You have been staring at your computer screen for hours, stumped.
As a small business owner, you have to deal with unpaid invoices, inventory checks, vendor issues and on top of that, you have to promote your business and build relationships with your clients. So that's why you blog.
But why is it so hard?!
As an expert in your field you should know what topics are important for your clients...what their pain points are. But in the last hour or so, all you're doing is staring at a blank, white screen of your microsoft word document.
Makes you want to throw that laptop through the window....Just take comfort that you're not the only one with this problem....
Learning to be chatty...
No, it's not from relaying the neighborhood gossip online... although it can help.
It's by planning your editorial strategy and calendar weeks in advance. As real estate agents say, it's all about the location. Likewise, for content marketers it's about planning, planning, planning. Here are the steps that you must take to never run out of things to write about:
Start with the research
But don't just start listing random topics that come to your head...You wouldn't create a sales or marketing plan without doing some market research. So why would you do the same for a content plan? Use the research to know:
Use Google trends and IceRocket to determine the popularity of certain blog topics, keywords and if they repeat over time. Armed with this information you will be able to know what interests your readers, how they get their information and what they are doing to solve their problems. Are there competitor sites that are not focusing on a particular topic? Learning about your competitors determines whether a particular topic would get lost in the noise or would get some visibility.
Research your competition and readers
As you can see, an important part of the editorial process is research. And a large part of the research is the information/search habits of your readers. If you are an experienced online marketer, you already know what tools you would use to compile a list of search terms that your readers use to find solutions to their problems.
There are hundreds of tools out there but the simplest one is the Google keywords tool which will allow you to determine the keywords used by a particular site. So, if you want to quickly find out some of the keywords that your competitors are using, simply type in their domain and you would get a list of their keywords and phrases. Use these keywords to use as a foundation for your blog posts.
Know your sources
You need to find an issue that hasn’t been beaten to death already by competitors or experts. If there’s only really one main issue at stake, give it a novel spin; zoom in on a detail; zoom out to put it in context – anything to keep things fresh and make people want to know more about. Spend the time to create a source list that will allow you to keep track of breaking topics:
Creating the editorial calendar
The editorial calendar is a great way for you to beat writers block. There are other benefits to creating an editorial calendar such as:
Andy Wibbels has provided an editorial calendar template that can help you keep track of your daily topics. Having a written plan also allows you to recognize and find potential topics whenever you come across interesting news and feel that you can add to it.