How I Started to Start Blogging

So you want to be a blogger but what are you going to blog about? This is a question nearly every blogger has had to ask themselves at one time or another, if not continually and one that perplexed me for some time.  I had a hard time defining what I really wanted to blog about.   I still can not define what I blog about in a few words as I feel I am just finding my blogging legs. Being a designer developer I attempt to write about the things that interest me from  website design, SEO, social networking, online marketing and blogging and trying to connect the dots between them all for others. This is How I Started to Start Blogging

What are you going to blog about?

This was the question of questions for me, I can only tell you what brought me to start down this sometimes painful and yet satisfying road.

I am a website designer and developer. I thought I knew a lot about website design having designed websites since 1994 and I have worked on many big name websites.

Along came My Space, I didn’t get it, what a waist of time I thought and then came Facebook, I still did not get it.

My kids started using both My Space Facebook finally settled with Facebook. I still didn’t get it.

The smart marketing behind Facebook is that you need to have an account to view someones pages, I wanted to see what my kids where doing on this ‘social network’ and I needed an account to be able to do just that, so I signed up, I still did not get it.

I didn’t do anything with my Facebook account for an age or two, it just sat there doing nothing. You see, I only signed up to see what my kids where doing and ‘try to’ connect with them on their level.

What I did next, which I did not know at the time was my first real venture into social networking, I get a Twitter account.

Twitter was hard for me grasp, some of the dribble was way to superficial for my likes but I stubbled across Michael Martine aka @remarkableblogger
I stared following his tweets and reading the things he linked to, looked at the people that also followed him and found a heap of information that lead me to get a grip on what it was about for me and it changed the way I looked at social networking.

I started looking for other interesting twitts … twitterers to follow and looking at their websites and their tweetes, I was hooked, great information from like minded individuals.

SEO was my first great interest but I came across Mashable, Problogger and a heap of other sites that pushed all my buttons, but in a good way and my education had begun.

That’s how it happened for me and it has reinvigorated my passion for the digital space, so much so that it has changed my outlook on website design and online marketing and now I am following in the path of those that inspired me.

If you have a similar story or one that relates to this, please let us know or add a comments below.

Blogging tips

i love bloggingAre you new to blogging and looking for the secret about how people pump out all that information consistently and make money from doing it?

Where does the passion come from and the ‘being consistent’ thing, wow, that’s the bit that blows me away.

Well your not alone in wondering about it all and I can at least point out a few tips that may help.

1. Revenue

This is the number one most important part so read what little wisdom I have, and here it is – No one and I mean ‘NO ONE’ makes money from blogging. That’s it, I did say a ‘little wisdom’

What they do make money from is selling a product or service. The product or service may be advertising or someone else’s product (usually by selling advertising) or even their own product or service but please, do not go into blogging thinking that you will make money by writing for a subject you are passionate about without considering a revenue stream.

2. Passion

If you have a passion about the subject that you want to write about, you are way ahead of the pack because it’s very hard to fake passion.

3. Consistency

Write about the subject that your blog is targeting, so if your blog is about snow dogs and you start blogging about surfing in Bali you have lost your audience unless they are snow dog surfers (hey, you never know!)

4. Frequency

This is good topic and one I personally am just coming to terms with. I have read blogs by the big name bloggers and they all say to try to at least post a new article 3 times a week. This is good advice if you want to build and audience,

I am attempting to produce 5 articles a week, ie. Monday to Friday and to post in the morning, my time and it is proving to be difficult. It’s not an easy task for me to achieve so I am trying to develop a method or strategy for achieving my goal.

5. Goals

Firstly I mainly write when I am traveling on the train or bus by whipping out the iPhone and firing up WordPress
I composing articles locally on the iPhone. I outline several subjects and work on them a bit at a time or go crazy and do one in one session, that is the strategy, it’s not great but I at least have a plan.

