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9 Tips for Creating More Small Business Blogging Ideas

A Guest Post by Mark Hayward.

small business blogging ideas

What the hell am I supposed to write about, I own a {insert your small business here}?

Really, who cares about your flower shop, bike shop, auto parts store, or coffee house?

Answer: Your customers certainly care.

We all know by now that consistent small business blogging can drastically improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and overall web presence. Additionally, a small business blog can increase your opportunities to interact with (and highlight) your customers and provide an additional occasion for you to share your expert knowledge.

Unfortunately, nothing stops a would be small business blogger faster than a perceived lack of time, and the frustration that comes with a lack of ideas to blog about.

While I can’t help you with your time issue, I can provide you with nine tips for creating more small business blogging ideas:

1. Keyword Tool

One of the best semi-secret sources of the more savvy small business bloggers are the free keyword tools that are available like Google Adwords and Wordtracker. If you are not familiar with searching for keywords, essentially you type in a word or phrase related to your small business and the tool shows you what people (your potential customers) are searching the internet for. You can easily get hundreds of new blog post ideas from a couple of keyword searches.

2. Your Backstory

Potential customers want to know about you and your business, it’s a cornerstone of trust building. One of the best ways to familiarize your customers with your business is to blog about your backstory and personal history. Backstory topics could include any of the following:

  • Who you are?
  • Where did you come from?
  • Why did you choose your business location?
  • What is it that makes you passionate about your small business?
  • What have you done in your life that makes you unique?
  • What struggles have led to the creation of who you are today as a business owner.

3. Customer of the Day

Presumably, if you are running a semi-successful business, you have customers coming in on a daily basis. If you are struggling for post ideas, why not make your customers the focus of your blog one or two days per week?

Not only will you get almost unlimited post material, but since customers like to feel special and appreciated, blogging about them is a great public relations tool. You could even give the participants an additional ten percent off of their purchase for their willingness to participate. Featuring your customers and telling their story gets them excited about your business and can help to establish a customer based community around your blog.

4. Create Resource Posts

Resource posts are great because they are fairly easy for you to put together and people love to read scannable and easily digested information. Ideas for small business resource posts might include:

  • Top ten selling products in your store and why.
  • Five reasons you love your business
  • Twenty best ways to {insert business specific information here}.
  • Eight reasons why customers loveÖ

5. Answer Customer Questions

Your customers have questions and you have expert knowledge. Do not take your knowledge for granted. If there is a specific set of questions that customers seem to ask on a daily basis then turn those queries into individual blog posts.

6. Tutorials

Similar to answering questions, tutorial posts that are specific to your industry (e.g. teaching customers how to change a flat tire, make better coffee, repair their fishing rod, etc.) might be a common task for you, but could really provide value your customers. One simple way to liven up tutorial posts is to add video or photo which can help enhance your instructions.

7. Mind Mapping

If you are not familiar with mind mapping, you can read Darren’s terrific mind mapping articles here, here, and here.

To create small business blog post ideas with mind mapping, draw a square in the center of a piece of paper and write the name of your business in the square. Begin jotting down ideas as you work out from the center. Do not stop to think, over analyze, and critique just get your ideas down on paper and you can refine them later.

smallbizmindmap-thumb.jpg

8. Comparison Post

Take two similar items in your business and do a side by side comparison of the benefits, cost savings, and overall value of each. Own a bike shop, why would I buy a Cannondale over a Trek? Or, own a flower shop, what are the similarities and differences between roses and sunflowers?

9. Day in the Life

Many small business owners find it difficult to write about themselves. But your daily activities are truly unique and blog post worthy.

  • What is a day, a week, or a even a month in your small business life like?
  • Do you get up at 5:00a.m. and work until 10:00p.m.?
  • What are you doing during the workday at your small business?

10. Your Suggestions

We have gotten you to nine tips for creating more small business blog posts and now it’s your turn to help get us to 10, 11, 12…. 100 suggestions. What are your tips for creating small business blogging ideas?

Mark Hayward hates the snow and cold! Luckily, he owns a small business in the Caribbean. Mark is passionate about helping other small business owners avoid the online mistakes he has made. You can follow Mark on Twitter @mark_hayward and you can subscribe to his RSS Feed for weekly small business social media marketing tips.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. chandan says:

    Thanks for providing some nice idea, small business blogger always work hard for their blog and they want to know new business ideas. Except the basic blogging ideas they should have to take some extreme ideas from the famous bloggers, like how they are handling their blogging business, how they are reaching customers etc.

  2. Homespunspa says:

    Great post. I have another idea to add to the list. How about create a charity fundraiser event related to your industry and blog about the progress on the planning and the results.
    Like around here, a local lumber store collected clothing for Haiti and I wish they blogged about it.
    And if you can’t decide on which charity to support, have your customers offer suggestions and vote.

  3. Julie T. says:

    Mark:

    Excellent points! I’m still amazed at the amount of businesses that haven’t even started blogging!

    Julie T.
    http://www.jadcc.com
    http://www.jadcc.com/blog
    http://www.yourwrittenbook.com

  4. Farnoosh says:

    Love Mind Map (Mindjet Mindmanager). It’s a fabulous tool and i should use it more often.
    I think not having time is the biggest problem and of course it is important to recognize that by making time, we are getting “time” back in other ways by reaping the rewards.
    It’s amazing how much more connected a small coffee shop alone could be by a simple blog. People care about what goes on in the life of the owners, their daily life and their challenges. Great stuff!!!

