In a recent survey, I asked bookkeepers and accountants what they struggle with the most when it comes to blogging for their firm. 73.68% indicated that knowing what to write about was their biggest challenge.
This came as no surprise to me – it’s not only accounting professionals who struggle with this. Most business owners scratch their heads every time they need to create their next blog topic.
After writing blog posts for small businesses – accountants included – for more than two years, I’ve picked up a bunch of easy ways to get the creative juices flowing, and even filling out a publishing calendar for a year in advance, without a sweat.
Let me share three of my top tips with you.
1. Compile a List of Questions You Get All the Time
One of the most obvious tactics, but surprisingly also the tactic that a lot of accounting professionals miss when compiling a list of blog topics.
When you speak with your current or prospective clients, you are undoubtedly asked a lot of questions every day. Don’t let these go to waste. Every time you get off the phone with a client, or after an in-person meeting, make a note of the questions that they’ve asked you.
I always keep a notebook on my desk or in my handbag where I can jot down questions as they come in. Another good idea is to have a whiteboard in the office where any of your staff members can write down these questions as they get asked. Alternatively, you can create an ‘ideas’ Google sheet that you share with everybody in the office so that they can add topic ideas whenever they have a brainwave.
These are the avenues from where you will probably get most of your questions:
- Questions asked over the phone
- Questions asked in emails
- Questions received from in-person meetings
- Mistakes clients often make in their books
- Questions you receive on your social media page
- Comments left on your blog posts
- Questions your trainees ask that are also relevant to your clients
2. Take note of Discussions and Questions in Social Media Groups
One of the best ways to understand your niche audience better – not only for blogging but for serving your clients better in general – is to join a few social media groups to see what people talk about and what questions they ask.
If you haven’t joined any Facebook or LinkedIn groups yet, now’s the time. Search for groups related to the industry you serve. If you work with Female Entrepreneurs, join groups where they hang out. If you primarily work with dentists, find the groups that these professionals belong to.
Consider what people talk about in the group: What kind of questions do they ask that you could answer based on your experience?
3. Perform Surveys and Polls
Conducting surveys and polls is a great way to find out what people struggle with. I love doing surveys because I learn a great deal from them. You can create a survey using SurveyMonkey or Google forms. You can also create a Facebook or Twitter poll, though these are limited in how many questions you can ask.
You can ask open-ended questions, like ‘What do you struggle with the most when it comes to managing your cash flow?’ or give them between two and ten options to choose from and allow them to select more than one.
Don’t make it too difficult or time-consuming to fill out, though. Keep the questions under ten, combine multiple-choice questions with open-ended questions, and don’t set questions as compulsory where they need to answer something in their own words. Let them choose what they want to answer, otherwise, your completion rate will nose-dive.
You can send a personal email to your clients asking them to complete the survey, or you can include the link in your newsletter. You can also ask your ideal clients in social media groups to complete the survey.
Ready to start brainstorming blog topics?
See, that isn’t so difficult!
Get into the habit of thinking about what to write about and you’ll start to see blog topics everywhere.
If you’ve learned a few new tricks today, and you’d like to learn more, download my free guide where I show you 14 more simple ways to come up with blog topic ideas: