Two days ago I committed to a blog writing challenge over at Authors Publish. It felt like a great idea at the time. One page of writing, every day, throughout August. These challenges are a little like the intellectual equivalent of running a marathon. Every time I do one I swear never again – only to find myself signing up when the next one comes along. I love writing. But life gets in the way and – even when my mind is swimming with ideas – sometimes I simply cannot find the time.
As somebody famous once stated in a Facebook meme, “The only thing worse than writing is not writing.” A general nod to the torturous journey many writers put themselves through as they strive to create a piece of work that will never be perfect, only to stop writing and find themselves struggling with the lack of self expression this brings. A short daily writing pledge can be the perfect answer; ensuring that you carve out enough time and stick to the challenge.
Now this is all well and good, but how is any of this relevant to the challenges you face when producing consistent blog content for your business? My clients tell me that one of the hardest aspects of creating regular content is knowing what to write about. No matter how seasoned a writer you are, writers block can be difficult to overcome. When I signed up to the ‘Authors Publish August Challenge’ I was fit to bursting with ideas. Today, on the first of thirty one days of writing, my mind became a total blank. Here are just a few of the ways I go looking for inspiration when faced with the need to write but not a clue where to start.
Listen to your customers
Every day we interact with our customer base. We answer their questions, walk them through the process of engaging with our service or product. In my previous blog post ‘Three things your copywriter needs to know’ I help business owners get the very best out of hiring a copywriter. Look for common trends in the conversations you’re having with your clients. Are there misconceptions that people hold about your industry? What kind of things do they need to consider before hiring or purchasing from your business?
Stay up to date with your industry
Shifts and changes in your industry can be difficult to keep up with, but you can guarantee that your customers are noticing. Perhaps you are changing the way you do business in order to keep up with new legislation. Maybe you buck the trend altogether and have a strong opinion as to why the traditional ways are best. Is there exciting new technology you can tell your customers about or a really interesting piece of research? All of this can be great blog content that will help your ideal clients, demonstrate your expertise and add to your brand story.
Watch for seasonal stories and current affairs
Exploit the calendar. Which months are most relevant to your industry? An accountant might want to remind people how important it is to get their tax return in on time and share advice on successfully completing a self assessment. Someone in the food and drink industry might encourage people to think about the coming Christmas party season and how to impress their guests over dinner. These kind of seasonal blog posts can be planned well in advance. Then there are the sudden news stories which require a speedier response. You can bet your local solicitor is watching out for stories on divorce settlements or work discrimination claims. Think about how you can react to high profile stories across the media and use them as a way of engaging with your readers.
This piece was written by Claire Davies: The Greedy Wordsmith. I am a freelance writer helping business of all sizes create meaningful conversations through the written and spoken word. Support is provided by means of copywriting, editing packages, 121 sessions and small group workshops; allowing you to communicate a brand story that consumers can fall in love with.