By: Sam Zastrow
on Monday, October 01, 2012
For most small businesses, a frequently updated blog should be at the core of any integrated marketing campaign. Blog posts attract the attention of search engines, and sharing them provides a base for your social media marketing strategy.
Search engine traffic and visitors from social media fill the top of your sales funnel with prospects, who can then be converted to leads on your website. A business blog also gives your business a venue to show its expertise and provides material to refer curious clients or customers to.
If you’re considering committing to a business blog, you’ll have to do one of two things: hire a writer (or team of writers) or do the writing yourself. If you choose the latter, writer’s block is almost inevitable. No matter how much you know about your industry, there are going to be days when you’ll sit down and suddenly realize you have no idea what to write about.
If you’ve got a case of writer’s block there are at least three strategies you can use to get your keyboard a-clicking.
Seek out the latest news in your industry
Before you even think about starting a business blog, get yourself a Google Reader (or similar service) account and subscribe to leading news sites and blogs on your industry. That way, you’ll always be in the know when a new product is unveiled or news articles related to your business is published. You can also use Twitter or other social networks for this purpose.
When you’re suffering from writer’s block, scan headlines on your feed and read anything that may be worth writing about. Once you’ve found one such article, summarize what the story is (be sure to include a link back to the original article and explain its relevance to your business.) Feel free to insert bits of opinion into the story as well, but be sure to make it clear that that’s what you’re doing.
Keep track of FAQs to answer with blog posts
Regardless of what business you are in, customers are going to have questions. Get in the habit of jotting these questions down. When you’re about to write, pull out your list of FAQs, pick one out and answer it with a blog post.
This is a great blogging strategy because if one of your customers has a particular question, chances are others will be wondering the same thing. Additionally, search engine users often type queries in question form (i.e. “What type of wine goes best with salmon?”). If you blog about a question, someone out there is bound to search for it, and your post will have their answer.
When in doubt, curate
“Content curation” is a bit of a buzzword right now, but it’s also a very easy way to break writer’s block. Sites like The Huffington Post have built content empires on curation, that is, taking content written by someone else, linking to it, adding bits of their own commentary and publishing it.
Take a look at articles being written on leading industry blogs. When you find one you like, repurpose it and add in commentary relevant to your business to create a similarly themed post for your own site. And don’t forget your manners – link back to the original post.