Being an entrepreneur means your day is full of a million tasks. Some are fun, but others can suck the energy right out of you. For many small-business owners starting a blog and trying to create exciting, share-worthy blog content can be one of those energy-sucking tasks.
If you find yourself stuck in a blogging rut, experimenting with different types of blog posts and content can be an engaging task that makes blogging seem exciting again. It can also help you stumble upon some really effective content types for your industry! We’ve compiled a list of four content types that can spice up a small-business blog and not drain you or your team in the process.
Expert Roundup Posts
Expert roundups are a great way to explore new topics, network with industry professionals, and generate new, creative ideas. This collective expertise adds more value to your posts and can help generate additional social shares and exposure into new audiences.
An expert roundup is created by asking several experts on a given topic to all answer the same question or to give a tip on solving the same problem. For example, a local steam-cleaning company might reach out to others in the industry and ask, “How do you clean a carpet like a professional?” resulting in a blog post titled, “12 Expert Tips for Cleaning Carpets.”
The first step is to create a question that is a hot topic in your industry. Try to think of questions you and your colleagues, or better yet your clients, are asking. If you’re having trouble of coming up with exciting questions, head over to any relevant industry forum or the appropriate subreddit to see what people are discussing.
Next, you have to round up your experts! You can reach out to colleagues, business leaders in your community or other notable bloggers. Don’t forget about business conferences either. Conferences are a great place to meet and get contact information from all kinds of experts in your industry. HARO is another great tool full of experts waiting to contribute to your piece. If all else fails, you can even tweet or post your question to social media outlets and see what kind of responses you can generate.
For an excellent example of an expert round-up post, look to this post by Carol Roth.
Similarly, interviews are a great way to come up with fresh and interesting content without having to come up with all of the answers on your own. In fact, all you need to bring to the table are the questions! Interviews can be done in text, as audio files or as videos.
For access and ideas on people to interview, try LinkedIn and HARO for a start. You can also use other professionals in your industry that you have already established a relationship with.
To host your audio interviews, check out iTunes or LibSyn hosting services. YouTube and Vimeo are great for hosting video interviews as well.
To see an example of a great video interview, head over to this post here on BusinessTown.
Many bloggers tend to get stuck in the premise that blog posts need to be in written form. However, there are many budget-friendly ways to blog via video. Try some of these video blog types to see if any fit well into your site.
Product Demonstrations: A product demonstration is a great way to feature your products and show potential clients all the ways they can use and benefit from your items or services. Don’t forget that you are even able to demonstrate how your product outperforms similar products.
As an example, the North Gear blog has a great product demonstration video, and services such as Treepodia can help you get your product demo done.
Video Infographics: The video infographic is a fun way to make your video posts more animated and interesting. Think about the last time you were reading about something. How much of it did you skim? Probably quite a lot. Now think about the last explainer video you watched. Did you fast forward through parts or did you watch it from start to finish? Most likely, you watched it all. Video infographics are a great way to make videos that your site visitors are going to want to watch and share.
Hubspot offers 20 amazing examples of video infographics and help on how to create your own.
Promotional Videos: Promotional videos are also a fantastic way of advertising yourself. It’s important, however, that your promotional video content is top-notch. It might seem like an expensive and complicated undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Leverage tools like Videohive.net and Animoto.com to create budget-friendly promotional video content.
We all have heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Now, imagine the power of several pictures and graphics combined together to convey an entire concept.
While infographics have been around for quite some time, they are still a fun and creative way to answer complicated questions. Think of infographics as visual representations of data. Infographics combine many types of graphics in order to help quickly and clearly explain a concept or make a point.
You might be thinking to yourself that you aren’t a graphic designer and have no idea of how to create one of these for your blog. Well, think again! There are some great tools available from places like 99 designs, Remote.com and Fiverr that make it quick and easy to create expert infographics!
Don’t forget that search engines can’t read pictures, so it’s important to include a written intro or explanation within your post, just as was done here.
Even if your subject matter isn’t data-rich, it’s possible to create fantastic infographics, like this post by the FTD blog. Services like Google Surveys allow almost anyone to poll the general population and collect their data and answers, which is perfect when creating an infographic.
There are a million ways to create content for your business blog. During the creative process, remember to create content for your users and not just to promote your products. People don’t tend to share promotional content, so be sure to mix in useful information that can start conversations and build relationships with potential clients.
Jessi Carr is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Head of Content for 365 Business Tips, a new website that supports small businesses and provides actionable tips. Jessi graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in writing and has had her work published on dozens of the world’s top sites.