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How to Write Blog Posts and Ezine Articles: 8 Creative Tips
Do you ever sit down to write your next ezine article or blog post and find yourself utterly and completely stumped? You have plenty of expertise in your field. And, you can always find things to say to your clients in person. But there is something about sitting down to create new content that can leave us at a complete loss of what to write next.
Here are 8 tips to ignite your creative spark and allow you to easily create content:
- Answer a question. Pick a question that your clients frequently ask. Answer the question in a short article. You can keep a running list of FAQs and refer to this whenever you get stumped. The great thing about answering client questions is that you know you are providing information that is useful and will help showcase your expertise.
- Respond to hot topics in your industry. Review your industry publications, ezines, and blogs for what people are talking about and offer your opinion on the subject. Don't be scared to be controversial or disagree with the majority. This is what will set you apart. Your readers want to know what YOU think.
- Comment on a statistic or study. There is always ongoing research in every industry. Look up some recent statistics in your field and write an article or blog post about it. For instance, I wrote an article about keeping in touch with customers because a study showed that most salespeople give up after one or two contacts even though most sales are made after the fourth contact! (See Study on Small Businesses NOT Using Web 2.0)
- Use a numbered tip list or a "How to..." This article you are reading right now is an example of this format. You can pick a topic and then share a number of points on the subject. Try headlines such as: Top 3 Ways to... and 5 Secrets on How to... and 11 Ways You Can... and so on. Magazines often use these type of articles because they are easy to read and quickly disseminate information to the reader.
- Interview someone in your field. Pick a few questions to ask someone who is well known in your industry. I like to use this type of article to highlight an expert who has complimentary knowledge to mine or deep expertise on a topic that will be very useful to my audience. For instance, my expertise is in marketing but I might choose to interview an authority on publishing a book or on public relations.
- Share your latest gem. To stay at the top of our business game, most of us read industry publications, attend seminars, and/or listen to teleseminars. When you learn something new that will help your clients, write about it. Your audience will be grateful to you for teaching them about the latest and greatest. You can also offer a review of an event or resource as well. I have done several book reviews for my blog audience.
- Use Your Success Stories. People learn quickly from stories. So, use a client case study to demonstrate how a particular challenge can be overcome. Then, you can use the success story as a launch pad for more general advice. This type of article will teach your readers and reinforce your position as the expert.
- Tell a Story. People love to read stories and you can easily turn this into an article. Write about something that happened to you recently, and then give your opinion about it. Tie it into recent trends in your industry or explain how your clients are affected by it. There are many spins you can take on the story-telling approach. For instance, my business partner, Shawn Busse, wrote a powerful article about his experience purchasing a camera case called Good Design = More Profits and one of our graphic designers, Michelle, discussed her trip to L.A. and what she thought about building wrap advertising.
Action Item: Keep a running list of article ideas - jot these down when they come to you. Keep it near your computer. By taking a look at it the next time you are in a pinch, you'll have quick ways to develop story ideas for your ezine and blog.