Making the World More Understandable

What Makes a Good Blog Topic?

What Makes a Good Blog Topic?

The answer is, of course: it depends.

What is the purpose of your blog? Are you establishing your expertise? Are you in a field where the rules change (legal, financial)? Are you in a field where the players change (sports, politics)? Are you in a field where there’s always more to learn (tech, medical)? Are you trying to stand out from the crowd? If so, what’s the crowd doing?

I’ve already covered the purpose of a business blog, so I’ll leave that one alone.

Changing Rules

If you are in a field that is at all regulated/governed, then each rule that has recently changed is a good topic. What did the rule use to be, what is it now, what does that difference mean?

What is the impact this change makes on your clients? Can they invest more or less? Will they pay more taxes now or later? Will their home remodel suddenly double in price? Does the FDA consider it a controlled substance or not?

Have you run out of changed rules to talk about? Then what rules are under debate?

Changing Players

When the people change, you have the opportunity to talk about personalities and team dynamics. When a new person comes in, then you can run an analysis on skill sets, influences, or superstitions.

If your game is politics, you can enter the world of platforms, promises made and kept, promises made and broken, and promises made that didn’t work out. Voting history, strength of conviction, and ability to compromise without being compromised can also keep your blog busy.

More to Learn

Keeping on top of advances in your field could provide you with all the topics you ever need. Or not. Unless your field is a specific dead language, advances are probably happening – at what speed I don’t know.

The trick to explaining advances in your field is to make sure you keep your audience in mind. It is likely that your readers are functioning at a significantly different knowledge level than you. While that does not mean that they are stupid, it does mean that as far as this topic is involved you’re the expert. Explain without being condescending or you are likely to lose your readers.

Everyone Else

It is much more likely that your business does not exactly fit into one of these categories. When it does, great! You’ve got ready made topics. When it doesn’t, don’t panic!

I have two defaults that work for everyone I’ve met so far.

  1. Your FAQ. What do people ask you? A traditional FAQ page has short answers, sometimes just one word. However, many of those answers have a back story that can make a great blog.
  2. Your Aha! Moments. In this case, my definition of Aha! Moment expands beyond just when you learn something, or you have a brilliant idea. No, in this case, I’m talking about any time you say or think to yourself something like: “YES!” “You must be kidding me.” “What a load of garbage.” “I love it!”

When, in the routine of your work day, something you read or hear rings your bell – that is a blog topic. Why did this one point stick out to you, either in how right or wrong you feel it to be? If it was something that really struck you, you’ll have a great blog.

Here’s an example: I was talking with a contractor once and he mentioned reading a trade magazine that made an interesting point about insulation. When he got to that point, he thought to himself, “it’s too bad this is in a trade publication, this is something homeowners could use.”

Instant Blog Topic!!!

A couple of sentences about the article and the critical point followed by why it is relevant to homeowners. And, there’s extra SEO credit because he could provide a link to the original article!

When push comes to shove, I find that blog topics are not nearly the problem for business owners as they think it will be. The real problem is that most business owners did not go into business to write; in fact, many went into business to NOT write! And, for those of us who did go into business to write, it wasn’t to write for ourselves.

Open your mind, and eyes, a bit and you’ll find topic ideas. Because blogs don’t write themselves, find a writer to hand those ideas off to.

– Lorrie Nicoles

Leave a reply