  5. Tom Williams says:

    Love the list… You are right that running out of ideas is a big problem. At InnoGage we call it when the “Well Runs Dry”. This normally happens around 90-120 days into the blog. Many blogs die here…in the pit of despair. Blogs can be great SEO tools but most bloggers don’t do this strategically or consistently either.

    We continue to improve our InnoBlogs software to address these and other problems we see in the social media space. Another resource I really like for anything Inbound marketing is Hubspot. They are another good resource for establishing a blog agenda and putting different types of content into your posts.

  6. Dave Higgs says:

    Thanks Mark – A great bunch of ideas! I especially like the customer of the day idea -it really works well but you also need to let the customer know! It is worth plenty brownie points with the client directly!

    I enjoyed the post – thanks again!

  7. If you are not familiar with searching for keywords, essentially you type in a word or phrase related to your small business and the tool shows you what people (your potential customers) are searching the internet for. You can easily get hundreds of new blog post ideas from a couple of keyword searches.

  8. I think comments provide with lot of valuable material for future posts. You can also invite readers to suggest what creative ideas they implement and then provide a general collaborative post comparing them.

    Nice post.

  9. I think the reason why sales increase due to higher blogging rates is due to the frequency of messages seen. For example, if a company promotes their blogs on Twitter, and posts 3-5 a day, a potential customer will have a higher likelihood of seeing the posts, or at least seeing that they are writing blogs. This makes them seem like a thought leader, expert, and constantly researching their industry. This would make them more likely to buy instead of from a company that hardly blogs and is not as visible.

  10. Among the list of points the main thing which will really help you is mind mapping just take a paper and draw entities regarding your business like what is your brand name, how many employees you have … That will really help you for making blog for a small business.

  11. Except the basic blogging ideas they should have to take some extreme ideas from the famous bloggers, like how they are handling their blogging business, how they are reaching customers etc.

  12. Very good tips for small business. You know i ran a business blog not to long ago, and i have to say that this post was good enough for my business blog. Good job man i have to say these are some great tips.

  13. 1. Just stumbled on your blog while looking on how to get some loans at least till the next payday. It’s a horrible situation that we all seem to sink into it with this economy going down. I have a gut feeling that it not even unleashed itself to fool extent. Anyway, I just installed this new browser and I have to figure a way to subscribe to your baby here, but I get some strange message when I hit the feed button. Me and technology.

  14. priya says:

    Big business or small business..Marketing grows one’s business. Even philip kotler would prefer blog marketing nowadays.

    http://www.ladything.com

  15. Susan says:

    Wow, thank you for such an informative post. We own a small business and have been blogging for almost a year on various topics. Your post here has given me some more great ideas to drive more traffic to our blogs. Thank you!

  16. Bud Ward says:

    Great post! I started a blog for my physical therapy practice, but I was having trouble “finding time” to write new posts. I’ve been collecting ideas for posts, but your article has motivated me to get back on track. It also gave me new ideas.

    Thanks!

  17. money income says:

    blogging is very much hard, but after reading this post i guess money can be make though these policies. let me try an di think it will work.

    thx

  18. john says:

    People will come to your blog if you offer helps and tutorials, i agree with you on:

    Create Resource Posts
    Answer Customer Questions
    Tutorials

  19. Aglolink says:

    Here it is post who waited, a full explanation which broaden my writing. thanks!

  20. Lawn Mowing says:

    My husband and I discovered your blog and thought it was to be informative. I aprrecitated your article and I look forward to seeing more from this site sometime soon. Is there a way to subscribe to more blogs that are posted here on your blog?

  21. Virus Medic says:

    Yep . . hit the nail on the head there – if you offer something on your blog people will keep coming back for more – so maybe video tutorials etc

  22. We recently started offering video blogs on our CEO’s website. This has been a real success for us plus it fits our CEO’s personality since he is more prone to telling stories then writing them down in a traditional blog post. So that’s something to consider if you are looking for alternative ways to update your blog.

  23. Vorona7001 says:

    Many ideas very ordinary. Although something is quite interesting and worth to be tried.

  24. Amy Cameron says:

    This is certainly helpful. And if I may suggest, if you don’t think you can write a decent blog, there are article writers who can do it for you. I know a lot of bloggers who don’t write the content for their blogs themselves.

    Amy Cameron
    BuildMySiteforFree.com

  25. I blogged on a similar topic recently, in response to a NYT article on business blogging.

    To sum it up – there is blogging gold hidden in plain site for everyone – not least small business owners. We all tend to devalue ourselves and our experience. ‘That’s so simple – who want’s to know that’?

    Truth is that it may be world changing for one person, a few people – or very valuable to many potential customers.

    We are all special – so we tend to hide ourselves a little. I think SMB blogging is part of trend in opening up and realising that we are all incredible and have a lot to offer each other.

  26. Cindy Lavoie says:

    Another topic I find useful to blog about is current news or trends, and how my business relates to them. We have a client, for example, who is an investment advisor. He does a great job of commenting in his blog about economic news and adds his commentary about its likely impact on the market. We also have a technology client whose blog is similar to a small-scale tech trade journal — with his commentary on how tech trends impact his company’s products & outlook. This approach makes your blog newsworthy, and also search-relevant when someone is looking for info on a current trend.