If you're like me (and many others building a business), you may have created a Web log to communicate more intimately and more frequently with your audience. It's supposed to be easy. After all, the technology is simple, the style casual and the content brief.
But after the initial wave of enthusiasm, you may find it increasingly difficult to generate ideas for the blog that began with so many thoughts—and so many posts—just a few months ago. Worse, you might be guiding a boss or colleague who may not be a fluent writer, but is the appropriate representative whose voice must be present in the blogosphere.
How do you help that person refresh her well of inspiration when she's run out of ideas to draw upon? Tape the following list of ideas, prompts and suggestions over her monitor. Chances are, one of the following blog formats will give her just enough push to get through the next post.
1. Announce something
The most obvious choice: Announce something new and noteworthy, like a product release or an upcoming seminar. Keep in mind that the best content is both germane to your organization and relevant to your audience. If your blog is aimed at investors, don't hammer them with technical data; likewise, if you are indeed speaking to techies, don't waste their time with personnel notifications.
Blog bonus point: Humility rules. Traditionally, announcements have been made via press releases to the media, where some hyperbole ("the cutting-edge in process management solutions") has been tolerable. But blogs are like cocktail hour conversations and any affectation of superiority comes across as rude.
In your blog, instead of trumpeting the importance of your announcement, ask for feedback. Suggest that readers take a look at your product, article or whatever, and request their input. Rather than playing the role of Prometheus carrying fire from the gods, be one of the gang—and write as if your subject were something that would be improved by their contributions.
2. Respond to an article or news item
Jonathan Kranz is the author of Writing Copy for Dummies and a copywriting veteran now in his 21st year of independent practice. A popular and provocative speaker, Jonathan offers in-house marketing writing training sessions to help organizations create more content, more effectively.
LinkedIn: Jonathan Kranz