What to Write About on The Blog in 4 Steps

inspiration ebbs written on gold fabric

“What to write about on the blog” is a question I often get asked by small businesses owners who know they need a blog, but also know they have to post regularly. This blog post is to help any budding writer with writer’s block, and how to generate ideas on content.
Okay, so you have a blog, great. Now you just have to figure out what to write about, how often to post and who even cares.
Every so often you’ll stare blankly at your keyboard and wonder “What the hell should I write about, surely I have written about everything already”, if this is what you are thinking, then in the nicest possible way, you’re wrong…hear me out.
There is ALWAYS something to write about, you just have to think outside of the box a little. This blog post is about how to brainstorm your way to millions* of topics that your audience want to read.
*millions could be a bit of an exaggeration, but you can expect an increase in ideas.
The following is a step-by-step guide on how I come up with many, many ideas that will keep your fingers and mind engaged for a while. The examples I have used relate to my business (Forty8Creates), so make sure you are swapping out to suit your own industry.

Step One – Who Are You Talking To?

When wondering what to write about on the blog, you should always keep your audience in mind; who are they? How do they speak? Do they want information or entertainment? Based on these answers you can begin to glean what sort of information your audience is looking for, where they are looking for it and how they want to read it (what format).
Example: If your audience mainly visits your website on their phone or tablet and your website isn’t mobile-friendly, then a responsive design is something you need to address asap. Having strong foundations is as important as having quality content.
After all, who wants to engage in content they cannot read properly on their device?

Step Two – What Products Or Services Do You Offer?

If like me, you love a list, then this brain exercise is perfect for you. Pen and paper at the ready, we’re going old school here.
Make a list/brain-cloud of at least 5 things your industry does and which products/services you offer. As you can see from my brainstorm, Forty8Creates mainly services 4 areas; Websites, Branding, Content Strategy and Promotional Material.
These are extremely broad terms that cover a lot of topics, each with their own specialism. What may seem like common knowledge to you won’t be for the majority of your audience.

Step Three – Brainstorm Questions To Write About On The Blog

Answering frequently asked questions is probably the biggest source of topical content to write about on the blog, and evidently the reason for writing this article.
Along with your services, begin to explore the questions people often ask – if you are a start-up with no previous data then a search engine may be your best starting point.
Using the Google (other search engines are available) suggest tool you can discover what people are searching for most often. Try to search “PRODUCT OR SERVICE + How to”.
As you can see Google suggest is predicting what I am going to write based on popular searches, by doing so it is also serving you the perfect base for content that would be useful for your target audience.
If there are various terms/nicknames for your product and service, try searching them too as many people use different combinations of words to search what they are looking for.
If you scroll to the bottom of your search engine result page (SERP – industry jargon for you to remember) you will also see related searches.
From my search results, I could write a blog on the following topics by adding a who, what, why or where to the prefix:

7 Steps to grow your small business? – It has long been proven that a list formation is more likely to get read, as your audience can make an assumption about how much of their time they will have to dedicate to reading your article, then they can make a judgment call as to whether it’s worth their time.
Using an odd number will also increase the chances of clicks; “7 steps to growing your business” rather than “Ways to grow your business”.
How to expand your business
How to be successful in business
Keep using this formula until you run out of ideas or questions.

Step Four – HUZZAH!

By now you should have a good list of questions that meet your audience’s needs –  enough to keep you going or get those creative juices flowing again. More than likely these questions will spring to mind other questions and so on.
A little tip for the future also; make sure you are making note of the common questions you get asked – chances are that if one person is asking, there will be many more searching for the same answer.
Hope that helps finding things to write about on the blog, don’t forget to share this article with your blogger friends!

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