How to Make Sure You Never Run Out of Blog Post Ideas Again

If you’re like most business owners, you’ve struggled with your blog at some point.

If you have a blog, you’ve probably thought, “I need to create a blog post today — and I have no idea what to write!” Or if you don’t have a blog yet, you may have been told you need to create one, but you’ve shrugged away the idea because you can’t figure out what you would write about.

Perhaps you’ve thought, “My business is boring. They’re nothing I could write about that would be sexy or interesting.”

If you’ve struggled with your blog (and writing blog content), I’ve got a great solution for you. It’s simple and relatively easy to implement.

But let me back up a bit. At the conference this week, I attended a session with Marcus Sheridan of River Pools and Spas. During his riveting talk (which was one of the best speeches I’ve ever seen), Marcus gave the audience a powerful blogging tip. He called it “The Golden Rule of Content Marketing.”

And the rule was — “They ask, you answer.”

When he started a blog for his pool business, Marcus took a simple, powerful approach — he decided to answer all the questions that his customers were asking about fiberglass pools. Not exactly sexy, right?

But his approach really, really worked. He answered questions like, “How much do fiberglass pools cost?” and “What are the problems with fiberglass pools?” that no one else was answering online.

Marcus wrote blog posts on each of his customers’ questions (in fact he just turned each question into the headline of a post) and received THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of visitors and leads from his articles.

People linked to his posts and emailed them to friends and family members, and Marcus brought in an avalanche of search engine traffic to his posts.

During his presentation, he shared how much revenue he brought in from some of his simple articles, and the numbers were astounding. One blog post alone brought over $250,000 in revenue.

Sounds simple, right? I’ll bet you can easily think of at LEAST ten questions your customers have asked you in the last six months — and I’ll also bet you can think of answers to those questions that you can easily turn into blog posts.

The Golden Rule – “They ask, you answer.”

No, it’s not sexy. But this Golden Rule helps you create useful content that your readers and prospects will absolutely love. It increases your credibility, and vastly increases the likelihood that your reader will buy from you.

Because here’s the secret no one talks about in my field — the more pages on your site your customers read, the more likely they are to buy from you. If a customer reads 30 pages of your content (meaning, 30 blog posts) they have an 80% buy rate.

Let that sink in for a second. If one of your prospects reads 30 of your blog posts or articles, 80% of them will purchase something from you. And of course, it kind of goes without saying that the best your content is, the better that buy rate will be.

Your assignment for this week: What kinds of questions can you answer for your audience? Write your questions down, and start writing today.

And if you haven’t started a blog yet, that is step one — talk to your web guru about adding a WordPress blog to your site.

Then start answering those customer questions. I guarantee, if you answer those questions in a compelling way, you will thank me (and Marcus Sheridan) in six months.

For more information on Marcus and his simple, accessible approach to content marketing, read this New York Times article and listen to this excellent interview.

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Comments

  1. Great blog post. And a good piece of advice for businesses. But I was wondering how this advice can be applied to authors/books?

    Readers and others do ask questions (about characters, plots, and setting, etc.) but though the answers an author can give would certainly be interesting, even revealing, they don’t have the practical value of “How much does a fiberglass pool cost?”

    What kinds of suggestions would you have for author bloggers?

    Thanks.

    • Hi, Joe – I think authors can share some stuff that will be of interest to their target audience. If you’re a fiction writer, you probably know your audience well, and can come up with some good resources and useful posts for that audience. For example, if you write fantasy fiction, you can write a “Top Ten Fantasy Books of 2012″ blog post. Your readers would love that. And you can also write about what your writing process is like (and give readers a peek into your world, in general). People like knowing more about the author’s life. Hope that is helpful — those are just some quick off-the-cuff suggestions.

  2. Bottom line, serving customers by adding value to their lives. That’s what you’re doing here. It wins every time. Nice work.

  3. How did the pool guy calculate how much revenue one blog post generated?
    That’s what I want to know. Increasing your traffic makes sense (and using customer questions is a great idea-thx) but how do you measure whether it actually generates revenue?And how much?

    • He uses a lead and revenue tracking tool from HubSpot (http://www.hubspot) that gives him advanced analytics on all of his posts, etc. It’s great stuff but a little expensive for small business owners.

  4. Thanks Beth, this is perfect advice! I immediately went and re-titled my last blog post to the question it was answering.

  5. thank you for your tips on how to increase ideas for my blogs. it really help me a lot. actually now, I was run out of ideas to post on my blogs.

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