Blogs are powerful tools to for generating business. However, they do little good without regular, useful content.
Many businesses struggle with this. They have grand intentions, but are stuck on what to write.
If this sounds like you, I’ve offered up four basic types of blog content that you should be writing to help you get your juices flowing:
What do you do when you are looking for answers for something?
You Google it.
Now, wouldn’t it be great if your blog turned up articles with the exact answers to the questions people are asking?
That’s possible when you write how-to articles focused on helping your target audience solve their problems.
This approach helps you showcase your expertise and gives people the ability to get a taste of what it would be like to work with you. It also positions you as a trusted resource, which helps open the door for someone to buy.
Tools & Resources
Offering up lists of tools, apps or resources that make life better or easier is a simple way to help your readers.
For instance, if you’re a financial planner, you can recommend your favorite software for managing your finances. Realtors can profile the best home search apps on the market. Trainers or nutritionists can offer up the best tools for tracking your workouts and meals.
Get the idea?
If it helps, here’s an example of one I wrote that offers tools I use to curate content to share online.
Case Studies & Customer Stories
Success stories from clients and customers are a great way to demonstrate your capabilities. And, because you’re featuring this information from the customer’s point of view, it removes the stigma of overt selling.
For example, Clio, an online legal practice management software, does a nice job of this with their regular “#GoneClio” series. In these blog posts, they conduct a Q&A with their customers, asking questions about their legal practice, why those chose Clio, what they like about it and how they use technology in their legal practice.
Essentially, this series answers all of the questions a potential buyer would have when trying to decide on a software solution. It’s a brilliant way to sell your business without being overtly promotional.
Because you’re blogging for business, it’s important to promote your product or services through your blog.
However, let me be clear, I’m not advocating for overt sales messages. Instead, I recommend you write a how-to post where your product or service is the answer.
For instance, the folks at Copyblogger are the masters of this. They take the time to understand the reader’s problem, tell you how to fix it and then artfully offer up their solution as the answer. Here’s a great example.
It’s important to remember to use these posts sparingly. If all you’re doing is selling, people will tune out in a hurry.
This list just scratches the surface – what kinds blog posts would you add to the list? Which content type works best for you?
This post originally appeared as guest article for the Nashville Business Journal.