I don't know why, but I'm always surprised when would-be contributors ask me what they should write about.
It's a reasonable question and it's not like I ever took the time to spell it out. I guess I just assumed that people understood what I was looking for and in hindsight that assumption really doesn't make much sense.
So let me start at the beginning.
The premise behind Queen City Buzz is to provide a platform for local freelancers and small business owners to share their expertise and experiences starting and growing their businesses in and around Manchester.
My friend Mary Helen Gillespie described it as "a Huffington Post for New Hampshire businesses," and she was right.
For anyone who hasn't tried blogging for their business, it's a lot of work. And when I say "a lot of work" I mean that it's almost a second full-time job. Not only do you have to churn out 3 - 5 pieces of original content every week, but you have to actively promote the blog, participate in social media every day and if you're trying to reach a specific local market you have to regularly attend in-person networking events.
It's fine if your blog is your business, but when it's just one part of your marketing plan all that work can be overwhelming. Which brings me to Queen City Buzz.
Queen City Buzz is a place where a person who doesn't have the time or interest in starting and maintaining their own blog can post a regular column or an occasional article. You can even repost an article from you own blog. Which takes us back to the original question of what to write about.
Hint: Write about what your know!
I'm going to say this as plainly as possible, write about what you know.
If your business provides Business-to-Business (B2B) services, you just hit the jackpot. All you need to do is write about your industry, share your knowledge, insights or whatever information you think your customers would find useful.
If your business is Business-to-Consumer (B2C) or isn't an industry that easily lends itself to general blogging, then fall back on your experience as a local small business owner.
For example, Piper Turgeon's company, Eco Chic Interirors, provides residential interior design services. A B2B blog isn't really the right place to share tips on maximizing closet space so Piper blogs about networking.
Not only is she helping other New Hampshire small business owners by sharing her insights and experiences networking in the Granite State, but she's making a personal connection to potential customers.
Think about it. Have you ever thought about hiring an interior designer? Would you even know where to look for one? Chances are the answer to both questions is no, but once you read Piper's articles or listen to her podcasts you get a feel for her personality. You can tell that she has a great eye with an attention to detail and it's very obvious that she understands a budget. Without ever talking about her services she has already cleared that first hurdle and has you thinking about interior design.
John Rolfe has a micro-business selling board games. He wrote one article about the challenges of being a small start-up and his other article was about the advantages of using Square as a payment system. Again, neither article was specific to selling board games, but they addressed issues that other small business owners might face.
The fact is that there are only so many hours in the day and for most of us marketing is usually at the bottom of our to do list.
So why not get the most bang for your buck and maximize your efforts?
When you write a piece for Queen City Buzz you have an opportunity to establish yourself as a local industry expert without people feeling like you're trying to sell them something. It's the difference between saying "Hey, come to my blog I just posted a new article" and "My article was featured on Queen City Buzz."
It also exposes you and your business to a much broader audience.
Instead of waiting for people to need your product and hoping that they see an ad or find your website on their own, posting to Queen City Buzz gives you a chance to get on their radar before they even realize they need your service. It may not seem like a big deal if you provide a service that people need all the time, but for someone like Piper, who sells what is essentially a luxury service in a limited market, it's huge.
On top of all that Queen City Buzz contributors also get a prominent sidebar link that links back to their own business website and every article includes a brief author bio that includes information about you and another link back to your business.
It doesn't matter if you're a web developer like me who offers a service that most companies need or a board game seller like John Rolfe, participating in an active blog with ongoing, engaging content targeted to a local audience is a win-win.
So what are you waiting for? Click on the contributors' contact form and let me know what you want to write about.