Ask the Answer Guy – How Do I Generate Great Content for My Company Blog?

Dear Brent,

Every day I find myself stuck for new ideas when writing for my company blog. How do I continually generate new, compelling content to maintain an active blog presence?

Generating great content can seem a bit overwhelming, but if you follow a strategy and focus on “teaching” rather than “selling,” you will be on your way!

Refer to this list whenever you are “stuck” for ideas:

1. Make it personal.
First person accounts of how you overcame problems or challenges are tremendously valuable to your readers. Sharing missteps, false starts, pitfalls, etc. provides value that is hard to measure. Company stories, officer/salesmen biographies, public service experience, stories of giving back and charity participation, etc. generate a tremendous amount of readership. Interestingly, the most read, forwarded, and commented on article I ever wrote for the DCG blog was one about how I lost 30 pounds on the 4-Hour Body Slow Carb Diet.

2. Scan the news.
Find news related to your industry and cherry-pick the most relevant or timely info to pass on via your blog.

3. Use Top 10 or Top 5 lists.
These types of lists provide an easy form of communication in a way that is fun and quick to digest.

4. Answer commonly asked questions.
You, your salesmen, or customer service reps know that the same questions are asked over and over about many of your products. The same goes for your business practices. Brainstorm a list of these questions and write a short blog article about each one.

5. Steal ideas.
Well, not exactly. But do you ever notice that when a new idea is “trending,” you will see variations on the same article in the technology section of The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Engadget? The trick is NOT to plagiarize or steal someone else’s work, but to find inspiration within B2B publications in your industry and present the general information to your clients using your unique perspective and experience.

6. Use Google.
It goes without saying that if you can write about the search terms your SEO campaign is focused on, your site will become more relevant, thus trusted with Google. So search on those keywords to see if any are trending in the news there is other more informational content. Google Alerts is a free service that lets you set alerts for industry keywords. Google sends you trending articles every day that you can use for story ideas. If you see three or four articles on the same topic, you can do a “round up” piece to distill the information for your readers.

7. Case Studies.
Interview a handful of clients and write about ways they are using your products to solve challenging problems in interesting ways.

8. Get Visual.
The blog is a great place to post iPhone-made videos of your facilities or products in action. If there is a training or informational aspect that fits one of your categories, those will work best. Use to get someone to transcribe all of the video’s audio and post the video with the transcription on the blog. When using images from other sites, get permission or select royalty free images.

9. Focus on Pain.
What are the biggest problems your readers face? Focus on topics that provide “first-aid” to their wounds. Call clients or your sales force to learn what their biggest obstacles or problems are and write about them.

10. Scan industry conference speaker topics.
This is a great way to find out what the big thinkers in your industry are talking about and what your clients are willing to pay for and go see.

About Brent Whitfield

Brent Whitfield is CEO of DCG Technical Solutions, Inc., which provides IT Support in the Los Angeles area since 1993. DCG exists to help our clients choose, implement, and manage IT and cloud solutions that are cost effective and reliable. DCG's pro-active approach to IT is ideally suited for companies who depend on reliable IT infrastructure, but don't want to spend a lot of money to keep it that way. DCG was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP Mentor. Brent has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business.