How to Win Business with your Blog – Part 3: Content

OK, so we understand how a blog can build your credibility and establish your personality. And we’ve figured out what we’re going to focus on.

But what on earth do we write about? Where do all the ideas come from?

Well, when you start up your blog, it should be no problem. If you’re not initially bursting with ideas in the area you’ve decided to focus on, then you’ve picked the wrong area.

That doesn’t mean you can just write about anything in that area though. Early on, concentrate on creating your “core content”. Core Content is the central set of ideas, principles, beliefs and insights that you have about your subject area. It’s your best stuff that you teach your clients.

Later on, it’s OK to do lighter, fluffier posts. Say something controversial. Riff on something off-topic.

But initially you need to establish your reputation with your very best material.

It could be a set of “how to” guides for the key topics in your area of focus. Or it could be a series of posts going into depth in one subect like this series I’m doing on blogs.

But get your good stuff out there quickly.

When those initial ideas dry up – and they will if you blog for any length of time – you need to get more disciplined about creating content.

Keep a notebook or voice recorder with you to capture ideas as they happen. Believe me, if you don’t you’ll forget them.

Get into the habit of observing life from the viewpoint of your blog. If you write a blog about leadership, for example, then when you’re watching sports, or the TV, or kids playing, or a cat stalking a bird or whatever – think about how you could learn something about leadership from that example.

Bring in stories from your daily life, and your history. Your readers will find stories and anecdotes that illustrate a point rather more entertaining and engaging than straight “you should do this” all the time.

Block out time in your calendar to work on content. Set up an editorial calendar (there’s a wordpress plugin for that, of course) and stick to it.

The more content you create, the better and faster you’ll get at creating it. And don’t argue that you’re too busy – Chris Brogan and Seth Godin both post almost daily. And they’re busy guys too.

The next post in the series is my very best tip on creating content that wins you clients

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Comments

  1. says

    I think you are exactly right about generating ideas. I have a few blogs and the real crunch time for your content is not at the start when you have loads of ideas, it is a few months later. It is important to choose a topic you are passionate about that has plenty of scope. I also find mind-mapping is a great technique for planning new content. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lisawriter says

    Content is king, that’s always going to be true. Your best writing should go first. But don’t forget to ask an editor to review it. You could miss something vitally important. Too many bloggers go it alone and in the early stages, you don’t want a lot of errors messing you up.

    • says

      Hi Lisa – I understand what you mean about not getting too many errors. And having an editor look over your material can be really valuable.

      But I wouldn’t do it per blog post. With blogging, velocity is powerful. One of the things that holds back lots of would be bloggers is the perceived pain of doing a post. I’d much prefer they got some great content out with a couple of mistakes in than they didn’t get anything out because the whole process seemed to daunting and costly.

      i’d reserve an editor for your bigger stuff.

      • Lisawriter says

        I appreciate your point, Ian. However, when it’s early days it’s important to look professional. Otherwise, your reader is going to move on.
        Most blogs have only one person looking at them before the posts get published. You don’t necessarily need to pay an editor but at least have another pair of eyes look it over.
        Maybe it’s just me or being a perfectionist, but I’m hugely turned off when I read a post and it’s riddled with errors, especially in the first paragraph. I won’t return to read it. When you’re first starting out, making a great first impression can’t be stressed enough.

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