A Few Reflection Questions

Here are a few reflections to ponder as we launch into 2018

  1. Are you excited to be doing what you’re doing or are you in aimless motion?
  2. Are the trade-offs between work and your relationships well-balanced?
  3. How can you speed up the process from where you are to where you want to go?
  4. What big opportunities are you not pursuing that you potentially could?
  5. What’s a small thing that will produce a disproportionate impact?
  6. What could probably go wrong in the next 6 months of your life?

The minimum critical mass

From Seth Godin…

For your idea to spread, your app to go viral, your restaurant to be the place, it’s likely you’ll need to hit critical mass.

This is a term from physics, describing the amount of plutonium you need in a certain amount of space before a reaction goes out of control, leading to a meltdown or explosion. In this case, though, it’s a positive thing.

Once enough people start driving your new brand of motorcycle around town, it’s seen by enough people that it becomes accepted, and sales take off from there.

Once enough people who know enough people start talking about your new app, the touchpoints multiply and organic growth kicks in.

Once enough readers read and engage with your book, it’s no longer up to the bookstore to push it… people talking to people are the engine for your growth.

It’s sort of the opposite of Yogi Berra saying, “No one goes there, it’s too crowded.” When you hit the right number of conversations, the buzz creates its own buzz, popularity and usage creates more popularity and usage.

The thing is, though, most marketers are fooling themselves. They imagine that the audience size necessary for critical mass is right around the corner, but it’s actually closer to infinity. That, like a boat with a leak, you always have to keep bailing to keep it afloat. If you don’t design for a low critical mass, you’re unlikely to get one.

This is why most apps don’t ever take off. Not because they weren’t launched with enough fanfare, not because the developers didn’t buy enough promotion or installs—because the r0 of virality is less than one. Because every time you add 10 users, you don’t get a cycle that goes up in scale, you get one that gradually decays instead.

The hard work of marketing, then, isn’t promoting that thing you made. It’s in building something where the Minimum Critical Mass is a low enough number that you can actually reach it.

Facebook, one of the finest examples available, only needed 100 users in one Harvard social circle for it to gain enough traction to take the campus, and then jump to the Ivy League, and then, eventually, to you.

My book Purple Cow was seeded to about 5,000 readers. That was all the direct promotion it needed to eventually make its way to millions of readers around the world.

How many people needed to start carrying a Moleskine or selfie stick or a pair of Grados before you decided you needed one too?

Yes, of course, sometimes the route to popular is random, or accidental. And betting on lucky is fine, as long as you know that’s what you’re doing. But the best marketers do three things to increase their chances:

  1. They engineer the product itself to be worth talking about. They create a virtuous cycle where the product works better for existing users when their friends are also using it, or a cultural imperative where users feel better when they recommend it.
  2. They choose their seed market carefully. They focus on groups that are not only easy to reach, but important to reach. This might be a tightly-knit group (like Harvard) or a group that shares a similar demographic (like the early readers of Fast Company) or a group that’s itching to take action…
  3. They’re hyper-aware of the MCM and know whether or not they have the time and the budget to reach it.

Making your MCM a manageable number is the secret to creating a hit.

100 Content Writing Ideas for Engaging Blog Posts – Part Two

100 Content Writing Ideas for Engaging Blog Posts – Part Two

Continuing on with our Engaging Blog Post content writing series, part two looks at some engaging blog post content ideas that focus more on you as the owner. Be bold, be brave and be honest. People are looking to connect with someone who is authentic and relatable and you’ll achieve this if you develop some engaging blog content based on the ideas below.

