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Looking for the Light Bulb

By: Deb O'Connor

 

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Coming up with blog topics can be stressful even for experienced writers, and is especially hard for small business owners who are focused on other tasks. Many of my clients are afraid to start blogs because they worry they won’t be able to come up with enough topics. Even clients who are experts in their industry and have enough knowledge to write a book sometimes share these fears. Three simple methods can help any blog writer find that light bulb idea that helps them create value-added content for their readers.

1. Perspective Adjustment
Staring at the blank screen with the intent of coming up with something to write about will never work. You’re focused on coming up with an idea, stressed that you won’t find one. Instead, turn around. Shake your head a little. Take yourself away from your own personal worries and your writer perspective and instead think about your blog from the perspective of your reader. What does your reader want to know. What would they ask you if they were in front of you? What are their big concerns and questions? Think about your target market and the world they live in. What kinds of topics are of interest to them and what do you know that will help them move forward in their lives? Not sure who your target market is? Take some time to plan so you know your reader.
2. Record Questions and Conversations
When your clients ask questions, write them down. These are excellent blog topics. For example, if you’re a fitness instructor and a client asks you what to do about a frequent injury, make a note. Or maybe you’re a nutritionist and your clients frequently ask you how to buy healthy foods without spending too much money. These are great questions. And you have the answers. Great blog fodder.
Other conversations with clients can also bring you those light bulb moments. Maybe you overhear a group of moms in your toy store talking about how they cannot find a way to store those Lego creations once they’ve been assembled. You have a solution. Share it with your readers.
Keep a notebook by your phone, your cash register, your computer, wherever it is that you most frequently communicate with your clients.
If you allow feedback on your blog, allow readers to ask questions. If not, provide an email link and encourage readers to send questions. Let your readers tell you what they want to read about.
3. Follow LinkedIn and Other Online Groups
Find your target market online. Find the LinkedIn groups that they belong to, join, and keep up. See what they’re talking about, complaining about, asking questions about. Allow your target market to tell you exactly what they want to know. Once you have a stable of great blogs, you can answer questions in the group dialogue, including links to your blogs where the readers can get more information, sign up for your blog, and become your customers!

Most importantly, plan. Keep track of all these questions and topics. Create a calendar of how frequently you want to blog and assign topics as they come to you. Then when it’s time to write, you can focus on your target market and what they want to read rather than feeling stressed about finding something to say.

If you need someone to help you work through gathering topic ideas or have ideas but need someone to write for you, contact Strategic Solutions. We have solutions to help you focus on your passion without distraction.

You have plenty to say. Allow your readers to help you find your light bulb ideas.

Published: May 10, 2013
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Deb O'Connor

Deb O'Connor has provided strategic direction to small companies since 1993. She has a passion for helping others find clarity in their business direction. Her educational background includes a Master’s in Business Administration with a self-created focus of entrepreneurship and a bachelor's degree in literature with a minor in psychology. This unique blend of business knowledge, writing expertise, and understanding of human nature create a distinct ability to help small business owners identify and clarify business direction.

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