The man walked up on my back porch in the dark, searching with his flashlight, when I realized that the flashlight was attached to a gun.
You want to find out what happened? Keep reading.
Oh, and always open your blog posts with a hook.
Why Should I Write?
Every time I tell you to write more posts in your blog, you ask “What am I supposed to write about?”
First, let me explain the benefits of writing blog posts.
The more content you have on your site, the better the search engines will rank you.
The more content you have on your site, the better the chances are that someone like be searching for it and find it.
The more content you have on your site, the better the chances are that someone will link to it, or share it with a friend, or come back to your site, or like you, or buy your stuff.
The idea of Search Engine Optimization is that people search for something, your site comes up in the search results for that something, and they click through to go to your site, where you sell them millions of dollars in products.
The basis of all of this is people searching and finding.
They need something to find.
Your blog posts are that something to find.
What Should I Write?
Generally, you want to write about the things that you want people to find your site for.
If your goal is to sell widgets, then you should be writing about widgets.
I personally want to go off on political rants or social rants or tell about that weird thing that happened last week.
(The helicopter with the spotlight had left when the voice on the loudspeaker told us to stay in our houses and lock our doors because they were going to release the dogs.)
Writing blog posts for SEO is not about what you had for breakfast. If you post a photo of your cat, in a non-widget related manner, you should be banished from the Internet forever.
Generally, stay on topic and think about what people would be searching for.
This is about them. It’s not about you. Get into their heads. Get out of your own head.
7 Topics You Can Write About
1. Make a list.
People love to read lists. Write things like “7 Blog Topics You Can Write About”. Always use a number. People love numbers. People don’t search for numbered lists. They search for answers, but people tend to click through on number list titles.
If you were searching for “Blog post topics”, and saw these two links in the results page, would you click through on “99 Blog Topics” or “Blog Topics You Can Use”?
2. How To
A really common thing to search for is how to do something. So tell them.
People always want to know if something is good or not, and why. Which one should they buy? What should they look for? What is good about this one or that one?
People love to look at photos. We’re all very visual. People search for photos. People want to know what something looks like. Pinterest is built on this concept. Use it.
People want to know where to find information. I guess this is technically like a list, but links off to other resources can be valuable. I’d link to a page that had a list of all of the places that…whatever.
This could be about things happening specifically for you and your company, or it could be about things happening in your industry or area of interest. It could also be relating your company/industry/area of interest with something happening in the general world.
We have Halloween coming up and we have a presidential election coming up. Debates, anyone?
Who Should I Write?
I know I’ve talked about keywords and people searching and SEO, which is all very technical, but the those things are what get people to your site, through the search engines.
Getting them to stay, or to come back, is a whole ‘nother deal.
The best way to get people to notice you, so that you are not just another pretty face, is to BE somebody.
You have to have a personality. You have to know how you are and then communicate that.
You have to write YOU.
No one else looks at the world like you do.
No one else knows what you know.
No one else can say things like you say them.
I once had some business coaching.
The most important thing that I learned from that is taped to my computer monitor.
It says “No one else can be a Conrad”.
No one else can be you.
You are your greatest asset.
How Should I write?
Here’s the best advice that I can give you:
Make someone mad.
You should be blunt. You should be honest. You should speak the truth, even if, …especially if, it’s against what is expected.
Get in touch with your inner teenage angst.
No one cares about reading what they expect or what everyone already knows. They want to find out something new, different, or exciting.
Tell a story
You should always be thinking about “the story” that your post fits into.
Your reader will have a story in their head already.
I heard once, maybe it’s not true, of some famous violin player, sitting in the NYC subway, playing for free, with a hat sitting front.
People walked on by.
Story: Some poor bum playing for tips.
That same guy plays in concert at Carnegie Hall and they charge $500 a ticket.
Story: World’s greatest violin player.
What story that you are telling?
I’m Still Stuck!
OK. If the suggestions above don’t get the juices flowing, here are some specific, concrete suggestions that might just shake things loose.
- Why you’re different (and better) than your competition
- A time when you got it right
- How you learned to do what you do
- Find a question on Yahoo Answers or OnStartups and respond on your blog
- Share your company’s history or story
- Issues in your space that deserve more attention
- Create a poll. Blog the result.
- Invite a guest blogger to post on your blog
- Share your biggest screw up with a customer and how you made it right
- About your Business
- What’s next for your company
- A video tutorial showing how to use your most popular product
- Write about the achievement you’re most proud of
- The answer to the most common email you get
- Give 5 reasons to sign up to your email newsletter
- Create a list of your favorite X
- Review something
- What keeps you up at night
- Publish a customer testimonial
- How social media increased your ROI this year
- How social media did nothing but confuse you this year
- What have you read lately that inspired/angered you?
- Introduce your staff
- Share local organizations you support and ask customers to share their favorites
- Share a case study
- Your biggest challenge as a business owner
- What you love best about being a business owner. What you don’t like.
- Search Google News for relevant press releases and news about your business. Write your own take.
- Share 10 things you’re thankful for
- Share the tools do you use to do your job
- The ugly truth about your business
- The 8 people in your business you want to meet
- Share the best decision you made as a business owner
- What someone needs to consider before getting involved in your business
- Interview someone well-known in your world and profile them
- Have a chat with a competitor and blog about it (again, with permission)
- Debunk a long-standing myth
- Create a list of the 10 books that someone in your business should read.
- Post about what you’d like to see fixed in your business
- Create a video introducing your team to your community
- Get your rant on
- How to remain productive working at home
- Create a list of the best business resources
- Talk about why things are better today (or not) than they were 10 years ago
- Attend events and blog about them
- Your best marketing tips
- Share a time when you got it wrong
- Explain the benefits of being a customer
- The problems your sales people hear about most
- How your business is like Your Favorite TV Show
- Share the local vendors you trust
The End Of The Story
The guy with the flashlight on his gun was a cop, looking for a burglary suspect.
A couple blocks over, someone tried to open the front door of a house. The homeowner was there and saw him.
Homeowner goes into the bedroom and got his gun. Goes back to living room, confronts the intruder, who wisely decides that running away and jumping over a fence was the safe thing to do.
Another defensive gun use that protected a homeowner from possible harm.
(Side note: More lives are saved every year by defensive gun use than are taken through criminal violence. Guns save lives.)
Police formed a perimeter around 4 square blocks, using cops from at least 3 nearby cities.
They had a helicopter overhead for a while, then went door to door with a dog and guns tactically ready.
They asked if they could search our backyard and we wanted them to.
They found nothing. The guy got away. Crisis averted.