Why blogging isn’t like Tinder

At the best of times, you find it a slog to blog. I mean, it takes up so much time and headspace, doesn’t it? All that coming up with a different topic, trying to cover the same old theme in a different way, writing keep-them-keen content, creating a must-read headline – oh, and don’t forget those keywords! Blogging does your head in. And then along comes COVID-19 and really puts the spanner in the works. Nah, it’s not worth the effort, might as well dump it.

Well if you’re planning on ghosting your blog – please don’t.

‘Why not? What’s the point when my customers/clients have lost business and their budgets are buggered? Why promote myself when nobody’s buying?’

Show some commitment

The point is, blogging isn’t about instant gratification. It’s not a one-blog, swipe-right kind of affair.

Think of blogging as a slow-burn relationship between you and your audience. They want to see what you’ve got and they need a bit of time to be reassured you’re right for them. And when I say ‘a bit of time’ I don’t mean a couple of weeks. You’ve really got to show some commitment here – you’re looking at maybe 12-18 months to see any real traction.

The more you blog, the more your audience will get to know, like and trust you – all key elements in their buying decision. So you need to hang around and blog regularly. Keep them keen with your irresistibly helpful, informative, entertaining content. Show them you’re an expert in your field, an authority in your industry, someone they can respect the next morning.

One day – maybe not now but some day – they’ll remember your commitment and put a ring on it… or at least make an enquiry.

My content strategy has gone tits up

You had a blog strategy? That’s brilliant. So many people don’t. Absolutely no forward-planning at all when it comes to blog ideas. Congratulations – but you need to shelve that strategy and focus on what your audience needs right now.

Don’t be scared of giving them something different or surprising. Right about now they might appreciate a fun quiz or an amusing read. Maybe some quick and easy tips. Or a recommendation for home hair dye. Seriously, in these weird coronavirus times anything you can do to be empathetic, useful, thoughtful, hilariously funny – even if it’s not directly related to your business – will make you memorable.

And when this is all over? They’ll remember you didn’t do a runner when things got tough. They’ll appreciate it wasn’t all about you. They won’t write you off as just another commitment-phobe. Heck, they won’t swipe left. Isn’t that a happy ending worth waiting for?

* If you need help with your blog, hit me up

PHOTO: Andrew Martin/Pixabay

How to find blog post ideas

‘I haven’t got a CLUE what to blog about.’ I hear this all the time from business peeps who are all out of blog post ideas. And it gets them in a right old panic. They know they need to write something – so they end up chucking some content together and ticking it off their To Do list. Well, that’s fine if you don’t want your blog to attract customers or clients. Sorry, what did you say – you DO want to attract them? Well then, read on to discover how to find blog post ideas – not just this month or next month but EVERY month.

Blog ideas – they’re all in your head

Yes, really, you’ve got loads of blog post ideas in your head already. They’re ready and waiting to come out. Sometimes they leave your head but you still don’t actually click that they’re blog ideas. This is a phenomenon I see all the time. Take last week. I was chatting to a networking colleague and she told me three anecdotes that brilliantly demonstrated why people should use her service. I nearly fell off my chair with excitement. ‘Wow – these are such good ideas for blog posts,’ I said. She sort of nodded and carried on. ‘No, really, these are great,’ I said. ‘Write them down before you forget them. Go on – write them down, write them down.’ She didn’t write them down. Her website remains blog free. And you know the funny part? Just before we parted, she said ‘I really should start blogging… it’s just that I can never think of ideas.’

Prince Andrew and other royals

Worried about coming up with blog post ideas? Don’t get in a sweat (oh, sorry, maybe you can’t!). You can always rely on a royal or celebrity for a hot topic. Sure, you have to be a bit creative about what you write and you can’t just shoe-horn in a mention without any relevance whatsoever. But, still, you don’t want to pass up the opportunity to blog about something everyone’s talking about (and Googling), do you? I read an article that referenced Prince Andrew and Pizza Hut right from the get-go then segued into an interesting and amusing little piece on dining out in London. Subtle? Not really. Clever and funny? I thought so. The next time a royal or celebrity is in the news, give it a try on your blog.

