Looking for ideas on what to write about for your small business blog?
You can choose from our list of blog post ideas, but what are you going to do next time?
We’re sure you’ve heard the proverb about teaching a man to fish and feeding him for a lifetime? In this case, it’s about teaching you how to fish for new clients online. So, we figured it’s time to teach you how marketing pros like us develop blog post ideas for small business clients.
You’ll also learn how to put together a blog calendar. This is important because adding new content to your website keeps Google happy, attracts more visitors and, ultimately, can bring in more sales.
Let’s get started.
First, Define your “Why”
We see many sites suggesting you randomly search for blog topics or use blog idea generators. But this is a scattered approach.
You want blog topics that help you drive business and reach your goals.
So, the first question to ask yourself is: what are your goals or why are you blogging? If you have a marketing strategy, you may have an answer already. If not, we suggest a combination of the goals below.
Here are the top 4 goals for many business blogs:
- To generate leads
- To attract more site visitors
- To drive sales or conversions
- To educate & show your expertise
Keep this in mind as you’ll want your blog articles to help with one of these goals.
Choose your blog categories
The next step is to decide on your blog categories.
What are categories? They’re the main topic categories for all of your blog articles. Think of it as a short table of contents with individual posts under each topic.
They not only help your visitors find content, they also help you organize your blog. Most blog platforms like WordPress, Blogger and others have them built in—you just need to name the categories.
Examples of blog categories:
Categories for our marketing firm blog: 1) Advertising, 2) Blogging, 3) Social Media Marketing, and 4) Email Marketing
Categories for a landscape design firm: 1) Landscape Design Tips, 2) Trends, 3) Us & Our Work, and 4) Promotions & Events
Retail store categories: 1) Trends & Style Inspiration, 2) Promotions & Events, and 3) People or Community
Choose at least 3 categories—not more than 8. Each topic should be broad enough to have 3 or more article ideas under it.
How often will you blog?
Now let’s think about frequency. Will you blog monthly? Weekly? Biweekly (every 2 weeks)?
Weekly is ideal, because it gives you more opportunities to get leads and to aim for the goals we mentioned. But if you don’t have the time or the writing help, we suggest biweekly or monthly.
Once a month should be the bare minimum for a small business blog. That’s only 12 posts a year, which limits your opportunities to promote and educate.
Once you set your frequency, figure out how many blog posts you’ll need.
- Monthly blogging = 12 posts
- Biweekly blogging = 26 posts
- Weekly blogging = 52 posts
Brainstorm for content ideas
Now it’s time to brainstorm article ideas. Try to come up with 3 or 4 for each of your categories and write them down on a list.
Here are some ways to get inspiration:
- What questions do prospects or customers often ask? Try to answer those in a blog post.
- What are people asking online? Type the general service/product name with a question word after it in the search box to see how Google will finish the sentence. For example, “Why landscape design…” or “How landscape design…”
- What are the top features or benefits customers mention in your reviews? Choose one or more to write about.
- Are there common myths or mistakes people make? Write about them.
- What fears do prospects have? What makes them hesitate to buy? Address them in an article.
- What overlooked features/benefits should be given more importance in their buying decision?
- Any “How-To” articles to help them use your product/service?
- Give advice on what to look for when hiring your service or buying your product.
- Is there a general price range you can give for your product or service?
- What behind-the-scenes information would interest clients about your business?
- Are there trending topics or issues in your industry that would be of interest?
At the end of this exercise, you should have a list of article ideas—hopefully 3 or 4 for each category.
Set your blog calendar
It’s best to plan a full year in advance. It sounds like a lot, but we’ll keep it simple. Promise!
Remember how many posts you’ll need for the year? That might be 12, 26 or 52 total ideas.
List the months of the year on a sheet with space under each. Don’t worry about specific dates right now to keep things simple.
Then note any months, seasons or dates that are important to your business…
- Note any promotions you usually run. (Good idea to run a promo at least twice a year.)
- Do you celebrate your business anniversary?
- Any holidays or seasons you want to feature in an article?
- Launching any new products/services next year?
- Are there local or community events you want to tie into?
If any of these ideas are worth a blog post, mark it down for that month. Then see how many spaces (or months) you have left to fill.
Now take your previous list of article ideas and use those topics to fill in the empty spaces.
One last tip: don’t fill your entire calendar with salesy posts.
If you’re constantly sales pitching, your customers will stop reading. It’s OK to mention your product/service, as long as the information is offered in an educational way.
In the end, you might have a list like the one below.
Example of a Blog Calendar
This is for a small business (a landscape design firm) posting biweekly or every 2 weeks. Remember the categories for this blog are: 1) Landscape Design Tips, 2) Trends, 3) Us & Our Work, and 4) Promotions & Events
- What to Look for When Choosing a Landscape Designer
- 2023 Trends in Landscape Design
- Common Mistakes to Avoid: Not Budgeting for Lighting in Your Landscape Design
- Celebrating Our 8th Anniversary in Business: How We Started
- Easy Tips to Maintain Your Home’s Curb Appeal & Landscaping Year-Round
- Spring Showcase: A Look at Our Top Landscape Projects
- Earth Day: Join us for a Community Celebration
- Sustainable Landscape Design Ideas for Homes in Austin
- Customer Case Study: Landscape Design Project in Austin
- Top Options for Budget-Friendly Landscaping
- How to Manage Your Outdoor Water Features in the Summer
- Post re: Summer Sale Promotion
- How Much Should You Expect to Pay for Residential Landscaping & Design in Austin?
- Q&A: What is the Difference Between a Landscape Architect and Designer?
- Are You Ready for Fall? 3 Tips to Prep Outdoor Spaces for Fall
- Benefits of Using Our Landscape Design Experts
- Enter Our Giveaway for Tickets to the Local Home & Garden Show
- 3 Ways to Prepare Your Landscape for Winter
- How to Include Holiday Lighting in Your Landscaping
- Meet Our Landscape Designers
- Post re: Holiday Promotion
- Toxic Plants to Avoid in Your Landscaping
- Pros & Cons of DIY vs. Professional Landscape Design
- What’s the Best Time of Year for Landscape Installation?
There you have it. Simple enough?
Spend a little time and you’ll have the whole year planned out for your blog. This will make it much easier to stick to your marketing plan and get attention online. Plus, you can share each post through social media, in email marketing and elsewhere.
If you need help with execution, give us a shout.