For many business owners, writing and maintaining a blog can feel like a monumentally daunting task reserved for “the pros”. If you’ve tried it yourself, then you probably know the feeling of staring at a blank document with a blinking cursor mocking you (can you tell I’ve been there?)
But I’m going to let you in on a little secret…
The “pros” don’t have some magical power, they’re able to create content more efficiently because they have a framework to guide them.
Creating content for your blog can be made much easier by following even a simple post framework (and later in this post we are going to give you the five topics you need to be covering). But first, let’s establish the groundwork that will help you create valuable content and give your business the boost it needs.
What do I blog about?
Writing and updating a blog can feel very overwhelming. You can start out with the best of intentions, but quickly lose steam, writing less and less until the blog fades into the background.
It can be hugely frustrating as a business owner to see that the content you are producing isn’t gaining traction with your audience and has dwindling engagement numbers.
Possibly the biggest mistake you can make is creating content that doesn’t offer anything. It doesn’t provide any real value and instead just feels like marketing.
This is where a shift needs to occur, and you—the business owner—need to remember that this content isn’t just designed to make your website look good, but it is intended to add value to the customer experience and educate them on your field of expertise.
This is where topics come into play. They help to establish a simple structure from which you can create content a lot more easily because you aren’t starting from scratch each time.
Remember, the blog content that you create is going to live on as a content library on your website, and this library can continue producing results long after the day it’s published— especially if you’ve started with a plan.
5-topic framework to elevate your blog
By starting with a framework, you’re able to fly past the blinking cursor of despair and start writing much more easily.
And what’s great about the 5-topic framework is just how simple it is.
This framework helps you divide your content in 5 distinct buckets; problems & solutions, tutorials & demonstrations, product matchmaking, customer spotlights, and lists.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these 5 buckets.
1. Problems and solutions
Always remember that your customers are coming to you because you offer the solution to their problems. While your products and services may well have a number of completely unique benefits that your business is incredibly proud of, addressing the customer’s problem should always be first on your agenda when creating content.
Why? Because your customers are very used to being advertised to, and they are savvy enough to see when a blog post is just going to sell them something. The key here is edutainment!
Your product should first-and-foremost offer the solution they are looking for, and then you can get into the finer details once you have established this.
Think of the common problems that your target customer will encounter, and why they would be looking for a service or product like yours to solve this problem. This is what you want to be writing about.
If you are able to educate your customers and offer helpful solutions, it will help both encourage a trusting relationship, and position you and your business as the experts. Then, when your product is a part of that solution, they will be more likely to buy from you.
2. Tutorials and demonstrations
Every customer wants the reassurance that a product or service has a proven track record of success, and you can inspire confidence by taking the lead in demonstrating your product and offering tutorials.
These will immediately appeal to anybody who either already owns the product or is considering buying it.
This content can be built out into series depending on the variety of applications and functionality your product or service offers. It can offer great opportunities for creating themed content around such ideas as, for example. “tech Tuesdays.” Here you can go into finer details and really educate your audience on some of the features that they perhaps weren’t aware of.
Demonstrations in particular inspire a lot of confidence in your brand as experts in the field. As well as offering concise and accurate information, your audience will appreciate a client-facing level of attention.
It can also be a great way of avoiding potential confusion surrounding your product or service that could result in negative feedback or reviews online.
3. Product matchmaking
If you sell a few different versions of a single type of product, you can assist your customers in making the best possible purchase decisions with product matchmaking.
Here you can run through the pros (and cons) of each product and explain what type of customer application each product is best suited for. Think of it as a comparison chart when you are looking at the difference between different phones or big-screen TVs, but a lot more engaging.
Your readers can then find the most appropriate product for their needs, and again it will position you both as the expert, and one that cares about their customer’s specific requirements.
4. Customer spotlight
Highlighting your customers, often in the form of a case study, is not only a great way to demonstrate your company’s capabilities, but it also makes for a very sharable piece of content.
Your customers will be delighted that you are, essentially, promoting them and their success on your website — and will gladly share it with the people in their circle of influence.
But more than that, customer spotlights are often story based, helping you showcase how you were able to take your customers’ problem and help them solve it with your products and/or services — and everyone loves a good story!
Think of a case study as a testimonial or review on steroids. Here you can get into much more detail and nuance, showing your problem solving skills and capabilities of you and your team.
You can write a case study solely from your point of view (recalling the customer or project in as much detail as possible), but case studies are even more impactful if you can get your customer involved.
Ask them if they’d be willing to hop on a call for a quick interview, so you can use their words in your case study. Using your customers exact words is a great way to connect with other customers who are just like them, and give more authority to your case study (as the client was willing to share their success with the world).
Lists are a great way of delivering value-based education that is easy to digest for your audience.
You will no doubt have seen a huge number of list articles when you search for pretty much anything on Google, and that is because the content they contain is very easy to navigate making it suitable for both complete novices and experts.
Because any reader can quickly scan the headlines to see if there is something they didn’t already know.
Another reason why these are one of the most engaging types of content is that they can be about literally anything. You can use the exact same structure to address specific problems, highlight specific features, offer advice on what to or not to do, the list is endless!
(And yes, that pun was intentional.)
For example, you can do the “Top X for Y” or “Best X for Y doing Z” — you fill in the blank.
“The top 5 hair dryers for teens”, or “The best boots for hiking in the snow”, whatever is applicable to your industry. Of course, your list will likely feature your own product or service as a top contender — but don’t be afraid to talk about the pros and cons of your competitors as well. That kind of confidence is attractive to potential customers who will value your honesty (besides, it’s not like your readers won’t find out about your competitors anyway).
Be the expert your audience is looking for
The purpose of your blog isn’t just to build a content library on your site to improve your SEO, it is about establishing your business and you as experts in your field. Blogs need to provide valuable and educational content that is reliable and well-informed.
In creating the types of content that help to address the key concerns of your audience, your business reputation will see a huge boost in the trust factor and elevation of your status to an expert level.
While there’s no getting around the fact that writing and maintaining a valuable, educational, and engaging blog is not an easy task, with our top five topic ideas you will always have a starting point.
The best part is that if you stick at it, the more you write, the easier it will get.
And trust us, your customers will thank you for it!