Not every one of us is a writer or loves to write. Even if you do like writing, it is difficult to get into the groove and churn out new ideas constantly. I know this because I have spent many frustrating hours that only ended with SHIFT+DELETE.
Coming up with topics consistently is one of the biggest challenges that bloggers face. Even if you manage to come up with ideas regularly, researching the idea and then writing something valuable for your readers can be very time consuming – after all, you have only 24 hrs in a day!
Let us say you run a small recruitment and placement business. Your job is to match candidates to advertised positions and place them at different organizations. To support this business, your blog objective would be to attract candidates and organizations. Attract candidates, so that they apply for a contract position through your company. Attract organizations, so that they share new positions with you and authorize you to send candidates.
So how can you make your life a bit easy and produce engaging content at the same time?
Step 1: Select a Subject
Select a high-level topic or subject each month and start listing the topics you can think of. In the above example, hiring practices can be the subject of the month and you can create a blogging calendar for this subject.
There’s time enough, but none to spare.
Charles W. Chesnutt
Why do this?
A priceless piece of advice given early on in school, but sadly not implemented until it was too late. With multiple topics associated to one subject or theme, you can minimize your reading effort and save time. Get more bang for your buck!
Step 2: Research
You want to talk about the practices you follow and how good they are. But who else agrees with what you think? Reading and linking to information about practices other organizations follow makes it more believable. While researching relevant posts and literature, you will often come across what other people and industry leaders are doing and get more ideas for topics.
It’s hard to know now who, if anyone, in the media has any credibility.
Why do this?
Your opinion is important, but building a consensus never hurts. If you are a new business it tells your reader that you know about your subject and are aware of what’s happening around you.
Step 3: Plan the Topic
Revisit your blogging calendar and look at the topic you have defined. You may have read many things now and also have your opinion on the topic. Let us say you want to inform the reader of the new policy you have adopted. Here are some of the questions that the reader might have or questions you would like to answer. What is the policy about? How does it affect me? What problem does it solve? Why should I be concerned? Once you raise these questions, you can create an outline and then create a rough draft of your post.
How do I cope with stress? I clean and organize.
Why do this?
Putting on a reader’s hat helps you answer the information that is valuable to the reader. The resulting topic organization guides the reader and helps you tie-in your message, which could be – see, we think of the best for our candidates. Pouring out words and opinions may sound appealing, but haphazard writing can disorient the reader midway through the post. You don’t want the reader to end up asking “so what’s the point of it all?”
With a selected theme, defined topics, and plan for each topic, you can focus on writing. You don’t need to go back to the drawing board each week or maybe more frequently, and pull your hair out to come up with that next great topic for your readers. Subscribe to our blog as we continue to look at optimizing the blogging process and discuss about writing style in our future posts.