Keeping your small business’s blog popular with your audience and search engines alike requires ongoing diligence. You need to routinely add fresh, relevant, high-quality and original content.
But writing new posts on a regular schedule can be a tall order! To help you keep up a healthy pace, this article will provide some general ideas for posts that are not necessarily directly about your business.
1) How To’s and Tutorials
Offer practical guidance related to your industry. Give some thought to what your audience might like to accomplish then show them how to do it.
- How-to – Demonstrate and explain in detail how to accomplish something. Show key steps using photos or illustrations, or make a video with written transcript for easy reference. Include a list of needed tools, ingredients or other supplies.
- Tutorial – Tackle a larger subject or provide greater explanation than in a how-to (though the two are debatably the same).
- Personal trainer – A video in which you demonstrate how to do a set of crunches for maximum benefit and minimum injury.
- General contractor – A tutorial explaining why and how to retreat your redwood deck yourself every year.
- Clothing Store – Step-by-step instructions on how to tie a bow tie.
2) Solutions to Common Challenges
Consider your customers’ most common pain points then recommend ways to tackle them. You don’t have to “give your expertise away,” but you can offer tidbits that are juicy enough to show your potential customers that you’re the expert they need.
- Solution post – Tackle a common problem related to your industry (but not necessarily directly to your business).
- Advice column – Regularly offer recommendations to solve problems your customers submit to you.
- General contractor – Weekly articles advising readers on how to handle a different common, household fix-it problem.
- Personal trainer – Practices that help people keep active during their day jobs.
- Clothing store – Tips on how to prevent food spills from staining your clothes.
3) Resource Posts
Offer readers information they can refer to again and again. Don’t be afraid to include links to authoritative websites beyond your own. It’s a good way to encourage readers to share your posts, demonstrating that you sincerely want to help.
- Guide – Go into some depth on a relevant subject, chunked out into useful, clearly titled subsections.
- Checklist – Pull together a group of tasks, milestones or items required for readers to achieve a goal.
- Reference table – Organize reference information into an easy-to-scan grid.
- Cheat sheet – Provide a succinct summary of useful information for easy lookup.
- Resource list – List links to helpful websites centered on a specific subject.
- General contractor – Links to local companies that provide excellent garden, lawn and tree maintenance products and services.
- Personal trainer – A guide to the most important nutrients for building body mass, each nutrient in its own section with subsections covering: what it is, foods rich in it, how it works and the best way to get an optimal dose.
- Clothing store – Table showing images of popular types of pants fabrics, along with columns for brief description, composition, care and benefits.
4) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do customers ask you or your employees on a regular basis? Sometimes it can be a single question that needs an in-depth answer. In other cases, there’s a line of questioning that comes up repeatedly. Provide answers you can even use to train your sales and other customer-facing staff.
- Frequently asked question – Explore one question in depth.
- List of FAQs – Answer a group of questions with a common focus, theme or goal, structured as question-answer.
- Personal trainer – Brief answers to the 10 most common questions people ask before engaging a personal trainer.
- General contractor – Explanation of how a homeowner can use a home equity loan to pay for remodeling or other major home improvements.
- Clothing store – Detailed answer to the question: “How do I care for my selvedge jeans?”
5) Journalistic Posts
In these posts you cover, analyze and comment on news and information of interest to your audience. The goal is to provide content in a variety of formats with enough general value that it’s highly shareable and worth referencing.
- News – Report on what’s happening in your industry, remembering to provide links to any sources of information. Seasonal and holiday reports can make great, timely posts.
- Editorial – Give your opinion on current, relevant news.
- Analysis – Provide context, perspective or meaning to the news.
- Personal trainer – Updates on the new running and circuit training courses being introduced along the river through town.
- General contractor – The new government solar panel policies and how they can benefit homeowners.
- Clothing store – A preview report on styles and colors for the upcoming season, including links and references.
6) Ranked Lists
People are drawn in by superlatives. Share lists of the highs and lows related to your industry, ones that pique readers’ curiosity. You may opt to give an overall intro to the list plus more or less info on each to explain its ranking. Link to any resources you use in your research.
- The top – Research and list the best, fastest, richest, biggest, tallest, etc. related to your area of expertise.
- The bottom – Run down the worst, most impoverished, most dangerous, lowest scoring, etc.
- General contractor – The 10 most expensive homes in the country with photos and figures.
- Personal trainer – The 5 fastest marathon runners of all time, including stats.
- Clothing store – The 6 worst fashion show flops since 1960 with photos of the rejected collection and descriptions of tomato-throwing and other signs of audience or media disenchantment.
7) “Did You Know?” Lists
Catch readers’ attention with fascinating facts. Tell them about something little known, surprising or misconceived, and always support your claims. Like ranked lists, these are the types of tidbits that come in handy in a pub quiz or trivia game!
- Fascinating facts – Tickle, surprise or shock readers with far-out trivia.
- Little-known facts – Share some less-known information that may not have wow factor, but could be useful to your audience.
- Mistakes/Solutions – Give succinct lists of common errors and creative fixes.
- Common misconceptions – Debunk common assumptions, beliefs or misinformation.
- Personal trainer – 7 “healthy” foods between you and that six pack.
- General contractor – 6 common curtain-hanging mistakes.
- Clothing store – 5 quick fixes to prevent a zipper from falling down.
Here we offered up ideas for general posts, but it’s not a crime to write about yourself and your business. In fact, it’s a wonderful way to put a face on your company.
Our next post in this series, will offer ideas for posts that focus on you, your business and your customers: “5 Blog Ideas Starring Your Business.”