This article was done over a 5 days, a bit here and a bit there. When I have finished an article I send it to ‘draft’ on the server where I pretty it up with H2,H3 and other layout features and then add an image.

I hope this helps you and my final tip is ‘nike’ – just do it

Your Blog is Not Your Job

blog bloggingYour blog is not your job (unless it is). Twitter is not your job (unless someone’s paying you to tweet). Facebook isn’t your job.

These are just communications tools. We use them. We use them to make media. We use them to weave marketing, sometimes. We use them to tell stories about your organizations or our wants or whatever it is we’re talking about. Spending hours updating status, spending hours chatting, doing things that take us away from our objectives can sometimes feel easy.

Some ways to stay vigilant:

  • Use an egg timer. If you’re going to venture out onto Twitter, time it.
  • Keep a sticky note of your objectives in sight of your monitor.
  • Ask yourself for every blog post what your goal with that post should be.
  • Ensure that you’re doing this all with some goal in mind, and can you measure that goal?
  • Tend to your main objectives first, and use the secondary time for social media.

Your mileage will vary. You’ll see results in some of what you do. But if you’re doing it because it’s what you think you’re supposed to do, keep your eye on things. Stay vigilant.

Yesterday, my blog was not my job, so I didn’t write one. Today? I have two speeches over the next few days. That was my job first, and then this post.

We do want to keep our social presence up, and we can’t let our blogging fall too far behind, but to remember your job from time to time is to remind yourself what will yield the most value in your day.

How to Improve Internal Linking on Your Blog

For most bloggers, internal linking is a “let’s wing it” process.  Think of the recent posts you’ve made, and where they fit, and insert them into the post. This isn’t an efficient process, and more than likely, you’re missing plenty of good opportunities to link out!

The thing is, our brains are generally more preoccupied with things like the post itself to be too concerned over where we can throw in links to our own posts. However, there are probably many spots that you’re missing where you could throw in a few more links and get some more pageviews out of your visitor.

The best way to do this is by creating a spreadsheet to catalog your recent entries. In it, you should sort by each major category on your blog. With each category, create a column for post titles, tags, and the URL of the posts. URLs should be last, so you can see the most important “brain trigger” parts – the title and post tags – together.

Here’s an example from my personal blog, recently started:

Fill out this spreadsheet for every entry of your blog. Hopefully, you haven’t created too many pieces of content, but even if you have, the effort is worth the payout.

When you start working on a post, open up your text editor and split the windows. You’ll have the dictation of every post on the left or right, whichever you prefer, and the post you’re creating on the opposite side. Have the category page open for the most relevant part of your blog.

The bigger and more impressive your blog, the more creative you can get with this spreadsheet process. I suggest creating a master tab for all of your posts. If you’re blog is shallow, you can have this open. You can search and sort by various tags for better ideas of what to throw in a post, or find posts that mention certain people or subjects.

The possibilities are endless. The point, though, is to organize the posts you’ve created in a way that you can best manage their content in an efficient manner, and use it to better insert them in your new posts and create an optimal internal linking process.

Post by Ross

Ross is a Senior SEO Analyst who runs an Authentic Marketing blog. You should follow him on Twitter here.

Popular Bloggers: Hypocrites Or World Connectors?

As I was heading home from Search Exchange earlier this week, I stumbled across an interesting post on BlogHer where Janna asks if bloggers become hypocrites once the comments start pouring in. The basic premise is that most new bloggers do everything they can to nurture their comment section when they’re just starting out. They refresh the page by the minute hoping for a new comment and immediately respond to anyone who dares interact with them. However, over time, their comment numbers begin to grow and they stop being so diligent about interacting and making time for everyone. Typically, it has nothing to do with their love for their community, they’re just busy.

Is that necessarily a bad thing? Janna asks:

At what point is a blogger exempt from responding to each and every comment and reading long lists of blogs?

