So, you’ve got your wordpress all set up, the design looks rad, your pagespeed is breaking the google speedometer, social medial plugins check. You’re all ready blog away to glory, so what’s your blocker? Can’t think of what to write about? Well, fret no more, for we have for you below a huge list of 111 blog and other content ideas for your local business. Explore ideas from a range of generic ideas which all sorts of businesses can use, to all original business-specific ideas.
General Content Ideas for All Businesses
1. What’s going on here?
Thou shalt piggyback on all those local events happening around you. Sports is by far the biggest draw, if your local team is playing- talk about them, you must! You could even offer to sponsor them a little, maybe just get a sound bite from one of the guys in the team who you happen to know. Is your niece running a marathon for charity, talk about that. The benefit is two-fold here, one you help your community and second, you’re getting traction on your blog/twitter.
Is a fair coming to town? What about that trade-show? Is Coldplay playing next week? Is the next winner of the voice likely to be from your town? The opportunities and ideas are endless, you don’t even need to limit yourself to local things- feel free to comment on national or global issues, debates and happenings. Often people get stuck on blog ideas that focus only on their industry or even more specifically on their business; thats not how things work in the world of content generation and promotion. Blog about whats real and what’s happening around you and find a way to connect your business to that. I’m not saying its easy, but its really not that difficult. All you need is a little awareness of whats happening around you.
No, I’m not saying you interview your employees or make them interview you and put that up on your blog. Yes, you can do that too but that’s already been done too often. There’s something better that you can do. If you run a business you must have conducted interviews to hire for positions, right?
Now, whether or not you are as fascinated by interviews and their eccentricities and oddities as I am, you must have encountered some funny interviewees: someone who’s got no clue what he’s even applying for, somebody who looks like he walked out of bed into the interview room. It’s not always funny either, sometimes you may encounter a person who actually takes over control of the interview from you and you’re swept by the time he finishes his second sentence. Have you ever not hired someone because you’re company policy didn’t allow co-workers to date? Or maybe you hired someone simply because you felt they’d bring great energy and enthusiasm to the team even though they weren’t qualified enough.
Draw from your experiences, doesn’t have to be limited to interviews. Its experiences that I’d like to read about. “I” am your reader, tell me your story!
3. Confessions & Secrets
Everyone loves a confession. It’s real, it’s dark and its meant to be hidden. It’s mysterious and demands the reader’s attention. You don’t have to write a tell all article revealing every trade secret. Often, you can write humorous pieces, disguised as confessional or secretive posts, but a little reveal always has the biggest draw.
How many times have you seen a headline like, “Secret to weight-loss in 4 weeks, now revealed!”. You may have wisened up to them by now but you’ve fallen for them before and those headlines work. Of course you need to back it up with good content for creating real value for both your reader(who are also potential customers) and your blog.
Boom!, I just let you in on the biggest secret of blogging, without any fanfare at the outset itself – “Write Epic Headlines”. Yes, it’s as simple as that, it’s you’re headline that will draw the reader, its what will be visible across social media shares and everywhere else your link is shared.
Here’s a fun tool to generate funky Headlines. You can find similar free tools all over the internet.
4. The Mistakes we make
“The biggest mistake of my life and how that led to a $1,00,000 business”
Hmm..No, that didn’t happen to me. But if did and I wrote about it, wouldn’t you be intrigued to read about it? Everyone makes mistakes, especially in businesses; there’s a mistakes galore. With every mistake made there’s something new you learn.
Write about your mistakes! Remember the headline rule and while you’re headline can revolve around you’re mistakes, your story must revolve around how you overcame those mistakes to reach where you are today. Its an excellent space to showcase how you are better than you were before, how you have changed with the times, how you are even better than the competition because they may still be making those same old mistakes that you’ve manage to overcome and tame.
5. Humor pays(handsomely!)
Have you browsed the internet recently? Its exploding with humor! Its a wonder how everyone, everywhere is not exploding with laughter all the time with all the funny blogs, cartoons, memes and more out there.
What it should also tell you is that people are generally looking for fun stuff to read, and that’s why more and more content is humorous. So, its a great idea to generate memes.
Creating authentically funny memes is not everyone’s piece of cake. Maybe, you could hire your nephew to do it for you. Do not, I repeat,”Do not” get surprised when he charges you for it. Even if the meme thing does not work out for you, you must encounter in your everyday life and especially at work many funny incidences. Like that day when Janice from work told you, How Google Drive helps her drive her car better :D. Collect these funny instances; tweet them out, or write a blog with the headline, “10 of the funniest things you’ll ever hear at work”.
