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Ideas for Blog Posts

In a professional discussion board I am a part of, there has been talk lately about coming up with topics for blogs. Some people are not posting to their business blogs as often as they want to, because they can't think of things to blog about. Here are some ideas that work for me, along with examples. Please share your ideas, with a link to your blog.

  1. Anytime something catches your interest, no matter how far afield, tie it to the topic you write about on your blog. For example, I heard a story about equestrian police on my local NPR station, KUOW, and I likened the horse-training process to business writing. Read my post, Writing Is Like Policing on Horseback. Another example: I talked briefly with a woman whose dachshund was lying on the sidewalk on a sunny day. Her dog-walking approach inspired me to write Make Time to Walk the Dog, about allowing enough time to write. Here are other blog posts that tie odd topics to business writing:
    Two Sides of the Fence
    Surprising Your Customers
    When Fast Is Thoughtless
    What Dentists Can Learn From Doctors
    Beyond "Out of Order"
  2. Notice what people ask you about in your business, and blog about the answers to their questions. For example, I regularly get questions about how to address someone in a business letter, so I have written 10 posts on that subject. (One question led to another, but I think I have said all I can on the subject now!) See my most recent post on the topic, Dear Reader: More About Salutations, which links to the earlier entries.
  3. Use examples to show your readers how to do things better. The examples need not be exact models of your topic. My What the Customer Wants talks about meeting readers' needs. It evolved from my frustration in not being able to find "air conditioning" in my car's user manual. The Secret of Successful Instructions was inspired by a cookbook I was proofreading. Car manuals and cookbooks are not what we think of as "business writing," but they can provide insights.
  4. Notice mistakes made in your line of work, and tell your readers how to avoid those mistakes. For example, I blogged last week about the commonest proofreading error and punctuation error I had seen in 2008. Write about your own mistakes too, so people can learn from them. Read my post Disburse Vs. Disperse–Wrong! in which I confess a moment of ignorance.
  5. Share great examples in your area or industry. See A Good Set of Conference Room Rules and Word Power: Being Partners. Using those two examples, which come from client companies, allowed me to both praise clients and share good information.
  6. Blog about resources that will interest your readers. Last month I wrote about Marcia Yudkin's "Shorter, Say It in Fewer Words" report in Want to Be Concise? and about a Free Spanish-English Online Dictionary
  7. Blog about other blogs to introduce your readers to other useful information. You can do this with just a few sentences, as I did in Typefaces and Other Topics, or in more detail: Writing Case Studies.
  8. Pass on other people's good ideas. See my Hot Idea for Staying Out of Trouble and Your Untethered Reader.
  9. Express an opinion on something in the news. In Fired by Email I commented on a controversial layoff at RadioShack. In Me, Myself, and the Presidential Candidates I commented on a grammar error in the U.S. presidential debates.
  10. Share news you read. In Words to Ban in the New Year I shared Lake Superior State University's "banished word list." In A Costly Error I wrote about a lawsuit brought against a career management company. Don't worry that your readers may have seen the news story you are drawing from. You will present it from your own perspective.
  11. Find a way to tie any big news to your business. The post that began to draw large numbers of readers to this blog involved Hurricane Katrina, one of the biggest and most tragic news stories of 2005. Read my Sending Condolences: Hurricane Katrina.
  12. Build on the seasons and holidays. With the new year, most bloggers have published their recaps of 2008 and their resolutions and predictions for 2009. But look for the potential in other dates. I tied Martin Luther King Jr. Day to writing in Pursue Peace. I used Presidents' Day to talk about apostrophes.

I hope these tips on topics for writing blog posts are helpful to you. If you are still stuck, your niche may be too small to generate enough content for your blog. Read Naming Your Blog and Newsletter–Think Big for ideas on expanding your blog's vision.

Please share your ideas.

Syntax Training

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

16 comments on “Ideas for Blog Posts”

  • I love number three – business writing, in my estimation, is writing by and for business. The manuals that go out with the products are just as critical as the brochures and business plans.

  • Terence, you are right. Often, the manual wins the customer. Example: I am looking for a digital recorder and have been reading customer reviews online. Surprisingly, I find that customers often rank a product higher or lower because of the clarity and helpfulness of the manual. Good manuals=higher rankings=more sales.

    Thanks for commenting.


  • nice article you got there, i bookmark this site for future reference, im about to start a site about consumer wath reviews of products that people might be interested with this is good guide for obtaining a blog post review about a specific product. thanks

  • Great article. I write a business artcile for a monthly nagazine and its difficult to come up with ideas. I try to read as many other articles and listen to business news as much as possible and then pull something from these. And its amazing how you can adapt business ideas from other areas, such as sportting achievements…

  • Great article, I’m just beginning to take an interest in blogging and reviewing electronic gadgets, the advice here is transferrable across so many different sectors I’ll definitely make use of it.

  • “Anytime something catches your interest, no matter how far afield, tie it to the topic you write about on your blog.” This is an interesting strategy, I will have to try it out sometime. I wonder how many keywords I can include while writing about something else.

  • “The use examples to show your readers how to do things better. The examples need not be exact models of your topic.” These line are more effective to orient others on how to do a correct blogging and make one’s blog clear and more comprehensive. More Power!

  • If you have conversations with others about anything even remotely related to your subject for your blog it can turn into an article idea. I do this all the time for my blogs.

  • Where did you gather that kind of very helpful blog information? Well it was great, every idea has a point i am very impress on your #5! Keep the good work.

  • I assume you are writing about things you know well. Use your expertise to choose valuable resources for your readers.


  • Great post Ms. Lyn. I’m into blogging for almost years and i found this one a very helpful one. I got your idea on #11. When i was reading that I realize this is the perfect idea for my blog.

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