This morning I sat down to write a new blog post. Wrote the entire thing and was getting ready to post it to my blog when I noticed from my admin panel a similarly titled blog post. Deciding I better check, I discovered a large portion of that post was telling the same story I just told.
Not only am I repeating myself to my son and husband, I’m now doing it to you.
Needless to say, I decided to come up with something new.
Here’s my new attempt. How do you decide what to write about on a blog or post to Facebook/Google+/Twitter etc?
Keep a list of topics
Next to my desk I have a small white board (actually it’s silver but I digress). When I come up with topic ideas I jot them down so I’m never out of topics.
I can look at one of my social networks and see if there’s a trending hashtag or theme that’s being talked about. Then I need to consider if I have something worthwhile to add to the conversation. If I’m just going to be creating a “me too” post what’s the point? But if I have a different opinion or something deeper to add to the conversation then I should start writing.
If I’m launching a new product or service, writing about related topics can help with search engine optimization. I can also “prime the pump” by getting my audience to think about this topic. Then when I’m ready to promote I’ve hopefully got an audience who will be interested in my offer.
Blog posts or lately podcasts are often a source of inspiration for me. When I hear an interesting idea or a new take on an old theme that will often send me off on a tangent that can lead to a great blog post.
When I read a business book I often keep some post-it notes handy for flagging interesting bits. I can later go back and use them as a quote to start a new topic.
Often called news-jacking, this involves using a current news story to help promote yourself. A famous example is Tide during the Super Bowl. When the lights went out some quick-witted person at Tide tweeted. This post got retweeted, favourite and written about, giving Tide tons of free publicity.
A word of caution: don’t be sleazy when doing this. A recent edition of the UnPodcast talked about someone using the missing Malaysian airline to promote her marketing services. The angle went something like “are you missing in action, like the airline? I can help you get found”. Talk about bad taste.
Questions from your customers
If your customers are asking questions, you can bet your prospects are too. Write answers to the most common questions. There’s a reason so many websites have an FAQ page. People appreciate getting answers to their questions
Your Own Life
Many times the best blog posts or social media updates come from my own life. Maybe it’s a mistake I made or a lesson I learned the hard way. It might be something I’ve been struggling with myself and I write about it because you might have the same difficulties. Sometimes I want to learn something new and I’ll interview experts in the field “for my blog”.
Facebook’s Graph Search
This is a cool way to find out what your people are interested in. Just type in “favourite interests of people who like X”, X being your Facebook page name. You’ll see what else your audience is interested in.
Here are some of the ways I come up with ideas. If you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment and share. Clearly I need some additional inspiration!