"But I don't know what to blog about!"
A phrase I hear from my SEO clients often. Blogging is a great way to add new content to your website and drive traffic - great for your visibility and essential for SEO. A useful, readable blog that’s regularly refreshed cements your status as THE go-to expert in your field.
But what I tell my clients is that a blog needn't be exclusively about your business proposition. It can be about anything that interests you - so long as your passion and enthusiasm come across in the words and images you use. After all you’re in business because you have a world-beating product or service to sell, or you have expertise that others can use, something that you really believe in and want others to experience.
So your blog posts should be derived from the exclusive world that you inhabit: the world that drives you out of bed every day and provides energy for your every waking moment. And that’s not always just about your business. Anything can be a worthy subject for your business blog.
What gave you the idea? What have you learned? Who have you met along your journey? What have you accomplished? What do you still dream of doing? What are your top tips?
Where can you get blogging ideas from?
One of the best ways to get blog ideas is to notice the content that you encounter on a daily basis that makes you look twice, that absorbs you enough to have an opinion on and that you want to share.
Ideas can come from anywhere, but today I’m going to focus on one single resource that I’m willing to bet everyone reading this is intimately familiar with.
I am of course referring to Facebook.
If like me you spend large parts of your day scrolling through Facebook, then I have a great tip for you that will make you feel better about the hours lost to social media that you might otherwise fear is classed as procrastination.
These days my Facebook account is largely filled with posts from other business owners that I’ve met through networking. It's deliberate: I make a habit of following up on other people’s businesses and showing my support by ‘Liking’ their Facebook business pages and inviting them to ‘Like’ mine. It’s a mutually beneficial exercise, one that helps us all grow our online visibility.
One of the happy side-effects of this is the richness of my Facebook timeline. I make a point of having a good long look through it every day (even at weekends) because it’s a frequently useful and engaging source of blog content.
The secret is to review my timeline mindfully, i.e. to really focus on the posts from business colleagues.
This does a number of things:-
(a) it shows respect for the effort they’ve put into their Facebook content
(b) it stops me feeling as though I’m loitering rather than working
(c) it can spark off numerous thoughts and ideas, and not just for blog posts
Now, the problem with Facebook (or any social media platform) is that things move on quickly. A little too quickly for some, in that what you glimpsed yesterday that you thought might bear closer examination will be no-where to be found today. That’s all down to the way the Facebook algorithm works (which I won’t go into here) but there is one very simple way to find that interesting post again, quickly and easily.
It works in the same way as ‘bookmarking’ a website and it’s Facebook’s “Save” feature. It allows you to ‘pin’ a post, link or video and go back to it at your leisure, when you’re ready to give it your time and attention. This is how it works.
On the left hand side of your Facebook page is a menu called “Explore”:-
One of the default options under “Explore” is “Save” (or "Saved" if you've already used it):-
This is where you bookmark posts to go back to later, when you have the time and the inclination. Here’s how:-
1. At the top right of every Facebook post, regardless of who posted it, there are 3 dots next to the owner's name, click on them:-
2. You then see a menu for the various options you get with the post (depending on the settings the original poster used). Right at the top of the list is the option to “Save” the post, link or video, depending on the type of content.
3. Once that’s done, the saved post will appear in your “Saved” file in the “Explore” section.
4. When you’re ready to go back and review the post, just open up the “Saved” file and select the post you want to read. Here’s a snippet of mine right now:-
Once you’ve read the post you have the option to delete it – from your Saved list, not from Facebook! - by clicking the ‘x’ at the top right of the post.
This is a great tool for curating* ideas for your blog, website, newsletters and customer emails. It means you can revisit a saved post as many times as it takes for you to get what you need from it. It means that no matter where you are, you won’t need to be at your PC or even have a pen and paper to hand in order to capture a great idea.
It means that you’ll never be short of ideas for your blog ever again.
*’Curating’ in this sense does not mean copying, stealing or plagiarising other people’s published content. That’s a negative SEO tactic and could get you into trouble over copyright. Here it means using published content to spark your own train of thought and ideas.
So are you ready to start blogging? If you need any help with this or any other kind of content creation, then get in touch.