6 Ways to Feed the Creativity Monster on Your Business Blog

Consider the newest Google updates. Add to that consumers who are ever more demanding when it comes to value. Throw in a dash of branding potential. What you end up with is clear proof that business blogging needs to be a non-negotiable part of your online marketing strategy. What does a business blog have that other tactics don’t? Aside from massive amounts of SEO potential (provided your business blog is on your URL), business blogging positions you as an expert, attracts customers by giving them something for free, and lets you initiate conversations with people who are excited to praise, criticize, or question your brand.

But it’s all well and good to talk about the benefits of business blogging. What if writing a business blog doesn’t come easily for you or your team? Staring at a cursor blinking on a blank screen isn’t fun for anyone – and can even be so demoralizing that fledgling business bloggers begin thinking about calling it a day. What happens, realistically, when the ideas just won’t come?

Maybe your business blog is already a few years old. You have some active commenters and you’ve got a small following that seems excited to see your latest post linked on Facebook each week. In those few years you’ve been business blogging and courting your readership, you’ve answered FAQs, debunked myths associated with your industry, talked about your procedures, highlighted key players in your organization, whipped up some humorous Top 10 lists, defined industry terminology, and created a few How-To pieces. And then maybe you did it all again in what has become an established editorial cycle.

It’s getting pretty clear that you and your business blog are in a slump.

Look, it happens to the best of us. Let’s say you’ve been writing a business blog for three years and publishing weekly with no breaks. That’s 156 posts covering 156 topics – or at least 156 ways of looking at some smaller number of topics. If you have ever subscribed to a magazine over a period of years, you know that topic recycling happens. Ladies rags and lad mags practically run the same stories every month! So it’s not that surprising that writing a business blog week in and week out can make you feel like your creative juices are draining away.

As for what to do about your slump, we have six tips that are guaranteed to help you recharge your enthusiasm for your business blog and might even make business blogging fun again.

1. Take a look at your competition. Your content should be absolutely original, but the topics you cover can be inspired by anything and anyone. If your biggest competitors are blogging successfully, think about what’s behind that success. Are there any topics that have gotten a lot of comments or social media shares? Then it’s time to put your own spin on those topics.

2. Get personal. Believe it or not, your customers like knowing that you’re a real human being with real feelings, interests, and experiences. We’re not suggesting you stray into TMI territory while writing your business blog, but don’t assume you have to keep things formal and professional week in and week out. Look for an angle that relates your personal life to your business. For example, maybe your daughter spent a summer helping on site or a huge order meant the whole family had to pitch in. Or you love how your hobbies have inspired you to take leaps in business you might never have otherwise. You’re a person – let it show!

3. Take a break… from writing, that is. Business blogging doesn’t have to mean cooking up a feature length article once a week. Try switching things up by making and posting a video, podcast, or infographic instead of trying to wrestle yet another written post from your brain. Even better, interview someone in your company – on video, in a podcast, or even just via email (then transcribe their text into a clean question and answer format). Whenever you’re not using text, though, remember to do a text transcription for SEO. You get a break from writing without sacrificing the value of that weekly post.

4. Think in terms of micro topics. Write too broadly on your business blog, and you’ll run out of topics in… well, forget three years. You’ll be done in three months. What’s a micro topic? Take a minute to dream up a great blog topic. Now ask yourself how you can break it into three smaller topics. Now slice those topics up into even smaller topics. Keep going until you can’t possibly go any further. Congratulations! You just took one primo idea and turned it into six months of primo ideas. And here you were thinking you had nothing else to write about.

5. Interview a client – or do a client interview series. Nothing turns on a potential client like hearing what satisfied clients have to say about a company in their own words. Make sure that the clients you approach for interviews know that you’re not asking for a direct testimonial and that your interview will be featured in your business blog. You want to know what it’s like to work with your company on a practical level or why they’ve been loyal to your company over others. You can even incentivize the experience by making sure you do a soft promo of your clients’ enterprises in the blog.

6. Updates, updates, updates. Do the posts you wrote on your business blog three years ago still apply today? When your company has grown or changed significantly, it may be time to go back and refresh some of those older blog posts to reflect the current state of your business or your industry.

Images: antigone78, Mike Licht of notionscapital.com

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