Lisa Libin, Group Director
Blogging is hard. Personally, it’s not the writing that’s hard – it’s the ideas. I once started a personal blog that lasted about a month, as the concept of finding fresh content on a daily or weekly basis became just too difficult. Sadly, my blog died with so many others who have faced a similar fate. I’m pretty sure there is a blog graveyard somewhere for all of us with great intentions but the inability to follow-through.
So why is coming up with something to write about so difficult? We can easily engage in conversations with family, friends and even strangers, yet the notion of putting a conversation down on paper is extremely trying. Ironically, I’ve been mulling this question over while attempting to think of an idea for this blog and decided to focus this article on tips for content creation for blogs.
- Leverage “newsjacking” – one of the easiest ways to come up with ideas is to speak to a current news story and provide a perspective. This is especially relevant for those of us in PR who can speak to their own take on a crisis or current headline. That said, the challenge with this is that it needs to be timely – news changes daily and unless you are prepared to comment during that particular news cycle, your blog will likely be too late and irrelevant if you wait.
- Sharing is Caring – don’t be afraid to use someone else’s blog or thought leadership piece as an anchor to your own blog. They might have a perspective you can add to, or if you disagree with their blog, don’t be scared to provide a different point of view as well. Just make sure to reference and credit the original blogger – who knows, you may even make a new friend out of it!
- Take advantage of your inner circle – think about a recent conversation you may have had with a friend or family member. Perhaps this could make for a good topic as well. Did you have an argument with someone that you can now put out there to the online world? Or did someone come to you with a problem you needed to mull over and can now pose this same question to your readers? Of course, make sure you aren’t disclosing someone’s personal information or embarrassing anyone online, but if you really take the time to listen to your daily conversations, you can likely come up with some good tidbits for your blog.
- Create a bit of controversy– depending on the audience you are writing for and the platform you are using (i.e. work vs. personal), a great option is to think about something no one else is willing to talk about. For us PR pros, it could be as simple as “with the rise of citizen journalism and online channels, are PR professionals even relevant anymore?” Obviously we are (which I note is my own biased opinion), but some may disagree. A bit of debate can actually make for an engaging blog.
- Think about the future – what do you believe will happen in the future that other people may consider unlikely? This is a great way to show your industry knowledge by not only speaking to the present but also positioning yourself as a thought-leader by making bold, but ideally astute, predictions about the future. It’s not about flying cars or living on the moon, it’s about how do you think your job or your industry will change in the next 10, 20, 30 years and putting some of these thoughts on paper.
Hopefully many of you have found information helpful for keeping blog content fresh and thought-provoking. Ultimately, you want people to read and engage in your blog – otherwise you are really just writing to yourself. Now, hopefully for my next blog, I will take my own advice!
-Lisa Libin is Group Director at Brookline Public Relations. She is a seasoned communications practitioner who specializes in delivering smart, creative and results-driven programs for her clients. She has planned and executed winning campaigns for some of the world’s top consumer and corporate brands. Lisa’s strengths lie in issues management and brand reputation issues, working with local and global communications teams to handle ongoing and current industry issues.