What's the hardest part about blogging? Well, there are a few things. First, there's the topic. Consistently thinking of fresh content ideas that an audience will be interested in isn't easy. Next is the title. Coming up with a catchy, intriguing, shareable title can send even the best writers straight to the nut house. Immediately after the title it doesn't get much easier; the first sentence is no walk in the park, either. Your title may be good enough to get a reader's attention, but if your first sentence stinks, they'll never read through your post and all that hard work is gone to waste.
So, to summarize, we've found after writing hundreds of blog posts for ourselves and our clients hailing from every industry you can imagine, the biggest problems bloggers run into are:
- Deciding on a topic
- Choosing a title
- Writing the first sentence or paragraph
- Talk to your sales team about the most common questions they receive
- Interview someone on your design or production team
- Read comments, discussions, or conversations happening on social media
- Read anything. Whether it's a magazine, newspaper article, book, blog, or tweet, inspiration can come from 140 characters or novels.
- Keep a journal. Record fun or interesting things you do, encounter, see or experience.
- Research what other brands in your industry are writing about. Never copy or steal their work, but use them as a source of inspiration for your own writing.
- Find a good adjective. Using words like magnetic, epic, rewarding, loveable, etc. can help draw readers in. Get creative and be unexpected.
- Write a tutorial on How To...do anything!
- Use numbers. Readers love lists that are helpful and easily digestable.
- Inspire fear. Okay, don't be creepy, but putting a negative spin on your title such as The Worst ____ Mistake You Can Make, can help to generate interest.
- Be helpful. Whatever it is your business specializes in, help your customers learn more by giving them your insight with posts like Quick Tips on ____.
- Ask a question. Although this is a technique that can be overused and boring, the right question can help to spark interest and keep the reader wanting to know more.
- Use a statistic. Statistics are a great way to show knowledge and insight within your industry, as well as help reinforce the point you're trying to make.
- Research what others are doing. Who are the thought leaders you follow within your industry? Which blogs keep you most interested? There are plenty of great bloggers out there who seem to have the whole blogging thing down. Take a look at what they're doing to help guide you.
- Speaking of others, Marcus Sheridan, one of our favorite bloggers, recently published an article on how he starts off his blogs and we think it's genius! Check the post out here.