Survey says…

Surveys, studies and new research – these are all surefire winners for blog post ideas. I use them all the time for my client blogs. Only yesterday I wrote about the percentage of unwanted Christmas presents that end up in landfill as part of a blog for a client who makes eco-friendly children’s bookcases. For another client – in pest control – I highlighted recent research on the number of businesses affected by pest infestations. Well, it made a change from mentioning mice droppings and pigeon poo!

Pick Your Nose Day

Yep, International Nose Picking Day is actually a thing. It was back in April and sadly I missed it – I was too busy eating my toenails to notice. Never mind, there are plenty of other awareness days you can depend on for blog post inspiration. Some are serious, some are quirky and some are just plain bonkers. Coming up for December – ‘Eat a red apple day’, ‘National grief awareness week’ and ‘National lager day’. Enjoy!

Ask a bloke for blog ideas

Not any old bloke, you understand. Go to Answer The Public and you’ll find a pleasantly smooth chap* who’ll give you more blog post ideas than you can shake a stick at. Just type in your keyword and you’ll see what I mean. I randomly typed in ‘penguins’ – because I can – and got 197 results. They’re all questions, like ‘Which penguins mate for life?’ and ‘How do penguins communicate?’ So if your business has anything to do with penguins you’re good to go. My business has nothing to do with penguins. But I’d welcome the opportunity to blog about whether penguins can fart.

* If you’re familiar with AnswerThePublic you’ll notice that the grumpy old codger has been replaced.

* Still scratching around for inspiration? Or just want someone to write the darned blogs for you? Here’s an idea – hire me

It’s behind you! (dealing with a scary blog)

The word ‘Fear’ spelt out in Scrabble letters

 

I’m scared of spiders. Hate the buggers. I mean, what kind of sick joke is it giving something eight legs. Eight? Not to mention Olympic-level running speeds and the ability to appear out of nowhere. The second I see one, I turn into a gibbering, heart-thumping, clammy-handed, panic-stricken mess. Turns out, writing a blog has the same effect on some people.

I think it’s the element of surprise. One minute you’re quietly going about your business, the next – eeeeek! – you’re confronted by a blog. The one you’re supposed to be writing. Now. Today. You haven’t got a clue what to blog about so you stand on the sofa crying and wait for someone to come and make it go away.

Now, you can wrestle a spider into a large glass, but writing a blog is going to take a different kind of strategy…

Preparation, preparation, preparation

The scariest thing about blogging is staring at a blank screen without an idea in your head. You’ve left it to the last minute and now your brain’s gone dead. Despite knowing your business inside out, you just haven’t got a clue what to blog about. And this happens EVERY SINGLE MONTH.

So here’s what you do – you get prepared. You make a list of blog themes to cover you for the whole year. Twelve themes if you’re a one-a-month kind of blogger, twenty-four if you’re fortnightly and, well, you can do the counting from here.

Won’t that take time? Um, well, yes. But not as much time as you’ll waste each month desperately trying to think up last-minute ideas while your brain goes into meltdown. And won’t that be scarier than meeting the mother of all spiders? Yeah, well, OK, maybe – but you only have to face down this spider/blog/scary thing once and it will all be over for another year.  

The time-saving blog planner

You’re liking the idea of this blog preparation – but you still can’t be arsed doing it. I hear ya! How about I do it for you then? I offer a lovely little service that takes away the pain of having to think up blog post ideas. That’s right – I’ll create a blog planner with bespoke topics that are relevant to your business and of interest to your clients and customers. Whenever you need them, those blog post ideas will be ready and waiting for you. Just like that spider lurking under the sofa!

* Want me to be your blog ideas person? Let’s chat

 

PHOTO: Wokandapix/Pixabay