Starting a blog is easy–but maintaining a blog is hard.
It takes rigor and a lot of hard thinking. Those first few posts flow easily, but after that, it can seem like an insurmountable task coming up with something to write about on a consistent basis.
If you’re ever struggling to come up with something to write, I can offer a pretty good suggestion that you can almost always fall back on: the humble FAQ.
FAQs (or Frequently Asked Questions, for those of you who haven’t seen the term before) are a way for you to answer common questions that your customers have. Whether that’s something as simple as “What is social media?” or as specific as “How can I use a Twitter card to drive sales to my online store?,” FAQs are invaluable because of the intellectual foundation that they set for your blog.
FAQs on your blog are good for a lot of reasons, but there are a few reasons I hold them in such high regard.
For one, they’re easy. Though the level of effort you need to put into a post should never be the sole factor in determining what you want to write about, it’s nice knowing that you can have a fairly straightforward post to fall back on in the event that you’ve flat-out run out of ideas. Provided that you already know the answer (I don’t recommend typing up an answer to an FAQ for your blog unless you’re already intimately familiar with the question), typing up an FAQ post is as easy as writing out the question and articulating what you’ve told your customers a thousand times before.
FAQs are also, as I hinted at above, a great opportunity to build a knowledge base on your blog. You may only start with 1, but by the time you’ve written 5 or 6 FAQ posts, not only have you populated your site with content, but you’ve also created an index of answers to questions that customers frequently have (that is, after all, the nature of the FAQ). So the next time your customer asks you that question you’ve heard a million times before, you can direct them to the blog and let them follow up with any additional questions if they still have any after reading your post.
And finally, that knowledge base I just mentioned is also a great way to distinguish yourself as a thought leader in the space. When customers see a wide range of FAQs answered by you on your blog or another part of your website, you’re already well on your way to establishing a lot of credibility provided that your answers are substantive and actually useful. The benefits of the FAQ, then, are long lasting and easy to see.
The FAQ is a very powerful tool for your blog. So the next time you’re struggling to figure out what to write, I urge you to think about an FAQ. You can’t rely on them for everything you’re going to publish, but they’re certainly a great place to start.
Image credit: a_kep