Jigsaw puzzles weren’t my thing until relatively recently when I realised a decent puzzle offers meditative problem-solving that can absorb me for hours. Brain-switching-off-from-work-for-the-win!
If you’re not into puzzles, let me tell you there is a pretty standard process for getting started.
And no, you don’t just start looking for pieces that fit together. My kids try that and 45 seconds later they’re looking at the other 998 pieces and wondering what else they could be doing.
Which may or may not be my cunning plan.
First, you sort the pieces. After the edges, you have to figure out the most logical categories.
There are usually some obvious designs that help you create some buckets.
And it’s just like setting up a blog.
I’ve been talking about blogging to members of my private coaching group, Confident Copywriting.
Some people say blogging is dead. Old-fashioned marketing with no place in our world of podcasting, Substacks and TikTok. I disagree.
Blogging is a marketing powerhouse for your copywriting business.
- It allows you to position yourself as a subject matter expert.
- You create a powerful digital footprint when you optimise your blogs for keywords (SEO).
- You can write one blog and create so much other content: social media, podcasts, videos, lives and short-form videos, emails and articles (just to name a few).
- You can constantly reshare blog content and get your ideas in front of new audiences. No new work required.
But the most important benefit of blogging is that you develop your writing style and skill. Finding your own writing voice when you write in a different client’s voice on every project can be tough. It’s something you need to practise.
But blogging isn’t just sitting down and writing. Oh no.
Before you write your first word, you have to spend some time thinking about how you’ll organise your blog content.
Enter… Creating blog categories.
Roll your eyes at this unglamorous setup work if you will. But know this: when done right, this prep work will make it easier to write great blog content AND hook up readers with exactly the content they need.
It’s the admin most posts on starting a blog don’t cover. Those posts take you from “brainstorm post ideas” and “stick with a schedule” to “plan and research content”.
The truth is that a blog without categories is a list of destinations without a map.
So, come sit by me and let’s talk about coming up with the best blog categories for small business owners like you.
Step 1: Identify the primary category you want to be known for.
Your main blog category is the one you want to be known for. It’s the one you’ll file most blogs into and should have a direct line to your services (and paid work).
So your primary category might be “copywriting”. Easy.
Step 2: Brainstorm blog categories adjacent to your main category.
These are related subjects that readers would also be interested in. For example, if you’re a copywriter, your primary blog category is likely to be copywriting.
But you might also write about adjacent subjects like:
- Content marketing
- Social media
- Digital marketing
- Marketing psychology
- Tech and Apps
Which categories you choose will depend on 1) your target reader and 2) what you want to write about.
Don’t limit yourself to subjects you know about now as you will undoubtedly get to know many more subjects in the future. And you can add more categories later! The trick is to choose blog categories that will attract target readers and leave the door open for your future self to add to (so not super duper narrow).
Step 3: Brainstorm blog ideas.
Your new blog categories can give you some ideas buckets that spark blog topics, so set a time and write down as many questions, problems, frustrations, processes, outcomes, tactics and techniques you can think of for each blog category bucket.
Small steps, big rewards.
If you don’t have a blog yet, this is your call to action to start brainstorming categories. Because you know what happens when you map out some categories? Your brain starts thinking about blog topics that will fit.
Once you have some topics, then it’s a much shorter hop to writing.
And once you’re writing, who knows where you’ll end up.
Spoiler: in your dream client’s inbox, that’s where.