Blogging is never easy, but it’s well worth the time and effort – especially for small businesses. A blog gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge with a larger audience, and thus becomes an ideal pipeline for bringing in new customers. However, a blog is only as good as its content. In order to keep readers coming back, you must continually add value.
Your audience is bored!
Here are four tried-and-true suggestions for keeping your blog content fresh and your audience entertained:
Find something small you can regularly cover. I love this suggestion from Copyblogger. As an example, they use the “daily t-shirt” – a different shirt featured every day along with a photo, blurb, price, and purchase link. Your equivalent to this could be a news roundup or anything else posted daily, weekly, or even monthly. Either way, this is a quick and easy way to post fresh content without investing too much time.
Educate yourself on new topics. The Huffington Post notes that while it’s important to write about what you know, you also need to go outside your comfort zone: “If your readers no longer expect something different from what you are sharing, quite likely the traffic is going to slow to a crawl – then perhaps to a full stop.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean writing about topics outside your expertise, but rather, commenting or asking questions about something that relates to your core knowledge. For inspiration, the Huffington Post recommends reading publications you don’t typically read, watching new television programs, and browsing shops you wouldn’t normally patronize.
Refresh older content. This suggestion comes from DreamHost. If you do a substantial update to a post, you’re actually putting out content that appears new while also removing any obsolete content from your blog – that’s a double win! You can even take this one step further by writing a “part 2” or sequel to a particular blog that received great engagement.
Here are DreamHost’s ideas for refreshing content:
Delete or edit old references to businesses technologies, public figures, etc. as needed
Modify any time-based references (example: “Two years ago…) and change tense, when applicable
Mention any current trends or statistics, when relevant
Add new keywords and images
Add a note at the top of the blog mentioning the update
Do your research. Forbes recommends doing Google and keyword searches to come up with sought-after topics. As they explain, “When you type something into Google, it often shows suggested search phrases. These are phrases that other people have been looking up, and some of them can be quite surprising.” If type in buzzwords related to your business, the suggested phrases can give you a good idea of what people are interested in.
You can also try a keyword search tool such as Yoast Google Suggest Expander. Just enter a keyword and the tool will return new “long tail” keywords (the same way that Google shows keyword suggestions).
Yet one more research avenue is to look to your competitors – not to steal their ideas, but to gain inspiration. Forbes notes, “This is especially true if you pay attention to the feedback that they have received on various posts; if you’re in the same industry and their readers like a certain topic, then those same readers might like a similar topic on your own blog.”
Do you fear your audience is bored? What are your go-to ideas for keeping your blog content fresh?