This is one of the most common blogging-based questions floating around there – what the hell should you blog about? No one has any one-word answers unfortunately but that doesn’t stop people bouncing from website to website looking for The Answer.
So, let’s cut to the chase. There isn’t one. I know it’s not what you want to hear, it wasn’t what I wanted to hear either. But when was the last time you found something you wanted to hear on the internet anyway?
For this post, these are my two-cents to help beginner bloggers, businesses, freelancers or hobbyists to find The Answer to this common blogging question.
Please don’t write about yourself
Are you starting a business? It might be as simple as “I’ll write about my business”.
Stop. Does anyone know who you are? Has anyone heard of you before?
I’m sorry to be harsh but no one cares what you’re up to when they don’t even know who you are. No one, besides maybe your mum, is going to read blog posts about your personal journey as an entrepreneur unless you’ve got a mind blowing story. Even if you do have a great story, keep hold of it for later when people know who you are. Don’t waste it all on the void that is a blog’s early days.
What should you write about?
Well, if you’re working in an industry that people are interested in, have needs in – then that’s where your focus should be.
Rather than writing about yourself, write about them, your customers. What do they need to hear/read? What will entice them to come over to your website?
People like free information that meets their needs or wants. This is why blogs are popular in the first place. Who doesn’t love a good old list post relating to their interests? Plus, people are more likely to buy from you in the first place if you’ve already given them a lot helpful tips and advice.
“Give me some examples” I hear you say.
Say you’re a fancy home décor brand. You’ll benefit from writing posts about stuff like:
- Top 10 accessories to make your house a home
- How to do more with little space
- Best paint colour combinations for redecorating
Visitors may originally come onto your website after seeing the redecorating post, but while they’re there they may see something else of interest and something else after that. Keeping people on your website for as long as possible increases the chance that they’ll buy from you. A consistent stream of relevant content helps enormously with this.
On the opposite side of the spectrum. Are you a freelance accountant? Try:
- Ways to keep bookkeeping simple
- What expenses can you claim?
- How do you register for Self Assessment?
These blog posts appeal to what people want to read and also what people need to read.
I like to do a mix between the two – pair something serious with something light e.g. a “How to register for Self Assessment” post followed by “top morning routine tips for entrepreneurs”.
This appeals to people who are looking for an answer to a specific question and also those who are casually reading around. Both of them can end up buying from you.
What if you run out of things to write about?
This is unfortunately one of the things people are most scared about before they start a blog. Sometimes it even stops people from starting it in the first place.
But, reality check – we all run out of things to write about. Absolutely all bloggers run out of steam and have that panic, no matter how good they are.
However, it’s not a permanent thing. The world’s a big place and there’s always something to write about, even if you write about a similar topic you’ve covered previously.
This is why I regularly keep up with the news and read other blogs in the industry I’m writing about. This can help inspire new ideas and angles to give you a stream of fresh ideas to write about.
I also use Trello, which is like a virtual cork board of ideas. Any time I get an idea, no matter how many I’ve already got, I’ll pop it on the Trello board. One day I’ll start running out of ideas and past-me will get a lot of appreciation in that moment.
I hope some of these tips for starting a blog come in handy and help you to make the leap into the blogging world. Alternatively, if you hate the idea of blogging yourself but know your website could use it – hire a freelance writer to take the pressure off *wink-wink*.