Frank recently shared a couple of blog tips on the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook. He has been a strong believer in the benefits of chamber blogging from the beginning.
Blogging is a great way to build connections and let members see another side of you and your chamber. Yet many chambers hesitate taking on a blog because of the time commitment. How can I commit to all those posts?
Another worry is content. What will I write about?
While I haven’t figured out a way to get more hours in the day, short of forgoing sleep, I can tell you that if you are listening to your members, and potential members, you’ll never be at a loss for topics.
Just in case you don’t believe me, try these on for size:
Informational Blog Topics
While these types of posts may sound like topics on your web page, the reason you blog about them is to lend your voice and a more personal touch to them.
If you don’t have the knowledge to write on these subjects, either research them or find a guest poster. Give the blogger a by-line and a link back to his/her site.
- What do chambers do?
- What makes our town/area historically significant?
- Bet you didn’t know this about our town.
- Member spotlight post (can be guest written by them or merely highlighting their business). Do more than just copy and paste their About page. For example, for a restaurant add a large mouth-watering image of their most popular dish.
- What we did this year.
- What we did this year that I am most proud.
- When our chamber first started milk cost ____. (write a vignette about what the town was like when the chamber began)
- Write a post for every question you get asked on the phone or in person.
- Social media best practices for business.
- Technology we love.
- How to empower your best customers (business tips for your members).
- Creating a memorable website.
- How the chamber can help you meet your business goals.
- How to use Twitter for more than just pictures of your lunch.
- Video made simple.
- WordPress plugins we use and why.
- Marketing to _____ (millennials, pizza lovers, etc.)
- Why you must attend _______.
- Repurpose a press release as a blog post.
- How to get more involved in the chamber.
- We need volunteers to do ____.
- Local quiz.
- You know you’re from here if…
- What ___ pending legislation means for us.
While providing information is good, the kind of posts people can relate to are extremely effective in making an impression.
When you read these topics you may be thinking they have little to do with your chamber but creating content people want to read is about finding what interests them, so why not give these a try?
- Why I came to work for the chamber. (Include staff members.)
- Highlight what your board members think is special about your town/area.
- Holiday memories of your area and what makes it special. (This does not have to be just Winter holidays.)
- If you have a special event coming up, or if there’s a holiday, ask a question and use answers to create a post.
- For an event like Valentine’s Day, ask your members to share how they met their spouse in the comments. If you have any “celebrity” couples (we have a husband and wife team who owns a jewelry store and are very well known) write a post about them.
- Watch your Facebook page. Have a popular post? Create a blog around it.
- Best local pictures on Flickr.
- Why I love what I do.
- The beauty of unplugging for the day (or hour).
- 3 hacks to make your more productive.
- What I do everyday before breakfast.
- My favorite social media platform.
- What I couldn’t live without.
- What I dared to do this year.
- Stepping outside of your comfort zone has real payoffs.
- Provide a caption for a funny photo (preferably from a chamber event and one you have permission to use).
- Video contest of members’ favorite spots around town.
- He said/she said opinions on something going on around town. (See if you can get people from both sides to write posts for you.)
- Friday links. (Link to member blogs and write a post on them.)
- What (TV or movie) taught me about business.
- Best business book I’ve read all year.
If you’re not a writer, any of these topics can be done in video or podcast form. Blogs don’t have to be written, nor do they have to be media-loyal. Play around and figure out what works for you.
Can’t decide? Use it all – video, podcasts and the written word.
Once you take the time to write a blog, you’ll never need content for a newsletter again. For e-newsletters, lead with a teaser of recent blog posts and funnel the traffic back to your blog. For print newsletters, print your most popular posts but make sure you include a URL to your blog so that curious minds can check out the rest of your fine postings.
I hope these topics get you started. Blogging is an incredible way to connect with your members as well as provide information for them and SEO fodder for Google.
One final suggestion, if you ever get stuck go to a public place and listen to the conversations around you. (Just give me a head’s up first, please.)
Guest post by Christina R. Green
Image via Flickr by SEOPlanter