If you’ve made a commitment to blog regularly- in order to strengthen your personal brand, attract more clients, or establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, perhaps- but you’re having trouble coming up with things to write about, we have some quick and easy ideas to help you generate blog post topics.
Email friends, family, and current clients and ask them their top questions about your industry
Read a leading industry resource. If you agree with a point, write a post about it. If you disagree, write a post about it
Search a hashtag related to your industry on Twitter and see what questions people are asking
Any time someone emails you a question, turn your email response into a blog post
Search Quora for topics related to your work; write responses to these discussions or questions
Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find related keywords for your industry; write a post addressing the topics you find
Brainstorm a list of upcoming holidays and tie them back to your business- for example, May Designs might write a post about May Day (because of their name) or Earth Day (because of their environmentally-friendly product
Play off upcoming pop culture events or entertainment events- like the premiere of 24, the finale of Scandal, or the Superbowl)
Look through your old posts and see if there are any points that you missed or could expand on. Consider writing a Part II
Guest blog posting is a popular marketing tactic for increasing awareness of your business.
There is a lot of great things about guest posting, especially if you are in a build stage of your business, as it can help increase site traffic, drive subscribers to your email list and position you as an expert on issues related to your business.
You know you should be doing guest posts, but the question is how to actually make it happen in your business. Let’s face it. Guest posting is only one marketing activity, and marketing is only one part of running your business. As a one woman shop, there is a whole load of things to get done every single day.
Creating a 90-Day Plan for Your Guest Posting
As the saying goes, failure to plan is planning to fail- and guest posting is no exception. Start by creating a 90-day plan for your guest posting program that establishes:
The goal for your guest posting program. It could be a certain number of posts or a percentage increase in traffic to your site.
Your specific stories and themes for guest posting. Too often people start by deciding on a place to guest post, when they should really take the time to get clear on what stories they should be sharing. What issues in your niche need to be addressed? What things can you take a stand on?
The target audience for your guest posting efforts. Get really clear on your audience and where they hang out. This will help you determine targets for guest posting and keep you focused.
Putting these pieces in place will help make a major difference as you get started as you will be able to avoid shiny object syndrome. Consider guest posting in the context of your other marketing/sales activities and how it can support or leverage what you are already planning. For example, if you have a new service you’ll be offering, guest posting on topics related to that would be a great fit.
Creating Systems for Guest Posting
Once you have a plan, the next step is to operationalize your guest posting. By creating systems to support your efforts, it will help make the most of the time you spend on guest posting.
Specific systems to support guest posting may include:
An electronic folder with all of your assets for pitching guest posting including different versions of your two-line bio, your headshot, copies of your pitches and more.
A tracking sheet with all of the opportunities you identify and all of your activities such as when you sent pitches, when you followed up, and when your articles are submitted.
A pitch template to help you shortcut writing pitches (editor’s note: we love using Gmail’s Canned Responses for this).
Email folders or labels to track all correspondences related to guest posting.
Practical Tips for Keeping Guest Posting Going
Guest posting should be a year-round part of your marketing and publicity strategy, not just something you do when you have a launch coming up.
Over time, your enthusiasm for guest posting may wane or other things may start to feel more urgent. The true power of guest posting does not come from a single article but from you building up a body of work as an expert.
To keep guest posting going, first and foremost, be realistic. Map out a plan to pitch things in waves so you don’t become overwhelmed with writing, editing and submitting posts.
If possible, break down your 90-day plan into monthly and then weekly activities so you can set aside a block of time every week for guest posting. One week you may spend time on research, the next week on writing/sending pitches and the other on writing posts you’ve secured.
Finally, team up with a friend or colleague if you can to share resources and lend each other support. Brainstorming story ideas, researching or proof reading can be much more effective when there is two of you involved.
Guest posting offers a great way to get you and your business in front of new audiences and build your credibility but you need to make a priority in your business. By creating a plan and systems for guest posting, you’ll be well on your way to success.