After all the “back-breaking” work of setting up your business blog, it now comes down to the most important reason of having a blog in the first place – getting your content out to the world.
For some, this is an easy process. For many others however, publishing useful and unique content regularly can be severely daunting. Distinguishing yourself from other business bloggers takes a bit of understanding of who your core readers are. Put some time aside to research your audience and find out what they would like to read about. Here are some considerations to bear in mind when publishing your content:
- Should I make my posts educational, newsworthy, informational, entertaining and debatable or, a combination of all those?
- How long should my posts be (this is where getting feedback from your readers comes in)?
- Should I consider a blog partnership (getting guest bloggers to write unique content for your blog)?
The initial excitement of publishing a blog can quickly dissipate when your “content well” starts to dry up. So where do you turn to for ideas and inspiration to get readers queuing up to read your work? Well, let’s start with how you can categorize your content in a way that could potentially skyrocket your readership:
- The infamous Top 10 lists
- How-To information
- Interview someone within your business niche
- Latest trends and newsworthy information
- Present relevant business case-studies
- Recommend other business blogs that might be of interest to your readers
But all the above may be rendered useless if you can’t get to a source for inspiration. So here are some of the best places to visit when you need to get those creative juices flowing:
- News sites – CNN, Yahoo News, Google News are just some of many News websites available to spark an interesting idea for a blog post. Dig into News stories and press releases to see what is significant for your blog. Cast your opinion on it and you’ve just got yourself a new post. But don’t stop there.
Look for News sites that are specific to your industry as well. For example, if you’re blogging about finance, head on over to Bloomberg Financial News and get ideas from there. About.com is another site that covers a gamut of topics that makes for such a great source for content ideas.
- Online Groups / Social Networking sites / Forums – Message board forums, Facebook Groups and Yahoo Groups are a wealth of information. Your potential readers and customers could be lurking within these groups, freely exchanging the kind of information a market research company would pay thousands of dollars for.
Don’t ignore forums that are relevant to your industry. Like social networking sites and online groups, forums attract the kind of audience that could be interested in the information you are offering.
- Social Bookmarking Services– Like social networking sites, social bookmarking services are all the rage today. These services allow users to rate and recommend topics that are popular with them. They are a portal into the hottest and latest trends as deemed by public opinion.
Visit sites such as Technorati.com, Delicious, StumbleUpon.com, Reddit.com and Digg.com to get blogging ideas. While there are a great number of other social bookmarking sites springing up onto the web quite regularly, those are the most referred to by professional bloggers for research.
- High Traffic Sites – Another fantastic source of blogging ideas can be found at high traffic sites such as Alexa.com, Amazon.com, Ebay.com, Craigslist.org and Wikipedia.org. A wealth of ideas can be mined just from sifting through these sites’ categories.
- Article Directories – Article directories offer you the option of re-printing the articles of your choice on your blog. This can come in handy if you’re having an off day but need something to whet the appetite of your readers. Even if you don’t intend to publish any of those articles, use them as a source of ideas for writing your next post.
Some of the more popular directories are EzineArticles.com, GoArticles.com and ArticleCity.com. These articles are free to re-print but, read the terms on these sites on how to go about re-printing them.
- Some Other Sources – Another idea-generating method is to look out for what people are searching for and decide if you could blog about these search terms. Visit popular sites like Google Zeitgeist and MetaCrawler.com for this purpose. You can use keywords tools like WordTracker.com.
Try searching for ideas using blog search engines as well. Try Technorati.com for potential ideas.