by Jeff Molander
Time to read: 3.5 minutes. When blogging for business how do you come up with blog content ideas that aren’t just blatant sales pitches? (yet DO create sales) Here’s a simple, 3-step process to coming up with blog content, article ideas and YouTube video concepts FAST—without the bull! Plus I’ll show you how mythbusting on blogs can be fun, easy-to-do and creates great results.
Step 1: Let Customers Tell You
Coming up with blog content that creates leads (and ultimately sales) for your business is as easy as:
- listening to your target market… then
- responding to what potential customers need in your blog.
Using this practical system makes it EASY to connect what you sell to your blog posts in ways that create sales leads.
To get ideas, listen to potential customers as they express:
- hopes, aspirations
- goals or objectives
- problems or challenges
“These are the kinds of topics you can return to again and again,” says Michael Martine of Remarkablogger.com who advises business bloggers on coming up with blog content that attracts more bees to blog hives. (potential customers with a specific purpose in mind!)
Let customers tell you what to blog.
You can listen to them directly (on the phone, in your store, in email communications) and/or using social media and search engines.
Step 2: Find THE Topics—FAST
Here’s where to FIND customers questions online—FAST.
- LinkedIn Groups: Join Groups where your target market hangs out and listen in for expressions of pain, goals, challenges, questions, etc. that you can help them with.
- Webinars: If you produce Webinars or attend them you’re exposed to tons of questions that come in via chat and phone calls. Be sure to collect all the questions you can for blog article ideas.
- Monitor www.search.twitter.com for expressions of pain or un-met needs around what it is you’re selling… and complaints about your competitors. You can even use their nifty RSS feed and Google Reader to make daily monitoring a snap!
- Google.com’s “auto-complete” function: Start typing in a question or keyword in Google.com and notice what Google completes/suggests… you’ll discover popular questions your customers are typing (asking) into Google.
Now that you know where to gather up new ideas (for coming up with blog content) let’s organize them in ways that will serve your goal: LEADS and SALES.
Step 3: Pick the Best Problems to Solve
Your success in winning new customers with blogs is based entirely on one thing.
Your ability to create irresistible curiosity.
That means giving prospects a reason to get a focused conversation started with you. Saying, “I can solve that nagging problem” to your prospect can be that reason. But how do you prioritize the problems & solutions you’ve gathered?
The BEST blog content will ultimately give customers a reason to take ACTION on what they’re reading. The fastest way for you to decide what these problems are is for you is to ask yourself:
- “Which questions do our customers need answered before they’ll buy?” Don’t restrict the questions to those about your product—think like a buyer. What questions that do NOT relate specifically to your product must they find answers to first?
- “What is the emotional end-goal that our customers have?” What “state of mind” do they need to reach more than anything else?
- “What can we give the customer that will give them an early taste of success?” Think about all the things that relate to their “path to purchase.” What new skills could you teach them? Can you tutor them in something or help them get a more clear understanding of their need?
Why do these questions matter? Because when your customers get access to that solution, work-around, short-cut, skill or experience that “small win” it will give them confidence in themselves.
More importantly it will simultaneously build trust in you!
For more details on actually getting customers to make the leap from being engaged with your blog content to TAKING ACTION on it check out this free video.
Wanna Get Advanced?
In plain English, Mythbusting
- gets people to read your blog more often;
- converts readers to business leads faster when combined with a call-to-action;
- often involves less work on your part.
Ultimately, Mythbusting is a way to help readers achieve a goal or avoid a risk…
in a way that is contrary to popular wisdom. It’s an editorial tactic that really works.
Mythbusting works for your customer (and earns sales leads for your business) because it’s the story most people want to hear:
“Hey… what you’re doing is popular yet not effective, Mr./Ms. Customer… here’s the secret on what actually works… I’ll prove it to you and show you how to get more of what you want.”
Best of all, this technique creates distinction in what you’re offering on your blog. It allows you to separate out from all the redundant, unoriginal thoughts out there—noise that drowns out your online voice.
Good luck. Let me know how it’s working for you in comments or email me!
Image credit: Daniel Mohr
About the Author
Jeff Molander+ is the authority on making social media sell. He's a sought-after corporate trainer to small businesses and global corporations like Brazil's Petrobras. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network. Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His new book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.