Do you ever sit down in front of your computer and wonder “What should I write this blog post about?”
If that question comes up on a monthly, or even weekly basis, of course you’ll feel frustrated and overwhelmed by blogging for your business. You might even think that it takes so many hours to get a single piece of content out there that it’s not worth it.
But the real problem isn’t blogging – it’s that you’re trying to come up with content ideas that your audience will find valuable just hours before it’s scheduled to go live. That’s a huge amount of pressure and it also means we don’t have time to do the research of the space to think creatively. We end spending more time on it than if we’d spent a little time up front to be strategic instead.
The good news is that we can quickly layer in more strategy by clarifying the foundations of your blog: choosing 4 simple themes that guide your every content decision.
What are content themes?
Themes for your blog are broad, like mental health. In contrast, topic are specific explorations of a theme, such as 5 Grounding Exercises to Reduce your Anxiety. Topics become blog posts.
It’s important to have clear themes because they narrow your focus and guide you to choose blog topics that are relevant to your audience.
3 to 4 consistent themes will build that all-important trust factor with your audience and position you as a top-of-mind expert in your industry. Your fans (read: clients) are devoted to you because you’re reliably providing them value on a subject that interests them.
Straying too far from your themes will confuse them, and if you confuse them, you lose them. That means you’re doing just as much content creation work as ever, but losing email list subscribers or coming across more as a lifestyle influencer than a niched business owner. So it’s more work for less business results, and I’m willing to bet you don’t want that!
If you post on a weekly basis, rotating between your themes means you’ll go into each writing session with a clear direction. Just think: what questions do I know that my audience has asked me about the theme I’m writing about this week?
Ideally, keep a running list of questions and conversation topics that you get from Instagram or client calls in the notes on your phone or in a Google doc. Be sure to add ideas that come to your mind out of the blue. So, in the moments where you need to put out content, you can focus on the writing – not exhausting decision-making. Pick a topic you’ve listed under this week’s theme and run with it!
How to choose themes for your blog
Choose 2 to 3 Expert/Educational themes for your blog related to your business and area of expertise. Then, choose one complementary Know/Like Trust theme.
For example, copywriting, content marketing and entrepreneurship are my main Educational themes. If you’re a business owner, these themes are related directly to what you sell and they build you as an authority or an expert on that subject matter. The subject becomes what you’re known for, and that’s why you’ll pop up in peoples’ minds first when they need support in that area.
For a Know/Like/Trust theme, I wanted it to be something that is of personal interest to me and to my ideal client, and complements at least one of my educational themes. That’s why for my Know/Like/Trust theme, I chose mental health, and especially how it interacts with entrepreneurship.
By sharing a little more about your interests and values, it humanizes your brand. People are able to decide, “this is my kind of person.”
Ultimately, especially if you’re a small business owner, people will choose someone they like and feel an emotional connection to instead of a competitor who offers the same product or service, but who they don’t feel like they know, or worse, that they find offputting.
What to do if you’re a co-owner, or if you have multiple contributors to your blog
The simplest solution when there’s more than one writer for the blog is to decide on who “owns/leads” each theme. That enhances each individuals’ expert image and reliability in your audience’s minds, and also makes the division of work and responsibilities clear between you.
Choosing themes for your blog is one of the simplest ways to embed a little more strategy into your efforts.
You can use these same themes as the basis for any type of content marketing you do, whether it’s on YouTube, your podcast, or even your social media.
Ultimately, it’s about making your life easier when it comes time to create content, while also ensuring that every effort you make in that area pays off by providing value and nurturing your ideal audience.