I thought it was an interesting question because it hits on an evolution many bloggers will ultimately face in their careers. This may not win me friends, but I don’t think it’s my job to respond to every comment, every tweet or even every email that comes my way. [Jana seems to agree, BTW.] It’s my job to share information and connect my audience, doing that creates a much more interesting conversation.

Don’t get me wrong, I do my best to respond to comments, especially from new commenters. I want people to feel welcome here and to see that there is life behind what we’re doing. I bleed this community and I stay as involved in the interactions as I can. However, I think it’s more important to connect community members so they can answer each other’s questions and become resources for one another. To me, that’s the goal. Because then the community has nothing to do with me. It becomes about the people here and thrives on its own. And I think that’s much more valuable to everyone involved. It also means I don’t live in a perpetual state of guilt when it’s Friday, we’re criticizing Facebook and there are magically 50 new comments to respond to. Because as much as I’d love to debate everyone, sometimes there are these people called “clients” that require the bulk of my attention. And, even rarer, there are “friends” and “relationships”.

A few months ago, inbound marketer at readMedia (and friend) Amy Mengel wrote a post about her Twitter Patient Zero. Essentially it was about the one person who was the trigger for her meeting everyone else in her network. I remember that when I tweeted it out, many people responded (much to my surprise) that I was their Patient Zero. Through the Outspoken blog and through Twitter, I had helped connect them with the people that were most valuable in their networks.

I thought that was awesome. And I think it’s where most bloggers want to be – that connector. That’s valuable.

You want to be the one that’s connecting people to the information and relationships that they can benefit from. You do that through:

  • Interacting with your own blog.
  • Connecting people through Twitter.
  • Asking “who can I help today?”… and then making good on it.
  • Sharing information through social media channels.
  • Introducing your audience to people smarter than you, people doing cool things, and people that should simply be on their radar.
  • Sending email introductions when appropriate.
  • Getting off your own island and sharing what you know.
  • Pointing people off your blog.

Most of that has anything to do with blog comments. Connecting your audience to the information they need makes you incredibly more valuable to them than simply being around to answer every comment or reply thrown your way. It also helps the blogger to grow larger satellite networks. If you’re tied to your blog responding to the 100 comments left there, then you’re not out reading, sharing or finding new sources to direct people to. You’re not forming new relationships in other people’s houses, you’re just sticking to your same core group. After a while it starts to get stagnant and smell funny around your house. And the content begins to suck.

As a blogger, I think you need to find the balance where you’re present in your community without suffocating it. If you’re not there to respond to every comment, other people in your community will pick up the slack. And I think that’s an important evolution to take place. You can grow your community without getting ‘stuck’ in it. I’d argue that you have to.

What do you think? Are well-read bloggers who don’t respond to comments hypocrites? Or is time we stop looking at comments as the end-all/be-all to engagement and success?

10 Harsh Truths About Corporate Blogging

I have reached the conclusion that most organizations have a blog simply because they feel they should. Many marketing departments fail to “get” blogging and have poorly visited blogs with few comments. Because their blog fails to perform, they conclude that blogging is an ineffective marketing tool and either remove it entirely or leave it to languish.

However, it does not need to be this way. Corporate blogs can be a powerful communication tool that builds brand awareness and nurtures a sense of engagement. You only need to look at the vibrant community surrounding the 37 Signals blog to know that corporate blogging can work.

Why are most corporate blogs failing and why do the few succeed? To answer these questions, we need to face a few harsh truths about corporate blogging.

1. A blog does not magically generate traffic

When companies first started launching corporate websites, they perceived them as a marketing channel that would generate leads. They had a “build it and they will come” mentality. Over time they realized that a website is more like a storefront. A few people might wander in off the street, but most of the time you need to advertise to attract trade.

Many marketing departments are making a similar mistake with corporate blogs. They perceive them as a way to generate new traffic, when that is not their primary role. Admittedly, the keyword-heavy nature of a blog will help your organic rankings, but that is a secondary benefit.

