26 Blog Posts to Write Before Your Competitors Do…(with Examples)

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(PART 1 of a series of BUSINESS BLOG POST IDEAS articles)

Content is the fuel of Social Media and great content draws people to your business blog (and website). If you want your company to take a leading position in the virtual land grab you need to have a solid content development stategy..and lots of ideas! Take a look at the 26 ideas below, selected for their applicability to various types of business – large or small (including solopreneurs):

1) Industry Myths or Secrets

Your potential clients would love to know the inside scoop on your industry. What are the inside secrets? What are the commonly held myths (that you can debunk)?

Example: “10 Death Tax Myths” – via (How Stuff Works)

2) FAQs for your industry

This one is simple. What are the common questions you, your salespeople or your customers service reps get every day? Write out the questions and the answers in clear, simple English. Don’t forget to SEO-optimize this post and you have a winner!

Example: “What is Solder Paste?” – via (Indium Blog)

3) Short List Post

This type of article has been around forever and continues to generate interest. If you need inspiration, just go to the supermarket and browse a few of the magazine covers at the register.

Example: “6 Ways to Capture More Unique Travel Photos” – via (Digital Photography School)

4) A How To Post

Teach your readers a step-by-step method for fixing something, learning something, achieving a goal or ridding themselves of a nuisance. They’ll love you for it!

Example: “How to Learn Any Language in 3 Months” – via (The Blog of Tim Ferriss)

5) Comprehensive List Post

Who doesn’t want to read an “Ultimate List” or “Bible of…” post?

Example: “The Ultimate SEO Tools List – 50+ Tools to do it all…” – via (Direction SEO)

6) A Story Post

Get personal. Tell a story that shows you’re human but that also relates to your topic and the point of your post. Dogs, cats, family, trips, mistakes or other humbling experiences (with a lesson or point) are all within limits.

Example: “How My Startup Pushed Me To The Edge” – via (Open Forum)

7) Write about Local, Niche or National Celebrities

People and search engines love celebrities or brands. You can write a review or summary of a celebrity’s presentation, you can interview an industry luminary (try to find them when they’re pitching a new book) or you can associate a celebrity with your industry (e.g. the Ashton Kutcher method of SEO)…

Example: “8 Social Media Trends and 22 Tools from Robert Scoble’s keynote speech (SocialTech)” – via (Right Mix Marketing)

8) Customer or Client Stories

Not my favorite type of post because most small and medium businesses (and some corporations) go here after hundreds of navel-gasing posts about their awesome products and services and all of features and functionality you can enjoy!  Use these sporadically and try to make it interesting and relevant for people who are not you or your clients.

Example: “Animoto.com Review: Client Case Study” – via (Linkbuildr)

9) Interview Post

Mix it up a bit with a written, audio or video interview post. You can have someone interview you, you can interview an employee or customer or you can find a local or industry celebrity to interview. Have fun with it – don’t be too formal!

Example: “Bloomberg TV Interview (of Matt Mullenweg)” – (via Matt Mullenweg’s blog)

10) Take a Polls or Survey

Take a poll on your blog (if you have readers) or do a poll or survey on Twitter, in a Linked In group or on Facebook. Pull together the data and “so what’s” and create an interesting blog post. Include charts or graphics to break up the text.

Example: “How to Avoid a Rent Increase” – via (LifeHacker)

11) Tie in a Holiday

Look at the upcoming holidays or the ones most relevant for your business. Plan ahead and you can tie this to a seasonal promotion.

Example: “For Valentines Day: Time to Renew your Blogging Vows” – via (Right Mix Marketing)

12) Include a Guest Post or Request User-Generated Content

Get an industry thought leader to write a blog post for your site. Or, you can have one of your top customers contribute some ideas or write a post. You could also run a contest for your customers. Getting other people involved can bring some fresh ideas and content to your blog.

Example: “Semi-Finals: Scholarship for Opening the Kimono” – via (The Blog of Tim Ferriss)

13) Write a Negative Post (use with care!)

