How to Write 16 Knockout Articles When You Only Have One Wimpy Idea

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Many of you have resolved to write more in 2014. Good.

Serious content creators know that each article they publish is a piece of a larger content marketing puzzle — one that expands a website into a knowledge hub that has authentic, useful information on a specific topic.

But as we all know, writing is often the easy part.

The whole coming-up-with-ideas part is what often knocks us out before the opening bell even rings.

It can be difficult to consistently write exceptional content that encourages viewers to stick around and learn about your unique selling proposition.

It’s time to get creative

For example, let’s pretend you’re the marketing director for a store that makes and sells boxing equipment.

You need to convey the passion, care, and expertise your company puts into creating its specialized gear, but the problem is that your message is only a couple paragraphs and around 200 words.

Your wimpy, single piece of content reads more like a press release or “About” page than a persuasive story that spreads across multiple blog posts.

You’re stuck with limited material when you need to develop many different articles that help boxers and boxing enthusiasts find your merchandise.

Instead of “throwing in the towel” and losing a marketing opportunity, view your situation from a creative perspective.

With that in mind, here are 16 ways a boxing equipment business, for example, can approach blog post writing.

Note that each idea below can be reused and applied to your niche to make your blog a fresh and valuable resource in your industry.

Focus on products

  1. The X Factor. Feature your individual products in separate blog posts, rather than merely listing that you sell gloves, bags, mouthpieces, tape, etc. What are their special benefits (not features)? What qualities make them the perfect purchase?
  2. Customer Testimonials. After you’ve posted articles that spotlight each of your products, create complementary posts with testimonials about those products. Link the new posts to relevant old posts.
  3. Reader Discounts. Show your appreciation for your blog readers by rewarding them with special offers or giveaways. As an incentive to subscribe to your website, you may also want to offer a freebie or discount on a physical product.
  4. Neighborly Love. If you don’t sell clothing and accessories, such as boxing trunks and water bottles, promote other businesses that do sell those items. Write posts about your favorite complementary stores and link to their websites to initiate camaraderie.

Share your business’ story

  1. Employee Profiles. Demonstrate that your team members are true boxing aficionados — people with relatable interests. You can structure these posts in a “Question & Answer” format to make them easy to read. What’s his or her daily role? How does his or her skill set contribute to the company’s overall objective?
  2. Behind the Scenes. Tell stories about day-to-day activities. They may seem mundane to you, but routines at your organization give insight into your operations. What’s it like to work at your company? What best practices differentiate you from competitors? Why do customers love your products?
  3. Philosophical Outlook. Use your blog to describe your mission statement in a personable way. The casual tone that is appropriate on your blog allows you to make professional jargon more understandable. Why do you make and sell boxing equipment? What problems do your products fix? Why is your quality unparalleled?
  4. Captivating Visuals. Show your products in action with individual photos, slideshows, and videos. This is especially useful if you are in an athletic or active industry like boxing. Images help potential customers get a sense of what it’s like to own your specific brand.

Discuss important events

  1. Journalism. Keep your content current by writing about local and national fights on a regular basis. You can make announcements about upcoming events and also write blog posts about their highlights and pitfalls after they’ve occurred.
  2. High-Profile Fights. Standard blog posts may be 300–500 words, but special occasions are a chance for you to produce longer articles closer to 1,000 words — the kind Google really loves. Provide comprehensive details and analysis.
  3. Field Reports. Do you have correspondents at a big fight or tournament? Is a trade show or conference nearby? Explain the principles you learn about your customers’ needs from associates who interact with a broader range of consumers.
  4. Training and Classes. Consider offering boxing training in your store, and use your blog to see if your customers would be interested. If that’s not a possibility, discuss the best classes in your area.

Educate and illuminate

  1. Exclusive Interviews. Since you don’t always need to bolster your company or products, look for ways to educate your audience. Ask professional boxers and trainers to share their wisdom with your readers.
  2. Insider Instructions. Continue educating with boxing tips and techniques. What are the best ways to treat wounds? How do you strengthen muscles for optimal performance? What types of foods should boxers eat?
  3. Reviews and Resources. You can review apps, websites, books, or magazine articles related to boxing. Are they helpful or a waste of time? Guide your customers to the right resources.
  4. Direct Correspondence. Listen to your customers’ questions. You probably don’t answer all of them on your website, so address them in blog posts. If you already have a thorough “Frequently Asked Questions” section, repurpose or update your text and publish it in a series.

