How To Start a Blog for Your Small Business

how to beat your blog content fears

Yes, I know that books have been written on the topic of how to start a blog, so why bother with it here?

I have an answer to that question and I think it’s a good answer. I’m going to focus on one specific aspect of starting a blog for your small business because I think it’s the stumbling block that prevents many from starting their blog and also causes many to soon abandon their small business blog.

I’m going to talk about how to get ideas for your blog and especially ideas that are going to engage your audience. I will start out with a few general approaches and then list some specific tactics that will help you find topics that fit into the general approaches that I’ve outlined.

General approach #1: Write about topics that interest you.

This is important for two reasons. First, if the topic doesn’t interest you, you won’t be able to write about it in a way that interests your readers. Second, if you have a small business, your small business blog should be on topics directly or indirectly related to your business; if the basic topics of your business do not interest you, you are in the wrong business! Don’t even think about how to start a blog; think about how to start a business that you’ll be passionate about!

General approach #2: Write about what you know.

Confession time: I wasn’t going to bother mentioning this general approach. I think it’s obvious. However, if you pass the passion test above, pour your knowledge and observations out in your blog. They will engage your readers and you should be able to produce great content for your small business blog easily. But in the long run, the next general approach is more important.

General approach #3: Write about what you don’t know.

Unless you’re Stephen Hawking, you’ll come to the end of your knowledge fairly quickly – at least when measured against how long you want your business to thrive. You need to find topics that center around your business that you are less familiar with, but want to know more about. If you want to know more, your customers will certainly want to know more as well. Pursuing these topics allows you to create great content for your small business blog and also elevate your authority. It’s a win-win.

With those three general approaches giving us big picture guidance on how how to start a small business blog – from the perspective of content – let’s now get into some very specific tips that will prime your idea pump:

  • Be a forum troll. Scan forums on topics related to your business and see what people are discussing and what questions they are asking.
  • Prowl reviews. Read through reviews of products related to your business in the same way as you do forums.
  • Create some Google alerts. Set up some Google alerts using keywords that relate to your business and see what is happening in the news.
  • Become a Quora aficionado. On Quora people ask open-ended questions covering every topic imaginable. You’ll get notifications from Quora on your topics of interest.
  • Discover relevant podcasts. We’re in the Golden Age of Podcasts. Find time to listen to the best in your subject area.
  • Follow the best social media in your industry. Find the influencers and follow their social media accounts and blogs.

One final word of advice, or maybe it’s more encouragement than advice: Generating ideas is an acquired skill. The more you do it, the better you become at it. After a while you won’t be pondering how to start a small business blog, you’ll be wondering if you can ever stop it!

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