My client’s businesses are very diverse. I work with home builders, holistic medicine providers, retail stores, fitness trainers, moving experts, attorneys, artists, and non-profit organizations. What’s one thing they all have in common?
“What do I write or blog about that will be interesting for others to read?”
There is probably not a writer, journalist, or blogger that has not wondered the same thing and as someone who must write myself, I get that. I understand how hard it is to come up with new topics for a blog or newsletter, especially when you are busy running all aspects of your small business.
Here are some ideas that I’ve shared with my clients to help them turn on their own creative juices. The most important thing to realize is that it doesn’t matter whether you’ll use the material immediately. The important thing is to find the fodder and save it.
- Clip and save: Set up a manila folder of article ideas that you find in newspapers, professional publications, junk mail delivered to your home, mailers from your competitors, flyers you’ve picked up at events, ANYTHING that looks interesting. (Warning: We are not endorsing paper hoarding!!!)
- Bookmark websites/articles: Set up a folder (or folders) on your browser for information you run across online and on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) that peak your interest. Bookmark the URL address for future reference. To do this, look for the bookmark tool in your web browser toolbar (Explorer, Firefox, Safari etc. When asked where you want to save the bookmarked site, choose “Add new folder” or “+” to add a new folder. Call the folder something you’ll remember like “blog ideas, or article ideas”) Don’t worry that you can’t sit down and write the article today — just gather some interesting ideas.
- Google Alerts: Take your research to the next level! Signing up for Google Alerts can provide you with up to date information on your profession, competitors, targeted news briefs . . . just about anything you want to follow can be extracted and delivered to your desk. You may need some help to drill down on the information that is most important to you to avoid being overwhelmed. Get Started Here.
- Monitor Social Media: Information comes in nano seconds across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., and all the review websites. It’s easy to miss important ideas, comments, bad reviews, etc. Highlight appropriate URL addresses and bookmark them to your folder. For most small businesses, telling you to monitor social media daily is laughable. I really do get this. Your daily business life does not revolve around a computer screen and you have no one to help. Still . . . . you need to know what is going on to protect your brand and help you reach out to consumers and help them be aware of your exceptional products and services.
Once you have the information, it’s much easier to draw inspiration for your next blog post, article or even TV interview!