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How to develop topics for your website or ecommerce blog

by Chris Sutton | June 11, 2013

If I had to pick the topic that sends website or ecommerce site owners screaming from the building, it would be a close call between SEO or Blogging, but I think blogging would win.

Why is that? Simple really, while search engine optimisation can be seen as a dark art by many, it is more often than not outsourced to a third party. Now of course, you can do the same with blog writing, but it is usually far more advantageous for site owners to write themselves. It means you can establish your own style and “voice” when you are writing and that most often translates to a higher degree of authenticity.

So why screaming from the building? Well, anyone who has sat in front of a blank screen waiting for inspiration will know that feeling of helplessness when trying to find even a new topic, let alone write about it, and the reality is that most of us business owners and managers are not natural writers.

Now there’s no easy answer to finding topics to write about, only you know your business, but there are some guidelines that will least help you to look in the right places for inspiration.

  • First and foremost, you need to write blogs that are valuable to your readers, forget about spruiking your products or services as blog topics. That doesn’t mean that you can’t write about what you do, but remember that your readers aren’t looking for a sales pitch on a blog, they’re looking for information.
  • Provide information about your industry, especially information that might not be readily available. This might include topics that you know about in depth, such as design or manufacturing processes, new trends, history etc., and don’t assume that everybody knows as much about your industry as you do.
  • Provide guides on how to use your products or services, tutorials are always valuable and often need to be updated as products and services change.
  • Case studies can be great blog topics, most people like to read about other users of a product and what their experience has been, and don’t be afraid to use case studies where the customer might have had a problem that has been successfully resolved.
  • Provide either interviews with customers, or have them guest blog, to provide variety and new viewpoints on the industry.
  • Write about the “behind the scenes” stories; that might include product development, field testing, customer uses that you hadn’t thought of etc. This style isn’t a product plug, it gives readers a much better idea of how you approach your business, but it does keep your product or services in front of the reader.
  • Start to use videos in your blogs as well as the rest of your site. Seeing and hearing from you directly again provides a lot of credibility.

These guidelines aren’t exactly a list of topics for you to choose from, but hopefully it will help you to think about what your readers are looking for and inspire you to share some of the knowledge you’ve accumulated about your business and industry on your website blog.

SiteSuite Website Design - Online Marketing Blog Author Chris Sutton

Co-founder and Managing Director of SiteSuite Australasia, Australian pioneers in web design and ecommerce since 1997. For more from Chris you can follow him on Google+ or Twitter, and for further professional musings and thoughts on his other passions in life,

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