Every day, thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs and rising business stars head online and look for advice and guidance from CEOs, all eager to learn and develop by listening to their mentors. At the same time, thousands more potential customers and clients are doing the same thing as they go in search of vital information regarding the products and services they need.
This translates to a serious audience for CEO bloggers, but this also means that there's a great deal of competition in the online thought-leadership marketplace. So how can you make sure your voice is heard?
Two vital factors are creativity and variety. Your audience is looking for something a little different in your blog posts, and they're also looking for genuine worth and value in the information you deliver.
When a business blog is handled correctly, it represents a direct connection and source of engagement with your audience, passing on game-changing information while highlighting your expertise, your passion and your position at the forefront of the industry.
So what kind of blogs should you be writing? Here are seven formats and ideas you should be considering for your CEO blog.
Your audience is keen to get an insider view of the trends sweeping your industry. Fortunately, you're in a great position to provide this. While there are lots of different sources your audience can draw upon to get raw data, what they really want is your opinions on what's happening, why, and what's coming next.
Industry trends articles are arguably the easiest of all pieces to write. Chances are you've been talking about trends in your field all day. All you need to do now is organise these thoughts into a blog post.
This style of blog is aimed squarely at industry insiders and up-and-comers eager for advice and guidance, and it's also excellent for demonstrating your expertise in your industry.
Consider the strategies and methods you have utilised in achieving your successes. Remember, as with industry trends, avoid a dry retelling of the mechanics of your methods. Instead, input your own opinions and provide something which is different in tone, style, and content to your peers.
Question and answer
In your position as a CEO, it's likely that you are fielding questions each and every day on a variety of topics related to your field. These questions can provide the starting point for an effective piece of content for your users.
Consider creating a 'frequently asked questions' style post, in which you outline common questions that clients and partners put to you on a daily basis, along with answers. Another spin on this classic format is to reach out to someone in the industry who you know your audience admire and interview them via email, video or audio conferencing.
You may also wish to consider an 'expert panel' format, in which you reach out to multiple experts in your field, putting the same questions to each to gain a different perspective with each person's answer.
"How to..." posts
Some CEO bloggers might feel a little uncomfortable delivering posts which demonstrate precisely how something is to be done. They may feel that this approach is giving too much away; that such tuition is something they could charge for.
While this is true, a "how to" post is still an effective piece of content for a CEO blog. You don't have to give away the secrets of your business or your products or services, but you can certainly offer your accumulated wisdom and expertise to your audience.
There are two key points to consider here;
- Don't explain topics that are too simple. Give your audience some credit - chances are their knowledge is already at a reasonably high level, just not as high as yours.
- Think of topics which are a little different to those which are covered in business school - your audience wants the benefit of your experience, not simply a regurgitation of what they have already heard. Opinions and personal insights will help with this.
Have you seen stories or news items which you found interesting or insightful? Distil them into bite-sized form and produce an information roundup business blog post.
Your audience may not have the time to trawl through endless pages of news. Position yourself as a one-stop shop for all the latest headlines in your industry and the standing of your blog will be greatly increased.
The internet is a connected place, and, as such, your blog will not be an isolated island with a captive audience. Don't worry about this. Instead, you should embrace it. Provide links and write-ups for original, interesting pieces of content elsewhere, focus on the delivery of value and worth to your audience, and engage your readers in your industry's discourse.
Remember that you're not sending your audience away from your blog; you're demonstrating your position as a key player in a global conversation.
Not all of the posts you upload to your blog need to be penned by you. Invite guest bloggers to produce content for your site too, and come to an arrangement which works for both of you. This way, you are providing excellent quality content to your audience while perhaps also attracting new readers who might not otherwise have accessed your content.