Guest Post by Monica Crowe
Have you ever sat at your computer on the day you were supposed to post to your blog and been completely stumped about what to write?Believe me. It’s not just you. Writers block happens to the best of us.
But I’ll bet that just as often as you’re stuck for what to write, you also have inspired ideas for blog posts. Yet, if you don’t take note of them, they float off into the ether never to be remembered. Then, on blog posting day, you end up sitting in front of that blank white page with a blinking cursor for longer than you want or need.
Luckily, there is a simple blog post organizing system that will help you to not only corral your ideas as they come to you, but also have a plan in place every time you sit down to write. But first, let’s address the problem of what to write.
Finding blog post ideas
The simplest way to create excellent blog posts for your readers is to consider the questions your customers ask you regularly. What do they want to know more about? What valuable information can you give them about your expertise that will solidify their trust in you as an expert? Think back to conversations you’ve had, and scour your old e-mails and blog comments for those questions.
Next, ask the people who follow you on your social media channels what they’d like you to write about. Regularly ask the same question at the bottom of your blog posts. Encourage your readers to leave a comment with their answers.
If this doesn’t kick up much information, you might host a contest in which you give away a desirable discount, e-product or free consultation. To enter your contest, your readers must give you three topics they’d like you to write about.
Organizing your blog post ideas
Start a digital note taking system to keep a running list your best blog post ideas. A sheet of paper will either get lost or eventually overlooked. Instead, Evernote and Dropbox are excellent tools, because you can access your notes on a smart phone and computer. Plus, if your computer were to crash, your notes will still exist online.
Additionally, Gmail users might create a Google Doc list but to my knowledge these can’t be accessed via smart phone. Finally, if you’re on the go when inspiration strikes, you can also use your cell phone’s note taking or voice recording applications to capture ideas and later transfer them to your online digital list.
Create an editorial calendar by filling it with your best blog post ideas
I use a Google Calendar, but keeping a paper calendar works just as well in this case. Implementing this posting system makes it clear exactly when you need to post to your blog, and exactly what you’ll write. Plan your calendar for months in advance, and you’ll never lack for a good topic to write on posting day. You’ll also avoid neglecting to post, as can sometimes happen without a solid plan in place.
As a business owner, failing to post regularly — at least once a week — is one of the worst things you can do. Why? Because a neglected blog raises a red flag that you might have gone out of business. Consistently showing up and delivering helpful information on your blog will indicate to potential customers that you are an expert who can be counted on. Having an organized blogging system will help you do that.
Monica Crowe teaches small business owners how to use their blogs and e-mail newsletters as marketing tools so they can make more money doing what they love. To get more of Crowe’s blogging tips, visit her blog.