Blog and Article Topics For Startups

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The toughest part of article and blog marketing is coming up with interesting topics to write about. Typically, the way you write up a publishable article differs a bit from what you put on the company’s blog. Articles tend to be more fact-based and educational, while blog posts provide an opportunity for more of a personal, op-ed bent. In either case, you need something to start with. Here are some ideas for each of these writing tasks:
Topic Ideas for Articles
The purpose of publishing online articles is two-fold – to increase the number of backlinks to your site and to encourage potential customers to click through to your business site. Thus, article topics should focus on what your potential clients want and need to know.
Start with what you do and how you get it done. Break it down by product line, single service, or some step in the process. Explain why what you do is important, and how it benefits your customer. Publishable articles typically must be at least 500 words (about 6 to 8 paragraphs) but rarely need to be much longer. This means that you can write a separate article not only for each product or service you offer, but for individual features of each – what the feature is, what problem it solves or benefit it provides, why it’s a great deal, and where to find them. Bam – 500 words. Do not sell in your article… save the sales pitch for your resource box or the landing page on your website.
For example, a hardwood floor retailer has started carrying a line of glues that have low VOCs. An article may compare standard glue to low VOC glues, explain the differences, explain why a low VOC product is a better choice and in what situations, and how to identify a low VOC product. Then, in the resource box, the reader is directed to the landing page on their website that provides more information on the new line of low VOC glues and a way to contact their company to order.
Once you have published an article for each product and feature, you can always start over again. While you generally cannot submit the identical article twice, the odds are that writing a fresh article on the same topic will end up with a different approach than the previous one. Any time you add a new product or discover a new benefit, be sure that idea goes on your article topics list.
Aside from products, services and features, effective article topics include any tangentially relevant subject that would get your target market thinking about what you offer. For example, if you sell dog grooming supplies, write about different breeds of dogs and the best matches of lifestyle and breed. People thinking about getting a new dog look for that type of they will be looking for the supplies you sell. If you sell tile flooring, publish articles about the allergy problems carpet can cause.
If you sell business services, you may write articles about aspects of accounting or taxes that are interesting to business owners – possibly even the ones that you have dealt with. If a struggling entrepreneur is reading an accounting article by a small business expert who also happens to provide SEO services, they might well click through and continue reading… and realize they need those services too.
Include a tool on your website for potential customers to ask questions. Very often, these questions will lead you to excellent article topics. You get two benefits here — the opportunity to interact directly with a potential customer by answering their question, and the ability to turn that answer into a general interest article.
Topic Ideas for Blogs
Blog topics, and posts, for that matter, are much easier to come up with. You can blog about your business, the industry, recent news, your customers… the list goes on and on. Every time you submit an article, bust out a quick blog with a link to the article (on your own site, preferably). Include a little opinion in your blogs, and ask for responses from your readers.
Sign up for newsfeeds related to your business and industry and jot down quick 150 to 300 word response to the news. Feature an employee or customer, promote community events that your business sponsors, evaluate the competition (professionally, of course). Because blog postings can be so much shorter than published articles, they should be far easier to create and post.
Keep the tone positive and professional, and keep the content interesting. Faithful blog followers often become excellent reference — they will forward your link through their own blogs and even through Twitter and Facebook, building your traffic as they go.
Just Keep Writing
Whether you focus your efforts on articles or blogs, the key is to keep writing. The more you write and publish, the easier it will be to do. You will soon find yourself with more ideas than you need!