So you've decided to start a blog but aren't sure what to blog about. By now you've heard that blogging is a great way to stand out in your market and delivers a platform to reach, help and connect with your community. And, as Twin Cities online marketing expert Lee Odden points out, blogging is an excellent way to build Search Engine Optimization (SEO) traffic. It's important for new (and seasoned) bloggers to consider a few things when selecting blogging topics.
- Focus on helping people and building a community. Not every visit will result in a sale. Blogging allows you to demonstrate your expertise to people over time so that you're on their minds when it's time to make a purchase. Give today to invest in in relationships for the future.
- Blog about things that will be entertaining and engaging to your visitors but are specific to your market. Don't be afraid to tell a story or make them chuckle.
- What problems could you solve through your blog posts? Where applicable, tell people how to do what you do. You'll help folks out and maybe even get some new customers who don't have the skill or time to do it themselves.
- Resist the urge to deviate from the theme of your site. Many bloggers start sharing cooking tips and vacation stories as soon as they get an audience. Stay the course when selecting blogging topics. Be consistent.
Once you've figured out what to blog about, it's important to consider how you're saying it. One of my biggest heroes on the Internet is Avinash Kaushik (blogger, writer and Google's "Analytics Evangelist"). Folks like Kaushik can look at data from web analytics tools like Google Analytics and pull out brilliant insights on how to improve your website to better meet your business goals.
Anyway, Avinash recently posted about web metrics and a neat service called Wordle, which allows you to create a word cloud using the words appearing most prominently on your site. Think of it as a way to see what overall themes and messages you're sending out through your blog. For example, you can see that Big Picture Web is big on Internet marketing, planning and setting business goals, etc.
After you've been selecting and blogging about topics for a while, use their free tools to put your articles into their word clouds. What themes stand out? It's important to take a look at these things to see if your blog is on course to serve your business or if you need to reconsider what to blog about.
And for that matter, this principle applies to your social media interactions as well. Does your overall presence end up serving your community and your market? What themes are you sending out through your tweets and updates?
What else should bloggers consider when determining what to blog about? How do you select your blogging topics? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.