Thornbury Castle chimney detail: brick chimney...

Thornbury Castle chimney detail: brick chimneys built in 1514, in Thornbury, near Bristol, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think I’m going to offer creating blog topics as a sideline. Just to help people learn to blog.

As an objective observer (and web writer), I find it SO EASY to look at your business and determine what your customers will find helpful to read.

But I realize that when you’re busy working AT your business, you can’t always be objective. Also, you might have the idea that blogs are just TOO MUCH WORK. I think after one or two blogs, you’ll find this isn’t the case.

Why blog? Blogs will bring in far more traffic than your web site pages, primarily for the fact that they offer many more keywords.

Feel free to contact me. For a very low price, I’ll give you 10 or 20 blog topics. Or, I can interview you, write your blogs, and even post them for you.

So, here are my suggestions for coming up with your own topics.

Let’s assume you’re a chimney cleaning and masonry company.

  • Make lists!
    • What are 10 things people should know about their chimneys?
    • What are 5 annual chimney checks every homeowner should perform (or have performed –AHEM)?
    • What should a homeowner do if a chimney catches on fire?
    • What are the items a homeowner should keep on hand in case of a fire?
  • Offer helpful ancillary information.
    • How are chimneys built? (Include helpful drawings)
    • What makes chimneys fail?
    • Can every chimney be repaired?
    • What are the stats on home chimney failure? Deaths?
    • How often should a chimney be inspected?
    • Are wood stoves a good idea for every home?
    • How can homeowners save money by keeping their chimneys up to date (service plans, etc.)?
  • Listen to the questions your customers call you about every day. Answer them in blogs. Don’t worry if some of your blogs’ content is repetitive. Blogs are one place that repetition (not exact wording, but new content) can be beneficial for your web site. Linking within your blogs is also a great practice — Google rewards those who take that extra step to inform their customers.
  • After a service call, ask your technicians to tell you what was usual or unusual about the visit. What did the homeowner care about? What did he or she ask?

Case in point: I had my chimney looked at just two days ago. I live in a very old house, and it turns out the “firebox” is unusual — perhaps not the best shape, or an outdated shape, or something of the sort. What does that mean? They told me, but it might be nice to have an online answer to this as well.

I also learned that my “base assembly” was made out of wood. Turns out it hasn’t been charred over time (yay), but the technicians recommended that it be replaced with metal. Great subject for a blog about fireplaces in older homes!

Remember, blogs can be long and they can be short. Try to reach at least 300 words, though.

But first start by writing. When you’re done, see what your word count is and, if it’s under 300 words, consider enhancing a section or two.

Consider ending each blog with a form, so that your customers and leads can ask questions that you answer in a blog.

Blogging 101 — Learn to blog

by susan time to read: 2 min
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