So you have drummed your desk, studied the indeterminate marks on the wall behind you, made a cup of tea, twisted your phone cord and even called HR about taking part in that staff survey.
Because it’s just proving so hard to think of anything to write for your next blog.
Here’s a trick for such creative blocks
This is what your mind is saying as you search in vain for inspiration:“I don’t know what to write… I must get this done… What did I do last time?… I can’t wait for 5:30”.
The problem is that you’ll never write a good business blog post when all you can think about is yourself.
Now imagine your customers.Think of them on Facebook, or heading to the shops, or planning a holiday. Who are they? What do they do? What do they need? How can you help?
Picture them, picture their lives, picture their interests and picture their concerns.
Now let the ideas start to flow…
It works for me, but if it doesn’t work for you here are five champion cheats you can use.
#1: Answer questions you are asked everyday
If you are not in the firing line of such requests give your legs a stretch and stroll over to your customer service or sales team. Ask them which questions come up time and time again and, when they reach their tenth, thank them and tell them you’ll be back for the rest later.
Here’s a bonus point for you: once you have answered the question in a post let your colleagues know where to find it and they can now simply point customers here.
Hey presto! One highly useful post and a number of friends instantly made.
And here’s another little trick: once you have answered seven or eight questions in your posts you can start to group them into new posts that offer ‘All you ever wanted to know about X’. Simply introduce the theme and link to the relevant posts.
There you go! You can go back to twisting the telephone cord around again now. Or, of course, you could do something productive with the time you have saved.
#2 Ask questions
It’s not all about answering questions: you can also ask them as well.
The Q&A format offers a refreshing break from article posts and positions your business as a valuable source of information with its finger on the pulse.
The secret here is not to just look internally for people to interview. There’s nothing wrong with this: it’s a great way to show thought leadership from senior managers, give a human face to the business and introduce new members of staff.
The true value of the Q&A, however, can be in revealing your business as being at the centre of its field. So, how about featuring a customer, a pundit or even, gasp, a competitor or industry leader who is not from your own company?
Your blog instantly becomes a destination for information and you can go back to twisting that phone cord.
#3: Think outside the blog
This is, perhaps, an equally shocking suggestion as a Q&A with a non-affiliated industry leader. Why not refer readers to other blog posts that you rate?
Pick a topic, any topic: if it’s related to your business the likelihood is you know a lot more about it, and have read a lot more about it, than your audience. So tell them what you admire, why you admire it and link to the very best that is out there.
Now your audience know you are an expert and they love you for passing on the tips.
But here’s the best bit: email those you have linked to and tell them you’ve done it. It won’t be long before they repay the favour in one way or another.
#4: Go compare
Comparison sites are everywhere and comparison searches are increasingly prevalent. Whilst this has obvious implications for product or service pages on your main site, it is also something your blog can help with too.
A comparison post on your blog not only attracts visitors through search, it can also help convert them. At an early stage of buying comparisons serve as part of the decision making process. Having them on your blog will help you capitalise on this interest. At a later stage they can create the tipping point in making a final buying decision.
Have you just created a promo video on YouTube?
Embed it in a post.
Just guest posted?
Write about and link to it in a post.
Just been featured in a review?
Shout it from the rooftops in a post.
Just received photos from an exhibition?
Use them in a post that carries the key takeaways from seminars.
Just created an infographic?
Use its data in a post.
Just done/received/heard about/filmed pretty much anything?
There you go: that’s your post.
Now put that telephone cord down: there are no more excuses!