Ever do something, then step back and ask yourself, “Why the heck did I just do that?” or, “What was the point of that?” Of course you have. It’s human nature. For the most part, we need to have purpose when we perform an action. We need the “why.” Otherwise, it feels futile. Writing a blog is no exception. Churning out posts for the sole purpose of selling isn’t likely to encourage you to blog, nor will it reel in your followers who don’t want to be “sold to.” So what is your purpose for writing a blog? Consider this question as you plan your topics and before you draft each post. Here are some of our favorite “whys,” which might become some of yours, too.
Blog to Solve Your Readers’ Problem
There’s nothing better than helping someone solve a problem they’re struggling with, right? You can do this on a regular basis for your readers. Know your readers and remember, if they are following your blog, then your problems are likely their problems.
Be their hero and offer solutions, like in these examples:
- If you run a parenting blog, pen a post titled “How to Win the Nighttime Parenting Routine,” and share actionable tips and your personal scheduling wins that beat the witching hour.
- If you’re in the IT business, stay up to date on software updates and changes. Draft posts that help people find that dang setting that they used to know the location of in the last version. Even better, feature one of your products that solves your readers’ struggles for them.
And when writing your title, echo their problem right there in your headline — boom, solved! What could draw readers in more than knowing you’ve got a solution to their issue?
Blog to Teach Readers How to Do Something
How-to posts are another favorite of ours and are incredibly popular these days, as evidenced by sites like wiki-how and e-how. Writing about how to do something can provide a fun marketing spin for your products: Show readers how to use a product for best results or walk them through your services.
How-to posts are great for business:
- If you’re a realtor, how-to posts can help clients simplify their moves, get their homes ready to sell and teach them staging 101.
- Contractors might do a quick educational piece about the steps customers can expect to go through with a bathroom renovation.
Educational posts offer credibility, proving you know what you’re talking about, and provide transparency, which instills trust.
Blog to Share News or Report on an Event
Your blog is a perfect platform to share company or industry news. Feature stories about accomplishments and awards, product launches, staff volunteer work, nonprofit event sponsorships, new hires and more. You can even find ways to share positive feedback from your customers. If people are following you and your business, they are interested in hearing what’s going on with your company. Give the people what they want…and provide yourself some great PR at the same time.
Thinking of sharing a newsy post? Here are some ideas:
- If you operate a running store, blog about the latest study listing the best running shoes of 2017. At the end, give a link to your online store, so followers can purchase the best shoes directly from you.
- Say you and your employees provided a day of service at the local Humane Society. Take pictures of your work, share the accomplishments from the day and give the Humane Society a free plug.
Both of these are ways to showcase the great things about your business without having to openly say “Buy our stuff. We are great!”
Blog to Encourage Engagement
Sometimes your blog posts can be for plain old entertainment’s sake, seeking engagement from your followers. Share a funny, meaningful or inspirational story. Blog about your experience with a product or service. At the end of engagement posts you need to…wait for it…ask people to engage! Put it right out there in the form of a “What do you think about this experience? Share in the comments below!” or “Have you had a similar experience? Tell us about it!” Use direct calls to action; tell people exactly what you want them to do.
Here are a couple of engagement post ideas:
- Tap into some pop culture and share some funny encounters or feelings about the man bun, male romper or happenings like April the giraffe’s 900-day labor. People love to weigh in on trends like this and share how they make them feel “some sort of way.”
- Perhaps you’ve found an inspirational quote or attended a speaking event that moved you to change up your daily mindset. Share your changes, and ask people to comment with ways they have done the same.
The topics to blog about are endless, but it’s always important to pause and consider your purpose before you start typing. Let your purpose and desired end result guide your words and watch your engagement and followers rise. And remember, if you need some help getting that blog off the ground, the professionals at All Things Writing, LLC eat, sleep and breathe blogging and are poised to help you build your best blog. Give us a shout.
All Things Writing is a full-service content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. Our clients are from the private, government and nonprofit sectors.