Give Your Blog Staying Power

A blog is one of the best ways to build a following for your business — if you can sustain it. If your blog has run out of gas and you’re struggling for ideas, here are some tips to keep it going:

Use your customer questions as blog fodder. What problems do your customers have? If they’re worried about something, chances are that someone else has the same concern. For example, a customer asks you about the knocks and pings she’s been hearing in her engine, and it turns out to be an expensive repair. That would be a great subject for a blog: “Harmless Knock or Dangerous Ping? When to Call the Mechanic.”

Conduct some research. What do people find interesting? There are a few easy ways to find out. Just start typing a word in your search bar and see what comes up. Or visit Google Trends, where you can experiment with different keywords to see what people are searching on the most.

Find ideas in the headlines. You can take a story that’s front-page news today and add your take on what’s happening. Maybe you disagree entirely with the viewpoint and have a whole new perspective to offer. You can simplify a complicated news subject for your readers, comment on a trend, or draw some new conclusions. (Whatever you do, make sure to improve upon the subject — don’t just regurgitate the same old information.)

Consider a guest poster. Offering a new perspective may help you freshen up the old blog. Invite an industry leader to write an article, or interview the person and print the Q & A. Let someone else in your company post once in awhile. It’s a good idea to have multiple authors anyways. If you own a small business, let your wife post an article once and see what interesting things come from that.

Do a Friday round-up of industry news from the week that your readers will care about. You can come up with a short list of top stories, summarizing the news and explaining why they should care about it.

Turn the spotlight on one of your customers. Your customers may love the attention and the chance to tell their story. If you are communicating to other businesses, this can be a great way to show your appreciation and may spark the interest of other small business owners who will want to be next.

Say it in video. People love videos (maybe they don’t have to think as much). Your video doesn’t have to be professionally shot and it doesn’t need to be long — just make sure it presents the best image for your business.

Make use of pictures.  Photos help your blog look more attractive and will help engage your readers. Show some photos of before-and-after renovations on a century home, and describe your process in short steps. (Note: if you use stock photos, make sure you have the proper licensing.)

Engage in conversations. When you respond to customer comments and questions on your blog, customers will see that you are attentive, and you may find ideas for future blogs within these exchanges. You will also be excited to see that people are actually reading you.

Share your top-10 list. Everyone loves lists. Brainstorm a list that your customers might enjoy. For example, if you own a store, you can share your list of the hottest toys for Christmas. If you are reaching out to other businesses, share your list of the 10 best overlooked business blogs. Whatever you decide to share, just make sure it’s valuable for the reader.

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