What Can You Blog About? Case Histories

By Suzan St Maur | Small Business

What Can You Blog About? Case Histories image small 24930665771What Can You Blog About? Case HistoriesWondering what to blog about is becoming an increasing headache for many business people. In this series, we take a look at some key areas of inspiration to help trigger ideas for your next blog post. This time, we look at case histories.

Case histories are a very good source of inspiring blog posts. Written up as a single or series of posts, they’re OK provided that they’re not boring, and clearly demonstrate a learning point about topics that are relevant to readers.

Studying case histories (not necessarily written as posts) will tell you a lot about your customer base and the issues they face, which should supply you with further ideas for posts.

For your blog you obviously need to keep the case histories fairly short, because in an ideal world your blog posts shouldn’t go much over 1,000 words and in fact can be quite a bit shorter than that.

Why case histories?

Nearly everyone enjoys a good story, and case histories – or at least the worthwhile variety – are just that. If you are in close contact with your customers or clients you’ll know what they’re up to and how your work is helping them. But as this is a blog, not a press release or other promotional piece of writing, you don’t want to use the case history as a way of blowing your own trumpet.

A better way of approaching it is to ask your clients or customers to share their own journeys through business and offer advice to your readers, tips on what to avoid, what works, what doesn’t. This opens the case history out, and makes it much more interesting, to a wider audience.

And although your part in the customer’s overall story may be small – e.g. you supply them with office stationery or software support, the fact that the story is on your blog in the first place is a sufficient endorsement for you.

Don’t forget that although you may only supply their office stationery or software support, the prospective customers you’re aiming for are likely to have businesses not unlike the one in the case history. So they’re bound to be interested in hearing how someone else copes with all sort of business challenges – not just the ones you solve with your products or service.

Getting hold of case histories

Rather than just chart the overall story of a customer or client (although in the absence of a topical issue that can work), it’s worth trying to hang the case history on a particularly interesting topical event or activity of theirs.

So, keep track of your customers or clients and what’s happening to their businesses. Watch out for any mention of them in local or other media. Did they just …

  • Win an award?
  • Just get a big new contract?
  • Start recruiting for several new jobs?
  • Raise money for charity?
  • Open a new factory?
  • Win a big export order?
  • Sponsor a charity fundraiser?

Include some good quotes

I have written about this before about case histories but please remember a) to include some short, sharp quotes from key people in the story and b) get the quotes to be part of the story, not the awful old “corporate speak” garbage you so often see.

Interview your clients over the phone, in person or via email, and extrapolate quotes that actually form part of the narrative, not corporate wind. For more about getting good text-based interviews, check out this article of mine.

Good luck!

I could go on here, but that’s all we have time for today. For more ideas on what to write about on your blog, give me a shout on suze@suzanstmaur.com.

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family…

photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc

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