be a detailed and thoughtful analysis of some issue — demonstrating without a doubt the author’s long experience and mastery of the topic. Actually, a blog post is more like a hallway conversation than a whitepaper – and can be best when it’s one clear thought, well stated and with a meaningful key point. Over time, the collective strength of many such posts will demonstrate your mastery and prowess.
Of course, the best measure of success is relevancy to the audience. If this is something you’d talk with confidence about with your colleagues, industry connections, clients and prospects… and it’s interesting to them, too… then it’s a great topic for a blog post.
Like most things in life that you want to do more of, we each need to build the blog writing “muscle.” Do it every week and it will soon come naturally – and more frequently — and feel less like work.
Consider these five ideas to get you started on exercising your blogging habit:
- Comment on someone else’s work. Read something good from someone you admire? Add a few sentences on why this is interesting or relevant to your audience, and put it in context with a trend, recent business success or news story. With a link to the original, you are all set.
- Summarize a conversation. Those off the cuff conversations that happen before or after a meeting are usually great fodder for a quick blog post. Especially if they are observations and opinions on your core expertise. When someone asked you, “What did you think of the news/trend/situation…” – it can also be a good topic for a blog post.
- Make a list. Lists are easy to digest and, despite their ubiquity, are still some of the highest read articles on the web. Think about three things that bug you, five things that help move the business forward, four tricks to higher ROI. Don’t worry if there are really 15 in total – writing about a few of them is good enough for a blog post. (You can always do a follow up, “Three more things that bug me…” in a later post.)
- Select a survey. Dozens of surveys and polls are published every week. Pick out a stat or two from a source you trust and comment on its believability, it’s effect on behavior and how it relates to the benchmarks you use.
- Be fire to your product’s water. If you are starved for topics, take the advice of TopRight partner Andy Montgomery of Montgomery Relevancy Group who says in his blog that if your product is water then the blogger’s job is to “discuss fire — how it starts, how it spreads, how it kills, the insurance ramifications, the financial ramifications, its toxicity, everything. Fire is a very bad, disruptive, deadly thing.” Of course, all this education about fire creates demand for water.
With inboxes fragmented and overflowing, and searches returning hundreds of pages of results, your readers will appreciate your “snackable” content, and you will quickly build a reputation for getting to the point and making a good point. This kind of thought leadership is what helps each of us move our professional standing and our business into the #TopRight corner of the market.