To generate traffic, you need to sincerely commit to your blog, establish a relationship with your readers and engage them in conversations. And, as Rand Fishkin’s article 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic suggests, you also need to use some strategies to build up the traffic over years.

The real goal of a corporate blog is to generate reccuring traffic which is considerably more likely to complete a call to action. A successful blog has a regular readership that is being constantly reminded of your brand and products. And yes, of course, building up a readership takes time.

2. Good corporate blog requires long term commitment

Building a readership is a long term commitment. It can take months for users to recognise your blog as a consistent source of useful information. Only then will they start visiting it regularly and recommending it to others.

It doesn’t just take time, it also takes commitment. That means posting regularly and to a schedule. Users are more likely to visit your blog if they know you release a post on a certain day each week. Of course, ultimately you want them to subscribe, so they don’t need to continually check your site for new content.

3. Teaser feeds are a wasted opportunity

Users can subscribe in a couple of ways. Usually they can either sign up to receive email notifications or subscribe to an RSS feed. This is a crucial step in engaging readers. That is because users are effectively giving you permission to remind them about your site and brand.

However, it is remarkable how many organizations fail to grasp this opportunity. Instead of using the chance to push content to users, they only provide a teaser of blog posts. This means users have to click through to view the whole post.

This practice is born out of a false belief that users need to see your site. They don’t. Unless your revenue is driven by site advertising, there is no need for users to click through to read your blog.

McDonald’s blog doesn’t get it right: teasers in feeds aren’t useful in corporate blogs.

The purpose of most corporate blogs is to build and maintain brand awareness while motivating users to engage. None of that needs to happen on site. The blog post itself builds and maintains awareness, while requests for comments or calls to action motivates users to engage. Users do not need to see the rest of your site to respond to the blog post. Of course for that to be true, posts need to be engaging.

4. You are not “engaging” anyone

The most successful blogs are more than a broadcast tool. They are a dialogue between the individuals within your organization and your users. It is important to listen, as well as speak. Unfortunately, the most corporate blogs fail to engage.

Instead they focus on telling readers how great their products and services are. Rarely do they ask for feedback or ask questions. In fact it is not unusual for companies to disable comments for fear of criticism.

Nokia Conversations blog does a great job of engaging users in conversations, asking for their opinions and starting discussions that generate many comments and gather many opinions.

Instead you should be encouraging users to contribute to your blog through comments and constructive criticism. It is a superb opportunity to get free feedback from your customers, something many organizations pay market researchers for. Part of the problem is that most corporate blogs offer nothing more than rehashed press releases.

5. Press releases shouldn’t appear on a blog

Let”s set aside the debate over whether press releases have a role in today”s web centric world. Whether they do or don’t, you need to realize that a press release preforms a different role to that of corporate blog. As the name implies, a press release is meant for professional journalists. It is designed to encourage journalists to write about your product or service. It is not designed for your customers.

A blog, on the other hand, is meant to be read by prospective and existing customers. It should be engaging, informative and helpful. When writing a blog post, you should always have the end reader in mind. What will they learn? What insight will this give them into who we are? How will it help build our relationship with the reader? You should never simply copy and paste press releases or news stories.

The other problem with press releases is that they are corporate statements. A blog should have a more personal tone.

6. You sound like a faceless corporation

People don’t like interacting with organizations, corporations or machines. People like talking to people. One of the things I have learnt about selling web design services is that once people have established that you offer a good service at a reasonable price, the next thing they care about is you. Do they like you? Do they trust you? Do they think they can work with you?

People don’t like, trust or want to work with corporations. We associated those feelings with individuals, not companies. It is therefore important that a corporate blog is about the people within your organization, not the organization itself. Your blog should focus on different people and the role they perform within your company. They should be able to demonstrate their personality as well as share their expertise.

A blog is a place to let readers see behind the marketing spin and glimpse the real people within your organization.

7. You need to show the warts and all

If you are a marketeer this may all sound a little scary. Its hard to control “the message” when you are blogging. You have multiple bloggers from across your organization who are effectively becoming corporate spokespeople, and you are allowing users to publicly criticize you on your own blog. This is a long way from traditional marketing.