100 Content Writing Ideas for Engaging Blog Posts

Helpful Blog Post Ideas

Have you recently discovered a ‘hack’ that you found to be extremely helpful which you would like to share with others? Try some of these engaging blog post ideas:

  1. Have you used any new tools or applications recently that have helped improve your workflow?
  2. Have you figured out a way to save a few hours a week?
  3. What type of work do you try to accomplish while traveling on an airplane?
  4. If you recently hired someone, what questions helped you the most in making your decision?
  5. Have you created a resource post?
  6. What blogs do you keep up with? Create a list.
  7. What helps you to be creative?
  8. Have you changed the way you work over the years? If so, how?
  9. See any good movies lately? Share lessons you learned from it.
  10. Make a Myth vs. Fact post.
  11. If someone was about to start in your field, what are the top things they should know?
  12. Create a list of the top 10 things you wish you knew when you started.
  13. Give speech notes from a recent presentation you gave.
  14. What are your aspirations for the week, month, and year?
  15. What is the history of your industry?
  16. Any important insights that you have learned in the past year?
  17. What do you want to learn more about? Study it, and share what you learned.

Engaging Personal Blog Post Ideas

Add some personal character and share some insight into who you are and what makes you tick.

  1. What are some things that most people don’t know about you?
  2. What are your favourite movies?
  3. What is your favourite childhood memory?
  4. Do you have an embarrassing story?
  5. What has been your greatest success in life so far?
  6. What are your most epic failures (and how did you overcome them)?
  7. What would you say to a younger version of yourself?
  8. What does a typical day in your life look like?
  9. What is your idea of the “perfect” day?
  10. If you could have lunch with one person, who would it be?
  11. What things make you happy?
  12. What things have you learned from your parents?
  13. What is an important lesson you learned recently?
  14. What helpful books have you read recently?

Engaging Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas

  1. What is your favourite restaurant?
  2. What is your fitness routine?
  3. What is your makeup routine?
  4. What things can’t you live without?
  5. Do you have a music playlist you can share?
  6. What books are on your shelf?
  7. What podcasts do you listen to?
  8. What is in your bag?
  9. What is your morning routine?
  10. What is your bedtime routine?
  11. How do you relax after a long day?
  12. Can you share pictures of your workplace?
  13. What are your hobbies?
  14. What are your favourite YouTube channels?

That wraps up my 100 Content Writing Ideas for Engaging Blog Posts, you can read part one if you started at part two. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think, or let me know if there is a tip or trick that you do that I should include.

Thanks for reading!

100 Content Writing Ideas for Engaging Blog Posts

100 Content Writing Ideas for Engaging Blog Posts

I’m often asked about my thoughts on SEO and my initial response is that traditional SEO is dead (LINK). As the army of SEO experts descends upon my comments section, don’t get me wrong, SEO is still a very important ingredient in building your website and you need strong SEO governance (LINK) when composing your content. I think that traditional SEO has merged into content marketing and it’s your overall content strategy that will improve your positioning and rankings in the search engines.

Unfortunately it is in developing content on a regular basis is where most websites come unstuck. To help with your writer’s block I have created a list of # useful content ideas, part one is below or jump to part two now.

Promotional Blog Post Ideas

Starting at the top, let’s introduce your business with a couple of well-placed blogs that will help people to get an understanding of who you are, what you do and why you do it.

  1. What sets your company apart?
  2. What is your company’s history?
  3. Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
  4. What sets your company apart from your competitors?
  5. What would you recommend your customers do in the first few weeks of using your product?

Share the Wins Blog Post Ideas

Share the wins and your positive news stories; don’t be afraid to yell your successes and those of your customers from the rooftops.

  1. Share a company update.
  2. Share a product update.
  3. What are some tips you can share for using your product?
  4. Share a case study.

Featured Products Blog Post Ideas

Talk about all the key features and attributes of your products; explain how people can use your product and some key takeaways that your customers might not know about.

  1. What is the problem that your target customer has, that your product solves? Present the solution.
  2. How does your product compare to other products?
  3. What is a creative use of your product?
  4. What products or services can you compare and contrast against?

Featured Customers Blog Post Ideas

Get your customers involved, not only are positive reviews a great way to build new business, it’s also a great way to get valuable insights into your product and its market fit.

  1. Can you feature your customers?
  2. Create a helpful checklist for customers.
  3. What question can you ask your users? Create a survey or quiz.
  4. Start a challenge for your audience to participate in.

