If you write content for your firm’s website, or coach others at your firm to write, the hardest part is often coming up with the idea for your article. Here are a few tips for keeping that pipeline flowing:
Write What You Know
- As basic as this sounds, always concentrate on your areas of expertise. Remember, what may seem “obvious” to you will often be eye-opening to others.
- Pull from your hobbies and interests. What you ”know” is not just limited to your business expertise. If you can use other experiences to illustrate business principles, that can be a far more interesting story. For example, if you vacationed somewhere, what did you see or learn from your travels? If you participate in a team sport, what strategies can you apply to work?
- Keep a running list of ideas handy. I jot them down on a note app on my phone so I always have the list handy.
Listen To Your Clients
- What questions do your clients ask you frequently? My rule of thumb is that if I answer the same, or similar question more than once, then it’s a viable blog topic. Ask others at your firm to write down their top Frequently Asked Questions, and bingo! You have a series of blog ideas.
- What complex topics can you simplify? Often the best blog topics are explanations of confusing information in layman’s terms.
- What do you wish your clients would do differently? If a client has done something that caused a problem, rather than complain, educate! Use that problem as a blog topic and (hopefully) prevent it from happening again. Ask others at your firm to list their top pet peeves, and you’ll have a handful of great blog topics.
- What common misconceptions can you dispel? Often, things are regarded as “true” because they have been done a certain way in the past. But new findings and technologies may prove alternative approaches are better. Sometimes, inaccurate information circulates on the web and is believed. Correcting these and other misconceptions is always valuable blog fodder.
- What current events can you reference? When something interesting happens in the news, tying in thematically can make an otherwise mundane blog post much more colorful.
- Sharing data from a poll is a great blogging approach. Survey people at your firm, and clients too, and publish the results. Keep the survey to just a few pointed questions with yes/no or multiple-choice answers and more people are apt to participate. Many online tools, like SurveyMonkey and email applications like ConstantContact, let you conduct surveys and compile the stats for you.
- Once in a while, it’s nice to write about something that’s not necessarily work-related, but just inspired you in some way. What did you do to make someone smile? What did someone else do that made you happy? Everyone likes to read a story with a happy ending once in a while.
Vanessa’s article first appeared in SMPS Boston’s Outlook, .