Basically … build your own blogging arena

Content advances your business’s media brand.

It’s a platform that helps you expand the “know, like, and trust” factor that you need to satisfy before customers feel comfortable buying.

When you write blog posts with a focused editorial strategy, your website becomes a channel that broadcasts your news. It’s a media outlet that potential customers regularly visit to get the next installment of an unfolding, authoritative narrative.

Your readers focus their attention on your boxing ring and become interested in fighting the good fight with you.

How do you use blog posts to share your business’ unique story and attract customers?

Share in the comments below!

About the Author: Stefanie Flaxman is the creator of Revision Fairy -- your trusted source for online proofreading services. Connect with Stefanie on Twitter: @RevisionFairy.

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  1. Excellent post Stefanie. Some great ideas.

    We provideour readers with information about what’s going on in the Internet marketing industry and why that matters to their business. We create videos howtos to show them how we accomplish specific tasks that are widely performed through-out our client base and market place.

    When we learn how to do something, we often document then post about it so that others can benefit as we assume the problems we are solving are common ones encountered. The key is to add value in creative ways in addressing common needs in the industry/niche that you want to do business in. Some readers will do themselves, others will contact you for help. Thanks for sharing.

    • I love the idea that you teach as you learn something new! That’s a continual way to have ideas—noticing the information you possess that you may take for granted and turn in into content.

      Thanks for reading and your thoughts, Rick!

  2. I am really intrigued by this idea of creating content. This opens up so many possibilities! Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  3. Hi Stefanie,

    Great post!

    I’m working on a case study based on one of my clients (I have her permission). This way potential clients will see what I’ve done for my client and her business. I’ll show what I’ve done through content, infographics and statistics. I may even write a white paper or two.

  4. Great food for thought and content idea prompts, Stephanie!

    One way I recently used blog posts to share my story was by simply telling the story of how I finally saw the light, narrowed my focus and chose my niche, and how that process vastly improved/streamlined my online marketing and overall engagement, etc. Once I started writing the post, I realized it was going to be massive, so I created 3 posts (with worksheets!) out of it. I love it when that happens — one blog post turns into a series of blog posts, and voila, practically a whole months worth of content. : )

    What strikes me about your post here is how useful it would also be as a map/template for creating content for social media channels. Once about a year ago I was meeting with a new client who I ended up doing a bunch of web writing for, and they also wanted some ideas for kinds of content they might post to social media. I created a document for them with “content buckets” they could pull from regularly to always have material to post, and a few of my suggestions were things you have here, such as employee profiles, behind the scenes stuff, and client testimonials.

    Thanks for a value-packed article!

    • Hi Kimberly — Can you direct me to your blog where you had this grand epiphany? I am floundering in too much territory and too little ability to define my niche. I think reading about your experience would give me some direction on that. Thanks! -Debra Stevenson

  5. Creative ideas are often seen in other creative ideas and what I mean by that is look around the web and soon enough you should pick up on the appropriate ones.

    That’s how I go about it sometimes. Most of the time, I have way too many ideas that I wish I could have the time to write about! lol

    But I am not here to brag in any way since the post here is meant to help those get started on their own idea freight train.

    I believe once you’re accustomed to the industry for so long, ideas come in naturally because of all of the exposure. But not all cases though.

    Producing content based around stories couldn’t be the better tip here. Themes and stories are the new marketing trend, if not already been around . (Might be we were passing over this already lol)

    Nevertheless, every single point made here in the article does make sense for every individual looking to break through the rut and for every unique case the point works for.

    Thank you for the writing!

    - Samuel

  6. We’re still trying to develop exactly what our blog content will look like. We’ve experimented with a few ideas but haven’t solidified a great plan yet. I’m thinking a few of these would be perfect for ours… especially the captivating visuals. Showing beautiful photos/videos of our partners’ products in use could be a good idea moving forward. Thanks!

  7. Really useful post. Although, as a fiction writer it stretches the imagination rather to adapt from boxing store to selling books, it can be done. It’s all marketing and I can see it operates on the same system. I’m a beginner in marketing my work so eager to pick up some gems where I can. Thank you for this post. Rosalind Minett

    • Once you know your target audience, if you can create a variety of content that relates to your fiction writing, you provide even more resources for your audience. In turn, your audience gets to know you better and may become more interested in your longer fiction projects. As you say, “It’s all marketing.” :-)

  8. Great ideas Stefanie, I often struggle on what content to put on corporate sites, these are all information I can add to most corporate sites that will help increase credibility to the company.

