The most common answer to this question is also one of the most unhelpful for the small business owner, lifestyle entrepreneur, or passionate professional about to jump into the blogging world. Here, with a couple of concrete examples, is a simple way to get started blogging.
We get this question all the time from small business owners and lifestyle entrepreneurs diving into the blogging world, and the answer is, "Anything related to your business, products, services, industry, which would also be informative and entertaining (and not sales-y) for your Ideal Audience."
And that answer, while accurate, just isn't helpful.
Because (as we're finally realizing) when our clients and prospects ask what to blog about, the question is also a stand-in for a host of other concerns:
* What's the point?...
* How will this get me more business?...
* I'm not a writer...
* There's fear involved in "putting myself out there" in this way...
* I don't know where to start...
* I'm overwhelmed by the idea, the technology, the fitting-it-in around the rest of everything else I have to do as Chief Cook and Bottle Washer in my business...
You get the idea.
Assuming for now that you will be jumping in to the blogging world, here's the easiest formula I can come up with for a successful blog post, which I laid out for one of our clients in a Progress Report last year:
"To sum up, blogging can be as simple as:
"1. Reading an industry news story
"2. Formulating your opinion on it
"3. Typing up your opinion and supporting it with your unique set of knowledge
"Could each of [your executive team members] do that in 15-30 minutes or so, once (or twice) a month? If so, your blog will be a roaring success."
As another example, a storage and organization systems company out of Wolfeboro, NH, is going through blogging training with another company as I write this.
I met with the co-owner separately, and we got to talking about how new closet systems affect the resale value of homes. I checked out Remodeling magazine's 2007 Cost vs. Value annual report, and was surprised to see that they didn't include anything storage or organization-related.
That lack of inclusion is blog-worthy. In fact, if it had been included, it would also be blog-worthy, but for the specific situation, let's put it this way:
Imagine you're the co-owner of that storage system business, and you're at a cocktail party. Someone comes up to you and says, "I heard Remodeling magazine didn't include storage systems in their Cost vs. Value report. What do you think about that?"
"I think that's short-sighted," you say.
"Well, some custom closet installs run about $12K, which is in line with some of the lower-cost projects they're tracking. Storage and organization is a multi-billion-dollar industry, so it's worthy of Remodeling's attention. And a closet system is just as much of an upscale addition as a kitchen remodel, in terms of making the home more attractive to potential buyers. In a tough housing market, that could make the difference between selling and sitting on another year of mortgage and escrow payments."
That exchange is, literally, what the closet system company could post on their new blog about that report. They have their own inimitable personalities and styles of talking and writing, so it would end up reading differently, but in terms of creating the outline of a blog post, that's exactly all they have to do.
Of course, they could add one more thing. They could then write a question and a call to action for their readers: "Was the sale of your house affected by a closet system? Or was a closet system one of your deciding factors in choosing to buy one house over another? Leave a comment and let us know!"
This example, hopefully, not only helps illustrate what to blog about, but also serves as a step in the right direction for wrestling those "other issues" ("I'm not a writer," "I'm afraid," "What's the point?" etc.) down to the ground.
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(c) 2008 Epiphanies, Inc. As the "Content Lovers" of Epiphanies Inc., Lani & Allen Voivod help lifestyle entrepreneurs and million-dollar businesses "A-Ha Themselves" in fun and profitable ways. For FREE articles, marketing tips, and content strategies designed to fire up your passion and profit-ize your niche, sign up for their "Inciter" ezine at http://www.EpiphaniesInc.com !
By- Lani and Allen Voivod