Thinking about starting a blog tends to bring up a lot of questions. To keep blogging from getting overwhelming, we recommend taking one of two approaches: a small step or a big leap.
Small Step: Taking a small step might be right for you if you are just starting out as a coach or you do not have time to blog two to three times a week. Start with a few posts on your blog, and update it when you can. You can make your blog timeless by turning off the feature that includes the date you posted the piece. This way, your blog will look fresh even without frequent additions. The articles and insights you do post will further position you as an expert. At the end of each post, include a call to action—such as “Contact me to learn more about coaching” or “Click here to see what coaching services I offer”—to increase your marketing efforts on your website.
Big Leap: Taking a big leap might be right for you if you have time to blog more frequently or you have a growing readership or client base. With the big leap approach, you should commit to blogging no less than once a week: Ideally, it should be closer to three or four times a week. Think of it as turning yourself into a mini media outlet where readers can rely on valuable information being added on a regular basis. Consistency and depth of information will help build regular readership.
No matter your approach, you need content! Coming up with topics to write about can be tough, but one tried-and-true method for brainstorming is the “word association” exercise.
Word Association Exercise
Start with a blank piece of paper and write down one word or phrase related to your niche. Then, think about everything related to that word and write it down, making a web around the first word. Keep doing this around different words and phrases on the page until you’ve filled it up with different associations. Each one can spark a blog post or article topic.
For example, if you’re a weight loss coach, you might start with the phrase “bathroom scale” at the center of your paper. Words and phrases around it could include “Obsessed with weighing myself,” “I avoid checking it,” “I hate the bathroom scale,” etc. “I hate the bathroom scale” could lead to “I hate exercising,” “I hate broccoli,” “I hate counting calories,” and more. With all these words and phrases on the page, you could pick something as simple as “I hate broccoli” and do a post about vegetable alternatives to broccoli or the struggles people can have eating enough fruits and vegetables.
Another way to generate article ideas is to look at books in your niche, either in the bookstore or online, and see what they list in their tables of contents. This doesn’t mean you should use these books as your own articles; instead, look to them for inspiration on blog topics, and write about these areas in your own voice.
To continue with our weight loss coach example, you might find a book that includes a section on ways to incorporate more protein into your diet, an idea you can share your own take on through a blog post.
You can also use your blog as a place to reference other articles and resources your audience might find interesting. Sometimes, but not always, these posts take less time than creating a full article yourself, so a mix of completely original articles and posts pointing out other resources you recommend for your audience can make a blog more manageable.
For example, you might share a link to a newspaper article and include your reaction to the news, or you might share highlights from an interview you did with an expert in your field. You can even share TV clips or music videos that might appeal to your audience.
With so much great content for your blog, be sure to include it in your email newsletter as well! Check out Part 2: “How to use email newsletters to build your business” for our newsletter tips.
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