However, today”s consumers are very savvy. They are distrustful of traditional marketing and can sense when they are being sold at. A softer approach is required, one that is more “real&” and less managed. One part of that is admitting when you make mistakes.

Dell consistantly ignored critism they received about poor customer service. They ignored the voice that the web provided their customers, until eventually a single disgruntled user stirred up a major PR nightmare with a single post entitled “Dell lies. Dell sucks.

Contrast this with the “warts and all” approach adopted by photo sharing site Flickr. When faced with community criticism over the poor performance of their website, they wrote a post on their blog entitled “Sometimes we suck.” They acknowledged the problem and laid out a plan for correcting it. This non traditional approach to their brand image allowed Flickr to quickly defuse a situation that could have grown out of control.

Perhaps when it comes to corporate blogging, marketing is not always best equipped to handle the task.

8. Marketeers often make bad bloggers

Let me be clear. I am not saying that all marketeers should be banned from blogging. What I am saying is that traditional marketing skills are not always best suited to the medium. Because blogging should be personal, transparent and not shy away from the organization’s flaws, it can seem an uncomfortable communication tool for some marketeers. Also the traditional writing style of many marketeers does not fit well with the informal style of a successful blog.

If you are a marketeer responsible for the corporate blog, look for ways to encourage others within your organization to blog. Think of yourself as an editor rather than an author. Target people who are particularly knowledgeable or already act as spokespeople for your organization. Encourage them to blog and act as a copy editor tweaking and refining what they write. And don’t forget to give them raise once in a while, encouraging them to write more high quality content.

You may find it hard to encourage others to blog. If that is the case try interviewing them instead. You can then turn those interviews into blog posts and hopefully encourage them to respond to comments. But remember, whether you are posting an interview or an article, do not expect too much from your readers.

9. You expect too much from your readers

Most of the corporate blog posts I have read are long, really long, text heavy and boring. They take considerable commitment to wade through. In short, they ask too much from readers.

With so many blogs online you need to make your posts stand out from the crowd. Always ensure that users can get the gist of what you are saying by just scanning the post. This can be achieved using a number of techniques…

  • Summarize a post at the beginning and in the title. Don’t leave users guessing what the subject is.
  • Be controversial to grab users attention.
  • Use headings as a way of grabbing attention and summarizing content.
  • Use images to break up the copy and communicate key points.

Do not feel all of your posts need to be an essay. Short posts that propose a question or draw the reader’s attention to another site are just as engaging. Anything that is of value to the user is worth posting.

Finally, remember that not all blog posts need to be textual. Consider buying a flipcam and recording some video interviews with people around the company. Record an audio interview or post some photographs of corporate events. Just don’t expect users to read lots of copy. The only people who do that are your competitors.

10. Your competitors will read your blog – Get over it!

I am amazed at how many organizations will slow down the growth of their corporate blogs because they are worried that their competition will read it and rip off their expertise and ideas. Although it is true that your competition will do exactly this, what is the alternative? One the primary opportunities a blog provides is the chance to demonstrate your expertise. People will be motivated to buy from you because they understand that you “know your stuff.” However, if you don’t talk about your expertise, how will they know? You might be the best in your field, but if nobody knows it then what is the point?

I write about my knowledge of web design all the time. I know that many of those who read my posts are competitors and learn from what I share. However, I know that a lot of prospective clients read the content too. Should I silence myself for fear of being copied or should I prove to my clients that I am a professional who knows what he is talking about? I think the answer is clear.


Many organizations are still finding their voice online and corporate blogging is one way to achieve this. It is not surprizing that they are still making mistakes. The secret to success is accepting that a blog is not a traditional marketing tool. In my opinion, it has more in common with a customer service. Once you realize that and release it from the shackles of press releases and corporate news, it will start generating return on investment.