Write a response or opinion peice criticizing something in your industry. Use with care – negative posts can lead to retalation or backlash.

Example: “Eventually, One Of These Updates Will Make Google News Not Suck At Tech News, Right?” – via (Tech Crunch)

14) Resource For a Related Industry

Write a detailed post or resource about a related industry (but one that your target customers care about). Attract your potential customers to your site without giving away your trade secrets.

Example: “Los Angeles Wedding Locations” – via (The Officiant Guy)

15) Discuss (or Break) News or a Current Event

Write about a timely or news-worthy event or topic.

Example: “Winklevoss Twins Take Facebook Case to the Supreme Court” – via (Mashable)

16) Start a Series of Posts

Create a multi-part or recurring series of posts on an in-demand or interesting topic.

Example: “Brad Trent’s Ocean Master Session and Brad Trent’s Ocean Master Session, Pt. 2” – via (The Strobist)

17) Write About Recent Research in your Industry

Do some reasearch on the industry or do a write-up on another firm or newspaper’s analysis (source accurately). People love to get the facts as well as analysis and recommendations based on the results.

Example: “10 Cities Where Rents Are Spiking” – via (US News Money Blogs)

18) Do a Thought Leadership or Opinion Post

Be seen as a thought leader in your industry. Pull together a post that offers a different viewpoint or alternate vision to the commonly held view for the industry.

Example: “The future of the library” – (via Seth Godin’s Blog)

19) Write about your Company, Products or Services

Infrequently, you can blog about your company, products or services. When (or if) you do, you may want to supplement your more staid website content with blog posts that offer a creative or unique point-of-view on the topic.

Example: “New “Fresh” Backlinks Now Available in Market Samurai” – via (Noble Samurai Blog)

20) Feature Photos or an Infographic

You can mix things up with a photo-oriented post. A gallery of interesting images with some words as context. Or, you can use graphics or higher a graphic designer or create an Infographic that communicates a key message, process or implications of data via graphics.

Example: “Why America’s Healthcare Sucks [infographic]” – via (Daily Infographic)

21) Include Some Fun or Humor

Try having fun with a post (or more than one!). Have the funniest person in the company create something unoffensive but humorous. Or source something humorous but relevant from elsewhere (make sure to give proper credit or to get approval).

Example: “Zuckerberg Explains Facebook’s Secret Smear Campaign Against Google” – via (http://www.uniquevisitor.net/)

22) Feature a Video

Consider what you could do with video. Have an open mind and brainstorm some creative ideas and then narrow to a few possible candidates. Video can be powerful and can open you up to an audience who prefers to view videos. Post on both your website and YouTube.

Example: “A tour around “first church of technology” PARC (the innovative lab that started a ton in tech)” – via (Scobleizer)

23) Write about a Local Topic

Pick a local topic that will add value to your potential customers. Connect with local papers, influencers or organizations that may care about the topic to give them to the opportunity to share with their contacts.

Example: “Wallingford Market Update for March 2011” – via (Wallingford Wired)

24) Do a Tools or Techology Post

What are new tools or technologies used in your industry? Everyone loves a good list that pulls the main resources together and offers some insight into their usefulness or uses.

Example: “New App Helps Realtors Answer the Question, “How’s the Market?” – via (future of Real Estate Marketing)

25) Cover a Live or Online Event

Cover a live or online event like a conference, presentation or product launch. This is a great opportunity to give your readers some information they can’t access, to include mentions of industry thought-leaders, to break some news or to give some analysis of trends you’re seeing at the event.

Example: “Local Search Tactics (Live Blog)” – via (Direction SEO)

26) Write a Manifesto

A manifesto is defined as “A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature”. See the example above and consider writing your own manifesto!

Example: “Incomplete Manifesto for Growth” – (via Bruce Mau Design)


Ready to get started? What ideas do you have?

What are your favorite types of blog posts for business? What are some great examples you’ve seen out there of unique angles businesses can take?

Leave your ideas in the comments section below or share this post with a friend!

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Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mskogly/2381707051/

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