Note: Remember not to hurt anyone in the process, its supposed to be fun for everyone. Don’t worry about the haters but try not make jokes that could be directly offensive and try not to use any real names unless you have explicit permission.
6. Staff Showcase – Humanize your brand
With the startup-boom and advent of new-age services, today’s consumers are used to a very high quality of service. No computer or automated process(currently!) can provide you great customer service. For many businesses, its their only differentiator. Empires have been built and destroyed on customer service.
So while you don’t have the budget of the Nike’s and Coca Cola’s of the world, you can still showcase the human side of your company. One of the simplest ways to do this to have an employee showcase : Spend a week researching an employee and write about him/her. Make sure to include non-work related stuff like their hobbies, pets and family.
Humanization of the brand is a term that’s become quite popular in the past couple of years and all I’m doing is pointing you to the starting line of that journey. There’s a lot more that you can do , here’s an article that talks about humanizing your brand more in depth.
7. Review a product/service that made your business easier/better
Let me tell you about a number of products and services that I have started using in the past year or two that have made my life better –
- Asana – To manage all my tasks, its free for a small team size and its the best thing out there.
- Trello – To manage my personal projects and blogging schedule, it offer’s me a great visual layout.
- Slack – For communication with my team at work and sometimes even across teams.
- Uber – It takes me from Point A to Point B without any hassles. Godsend!
- Splitwise – To manage those meagre bills(that add up to a lot) amongst co-workers and friends, its simple and intuitive.
That’s me. What about your business? Did you recently get a new billing system? Are you food-deliveries managed by an outsourced service now? Did you enroll for that virtual assistant app? How do you manage your HR and payroll services? Did you just implement one of these tools to improve productivity at work ? Does the new caterer give much better food?
Once more do not limit yourself to the world of apps and technology, talk about your business and how that business was made better. Find your change agent, write about it, ask others to try it!
8. Your business inspiration
If anything is competing for shelf space with humor, in the never ending shelf called the internet; its inspiration.Batman was inspired by the death of his parents. Spiderman was inspired by the death of his uncle. Superman’s entire race died. Wow! Superheroes seem to have really morbid inspirations, I should have chosen some other examples.
How about you ? What’s inspired you ? or Who’s inspired you even? How did your business start? How did the idea come about? How did it evolve? Whether you’re business is a success or its still struggling to gain a foothold, its your responsibility as a superhero to write down your story and inspire others. And yes, you are a superhero. Everyone is, just that some stories are never told, don’t let yours be one of the untold..
9. Use Instagram
The number of businesses still not using Instagram is appalling. Insta(yeah, that’s hows the cool kid’s call it) has an immense draw, its easy to use and easy to create and curate content for. All you need is a beautiful picture, add on a couple of relevant hashtags, write up a line or two and walah! You have content ready to publish in under 5mins.
Give it a try and you will thank me later. Even if you are in the most boring of businesses, or should I say especially if you are in a boring business; Put an insta-spin on your business- anything goes here – how Jonathon looked great in that suit, the office lunch routine, Joanna’s mouthwatering bakes, the latest award your business received, the delivery boy who saved the day(or night!). Once you start, you’ll Insta(now I use the term as verb) to be both a compelling and easy to use content generation tool + social media platform. It will also go a long way in humanizing your brand.
10. Run competitions
I won’t waste words here. It’s as clear as day and it’s been said several times before. Run competitions, quizzes, polls and more. Give your readers a small reward. It’s totally worth it for the the amount of engagement you can generate via competitions. Twitter’s probably the best platform to run competitions on right now because twitter is faster than anything else out there. Here’s a couple of blogs detailing how to go about it –
- How to run a successful twitter contest!
- Reasons to run a Facebook contest
- 12 tips to running a successful social media contest
- 7 Case studies
5 Reasons why I can’t get enough of lists:
- Appeals to a very wide range of audience,they’re a great draw, lotsa people reading them and sharing them everywhere.
- Formatting is standardized and hence simple – Add Point 1. Add image1. Repeat.
- Contrary to everything I’ve told you about headlines, up until now a list headline tells the reader exactly what to expect.
- Skim friendly i.e. people can skim the list very quickly and read in depth if they like what they see.
- Opinions create engagement, people are always arguing how point no X should not be on the list or how point Y has been missed.