When you start a blog and want to come up with topics, there’s one very important thing to keep at the front of your mind. Your customer. Whatever you write about, ask yourself – “will my customers care about this?” If they won’t, don’t write about it.
Knowing your customer should be one of the foundation stones of your marketing. When you know who is most likely to need you then you can start talking just to them. I know it’s tempting to cast your marketing net wide but you just end up with bland blog posts that don’t talk to anyone in particular. A good blog can create that moment of recognition when your reader realises that you understand them.
Before you start working on a list of blog topics, think about who they’re for. They might be people who are cash rich but time poor or the complete opposite. Your products might only suit people who are at a particular stage in their lives, like the parents of new babies or people who’ve just retired. Think about the problems you solve or the ways you make your customers’ lives better. Then we can get started.
Ask yourself some questions
Once you know what your customers need, you can start explaining how you help them. That can feel like a strange way to approach things, but it’s important. Bluntly, your customer doesn’t care about how great you are. They want to know how you can help them. Your blog posts can talk about your experiences and your business but should always come back to the ways they help your customers. Here are a few questions to get you started:
What stage am I at?
Sharing your story with your audience helps you to understand each other. It’s really important to build the ‘know, like and trust’ factor, especially when you’re a small business. People get to know you, like what you say and ultimately come to trust you enough to buy from you. Think about the ways your experience can be useful to your customers.
Maybe you’re a parent selling clothes for babies and children. Talking about your family helps your customers to trust that you’ve been through it all and know how to make clothes that will last. If you’ve been in business for a while and want to work with start-ups, share what you’ve learned so far.
What has my personal life taught me?
This can be a bit of a variation on the last question. You don’t always have to share a business story, it can be a personal one. When you’re building a business you need to be a bit brave sometimes. If you’ve found a way to be brave, share it! Maybe something in your past has helped you to build skills that you use now. Tell your customers because they might just recognise themselves.
What are you asked most often? What do your customers ask you in emails or face to face? If they’re asking, people who are looking for you online will be too.
What’s in the news?
You have to move fast for this one, but if you can relate a news story to your business, people are more likely to find you. Most recently, there was lots of advice about GDPR. You might be able to share something that your customers will need to deal with. Just keep your eyes open for something that you can share.
Hopefully that’s got you off to a good start, but what else can you do? As always, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Think about what questions they’re typing into Google that will help them to find you.
If you serve a specific location, you can use Google+ and SEO keywords (more about those in a future post) to help yourself be found. Otherwise, think about what questions will lead your customers to you. I’ve found that small business owners won’t necessarily search for a writer. But they will ask how they can attract more customers or improve their marketing. It’s my job to make sure that I talk about the answers to those questions.
I hope that sparks some amazing ideas. In next week’s post, discover how you can plan a blog post that keeps people reading.
This post is part of a series helping you to start your business blog – if you’d like the full five posts straight to your inbox you can sign up by clicking the link below.
Some useful resources for finding blog topics
Answer the Public – type in a key word and it will tell you what people are searching for.
Google Trends – what are people searching for right now and find the most popular topics in your industry.