Post by Paul Boag

Paul Boag is the founder of UK Web design agency Headscape, author of the Website Owners Manual and host of award-winning Web design podcast Boagworld.

The Stats – How Blogging Has Changed Over The Last 3 Years

Reader engagement with blogs has changed dramatically over the last three years, primarily because of the rise of online social networks, according to new numbers released by analytics firm Postrank today. Postrank published an analysis based on metrics for signals like comments, trackbacks, shared links and online bookmarks for the top 1000 most-engaging feeds online and for 100,000 randomly selected blog posts in each year since 2007.

The numbers paint a stark picture:

Blogging has changed, but the blogging scene is in some ways in better shape than it was three years ago.

The big picture is that total engagement with online content is growing while on-site engagement is declining in significance as off-site engagement like link sharing on social networks grows. Surprisingly, this off-site link sharing has also extended the lifespan of content.

Highlights from the report include the following:

  • Total reader engagement has grown 30% year over year or 69% total for the top 1,000 feeds, which includes blogs and mainstream news sites.
  • For 100,000 randomly selected blog posts in each of 2007, 2008 and 2009…

  • Engagement on-site has grown in absolute terms but the share of total engagment that happens on-site vs. off-site has dropped 50%.
  • Trackbacks have fallen from 19% of engagement to 3% of engagement.
  • Engagement on social networks like but not limited to Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook has grown from 1% to over 29% of total engagement. The Postrank staff admitted that this was a surprisingly low number but said that in aggregate there is still a whole lot of activity going on outside social networks.
  • post rank on and off site

  • Segmenting from the last amount of effort required up to the most, reader engagement now looks like this: 29% is link-sharing on social networks, 29% is bookmarking or voting on sites like Delicious, Digg and Reddit, 38.5% is comments on or off-site and trackbacks are now 3% of engagement. “Trackbacks are taking a nose dive,” Postrank CTO Ilya Grigorik told us by phone, “bookmarking sites have consistently gone down over the last 3 years, but voting on sites like Digg or Reddit has grown.”
  • Perhaps most significantly, blog posts now have a longer life span. In 2007 tracked posts saw 94% of engagement within the first day and 98% of that first day’s engagement happened within the first hour. In 2008 that number fell to 83% within the first day and in 2009 it was a mere 64%. Thus Postrank concludes that 36% of reader engagement in the top blogs happens after 1 day. “While the real-time web is all about lowering the latency,” Grigorik says, “the pervasive nature and number of people engaged in their communities and conversations (the Social Web) is helping with information discovery. People are worried that the real-time web will destroy their readership as everyone just gets distracted by the newest shiny thing on Twitter, but the numbers show something very different. It’s so easy to spread information now that it lasts longer and finds more niches – this trend is helping content travel further.”

Written by Marshall Kirkpatrick

Tips for Business Blogging Success

Post by Steve Lazuka

Are you thinking about starting a business blog? Perhaps you’ve already started one, but have run out of inspiration. You may have started out with all the best intensions in the world, but its weeks since your last post and your visitor numbers have dropped off to almost nothing.

What do you do? The good news is there’s no need to panic, because whether you’re about to start a business blog, or you have one that’s floundering on the rocks of inaction, there are a few simple tips that can make you go from blog standard to blogging brilliance.

The first thing to bear in mind is you need to be able to write to a decent standard. This doesn’t mean you have to have a doctorate in English, nor does it mean you should be a published writer, but you do need to be able to communicate well in words in a style that is easy to read.

If you feel this is not your forte (and let’s face it, you probably didn’t go into business to write the next great American novel) then it may be worth thinking about outsourcing your content writing.

If this isn’t something you want/can do or if you’re confident in your ability to write your own blog in clear and concise English, then you just need to follow a few guiding principles to get the most from your blog.

