The blank screen is staring you down, and your list of blog topics has been depleted. But you’ve made the commitment to blogging regularly and often (as you should!) and now the deadline is quickly approaching.
Where’s that mystical muse when you need her?
Fortunately, there are plenty of places to look for ideas for your business blog that can provide fodder for your content creation. Here are five ideas to try (and you can click here for templates to get you started on each style of blog post outlined).
1. Your own favorite blogs
When you just can’t think of anything to write yourself, look to the blogs you read regularly that might also resonate with your own readers. Search their archives for great content that your readers can use, then curate a compilation of your five, seven or ten favorite posts about (fill in the blank).
Add a bit of your own commentary about why these posts are great, include an excerpt from each one with credit and a link back to the original source, and you have a blog post. As an added bonus, be sure to let each of those bloggers know that you’ve quoted them and linked to their blog so that they can promote your post to their audience as well. It could be a perfect win-win situation.
2. Customer service questions
Do you want to write a business blog post that your customers can use? Then ask your customer service department about what questions they most often field about using your service.
Perhaps they are frequently asked about how to set up new users in a software platform or how to run specific reports needed for data analysis. Maybe there is a need to share information about routine maintenance or a way of upgrading a physical product or equipment.
Find that process that needs explanation and write a how-to blog post about it. How-to posts often benefit, as well, from the use of a series of photos or a video to make the information more accessible. Just having those images can give your post a readership boost: Content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views that content without relevant images. (See more: How Images Improve Your Business Blog.)
3. Buzzfeed (and similar lists)
Readers love lists. Headlines such as the 7 Most Beautiful Fall Drives in Missouri or 22 Unbelievable Cringeworthy Resume Mistakes pull us in.
Buzzfeed was one of the first to make lists must-read content, but you can use the same concept for your business blog. Lists are easy to scan and read, making what could be a boring and meandering glut of information simpler to digest, and in some cases, simpler to write because you will follow a consistent format for each item in the list.
Consider creating lists of tools your readers can use, resources they can tap, or books they should read.
4. Current events
Newsjacking is a way to putting your brand or solution into what is currently happening in the world, whether on a broad global news scale or specific industry changes.
Newsjacking can be light-hearted and based on the season (think Black Friday or the first day of spring), or it can be in-depth and informational, such as previewing how regulatory changes will influence your customers and how your services help address those changes.
Recently released research, whether your own original research (such as that conducted by WEST, a JONES client) or publicly-released data, can feed newsjacking blog posts also. Dive into the analysis and offer your own take on what it means to your industry and your customers.
Sometimes, the perfect blog post is already part of your content library. Has anyone from your company recently done a presentation at an industry conference, customer event, or even for a corporate board meeting? That presentation, complete with slides, graphics, and information may be ready to be your next blog post.
With a little editing, turn a slideshow or PowerPoint presentation into an embedded SlideShare within your blog post. SlideShares can be a great way to share data or a step-by-step process.
Don’t let a little writer’s block derail your business blogging efforts. If you, or a new writer, need a little more help getting one of these blog formats set up quickly, consider downloading our 5 Ways to Write a Blog templates. The kit includes an overview sheet and Word templates for putting together each of five different blog post formats, complete with tips and links to examples.