As a small business owner, finding the time to keep your blog content fresh and consistently connect with your followers online can be a huge challenge. One way to cut back on the time it takes to manage your blog is to plan out your publishing schedule in advance.
Try planning out blocks of three to six months and find what works best for you. This way you’ll spend less time thinking and struggling to come up with ideas and more time producing fun and engaging content that an audience will love.
Most experts suggest that you make content that has the following effects on your readers in roughly equal measure:
- Motivates to act
Planning ahead in blocks of three to six months can be a great help.
Overall, your main goal should be to know your customer/audience well, listening to what they need and want from you, and respond to those needs in a way that is authentic and true to your brand. With that goal in mind, we’ve put together a list of 50 creative and engaging ideas that will jumpstart your blog, provide months of ideas for material, and keep you on schedule.
1. Customer Spotlight
This topic allows you to flex your storytelling muscles and celebrate your customers at the same time. Show how your products fit into your customers’ lives, solve their problems, and bring valuable results. Readers will be able to identify with the customers you highlight, see the human side of your business (great if your product is a technical one), and gain trust. What cool thing has one of your customers done?
2. Q & A
This type of post can be a great way to share your expertise while also showing your willingness to serve customers’ needs. You can approach this topic as the classic question and answer list format or limit the post to one specific question. A great example of that is Bernard Boutique’s “What to Wear” features which blend expert advice and reporting on current trends while answering an essential customer question. What’s a question you hear every day?
As you're planning out topics, think about the questions you hear most often from customers.
3. Behind the Scenes
This topic provides another opportunity to show the human side of your business and enhance your “know, like, and trust” factor. Aiming for relatability over perfection is a winning strategy when sharing with your audience and showing the efforts that go into an event or product. As a successful business owner it may be hard to believe, but you really can’t underestimate the fascination consumers have with taking a look “backstage.” What would customers be surprised to know about life in your business?
4. Product/Service Spotlight
Here’s a brilliant chance to delve into the features of your products or services while still serving the needs of the audience. Bring in elements of story and show real people using or producing the product. Combine that entertainment factor with information and instructions related to your product and create a win-win that lets potential customers imagine using the product in their own lives. What is a favorite product of yours and why?
5. Expert Interview
Draw on your networking skills and reach out to other experts in your field. Simply talking to them and asking them the questions that naturally interest you about their work will provide value to your audience. You’ll be exposing your readers to a fresh perspective on your industry and widening your circle of influence at the same time. What one question would your readers love to hear an expert answer?
6. Book Review
A great way to kill two birds with one stone, book reviews let you share what you’re already reading and learning about with your customers. Consider what elements from a book will add value to your customer’s lives and don’t feel you have to give a glowing review. An honest assessment will be the most beneficial for all. What are you reading right now?
The books you read to stay current in your field make great topics.
7. Lesson Learned
This is another area of your business life where it’s easy to underestimate how valuable your experience is to your readers. The path that you’ve walked to get where you are today will be fascinating to some and can be extremely instructive. You’ve worked hard and likely had many ups and downs. Be yourself and share the results so customers feel included in the journey. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from starting your business?
8. Useful Resources
This topic provides an opportunity to collaborate with others in your space while delivering value to your audience. Share the resources that you know will benefit your readers most from the perspective of the products you offer. And don’t be afraid to occasionally write from a personal standpoint as well. Have a favorite fitness or productivity app that helps you start the day out right? That's a great chance to share what works. What resources are you using these days?
9. Industry News
You have to stay up to date, so it won’t take much time or effort to share the latest news in your field. Keep a tab open on your computer when you read other blogs and news from your industry and take notes. Then once a month or so, organize what’s been happening into a post for your customers. What’s new in your industry?
10. Seasonal Trends
No matter your industry, there are bound to be changes that come with the seasons that would make a great write up. Clothing stores can cover the newest fashions, but any business can look ahead to what’s on the horizon. Pho-Lisha’s Food Truck blog, for instance, recently highlighted the springtime return of crawfish in Texas. What’s coming up this Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring?
Seasonal changes bring new topic ideas for your small business blog.
11. Helpful Advice
Online readers are hungry for information and advice. From what to pack on an upcoming trip to the best ingredients for stocking the pantry, offering helpful guidance on a specific issue in simple and direct terms can be the perfect way to relate to your readers. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
12. Personal Experience Post
Don’t forget that your daily life is a great place from which to draw inspiration for your blog. If you had a random encounter that changed your perspective or met someone who sparked a new insight into your work, that’s the perfect thing to share with your audience. What interesting person have you met lately?
