5 Rituals to Generate Consistent Blog Topics

You know you need to blog because, without putting out content, your marketing has nothing to offer an audience. But you’re stuck on what to write about. That’s because you don’t have a system for generating topics. Regardless of your profession, there are trends, markets, clients, an industry, and the possibility to amuse or inspire. Seize two or three of these as a routine formula (a set of campaigns) for your blog.

Trending Topics Keep Your Blog Fresh and the Posts Rolling

Use topic based search engines like Topsy or Alltop to find what other people are writing, reading, and talking about on the web. Similarly, Google Alerts or Talkwalker will e-mail you web content according to criteria or searches you pre-configure, at a frequency you set. Google News (news.google.com) is a good first stop for the latest on any topic, too. Don’t just post other people’s stuff, unfiltered. Besides the copyright issues, it’ll cost you your social cred.  Add your perspective, summarize, and curate from more than one source. If you have no unique insight to add and no unique way to apply the information, choose a different topic. These posts will be even more effective for your audience if you can relate the content to local issues, client experiences, or an inspiring point.

Local Focus Posts Tie Your Blog to the Area You Serve

Become your target area’s biggest fan. Real estate professionals might run a campaign of doing neighborhood and township tours, with original photos or iPhone videos and descriptions of the mom and pop places in the area, night life, and examples of current for-sale prices. But any business that depends on local markets can post about events, features, and cultural aspects of a local area. For instance, you could run a campaign to visit local restaurants, theaters, or outdoor areas – whatever you can relate to your target audience in the context (more or less) of your profession. You could also run a campaign to post pictures and vignettes from your week; in any given time frame, you are likely to have stories, see odd things, or capture something interesting with your camera phone that would form the basis for a blog post. Show us what you see through your verbal and visual lens as you work. If you’re at a loss, it never fails to talk about the local weather or economy.

Client Inspired Posts Hit Home With Your Audience

If you really know your clientele, you’ve got blog topics. Keep a running mental or actual survey of what they’re needing, asking, or thinking. What are their barriers in understanding or motivation? What are their misconceptions? What things do they need to learn or do for themselves? What do they always ask? What is a wrong direction they frequently take and why? What do they find too complex? What additional things should they think about? If you listen to your clients, they’ll give you material for your next blog post. Instead of dumping “frequently asked questions” into a static F.A.Q. page, why not create a campaign to answer them more thoroughly in a blog post, by taking off the question mark and turning the thing they need to know into a title?

Thought Pieces Demonstrate Your Quality Before Anyone Hires You

Your blog can be a superb vehicle for thought leadership. Make it a routine to lead your profession. By advocating for your potential clients in relation to your industry, you raise the bar for your competitors and position yourself as the obvious choice. Say what consumers in your area should insist on, demand, or expect. Tell them what to look for. Then add value beyond your part of what they’re trying to achieve. If you’re a divorce lawyer, you could write about how to adapt to life on your own. If you’re commercial film producer, you could write a whole series of posts on how to better connect with customers, as a business. After all, that’s why people are seeking someone to make their ad video. Speak to the broader goal, and they’ll hire you for the part you do best.

Fun and Inspiration Makes Your Content Supremely Shareable

Have fun and notice beauty – do that routinely. Find something that is the reason your clients choose your services, and eke out the latent humor, fun, and beauty. If you build in-ground pools, you could do a series of posts on the strangest or most beautiful pools in the world. If you’re an electrician, why not run a campaign with the weirdest wiring jobs or funniest and most elegant uses of electricity, You can draw on your own experiences and images, or curate/borrow from the web. If you run a business that serves other businesses, why not write about the most inspiring stories of entrepreneurship you know of or can tell?

Creating a repeatable system for blogging, starting with choosing the topics, might seem artificial at first glance – we tend to mistrust ritual, which is why we’re not consistent (and therefore effective) in our marketing, All marketing plans depend on structure and consistency, though, and implementing such a plan actually frees you up to be authentic. Instead of spending powerless energy agonizing over what to write about, you improve the energy you bring to your work, using it to listen, look, think, and laugh throughout your day. Inconsistency is inauthentic. Being powerless is inauthentic. And that inauthenticity kills our marketing, and makes our blogging and blog posts tedious. Instead, settle on a method for creating blog topics, and milk it consistently. For more help with content strategy, consult with MadPipe.

Daniel DiGriz

Daniel DiGriz is a corporate storyteller and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe, which provides creative direction, marketing leadership in marketing, and campaign direction for firms that want a stronger connection with their audience. A Digital Ecologist® applies strategic principles from both natural and digital ecologies to help organizations thrive across multiple ecosystems. Daniel hosts podcasts, speaks at conferences, and his ideas have appeared in Inc, SmartBlog, MediaPost, Forbes, and Success Magazine.
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