Business Blogging Tips for Success

  • Write regularly. This is perhaps the greatest cause of losing readers (or failing to attract them in the first place). A regularly updated blog will become a habit with readers, who will keep coming back for more. If they start to find updates are lacking, they’ll move on and when you finally get around to updating your blog you’ll find a lot less people reading it. You certainly don’t have to update daily (although this is fine). Weekly is perhaps the best option, but you could even get away with monthly posts, as long as this is a regular thing and your readers know what to expect.
  • Expert blogger Jay Baer suggests blogging on consecutive days: blogging on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday shows readers they can regularly come to your blog for information. He’s even found success in blogging on Sundays.
  • Be interesting. OK, this can sometimes be easier said that done, but it’s not as hard as it seems. Sure, if your post is about screw heads, then it may not gain as many readers as the latest celebrity gossip, but there are still ways you can make it more interesting. A great trick is to tie it into a current news story or event (perhaps a new film). Start your post by wondering what screw heads Iron Man uses in his new adventures. It’s a fun way of engaging your readers. Coming up with an interesting title is half the battle.
  • Link to other posts. It should go without saying that you should be reading sites/blogs by others in your field and beyond, so when you find something you feel may be of interest to your readers, link to it. You may well get the linked site linking back to you. Once your post goes life tell those sites you linked to that you did so. They might be apt to share with their followers on Twitter and Facebook, thereby getting you more traffic to your post.
  • Promote your blog on your own, or use the tip above and share it with others who you link to or talk about in your post. Ask to get RT’d. Dan Zarrella, a genius Twitter “Scientist”, discusses in his “Science of Retweets” that simply asking for a RT can help you spread the word about a blog post, article, image, video, or website.
  • Submit your blog to Google News. If you have valuable information and can provide Google News with great content to index then be sure to submit your blog to Google News.

Following these tips will help your blog flourish and will help ensure you maximize the number of readers subscribing to your blog

Steve Lazuka is the President of Interact Media, a company specializing in seo content writing, business blog writing service, and more. He’s active on Twitter, and you can find him @SteveLazuka.

100+ SMB Blogging Ideas

Posting By Lisa Barone

With so many social media studies showing that companies are looking to up their involvement in social activities this year, I thought I’d help cure that age-old “what should I blog about today?” question. Or at least give you a healthy head start for the year by providing 100+ potential blog topics for your small business blog.  Consider it my contribution to your yearly editorial calendar. I know you’re creating one, right?

So, here are some potential topics. Grab a pen and jot down your favorites. [Or maybe just hit Print.]

Focus on your Industry

  1. Write 10 ways your industry will change this year
  2. Break down the new laws that will affect your niche in 2010
  3. Create a list of the best industry resources
  4. Talk about why things are better today (or not) than they were 10 years ago
  5. Attend industry events and blog about them
  6. Your best marketing tips
  7. How your industry is like Your Favorite TV Show [I suggest using Glee. Because that’s my favorite show.]
  8. The ugly truth about your industry
  9. The 8 people in your industry you want to meet
  10. What someone needs to consider before getting involved in your industry
  11. Comment on an industry-related conversation going on in LinkedIn or Google Groups
  12. Talk about the “thing” that would rock your industry if invented or put together
  13. Create a chart that breaks down a complicated industry issue or problem
  14. Interview someone well-known in your world and profile them
  15. Rewrite an old post with fresh eyes and new ideas
  16. Publish a presentation you gave somewhere else (with permission)
  17. Have a chat with a competitor and blog about it (again, with permission)
  18. Search Google News for relevant press releases and news about your industry. Write your own take.
  19. Debunk a long-standing myth
  20. Host a seminar or meetup and blog about
  21. Create a list of the 10 books that someone in your industry should read.
  22. Post about what you’d like to see fixed in your industry
  23. Conferences people in your industry should attend/speak at
  24. Your favorite untapped traffic sources in your industry
  25. Issues in your space that deserve more attention

