It’s no secret that, here at UWP, we’re big fans of blogging. And the stats say we’re right to be.
Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than those that don’t.
Last year, 79% of companies that blog reported a positive ROI for inbound marketing.
A strong set of stats, right?
It’s all very well us saying that when we work within the glitz and glamour of digital marketing…
OK maybe glitz and glamour is pushing it but what about those whose industries are less thrilling… or even – whisper it softly – boring?
Those of you who work in insurance, accounting, asset management, you know who I’m talking about.
But you aren’t alone. We blog regularly for clients who operate in all these and plenty of other coma-inducing sectors so we feel your pain my friends.
We’ve compiled some of our top tips for writing quality blogs in any industry sometimes perceived as, dare I say it, dull.
1. View constraints and challenges as a cause for creativity
OK it’s a fair cop – we aren’t going to pretend office supplies, for example, will be a roller coaster ride of thrills and spills that will leave you inundated with blog ideas.
But any subject can be looked at from a different angle and made interesting.
If you are looking to start blogging for boring businesses and are short of inspiration you could do a lot worse than focusing on the consumer, the target audience.
What topics are related to noticeboards? Teaching? Presentations? Public speaking? Do you have any horror stories or funny tales that showcase the need to get the right equipment?
Look at things from the user’s point of view and suddenly something that at first appeared to be tragically dull in actual fact becomes marginally less dull. But still quite dull to be fair.
Which leads us nicely on to our next point…
2. Ask yourself, how can you help your audience?
Create content that will appeal to your potential customers – “How to make best use of a whiteboard in a primary school class” etc.
“How-to guides” with plenty of tips are a great way of directly assisting your readership.
If you can, give away a few industry secrets. This should help you build a bond with your readers.
Your writing needs a clear sense of purpose. It must provide value, either emotive, practical or both.
Do your research – not just online. Ask existing customers and find out what they think would be a useful read.
Failing that, set aside some time to think about the way people use search engines and the common questions that are asked by newcomers to your industry. Each one is a potential blog waiting to happen.
3. Ditch the industry jargon (to a point)
Business speak is unnatural. You have a better chance of connecting with your audience if you treat them like human beings.
Who are you writing for? If you’re a lawyer, doctor or executive headhunter, you naturally deal with a lot of jargon day-to-day.
However, those reading your blogs, potential clients, may not understand it all. They want you to be informative and helpful, but in a clear and understandable manner.
We’re not advising you to “dumb down”, just to keep it straightforward.
Ditch the sales pitch too. It’s off-putting.
Blogging isn’t about the instant conversion. It’s about building long-term relationships with a readership that eventually leads to increased brand awareness and long-term revenue.
4. Vary the format of your blog from piece to piece
So you’ve already written a “How to” piece.
You’ve even brainstormed creative topic ideas. So what next?
Try a case study. People can relate to case studies and all the information is there for you, cutting down the necessary research required.
Interviews are also effective. Chat to someone else in your industry or even an employee.
Another voice adds some credibility to your blog. A guest blog post can do this too.
And blogs don’t all have to be geared around the writing. Post a picture-based blog. This kind of piece is easily digestible and often more shareable.
5. What is the competition blogging about?
There’s no shame in having a look at your rivals’ blogs for some ideas.
Use tools like buzzsumo to see what topics get the most social shares.
And if your rivals aren’t blogging? Even better – you can position yourself as an industry leader and change the perceptions customers might have of your business.
Summing up – how to blog for boring businesses
It’s hard to find time to blog when you’re busy running your company, but the benefits can be huge.
If you’re still stuck for ideas we’ve listed some more tips for inspiration here.
And you never know – if you play your cards right you might just turn a boring blog into a paying customer.