My hubby asked me the other day, "How do you keep coming up with ideas to blog about?" I'm going to be gone the last week in July for a writers conference, and just finished pre-publishing 8 blog posts which will appear during my absence. (I'll tell you a secret trick for doing this at the end of the post…)
One of the reasons blog authors get stuck for content marketing ideas is that they start blogging without any forethought or plan. I know this because I did this myself. But it's never too late to stop and make a plan for your business blog, including an editorial calendar.
- At the very least make a list of keywords that your readers would use if they were searching for solutions to their problems.
- Make a list of categories that define the topics you write about. It's smart if these are focused on solving problems and helping your readers.
- Then make sure your blog posts cover all these categories and that you use the keywords in titles and in the body of your posts.
Lee Odden is a favorite search engine optimization expert (even though I only understand half of what he says! 😉 He's got a great post called 5 Tips for Successful Blog Optimization. I particularly appreciate his tip #3:
Most blog authors I know 'hem' and 'haw' when I ask them what their blog's goals and objectives are. But like I said, it's never too late to make a plan and to go forth from today into the future, forevermore…
And even you only understand a few basics of SEO stuff, it doesn't matter. Keep it simple. Focus on solving readers' challenges and problems. List your keywords, list categories, use keywords in post titles, make sure you write about all your categories and rotate topics in your editorial calendar.
This will help keep you on track with relevant, useful content that your readers will find valuable. And you'll feel secure knowing your blog makes sense and has a purpose. No more "what to write about next" blues.
Okay now, how did I crank out 8 blog posts at one sitting? I revised and repurposed a few old posts including some I wrote over at BuildaBetterBlog.com. Let's face it, for almost any topic or area of expertise, there are timeless pieces of advice and information that will never change or go out of date.
The key is to give it a new twist, like a face-lift of sorts, or a costume-change. A couple of older posts I found about having a plan for your content marketing, using a check list, and creating an editorial calendar ended up being turned into new posts.
I went back to blog posts older than a year, and did updates on topics that are still crucial for creating good content marketing. This doesn't take long, since the basics are already in the older post. It's kind of like going to get a hair cut. Your hair doesn't look exactly the same this year as it did last year, does it?
Oh dear, I guess that wasn't a good analogy…my point is, you should keep getting better each year and so should your posts, your writing, your content marketing.
Which is why I'm excited to be going off to Taos, NM to Jennifer Louden's women writers retreat for a week. My expections are to enjoy the company of other writers and indulge in some fiction writing for a change.
Which brings up other key tips for improving your writing: get out of the office, go to a beautiful setting, hang out with other writers, change your writing assignments, and… laugh a lot!