Fun Blog Post Ideas

Add some personality to your business with some fun blog post ideas:

  1. Are there any funny posts or videos you found lately that you can share?
  2. Can you share about a recent travel experience?
  3. Anything unique or funny happen at the office this week?
  4. How did you decide to start your business?
  5. What are your hobbies outside of work?
  6. Create a list of inspirational quotes for your industry.
  7. Have you considered doing a video blog?
  8. Share a story.
  9. Create an infographic.
  10. Create a parody.
  11. Can you share something from behind the scenes?
  12. Announce a contest.

Timely Blog Post Ideas

Be sure to stay on top of your industry trends and post on topics that are closely aligned with your business, this will ensure that you are seen as an influencer in your industry.

  1. What is your favorite piece of industry news that you’ve come across recently?
  2. Is there a new product you can review?
  3. Have you read any Twitter posts lately that you feel deserves a longer response?
  4. Are you attending a conference where you can share your highlights from sessions?
  5. What are the biggest trends in your industry?
  6. Have you thought about sharing a list of top influencers to follow in your industry?v
  7. Read any great quotes lately? Compile quotes on a specific topic.
  8. What are the best blog posts you have read lately? Make a compilation.
  9. What statistics or research are your customers interested in? Curate it for them.
  10. What are the most popular posts you have written? Share “the best of” your blog.

Controversial Blog Post Ideas

Be strong and take a stand on a topic no matter how controversial. Justify your reasoning and invite replies to get the conversation started.

  1. Is there something that has frustrated you recently? Talk about it.
  2. Write an open letter to someone or a company.
  3. What are you particularly passionate about within your industry?
  4. How are the legal activities in your country affecting your business?
  5. What type of customer email are you most frustrated with?
  6. Summarize a modern debate and give your opinion.
  7. Share a debate between two people in your industry.
  8. Read a blog post recently that you disagreed with? Share your reaction.

Thought Leadership Blog Post Ideas

As an expert in your field and industry leader, provide some thought-leadership and provide some insights and advice about your chosen field.

  1. Do you have any predictions for the future of your industry?
  2. Is there an industry leader or influencer you can interview?
  3. Have you thought about reaching out to multiple experts for their thoughts on a specific subject?
  4. What type of things do you review to determine quality in your industry?

Educational Blog Post Ideas

Helping people solve a problem, to share some insight or provide guidance and recommendations will help you connect with a loyal audience.

  1. Can you walk your audience through a process, step by step?
  2. What are some of the common questions that people ask when they email you?
  3. What are some questions that people should be asking you, but aren’t?
  4. What are some terms in your industry that need explaining?

That brings us to the end of part one “Content Writing Ideas for Engaging Blog Posts“. Part one focused more blog posts that talked to your business, products and services. Let me know what you think and leave a comment below. Or let me know if there is a tip or trick that you do that I should include. Next up is part two “Content Writing Ideas for Engaging Blog Posts” that takes a more personal approach to creating great blog posts.

Thanks for reading!

19 Point Checklist for the Perfect Blog Post

19 Point Checklist for the Perfect Blog Post

The Perfect Blog Post checklist will ensure that you’ll write flawless, optimised blog content each and every time you post. Our blog content checklist covers best practice recommendations for writing, readability, formatting, SEO, and KPI measurement. By following a few simple content writing rules, you’ll be creating and measuring success in no time.
Read more

How to Manage Your Reputation and Reviews to 5 Star Success

How to Manage Your Reputation and Reviews to 5 Star Success

Client often ask me how they can remove the 1, 2 or 3 star reviews from their social media accounts or review sites. In most cases this is almost impossible as the customer controls the review. I’ve only see one example where you can flag a negative review and the review site will actually ask the customer to prove their custom. Facebook reviews and Google Business reviews can kill you and you can get reviewed by complete strangers. I have created a 10 point checklist on how to respond to negative reviews but before we travel down that route, I prefer to proactively manage my online reputation.
Read more