One of the biggest boosts for your business is your blog. If you don't have a blog up and running, stop right now and work on that first! If you do have a blog, well keep reading... In an ideal world, your blog should be an amazing resource for your potential customers. You want to be seen as an expert in your topic or field. So when they want to know something about your industry, they come to you. Now, while it's easy to bang out lots of topics on 'sexy' sites built around travel or sports; creating really interesting content for dental offices, machine repair, or cloud mainframes is a bit different. And, unfortunately, that's where a lot of brands get in trouble. The point of a blog is to get potential customers interested. You do that by building trust, having great content, educating them, helping to solve their problems. Having good content is key to that success, no matter what your business is about. Sounds easier than it really is, though, right? Actually, coming up with good content is easier than you might think. All you have to do is have a couple of proven types of content in your pocket as a starting point. In fact, with some of the examples below, you can just re-use the content you've already created. All you need to do is just present it in a different way. So if you're really stuck with creating good content consistently for your site, this list is a great starting point. Look at any popular site is virtually any industry and you'll find that the majority of them use these types of posts over and over again with a few topic tweaks. Alright, let's get started.
List PostsCall it the BuzzFeed-ification of blogging but that's life. As much as you might want to avoid them, list posts work because people want to read them. It's even better if you can use numbers in your list post (ahem just look at this one!), they are more likely to attract eyeballs. Look at this one from the site QuickSprout: A post like that really makes you want to read it. Don't be afraid to dig in and go deep with your lists, you can provide lots of great information on a specific topic.
How to GuidesEveryone loves to be told exactly how to do something that is going to make their lives or businesses easier or better. A how to guide is especially effective if you've got a product or tool. Highlight exactly how to use it, showcase your best tips or ninja style secrets that will make this product or tool work even better than your customers could have imagined. Here's an example from a British web hosting company. Even though they are a hosting company they actually create content that is specifically targeted towards local and small businesses. That linked guide to AdWords for local businesses is an awesome how to that goes step by step into taking a topic a lot of people find complicated and breaks it down into something simple.
Best Of'sThere are two ways to approach 'best of' posts. The first is to copy the APA Style blog and go through the posts you've created over a year (or even the lifetime of your site) and create a best of post that highlights them: The second type of 'best of' post is to do a modified list post. This one from Popular Mechanics is a good example of how to take a conventional item (power tools) and create content that is far more interesting: Look at the best tools you can use in your industry, the best books on an industry topic, the best people in your industry to follow on social media, etc. These types of posts are really easy to create and not only do readers generally like them but if you go the extra step to notify (via email or social media) the brands and people you've mentioned, you'll likely get some love from them too.
FAQsThis is a really easy way to create content that speaks directly to your potential customers. Here's all you have to do: take the biggest and most common questions your customers ask and turn them into a blog series. Make each question a post and go into some detail on answering. Better yet, prop up a camera (or even your smart phone) and record a 30 second to two-minute answer to each of these questions. You can post those not only on your blog, but also your YouTube channel and on your Facebook page too.
InfographicsIt never hurts to switch up your content from time to time. As content becomes more visual, you don't want to be left behind the trend. A great way to do this is through infographics. You can take content you already have written and transform it into a very cool visual. If you have an in-house graphic designer, this should be pretty easy for them, if not, consider a tool like Visme that lets you create your own infographics. Look at a post like this from Lifehacker: This same post could have been written out. But honestly, it's a lot better looking as a visual and will likely get shared at a far greater rate.
Final ThoughtsThere you have it. Hopefully, these content ideas will help re-energize your blog and inspire you to create content that your potential customers will really lo