How to Get Out of the Promotional Blogging Rut

Today’s post is from guest blogger, Sara Lancaster, a web content writer and content consultant at No. 2 Pen.

Sara L blogging rut imageRaise your hand if you repeatedly use your blog posts as advertising space. Raise your hand if you’ve written several posts in the last few months that served YOU and not your customers.

If you could see me you would know that I’m raising my hand right now.

Even I’ll admit that I’ve fallen into a promotional blogging rut a few times—and I’ve made blogging my job! It’s easy to fall into the rut because

  • You’re so focused on building your business that’s the only thing you can think to write about.
  • You’re busy with client work, which means sitting down and writing creatively for your clients is not a priority.
  • You disregard your content strategy and forget how long it’s been since you’ve written anything of real value.

A promotional blogging rut can be fatal to your blog. By only writing about how great your services are you’ll lose search engine traffic. You’ll lose dedicated readers.

To get out of the rut you need to understand one thing. You must blog to delight and to help your customers.

Now that you know what you need to do, let’s look at some blog post ideas you can use.

Educate your readers.

What problems do your customers have? What tips would make their lives easier? Why not write a series of posts answering commonly asked questions or explaining fundamental concepts in your industry.

Get personal.

Business bloggers should not hide behind third person writing or press releases or catalog copy. Let your readers get to know you. Write blog posts that reveal your quirks or some mistakes you’ve made (with lessons learned). Publish Q&As with your staff and business partners.

Pick a theme.

Consider something like “Technical Tip Tuesday” or “Inspiring Business Owner Month.” Plugging themes into your content calendar will make it much easier to find topics. The narrower the theme the easier it will be for you to come up with blog post ideas.

Have fun.

If Skadeedle can have fun, then so can you. Post pictures of office pets. Wish everyone a Happy Star Wars Day (May 4th in case you didn’t know). Publish your favorite YouTube video.

What’s listed here covers only four ways you can change your blogging pattern from overly promotional content to downright helpful or entertaining. There’s much more you can do. Share your strategies in the comments.Sara L headshot

Sara Lancaster is the chief communicator at No. 2 Pen, a website content writing agency. If you liked these blog post ideas, visit No. 2 Pen for more.

2 thoughts on “How to Get Out of the Promotional Blogging Rut

  1. lidia varesco racoma

    These are great tips! I recently decided to start using monthly themes on my blog, Biz Mama. I seem to have the problem of too many ideas and not knowing which to write about, so having a theme has forced me to focus on just a few ideas.

  2. Kimberly

    I love the idea of a theme, because once you choose one, that’s one less thing to have to think about when creating weekly content — you just find something to write about that fits that weekly theme. I’m experimenting now with one meaty/how-to post per week, and one post about creative inspiration, and I’m finding that sticking to these two basic “themes” makes mapping out my editorial calendar for the next few months so much less stressful! : )