  9. Kerri Buckley :

    I really love this article. I use a very similar model when teaching a class how to be a freelance writer. When done well, it’s mind-blowing.

    Thanks so much,
    Kerri Buckley

  10. Stefanie, you’ve just confirmed that I’m doing blogging RIGHT for several of my clients. I tend to write about their products’ benefits, and how they can be used to better their customers’ lives. I recently wrote about a news story that affected some of their customers, and as a Christmas-list post I suggested several complimentary stores and their products.

    You made my day. :)

    • Happy to hear it, Bree! :-)

      Also, current events and news stories can produce fantastic content ideas if you can relate them to your business. Always helpful to keep an eye open to what’s going on around you—you can often incorporate them into a topic that benefits your audience.

  11. Thanks for your helpful article, which I’m sharing with our clients on Facebook. Most of them don’t have a bottomless budget for buying in multifarious articles about their products. However, the approach that you outline here shows clearly how a writing challenge that initially seems incredibly daunting can be conquered more easily using a combination of imagination and lateral thinking. Great advice!

  12. My product is a book so my blog is focused on the topics related to the book including tips. Tips are a buzz word for my blog. Solving and relating to common divorce problems for women is my aim in hopes to sell my book. Your suggestions here are fantastic, even though it’s a sport the analogy works. I would like to do an interview on my site. Any divorce lawyers out there? :)

  13. What I like about articles like this is the constant reinforcement to keep regenerating ideas. I’ve been a lurking reader for months and even thought I don’t put this into practice as often as I like, it’s good to have a contest fresh outlook on old topics. I looked at the about us page of this very site and it’s using the techniques outlined in this article. Nice use of pictures and a good story to boot!

  14. Hi Stefaine,

    Great article. I like what you say about Education. That’s a massively important precursor to sales.

    My blog is about productivity and I write quite regularly about time saving hacks aimed at busy professionals.

    I’m also planning on starting an interview series where I interview other productivity experts about their hacks.

  15. For me, it’s about demonstrating how I do what I do (copywriting) in as many creative ways I can. My readers want to learn how to write copy better, so there’s a mixture of ‘how-to’ posts, showcasing other writers, and then writing something off-topic but creatively.

    Weaved into that are some personal stories to align my values with those of my readers. These make the biggest connections.

    Wise words, Stefanie.

    - Razwana

  16. Brilliant article!

    I’m adding it to my favourites, this will be a tremendous help whenever I’m stuck for ideas.

    I thought that trying to sell the product on a blog is a big no-no but the X Factor idea allows me to see things from a different angle.

    Thanks for sharing.

  17. Hi Stefaine,

    Great article. I like what you say about share your business story. That’s a massively important point after you publish your article.

    My blog is about cars and I write quite regularly about new and used cars. I just lack this point of how to promote your content to right audience and got my tip.

    Thanks

  18. Hi Stephanie,

    this is really interesting stuff – I am not someone who is short of ideas but sometimes that’s part of my problem – with so many ideas bouncing around it’s often difficult to keep to a consistent message so people know what you’re (I’m) all about.

    I have written about the same subject from different perspectives but I have to admit nowhere close to 17 of them!!

    On a related topic, one thing I am often curious about is re-purposing content – e.g. say 3 months down the line you’d like to re-purpose this particular blog post e.g. by re-publishing an edited version of it on your own blog – is that something you’d also consider and if so, how much would you have to change it.

    I wrote a few articles for brazen careerist and I know they state that they’d like to have your article exclusively on their site for a certain period of time (implying that after that period it’s OK to republish elsewhere) – I have never republished that content but it’s something I’ve wondered about.

    Do you have a view on that?

    • That’s a great question, Alan.

      I think there’s a difference between re-purposing and re-publishing.

      For me, re-purposing is putting a new spin on an idea or taking a concept to another level. If I were to re-purpose this post somewhere down the line, it may be because I’ve thought of new ways to generate article ideas. But there wouldn’t be any copying and pasting and the theme wouldn’t be boxing.

      I think of re-publishing as taking an article and putting the majority of it on another site—even if some edits are made. If you know you’re allowed to after a certain amount of time, as you mentioned, then it’s up to you. I don’t particularly like doing that, though, with my own content. I’d rather update the content or get more specific about a topic, more like the “re-purposing” I explained above.

      I hope that helps!

  19. These are all great ideas. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel every time you sit down to write. The same idea can be turned and turned around in a dozen different ways and styles to give you more bang for your buck.

