Posted by Limelight Department | Posted in blog , blog ideas , blog marketing , business blog , small business | Posted on 12:16 PM
20 Ideas for Small Business Blog Posts
By Shaylor Murray, August 2008
Likely you’re reading this either because you want to know if you have what it takes to begin blogging, or you’re already blogging and want to put more into it. Congratulations, either way! Blogging is not a “hard sell” approach to winning over customers, rather it’s a way to help you connect with your regular and potential customers on a more human level. A blog is a chance to be less formal than you would in your regular business communications. A blog does require a bit of a shift in thought, though. You probably won’t make money from your blog, but you will eventually make money because of your blog.
One of the biggest challenges for the busy small business owner and blogger is coming up with ideas for posts. I’ve found that the most successful posts provide some type of value to the reader, allowing them to learn something new or think about something familiar in a new way. One of the most important lessons I like to share is that blog posts don’t have to be long. In fact, it’s often better if they’re not. Some new bloggers might feel that each blog post has to be the complete word on whatever subject is at hand. But extending your knowledge over a series of posts keeps readers interested, and is a lot less demanding on you than sitting down to write the first, last, and final word on any subject!
So now that you are relaxed and ready to write some short but inspired blog posts, here are a few ideas for when you run out of steam.
1. Make a Video
Tour your company offices, show your production line, talk to a couple of happy employees in your warehouse, introduce your staff, show how your product is made. This is a particularly effective strategy if you sell something that is hand-made.
2. Blog About a Mistake
You’ve made one or two over the course of your business, yeah? Don’t be afraid to share…it makes you human.
3. Frequently Asked Questions
There’s a good chance your website has a list of the common questions, but what about those that come up a little less frequently? Or so frequently that you answer them in every conversation?
4. Write a Book Review
Pick up a book on marketing and give it a spin. You say you’re too busy to read books? Then review a product, solution, or service that you use. Tell your readers what you like and dislike about it, and if you can recommend it or not.
5. Read the Newspaper
This one is almost as easy as it sounds. Is there anything in the current news that relates to your industry? Relate it to your business, and give your take on it. Position yourself as the expert with insider insight.
6. Talk about Yourself
Tell the story of how you started your business. Remember some of your mistakes and victories, things that were more challenging than you anticipated. “Get real” with your readers and go beyond your About Us page.
7. Solve a Problem
Have any of your customers faced a challenge in ordering from you? Maybe they needed some customized solution and you provided it. With your client’s permission, discuss the problem and how you tackled it together and solved it.
8. Conduct an Interview
Think of someone in your industry that you admire, call or email them, and transcribe it. Your questions can be personal or business related—ask them their opinion of something going on in the news, or how they overcame a challenge. These posts also offer an opportunity to add video or audio.
9. Answer Questions
This is for questions beyond the FAQ’s, beyond the estimated shipping time and cost eventualities. Solicit questions about what you do, and answer them.
10. Share a Complaint
Generally speaking, business owners like to keep negative comments or disparaging press deep in their pocket never to see the light of day. But think of this as an opportunity for redemption: you received a negative email, customer complaint, or bad review, and you dealt with it somehow. Taking it into your own hands like this allows you to explain the problem and what you did to make it right. You come out looking like customer service is really as important as you say it is.
11. Share Praise
Was someone exceptionally happy with their product or service? Did they share with you unsolicited glowing praise? Go ahead, toot your own horn.
12. Share Your Knowledge
Create a tutorial of an installation process or set-up. There's always something you can explain how to do. Using text, audio, or video, blog about as many tasks as you can (not all in one post, of course).
13. Live Reporting
Next time you attend a trade show, conference, or networking event, make sure your experiences make it onto your blog. Discuss and critique the workshops, the other vendors (nicely, of course! They’ll be reading your blog too), the free swag, the food, the hotel…you get the idea.
14. Know thy Enemy
What I mean is, keep up with what your competitors are saying on their blogs. Do you agree or disagree? Can you add to the conversation? Not to mention that the practice of reading other blogs can give you ideas for your own blog.
15. Set the Record Straight
Once and for all, answer that question that nags at your industry, that myth or fallacy that just won't die.
16. Follow that Tweet
If you follow someone on Twitter and you’re tweeting back and forth, expand on the conversation in your blog. Allow that to be your entry to a blog post, and respond with as much space as you need.
17. Make a List
People love lists. Like this one. Make one yourself, about something relevant to your readers. Maybe it’s the most useful resources or tools you use as a small business owner. Or the top five restaurants in your city. The top 10 most influential people in your industry and why.
18. Have a Conversation
Did you recently have to defend your industry? Did you explain something about your product or services to a client? There’s a good chance that client is not the only one with the question. Remember what your elementary school teacher always said…if you don’t know something, then your classmates don’t know something either. Allow the topic of the conversation to become a blog post to benefit whoever is reading.
19. Build Community
Take a poll and report on your reader’s responses. Post a question for discussion. Post reader-generated video.
20. Give Advice
You’re the expert, but you weren’t always. Help out a fellow traveler and answer some questions about what you’ve learned. What was the best decision you made to become successful? Maybe it was taking business classes, hiring an assistant, rebranding your name and packaging. You don’t have to divulge trade secrets, just share something you’ve learned with someone who is wearing the shoes you outgrew.
These 20 ideas are by no means the end. Keep your blog fresh by taking note of ideas as often as they come into your mind. Write them down in a notebook and refer to it when you’re stuck. Maybe you have a free evening and you have a few ideas. Go ahead and hash out a skeleton of several blog posts at once. Then the next time you sit down to write, the work of beginning will have already begun. The most important thing though, is to do it. That blog won’t write itself!