Most days in the summer months I go cycling for an hour or so after work.
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And every few months I find myself at my local cycling store. Maybe for a new inner tube, some better gloves, or just to salivate over their high-end road bikes.
Over the years I have come to know the owner a little bit. And he knows I do marketing work.
Anyway, the last time I was there he was telling me that a business friend of his had suggested he create a blog for his store, and write a new post for it every week.
“But what would I say?” he asked me.
That made me smile, because I hear the same question from so many small business owners.
In their minds they see themselves writing a single page about their business and what they do… and then think they are done, and there is nothing more to say. Ever.
Maybe this is just a hangover from the days of writing product or business brochures. You wrote what you wanted to say, had it printed with some nice pictures as a brochure. And that was that.
Anyway, with my cycling store owner, I began to rattle off a list of ways in which he could create a new post a week, indefinitely.
Blog post idea #1: Interview a customer
A lot of business owners think marketing communications is all about pitching their own business and sharing company news, all the time. Not so.
Sometimes you should stop talking about your business and start listening to and sharing the experiences of your customers.
My cycle store owner could interview one of his customers each month. I bet if he started asking some of the customers he sees regularly he could find some great stories to share. Good photo opportunities too.
Blog post idea #2: Review your latest bike
The guy has a bike shop. He has new bikes and accessories coming in all the time.
Why not review the best and coolest stuff? People love reviews, and find a lot of value in them when they are created by true experts.
Blog post idea #3: Cover a local cycling event
As with the reviews, his expertise and reputation put him in a strong position to report on local cycling events and races. It’s a great way for him to get exposure in local media as well.
This is a local business. Unless he starts selling stuff online – which I‘m guessing he won’t – his target market is people within a radius of maybe 10 miles or so.
But within that 10-mile radius he has competitors. By becoming the go-to expert for covering local events, he can further separate himself from his competitors.
Blog post idea #4: Interview an expert
This guy is about my age and has been in the business for decades. I bet he knows people in the industry he could interview. He probably knows people at most of the major cycle manufacturers.
If I pushed him a little – we all have to push our clients a little, from time to time – I bet we could come up with a list of industry experts he could interview for his blog.
Blog post idea #5: How to adjust your gears
Type the words “how to” into Google or YouTube and you’ll get a zillion results.
When people want to know how to do something, they turn to the web.
So my guy can create dozens of how-to posts, tutorials and videos about bikes.
How to adjust your gears. How to choose the right cycling shoes. How to choose your next bike. And so on.
Heck, he could write two or three posts a week forever… just with this one approach.
Blog post idea #6: Monthly Q&A
Involve your readers and customers… always! So my guy can invite his customers to submit their cycling-related questions and he can do a weekly or monthly roundup of questions and answers.
He can do this as a regular text-based blog post.
He can do it as a vlog.
He can do it on Facebook or Twitter.
This is an old-school store owner, so I think I would get him started with the blog posts. But for your own clients, remember that their own website or blog isn’t always the best option. Some things are better done on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or some other platform.
Blog post idea #7: Monthly photo roundup
He can take photos, as can his staff. Better still, he can ask his customers to submit their photos.
Why would his customers send in photos? For the fun of it. To be part of something. But if you’re worried about people participating, turn it into a monthly contest. Give something away as a prize for the best photo.
We can keep this guy’s blog going for years…
I have lost count of the number of times a small business owner has told me they can’t have a blog because they wouldn’t have anything to say.
There is nothing unique about a cycle store.
These 7 blog posts ideas just scratch the surface, and most of them can be applied to pretty much any business.
So next time a client gets nervous about launching or relaunching a blog, you can tell them not to worry about it.
You’ll take care of everything.
And now you’ve landing yourself a recurring gig, with monthly billing.
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