So You Want to Write a Business Blog? These Ideas Will Jump-Start the Process


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I didn’t get the gift I really wanted this holiday season: a subscription to a software service that can dramatically improve my writing productivity. Not just any service, though. One that provides templates a la Mad Libs to simplify the writing process from concept to completion. Three hundred and sixty-five pre-written compositions would do the trick, and all I need to supply are words like Customer2.0, monetize, and complex when prompted for a noun, verb, and adjective. “Wow! Rudin is totally prolific. How does he do it?” Only his cloud computing vendor knows for sure.

As with pulp fiction authors, bloggers can be a tad formulaic, repeating proven themes with a little creativity thrown in on the side. Mea culpa. Since no vendor provides the exact automation tool I am seeking, I developed some uber-categories to catalyze one of writing’s thorniest, most time-consuming challenges: originating the first kernel for a blog—a topic.

Idea #1: Rant about something.
Why Sears Customers Continue to Suffer, Thought Leaders! PLEASE Tell Me Something I DON’T Know!
Benefits: There’s a limitless supply of material. You will feel better after you’ve finished.
Caution: Nobody cares that your luggage ended up in Des Moines.

Idea #2: Regurgitate someone else’s pithy insights.
What Do Tech Buyers Really Think of Salespeople? Three CIO’s Tell All!, Human Talent or Party Animal? When an Employee’s Social Media Content Becomes a Legal Liability
Benefits: Quick. Easy to write. Often useful, since not everyone attends the same meetings and conferences you do.
Caution: Can become highly addictive, like cotton candy.

Idea #3: Create lists.
Twenty-three Marketing and Sales Assumptions to Dump in 2013, Five Key Insights Every Salesperson Must Know about Prospects
Benefits: What You See Is What You Get! People love that, especially on mobile devices. Also, any number of elements you select will be perfectly correct, as long as you keep within the range of 3-99.
Caution: I couldn’t think of one.

Idea #4: Share your unique knowledge or proprietary competitive advantage.
How to Avoid Arriving Naked to the Negotiating Table, B2B Account Optimization Methodologies and Frameworks in Emerging Markets—A Comparative Analysis (I haven’t written the second one yet, but I might if there’s interest.)
Benefits: No matter what you know or do, few can match your insight. When you’re on to something big that others have yet to notice, your blog can be incredibly valuable.
Caution: Sometimes boring to write. And anything boring to write will be even more boring to read.

Idea #5: Write about cutting-edge technology.
Samplesaint Wants to Prove That Barcodes and Cell Phones are a Heavenly Match,
Three Myths about Technology and Change
Benefits: fun to write, fun to read.
Caution: Sizzle, that often fails to turn into steak.

Idea #6: Debunk questionable wisdom.
Stop Selling!—A Trendy Idea, But Bad Strategy,
Know Everything you Can About Your Prospects!—An Exercise in Futility
Benefits: Plentiful array of choices. Sharpens your critical reading skills: “He said what!?”
Caution: Colleagues will notice that you think and talk like George Carlin.

Idea #7: Develop opinions about specific research or emerging trends in your industry.
Do Sales Professionals Need a College Education?,
Is Collaboration Overrated?
Benefits: You will become a maven on the subject.
Caution: Scope creep. The reason some Michener novels exceed 1,000 pages.

Ready to write? Great! But before you do, some advice not to follow before you begin your fresh, clean editorial: Write for your reader. That will get you nowhere, because it’s impossible to know what your reader wants to read. Better to write for a more familiar audience, one that’s closer to home: yourself. People who appreciate what you say—and how you say it—will find you. As Jerry Garcia famously commented about Grateful Dead fans, “Not everyone likes [noun], but the people who like [same noun] really like [same noun]!”*

* Note for quotation aficionados, Garcia’s actual word was licorice.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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