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Ideas for blog posts

Help! I can’t think of any ideas for blog posts!

Ideas for blog posts

7 ways to come up with brilliant ideas for your blog, over and over again

When did your business blog last get a new post?

If it was more than a week ago, why is that? Because you didn’t have time to write one?

Or is it because you’re all out of new ideas…and the thought of sitting at a computer feeling stuck is utterly unappealing? That’s understandable…no-one relishes losing hours to writers’ block.

But imagine if you had a reliable stream of fresh new ideas for blog posts. Then, sitting down and getting on with the writing wouldn’t seem so hard.

 

Ideas as a process

The process of having and nurturing ideas starts long before you sit down to write. To make ideas generation easy, you need to integrate it into your everyday working life.

Follow these 7 steps to give yourself a flexible blog plan that allows you to pick up and run with new ideas, wherever you go and whatever you do.

 

1) Have a goal

What do you want your blog to achieve Be specific: sign-ups for your email list? Greater awareness? Positioning yourself as an expert?

If you’ve defined a goal, you’ve already started to narrow down your options.

So if you want to position yourself as an expert in your field, think about what subjects will help you do that, and what kind of posts. You’ll probably want to look at in-depth, long blogs over 1000 words which demonstrate original thinking.

 

2) Know who you’re writing for

Once you know your goal, you’ll find it easier to define who you’re talking to when you blog, and in turn, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to say.

If you know that you’re talking to senior influencers in your industry, you’ll need to focus on a different range of subjects than if you’re talking to teenage customers, for example.

 

3) Decide what your blog categories are

Blog categories help your readers find content that’s relevant to them. They also help you organise your thoughts and produce a balance of blog content that works for your business.

Think again about your audience. What interests them? Can you split up their interests into around 5 to 15 areas?

These are your categories, ready to be filled with new blogs.

 

4) Talk to people – contemporaries, employees, customers

If you want to know what really interests your people, you’ll need to talk to them. You don’t have to ask ‘what should I blog about?’ (though you could, if it feels appropriate).

You can make sure you pick up on the questions people ask you and the things people talk to you about. What do your customers often ask you or your sales team about? What complaints do they have? What do people praise you for most?

 

5) Use social media

Take a look at what’s happening on your social media, and use that to spark ideas. Start by looking at what people want to know from you (which may nor may not be the same as the things your customers talk to you about in person).

Also look at trends and see what others in your industry are talking about. Hashtags and Twitter hours are your friends.

 

6) Think about news and events

What’s going on in the wider world? What’s going on for your target audience?

If your audience is already interested in something, you can ride the crest of that wave. But don’t do this carelessly: you need to add value. What can you say that no-one else does?

Don’t write a Christmas blog just because you feel you should write ‘something about Christmas’ in December. Do write a blog that gives your audience some kind of insight into you or your business that will help create a genuine, meaningful connection.

 

7) Look at what you admire in others

It’s bad to copy. But it’s fine, even desirable, to allow yourself to be influenced. What blogs do you read? What helps you do your job better? If you and others in your sphere value something, it’s likely your audience will too. See what’s popular elsewhere and then give it your own spin.

 

In summary…

Having great ideas for blog posts and turning those ideas into posts that people want to read and share is hard work. It does take time. But it’s worth sticking at it. Those who prioritise blogging get a 13% higher ROI than those that don’t (source).

Still struggling to come up with ideas? Let’s have a chat about how we can develop a strategy for your blog. 

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The 4 things you need to do to be a productive business writer

Spending hours stuck to your desk, trying to write that blog post or website update when you’d much rather be out there running your business?

Writing can feel like being back at school, trapped in a sticky classroom on a summer afternoon, desperate to be running around the park with an ice cream rather than wrestling with an essay.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Use the four strategies below and you’ll be able to write faster, get finished quicker and crack on sooner with the business work you really love.

person-woman-desk-laptop

 

1) Know who you’re writing for and why

When you start a piece of writing, what do you think about first? The answer should be ‘my reader’.

When I sat down to write this blog post, I answered two questions before I started

1. Who am I writing this for?

Answer: business owners who find writing tough and want to become more efficient writers. People who want to spend less time writing and more time doing what they love.

2.Why am I writing it?

Answer: because I want to share my expertise and demonstrate how we work at Purple Content.

Every time you write something for your business, answer these two questions first. If you can’t, ask yourself whether the writing you plan to do is going to help you achieve your business goals. If you don’t think it will, why are you wasting time writing it?

 2) Plan your content and your time

Once you know who you’re writing for and why, you have the foundations of a writing plan. It’s tempting to dive in and write as soon as you’ve answered those two questions. But if you do that, you’re likely to run up against writer’s block pretty quickly, because while you know why you’re writing, you still don’t know what.

 Write a step-by-step plan for your content, detailing what will go where. Include every sub-section, and make sure everything you plan to write will benefit or connect with the people you’re writing for.

If you make a detailed plan, when you start writing, you’ll already have done more than half the job.

You should also plan your time. Schedule in time for writing. Give yourself 30 minutes, or an hour, or whatever is realistic for you, and commit to writing for the whole of that time. It’s easy to get a lot of writing done in an hour. It’s also easy to do a lot of staring at a screen. Decide to write and just get on with it.