  20. Great article and ideas. Thanks!

  21. When you break it down like this, it is impossible to say “I’m out of ideas.” Thanks for writing a post I can share with writers when they are convinced they’ve run out of room to grow and create new content.

  22. All great ideas, but I do have a problem with “create complementary posts with testimonials”.
    This sounds like those testimonials are figments of some copywriters creative imagination.
    I always find that when promoting the benefits of a particular product or service after analyzing the clients needs, not being truthful tends to bite you in the bum at some later date!

    • That’s an interesting thought, Richard. Thanks for your input!

      But to clarify, the tip was meant to show that you can use a blog post as another outlet for testimonials—not that the writer should create the testimonials himself.

      Existing testimonials from real customers or clients don’t have to only be on a static “testimonials” page, they can be sprinkled throughout blog posts when appropriate, as well.

  23. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me as I have some content to write for a website and only have a really vague, almost weak, idea for content so this will help me no end.

    I’m not a content writer by trade and I find it difficult to write really engaging content for my sites but i’ve made it my goal to get better at this in the new year and articles like this will certainly help.

  24. I am seriously overawed each day at the amount of insider style tips that my “competitors” dish out. Since starting out content writing 2 years ago I have had nothing but help coming at me from all angles.
    Great article once again and thanks for the tips.

    PS I too love the idea of teaching as you learn new things, it really does keep the mind fresh.

  25. Anyone who is interested in blogging should read this article. Most new bloggers get stuck after one or two brilliant posts. The web is full of good looking but abandoned blogs. Clearly they have run out of ideas.

    It happens to me quite often as well. Thankfully, I have the will to force myself to come up with new ideas and ways of writing and manage to get by. I wish, I could come up with 10 different ideas for a topic and write flawlessly.

  26. 15 Rounds and still standing for one more! This is a great list Stefanie. I have seen many lists of ways to brainstorm blog content, but the examples here make this one stand out.

    The specificity of the analogy makes it work even for B2B companies that are nothing close to the sweet science. How the heck did it get that name?

  27. Great article and fantastic tips Stefanie. I just started my new company’s blog and I think the most difficult part is the beginning, when you have come out with a strategy line that will guide you through your blog’s life. It is like “I have so many things to tell” but once you are in front of the blank page, you don’t know what to write… Also, I don’t focus on one subject, that might make my task more difficult too. But reading articles like yours always helps. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    • Here’s a good opportunity to keep your readers’ interests in mind, as well. Instead of spilling out all of your knowledge into one post, make a single topic clear and specific. You’ll make it easier for a reader to learn from the post, and if she does find the information valuable, she’ll be more interested in your next post on a different topic.

  28. Some people do this organically, without needing to write. Have you ever been with someone who is uncomfortable with silence? They’ve always got to hear themselves or someone else talking to fill up the time and space.

    There’s something about these types of people, people whose heads can pivot in a millisecond; “Squirrel!!” There’s something precious about that ability, something that copy writers can tap into. It’s an ability to look at any topic both horizontally and vertically, shoot tangents off of it, and color it with experiences they’ve had.

    I’ve found that although these types of people make horrible traveling companions, they excel at writing. Give someone you know a try and you might just nurture the next Pynchon.

  29. Awesome ideas, Stefanie. These are really helpful ideas for a beginner blogger like me.

  30. Great article!

    I usually write about tips and tricks how arts companies and small business can use marketing, and promoting and talking about a ‘service’ as opposed to ‘product’ I sometimes found difficult, but you’ve given some great creative ideas as to how this content can be re-purposed or re-looked at.

    Saved this post to my favourites!

    -Dave

  31. I think educating your reader is much more important than anything else like you people are doing here. Day by day we are growing wiser reading your articles. Thus we are also doing the same thing but we are not as good as you. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea with us.

  32. Stefanie, nice article !

    expanding on your point#2 using customer testimonials – you could write about your customer’s stories. in your boxing gear example – it could be about how a professional boxer got his/her first modest break, or how a hobby boxer finds his/her passion, etc with or without direct reference to the gear.

  33. Love it! Shared with some clients. It can be difficult to get them to see how many ways they can get content up on a blog.

    There’s a lot to talk about in any industry if you really think about it.

  34. Superb article!

    Your are bound to make serious progress, if you follow even just half of the advice given here.

    I agree though, passion is the key, if you want to hit the same topic from a different angle many times.

    I personally write the blog only once a month, that makes the article stronger and more educational for the reader. It quality over quantity!