As a business blogging trainer, one concern I hear a lot from business owners is that they’ll run out of things to say in their blog posts. Many can think of a fairly long list of things they want to share about their products, their professional services, their customer service standards, and their overall fix on their industry or profession. But, looking at their business blog from the front end, most can’t even imagine what they’ll have to say two weeks from the start date of their blog, much less two or three years into the future!
Dr. Orison Swett Marden, father of the self-help movement in America, has some relevant advice: "Go as far as you can see, and when you get there you will see farther."
I found a very practical tip in an article by Steve Merchant in The Mind, in which Merchant explains the difference between two common abbreviated Latin terms, e.g. and i.e.. Both can be used to help keep blog post ideas flowing. E.g. stands for exempli gratia (for example), while i.e. stands for id est (that is), Merchant explains.
Effective blog posts are centered around key themes. As we each continue to write about our industry, our products, and our services, we’ll naturally find ourselves repeating some key ideas – in fact, that’s exactly what we should be doing to keep our blogs focused and targeted. The variety will come from the e.g. and the i.e’s.
It’s the different examples we use – of ways our company’s products can be helpful or the ways problems are solved using our services – that lend variety to our blog posts, even though those posts may be centered around the same few central ideas. We can incorporate unusual comparisons and illustrations to help explain our subject or to debunk myths. Continuing to write on the same topic, using different e.g’s allows us bloggers for business to continually present interesting and engaging material to engage online readers.
The i.e.’s work in much the same way. As bloggers for business, we say some of the same things over time, but we use other words to lend variety to our blog posts. And, since our blog is our teaching tool, we must remember that "students" learn differently. One online visitor might prefer a detailed listing of features and benefits of our products and services, while another might become more engaged by a testimonial or a tie-in with the news.
Our websites typically contain the main facts about our business – who we are, what we do, and how we help solve problems. The blog posts are variations on those basic themes.
In other words, what allows us bloggers to keep going as far as we can see, and then, when we get there, to go even further, IS the fact that blogs are "in other words"!