Look for teachable skills or processes related to your products and services. Break these down into manageable and visually friendly steps, and you have a tutorial. Your readers and customers will thank you. And tutorials are highly shareable as well. What do customer’s need to know how to do to get the most out of your product?
14. Your "Why"
This topic is a great way to share your passion and purpose, and another way to humanize your business. It’s true that people buy from people rather than brands. Telling customers and readers the "why" behind your business and the products you provide helps them get to know the person behind it all. Why do you love what you do?
Consider all the problems that your business solves for its customers. Choose one and explain the solution or choose a peripheral problem that your customers are likely to face. Then provide a unique solution in your post or go find a variety of solutions elsewhere and link to them. We did this with our Intro to Social Media Marketing guide for small business owners. What problem is your customer likely to face in the near future?
Solving problems for your cusotmers is what good content is all about.
Continue reading for 35 more content ideas and a quick writing prompt for each one to get you started:
16. Compare & Contrast
What are the important differences between two of your most popular products?
17. Epic Fail
What big mistake did you once make that taught you to do things differently now?
18. Must-Haves List
List all the must-have gear or gadgets needed for a common activity your customers are likely to engage in or a local event coming up.
19. What’s New
What’s happened in your market in the last month that someone who’s been away might have missed?
20. Case Study
Who has benefited greatly from the work you and your business do and what is their story?
21. Challenge Post
What commonly accepted practices or thinking in your industry have you rejected and why?
22. Ask the Reader
What would you love to know about your customers or readers or could you prompt them to think about and share? Ask away and explain your interest, then compile their responses.
The more you can find out about your customers the better.
23. The Numbers
What recent statistics might your audience be surprised or intrigued to know? Bonus if you arrange them in a shareable and visually appealing infographic.
Who has inspired you lately?
What debatable issue in your field can you weigh in on? Explain where you stand and why.
26. Look to the Future
What do you predict will be happening in your industry in 5 or 10 years?
Survey your readers with one of the free online tools available and share the results.
28. Best of (Local Area)
What local gems would you love to introduce to your readers? Celebrate your area.
29. Best of (Industry)
Showcase some great finds in your industry.
30. Look Back
What was it like starting out in your first days of business? How did it all begin?
Stories of your early days in business can make for inspirational content.
What staff member or customer moved away or branched off into something new, and what are they up to today?
32. Your Philosophy
What is your philosophy about the industry that you’re in that may be different from what the reader would expect?
33. Day in the Life
What’s a typical day in your business? Or document the moments of a very special day and share.
What is a notable quote that you’ve recently read related to your work or local area, and what was your reaction?
35. Running Joke
What inside joke or humorous running theme between you and your staff or customers can you share with readers?
36. Share a Win
What great success in business, in life, or in the life of one of your customers can you highlight?
37. Celebrate your Community
What’s going on around your city or town lately that makes you proud to live and work there?
Your blog or website is a great place to celebrate the community you serve.
38. Current News
What new developments have happened in your industry recently?
39. Join the Conversation
What popular post or article is getting a lot of attention in your field? Write a response.
40. Ask for Input
Considering any changes to your product line or in your shop? Share the plans with readers and ask for their input. Then compile and share the response.
41. Share & Tell
What websites do you visit often? Create a list of the latest including business and personal interests.
42. Correct a Mistake
Share a mistake in business or life that you have made in the past and how you went about correcting it.
43. Survey your Staff
Make a fun survey to circulate among your employees and share the results.
44. Highlight an Event
What did you learn and what interesting experiences did you have at a recent event?
Get to know your employees and share their thoughts and experiences with readers as well.
45. History Report
What would you like to know about the past of your industry, city, or building? Do the research for fun and share your findings.
46. What to Avoid
What are some of the common mistakes that your audience is likely to make and what advice would you give?
What aspect of your business would readers like to see for themselves?
48. Staff Picks
Which products are staff favorites and why? Highlight an employee along with their pick.
49. Experiment Post
Try something new that will have uncertain results and let your audience follow along to the end result.
50. Myth Buster
What one myth is most common in your field and how can you disprove it?
If you’re in a brick-and-mortar location, highlighting the businesses around you can be a great way to collaborate while potentially increasing foot traffic in the process.
Another great way to celebrate your local region or a favorite passion of yours is to find and interview people doing selfless and valuable service.
Learn More About LumaTax