A few weeks ago, I had a conference call with several contacts at one of my clients about Content Marketing in 2017… and specifically, about blogging.
The have committed to blogging a couple of times every month. Great! They understand the value of blogging in helping to position their firm as Subject Matter Experts, for building awareness and for helping with SEO. But every one of them had the same question…
“What do I write about?”
Whenever I hear this question (and I hear it a lot!), it generally stems from one of two things… one, the writers being concerned about writing the “perfect” blog post – one that will excite everyone who reads it and compel them to pick up the phone and give you their business… or, they’re worried that they’re lousy writers and will embarrass themselves and their firm.
My advice… RELAX! All of those expectations are ill-founded. You’re not looking for perfection, you’re just wanting to write good content that some of your clients and potential clients might find interesting, beneficial or helpful. That’s it. And don’t worry, someone will review and edit it before it gets posted, just to make sure it’s OK. Remember, better done than perfect.
OK, back to the task of “what to write about.” Assuming you have done some sort of ‘buyer persona’ exercise and have a solid understanding of your target audience – so you know who you’re writing for – blog content can cover a very broad range of categories:
- Research methodologies, tools or techniques
- Research applications (e.g. ad testing, new product development, customer sat.)
- Topics can be strategic or tactical
- What’s happening/new trends/new ‘players’ in the research industry
- What’s happening/new trends/new ‘players’ in the industries you serve
- Takeaways from a conference – both the learning sessions and the exhibitors
- Your opinion on what’s happening in the research industry or the industries you serve
- Your vision for the future in the research industry or the industries you serve
Note: it’s this ‘original thinking’ content that can help you cross over from Subject Matter Expert to Thought Leader.
Surely, a smart person like you can find a specific topic or two to write about from all of those broad categories. And to help… here are few ideas on where to gather additional data or ideas on developing those topics:
- #1… listen to your clients and prospects – what’s on their mind, what they’re asking about, what’s keeping them up at night
- What you read
- What you observe/hear/learn at a conference
- Conduct a survey and write about the results
- Interview a well-known person and write about that
- Or your personal day-to-day observations (i.e. how what happens to you in your everyday life relates to work)
OK, you’re all set… look through the lists above, pick a topic and start scribbling your down thoughts. Don’t worry about perfection… and let it flow – you can clean it up later. Just write! And before you know it, you’ll be blogging!
Good luck and good marketing.