Go Social

  1. How you’re using Twitter to increase earnings
  2. Post a video that has nothing to do with your industry but that you think people would enjoy.
  3. Post a picture. [Browse StumleUpon for inspiration]
  4. Participate in a blog meme like last month’s Best of 09
  5. Share the best social media campaigns you’ve seen, big and small
  6. Hold a contest and pit people against each other
  7. Create a poll. Blog the result.
  8. Invite a guest blogger to post on your blog
  9. How social media increased your ROI this year
  10. How social media did nothing but confuse you this year
  11. Search Delicious for popular posts on your topics and take a new stance
  12. Go to your industry’s Wikipedia page and see what people are talking about in the Discussions area. Comment on it on your blog.
  13. Post photos from your company party/team building workshop
  14. Find a question on Yahoo Answers or OnStartups and respond on your blog
  15. Create a list of the Must Follow Twitter people in your industry

About your Business

  1. Why you’re different (and better) than your competition
  2. A video tutorial showing how to use your most popular product
  3. The problems your sales people hear about most
  4. The answer to the most common email you get
  5. Share the tools do you use to do your job
  6. The secret ways to use your site/product
  7. The top 10 WordPress plugins you use on your site
  8. How you use your favorite social media site
  9. How you built your email list
  10. How you’re using Facebook
  11. Look at your site logs & answer customer questions
  12. How you delegate tasks (or what you mucked up by not delegating)
  13. Use Wordtracker’s Keyword Question Tool and answer popular questions
  14. Write about why you’re not using social media at all
  15. Answer questions left in your comment section
  16. Write about the personal branding tactics you use
  17. Give 5 reasons to sign up to your email newsletter
  18. How you learned to do what you do
  19. Create a list of your favorite X
  20. What you’re doing to beat the summer slump or winter blues
  21. Share a case study
  22. Provide an end of the week link roundup
  23. Review something
  24. Reveal the best niche blogs to guestblog for
  25. What keeps you up at night
  26. Share a time when you got it wrong in 2010
  27. Your strategies for coming up with blog topics.
  28. Branding tips that have worked for your business
  29. 50 reasons why someone should hire you
  30. 5 things people should be focusing on but aren’t
  31. What can other industries learn from yours

Highlight Your Customers

  1. Put the spotlight on your most active commenters
  2. Praise your best customers
  3. Post a question and let the community to answer it
  4. How customers can woo your customer service department for free stuff
  5. Give something away to one of your blog readers.
  6. Feature a video detailing a customer’s success with your product
  7. Share your biggest screw up with a customer…and how you made it right
  8. Publish a customer testimonial
  9. Explain the benefits of being a customer
  10. Share local organizations you support and ask customers to share their favorites
  11. How customers can connect with you on social media
  12. Hold an event for Twitter followers to meet and blog it

Get Personal

  1. What have you read lately that inspired/angered you?
  2. Introduce your staff
  3. Share the best decision you made as a SMB
  4. Your biggest challenge as a SMB owner
  5. What you love best about being a SMB owner. What you don’t like.
  6. The danger of doing everything by yourself
  7. Write about the achievement you’re most proud of
  8. A time when you got it right in 2009
  9. Create a video introducing your team to your community
  10. Get your rant on
  11. How to remain productive working at home
  12. Introduce a new employee and what they bring to the table
  13. Share the local vendors you trust
  14. Give people a video tour of your building
  15. Describe your company culture
  16. Your new baby (whether that’s a real baby, a pet, a new project for 2010, the car you’ve been restoring for the past two years, etc)
  17. Share your company’s history or story
  18. Tell a story not about your company
  19. Share 10 things you’re thankful for
  20. What’s next for your company
  21. A list of your most trafficked posts

The point is, there are TONS of things for a small business owner to blog about and share with their audience.  Now that I’ve helped get the ball rolling, get to it. ;)

About the Author

Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Co-Founder and Chief Branding Officer at Outspoken Media, Inc., an Internet marketing company that specializes in providing clients with online reputation management, social media services, and other Internet services. She blogs daily over at the Outspoken Media blog.