And don’t forget to plan in time for breaks. Productive people understand the importance of active rest.

3) Break up your big goals

It’s fun to set big goals for your writing, and it is (of course) good to be ambitious. Want thousands of blog readers? Hundreds of new customers? Fantastic.

The problem with these kinds of goals is that they’re not only big, they’re vague. They feel exciting but they can be difficult to achieve and a little overwhelming. Make them work by breaking them up into manageable, achievable chunks.

If your goal is to gain a thousand blog readers, break that down by deciding:

  1. How fast you want to achieve it.

  2. How many readers you need to gain each week to achieve it.

  3. How many posts you need to write each week to gain those readers.

Then, schedule in the time you need to write those posts. If you can’t find the time, adjust your goal until you can. If a goal is unachievable, it’s better to recognise that and change it rather than fighting on for something that can’t be done.

4) Love what you do

If you don’t love what you do, why should anyone else? Writing for your business is an exercise in sharing your enthusiasm and getting others to see the value in your work.

If you’ve followed all these tips and you’re still struggling to write, think about whether you’re really doing what you love.

Want more help with writing? Let us know more about your business and we’ll talk about how we can work together.

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5 steps you need to take to revive your business blog

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We get through a lot of words in a day here at Purple Content. But we’re writers and writing is our business.

For most business people, writing a blog is just one more demand on an already stretched diary. It’s not surprising that it ends up at the bottom of so many to-do lists and that so many business blogs go weeks or months without a fresh post.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Revive your business blog with these five steps.

 

1) Schedule your blogging time

Lack of time is the number one reason people give us for not being able to blog, and there’s no getting away from the fact that writing does take time. Be realistic about when you can set aside the hours you need. If you want to post a blog once a week, and you know you’ll need two hours to write and publish that blog, see where you could find that time.

I’m writing this blog at 8am, before I start client work for the day. Then I’ll leave it for few hours and come back after I’ve finished working on other projects to check it over and post.

If you can’t find the time you need, be honest with yourself about that. You’ll either need to change your blogging goals to fit your schedule, drop something else to fit in your blogging, or outsource.

 

2) Have clear goals

If you don’t know why you’re blogging, it’s going to be hard to make it a priority.

You might want to use your blog to:

Drive traffic to your website.

  • Build your email list.

  • Build your reputation as a thought leader.

  • Develop conversations with your customers.

Linking blogs to business goals is instant motivation.

 

3) Plan every post

You know that feeling when you have a blank page and no idea how you’re going to fill it?

You can banish that completely by spending time planning your posts. If I spend an hour working on a blog, I expect the first 20 minutes of that to be planning, and the last 20 to be editing and redrafting.

Make sure your post plan includes:

  • A headline.

  • An introduction.

  • Sub-headings.

  • A conclusion.

  • A call to action.

4) Be accountable

If no-one knows you’re blogging, no-one will know if you don’t do it. Get excited about your blog content, and tell your colleagues, employees and customers what you plan to write about.

 

5) Share ideas

Business bloggers often hit a wall after the first few posts as they run out of ideas. Keep talking, networking and sharing to find new ideas and enthusiasm. Take inspiration from other blogs and everyday conversations. Be proactive about looking for ideas everywhere you go, both online and in person.

It’s easy to let blogging become just another chore. But it’s a brilliant way to boost your SEO, engage with your customers and build your authority.

Need some support to develop your blog? Talk to us.

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How to beat writer’s block

beat writer's block

We’ve all been there. Those long minutes and hours staring at a flashing cursor and a blank page, feeling unable to do anything about it.

If you’re running a small business, you probably have a long to-do list and no time to sit and stare. Writer’s block can easily put a swift (or not so swift) end to your blog writing ambitions.

As copywriters, we have to beat writer’s block. Our clients won’t be impressed with us if we tell them “sorry, we can’t meet your deadline, we couldn’t think of anything to write”. Writer’s block is about as good an excuse for missing deadlines as ‘the dog ate my laptop’ would be.

Here’s how we beat writer’s block:

 

1) We just f***ing write

First drafts are never good enough to be sent to clients, but they’re always good enough to be edited, redrafted and polished until they are. Having bad words on the page is far, far better than having no words. Bad words can be edited into good ones, no words can’t. After all, no-one ever talks about editor’s block.

 

2) We set manageable goals

Writing is just part of our job. We’re also editors, managers, marketers and administrators. So when we’re trying and failing to beat writer’s block, we’ll make a start on the writing, and then do something else for an hour. In that hour, inspiration usually hits,. We can go back to the page with clear head and eager fingers.

We’ll also sometimes use the Pomodoro Technique to get words on the page. This means choosing a short time slot (20 minutes works well) and committing to writing flat-out for that time. When the timer buzzes, it’s time for a break. It works because 20 minutes an easy amount of time to commit to. And it’s amazing how much you can write when you focus for 20 minutes.

 

3) We don’t write up against a deadline

Deadlines can be great motivators. But writing right up against them is often difficult because it’s panic-inducing. If our client is paying us for our work, we want it to be our best work, not something we knocked up in an hour because we promised we’d get it to them by 10am. Deadlines mean you’ll get something done, but it’s not likely to be great, because you’ll be writing through fear.

 

Liked this post? Learn more about copywriting with our free copywriting course.

 

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