I asked this question “Why don’t you write blogs or articles?” in our online business community and especially liked this response from Lynn Rippenaar-Moses from Wrap It Up PR and Communication which has inspired me to share my thoughts.
“Personally I’m not always sure about the kinds of topics I should address in my field or whether I would be adding anything new to topics that have already been covered. “
What topics should I write about in my field?
I think many of us get stuck with what topics to write about. I know I do and if its not your talent then it makes it even worse. Trying to figure out what to write about can be challenging because more often than not people actually don’t tell you what they want to know about which leaves you a bit in the dark.
Two of the best ways I get topic ideas is from asking questions and reading the comments or by reading other articles and coming up with my own thoughts and views based on my experience and what I’ve extensively researched. Another idea is to think about things your clients need to prepare for you and turn those into blog posts or I find clients ask me the same questions over and over and I turn that into a blog post.
Everything’s been covered already, I won’t add anything new
I agree to disagree because it can feel a bit like overkill in cyberspace. You can literally find any answer you are looking for on the internet. This means that you have to raise the bar. If you are writing on a topic that’s been covered extensively then you have to come up with something that has kick. A different way of looking at something.
For me personally I only write blogs when I feel inspired to or if I have something to contribute. I am working on a different strategy because like so many I have some talent for writing but it’s not my specialist area or what drives me so I have to continuously learn to improve my writing skills. I must also be realistic in what I can do in terms of my daily responsibilities. I do see the value and benefit in writing blogs and so I spend time researching the how’s and I do it as part of my online marketing strategy. Blogging experts might disagree with me because its recommended to post a certain amount of times and regularly and their reasons are very valid. If your strategy is to build for traffic, high lead generation and SEO or if you are just starting you then it’s advisable to follow recommended strategies on how to write blog posts that gets results.
I also believe that depending on where you are located there are still plenty opportunities for you to leverage and to position yourself as a thought leader. Most of the articles on the internet are primarily written by Americans with an American view point on how things work. In your instance Lynn there is not enough South African based content in a number of topics especially in relation to how things work in South Africa with a South African voice. While many things work the same around the globe there are subtle differences at a local level. Communicating in UK English is different to SA English and both are different to USA English. That’s just one aspect. Cultures behave in different ways and do things differently. Countries have their ways too, e.g. Green means go for us in SA and we call them robots but when the traffic light in the UK turns yellow that means either slow down and stop or it means go.
Then there is also the aspect of progression e.g. Some parts of the USA has self driving cars already, we don’t. So talking about self driving cars would mean nothing to us. I found personally that SA is more offline than online in that they still prefer to meet face to face where I think overseas virtual conferencing is fast becoming the accepted norm. Virtual working is also more accepted overseas.
There is also a huge market of people who still need to get online which is a whole new market for business opportunities. This is one of the reasons I am so gungho on business owners understanding their clients in a very personal way because the more you get to know your clients the easier it becomes to write content for them, to connect with them and offer them services they would value.
Ask yourself, what are you doing from a strategic point of view?
It doesn’t matter that the market is over saturated. What you have to ask yourself is, “what is the purpose of me writing articles and what am I hoping to achieve?”
For many writing blog posts can be seen as a time waster and it can be if your content is not helpful to anyone. By writing blog posts you can answer people’s questions and help them solve their problems. Blogging helps you to communicate your values and brand image. Blogging also gives you content to market your business. I see blogging as a strategic marketing tool that has many benefits.
- When writing an article you are giving the reader and insight into who you are.
- You are also giving them an insight to your level of knowledge and skills in the topic you are speaking about which would be related to your business.
- Writing an article is an investment of say 2 hrs of your time. Once written it’s there for life. Now you have a piece of content your can re use to help promote your business. There might be an initial cost but the long term is free marketing.
When I look at it from this perspective then it makes the initial investment worthwhile because the benefits are two-fold. I get to demonstrate to others that I have knowledge and experience in what I do and the reader may learn something new that could be useful to them. The best place to get tips on how to write blog posts is from Problogger and Copyblogger A word of caution. There is no one size fits all when it comes to online marketing. Not all products and services are the same. Blogging and writing articles might work for some but not others. You must find what works for you and your business.