I had an interesting discussion with a client today, going over possible topics for her company blog. She had outlined a list of content topic ideas, picked with great care to best showcase her company’s unique selling proposition. However, I had to gently inform her that, no, “why you should pick X company over others” isn’t a very strategic blog post. It could be incorporated into a larger topic sure, but would never really stand alone as a good piece.
“Why? What’s the difference?” came her question. “What topics make up a good blog post versus a website page?”
Here is my own quick rule of thumb:
Content Topic Ideas that Focus on Yourself Go To the Website
Whenever you need to discuss yourself or your own company — its history, its management, its services, its uniqueness in the marketplace, and so much more — this is a sign you should probably include the content as articles or landing pages in your main website.
Think online catalog here. These self-serving (literally) topics are pages in your online catalog A.K.A. the main company website.
1) These items will probably need to change minimally over the years. Consider your services page, or your about us page: you probably won’t need to revise these every month. Maybe once a year, if at all.
2) These items are evergreen. They won’t change if customers decide they want something else. These topics don’t go out of style after say, Halloween or Christmas. They won’t be irrelevant after the Oscars, or the Olympics, or the latest Hollywood blockbuster. They’re not news items, or time-bound, or seasonal, or ephemeral.
Content Topic Ideas that Focus on Customers’ Needs are for the Blog
On the other hand, when you have topics that touch on customers’ needs (which are, incidentally, the same topics a customer might input into a search engine to look for you) — for example: how to eliminate weeds, productivity tips for students, anti-bullying methods, etcetera — these are perfect for the blog.
1) Business blogs are one half of a conversation with potential customers.
You research how they might search for you (SEO strategy) and create content that anticipates their needs and solve their problems. Then you let them comment, converse with you on social media, and more.
2) Blogs are your method of establishing thought leadership.
You’re proving you know what you’re talking about, while being helpful and educational to your readers.
3) Because customers’ needs change quickly, blog posts are, by their very nature, quite fleeting.
Sure you might create posts that are evergreen. But you can also use the blog to create relevant content that may be timely or “newsy” only for a specific time period.
4) Search engines prefer newer content that is also relevant for a search term.
Consistent publishing of relevant blog posts is one way to continually dominate a search term. And everyone knows that dominating a search term is a sure indicator of regular business.
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How do YOU decide which topics are good for your blog versus which topics should go on the main website. I’d love to hear your opinions. Hit the comments and share.