For some businesses, choosing a topic isn’t quite as easy. It’s always important to write with your target demographic in mind, but with a business that caters to a broad range of people like a catch-all online retail website; who are they and what do they care about? There are a number of questions that you can ask yourself when establishing a blog for your business. They are the ones that I go through to hone in on a specific topic area for a client who can go in any direction with their blog.
1) What’s the goal of your blog? Are you writing because you want to be more appealing with a specific demographic of people? Do you want to develop online buzz from the topics? Do you want to be an informative resource to your clients? You can be a combination of all of the above, but picking a main focus helps narrow down a topic area.
2) Who do you want to write for? After establishing the goal for your blog, you’ll have a better idea about who you’re writing for. If it’s to the demographic of clients who provides you more limited business than others, you may want to write with them in mind. If it’s about developing buzz, you simply need to write about things that are memorable so people retweet it, email it to friends, post it on Digg etc. If you want to be an informative resource, you want to write for your existing clientele.
3) What’s the tone going to be? We’ll talk about setting a tone for your blog in a future post, but it is relevant to your topic area. Beyond the writing style, choosing whether your blog is going to be professional or casual narrows down a topic. If you want to keep it professional, you’re not going to choose to focus on the humorous aspects of new relationships if your business is the retail of romantic gifts. Instead, you might get into the psychology of relationships.
4) How can you be cutting edge? You can choose to take an approach that other businesses in your market have used, or you can make yourself stand apart. If you’ve got a building company and everyone else is focusing upon home decorating and going through the building process as a home buyer; consider talking about greener building methods, innovative materials, or mistakes of home buyers.
The above gives you an idea of what you need to consider when choosing your blog topic when the answer just isn’t obvious. There is no right or wrong, and sometimes picking a topic can be about trial and error as well. Decide on a focus, get going, but don’t be afraid to make changes as you measure the results.
Beth Graddon-Hodgson is a professional writer/blogger and the founder of WriteSourcing a professional blogging, writing and editing service. For more about Beth, read my interview with her.