Who says blogging is dead? 50 ideas to inspire great content

And it was written: Catholics attend Vatican bloggers summit in May 2011.
And it was written: Catholics attend Vatican bloggers summit in May 2011.
Image: AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito
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Well-written, company specific content can be a great way to build brand-awareness and search engine ranking for your company website. One of the best ways to incorporate content into your website is with a business blog.

I know what you are thinking: every report out there states that “blogging is dead.” After all, everyone loves glamorous success stories about new platforms generating leads, increasing sales, and driving traffic.

But rather than jumping the bandwagon ask yourself: “What is right for my business?” The answer will depend very much on your industry, customer base, and business model. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, but glamour is not always the right answer.

And I can assure you, blogging isn’t dead.

Hubspot report found that 57% of companies (pdf) that had a blog acquired customers from leads generated directly from their blog. While some businesses are moving away from traditional blogging to some extent, many remain committed to the format.

But what if your company blog is boring, dull, and uninspired? If no one’s reading it, it’s not living up to its potential.

It can be difficult to create engaging content for a business blog. You have to find topics that are interesting to your customers and present them in a way that’s helpful, entertaining, and relevant.

It can be helpful to plan your content ahead of time and use a calendar to schedule posts and plan your content for the following month. You can also vary your content between written articles, video and images. But above all, whatever you post on your business blog needs to be high quality, interesting, and relevant to your customers and clients.

Here are 50 inspirational ideas to help you come up with great content for your business’s blog:

1. Debunk a myth or misconception about your company or industry.

2. Write a profile of a customer who has used your product in a new or innovative way.

3. Profile a current news item in your industry and explain how it affects your customers.

4. Create a how-to tutorial, either as a written post or a video tutorial.

5. Write a “5 Things You Didn’t Know …” column—maybe “5 Things You Didn’t Know about our CEO” or “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Our Latest Product.” If you have a long product line or like to profile employees, you could even make this a regular feature.

6. Ask a local business related to your industry for an interview and put it up as a video on your blog.

7. Outline new product ideas or concepts and ask for feedback from customers and readers.

8. If you have a lot of good content on your blog already, you could provide link round-ups—links to several posts on related topics grouped under one heading.

9. If you’ve attended an industry event, write a blog post outlining five important takeaways from the event.

10. Write a layman’s overview of recent research or a scientific breakthrough in your industry.

11. Answer questions from customers on the blog.

12. Write about an event you’ve attended in your local community.

13. Comment on news articles from your local paper or radio station.

14. Create a roundup of nice and/or amusing things people have said on your Twitter or Facebook page.

15. Compile a list of other sources of information about your industry or a certain product—free ebooks, informative articles or useful videos. The great thing about creating a useful article that links out to other websites is that those website owners will often link to your blog in return and give you increased exposure.

16. Share your customers’ success stories via case studies and testimonials.

17. Create a list of inspirational quotes from founders, thought leaders or people  in your industry whose worldviews are in sync with your company’s message.

18. Do the “list” posts. For example, list of latest statistics around a particular topic.

19. Help your customers protect their investment by showing them how to keep your product working properly for longer.

20. Tell a funny story about something that happened in the office.

21. Honor your heritage. Write an article about what your industry or products used to look like “back in the good old days.”

22. Create a gift guide for an upcoming holiday.

23. Discuss the differences between your local market and markets abroad. Make this really fun and interesting by adding lots of cultural references.

24. Show customers some great social media sites or smartphone apps unique to your industry.

25. Hold a caption competition—post a strange or amusing picture of someone with one of your products, or of something happening around the office, and ask your customers to make up a caption to accompany it. The best caption at the end of the day wins a prize.

26. Create product descriptions as though famous people wrote them. e.g.: “Vacuum cleaner catalog written by William Shakespeare” or “SEO Tips from Madonna.”

27. Express your opinion on a controversial topic, or disagree with a commonly held belief. This can be a risky move, but is great for generating buzz and discussion on your blog.

28. Review a book with a subject matter related to your niche.

29. Highlight a couple of local businesses that compliment your own products or services. For example, a wedding planner could highlight her favorite local florist.

30. Create a summary of your favorite comments from a recent article.

31. Share an excerpt from one of your whitepapers or ebooks. Be sure to add a link to download the rest!

32. Get other experts in your area to each offer a tip, and create a post with a roundup of all the tips.

33. Create a list of industry trends your customer should watch out for.

34. Compare two different products or services from your company.

35. Post a series of pictures from a recent event, whether it’s a trade show, in-store event or industry conference.

36. Create a slideshow of customer photographs of your product, such as different women wearing one designer dress.

37. Run a poll on a topic and write a post about the results.

38. Create a virtual office tour, where customers can see inside your office spaces, warehouses or other facilities.

39. Give a sneak peek of an upcoming product launch.

40. Write a humorous top ten list about your product or company.

41. Revisit old industry pioneers, products or trends for years gone by in a “Where are they now?” roundup.

42. Tell customers all the different benefits of signing up to your newsletter—and then give them a giant sign-up link!

43. Write about changes you’re making to improve your products or services.

44. If you sponsor sports teams or charity events, talk about that and don’t forget to include lots of pictures.

45. Create clever infographics about your industry or products.

46. Pull some interesting facts from your analytics or other market research and write a post demonstrating some facts about your customers—such as how many were local, how many spend more than $200 when they visit, how many own cars, etc.

47. Create a list of interesting events and seminars in your community.

48. Customers love an inside look. Create a time-lapse video of your product coming together, a day in your office or store, or something else related to your business.

49. Go through your old catalogues, correspondence and other publications and turn of all that useful information into blog posts.

50. Thank your customers and clients for their business with a personal video.

There’s no reason for your business blog to be boring. You can find inspiration everywhere you look – in your own products and services, in your office, from your suppliers, customers and clients.