This is the third update in my Summer Lovin blog series!

summer lovin

click here for previous articles in the series

Now that you are ready to plan your editorial calendar, you are now faced with your next major obstacle in content marketing: a blank page. Sometimes, deciding what to write about can feel like a descent down the seven circles of Dante’s Inferno.

If you’re feeling that way, you’re overthinking it. As a content provider, you have only two roles to play: an educator, and/or an entertainer.


Being an Educator

One of the best, and primary, uses of your content should be to educate, or teach, your customers, both potential and existing. What will you be teaching them? Examples:

  • Show them how to use your product – maybe even some unexpected uses for your product. For example, Crate & Barrel explains to their customers the different types of dinnerware, and why you should have two sets.  This hair salon highlights photos of the latest hair trends on their blog, giving you ideas on what to ask for when you come in.
  • Share stories from customers – this also serves to show how to use your product, but it also endears a bit of community and it’s a powerful way to share tips and tricks.   Note-taking app Evernote highlighted a customer who used their app to plan their Indian wedding – it’s actually kind of an interesting story, and the tips are a bonus.
  • Give a behind-the-scenes-peek – transparency is almost always good for business (unless you have something to hide, which is never good for business).   Stocks for the Week (disclosure: a client) has a number of articles about how their stock algorithms work, which is one of the most frequent questions they get from new users.
  • Be an industry leader – this is an obvious choice for B2B companies, but even B2C companies can use content to establish authority and expertise on topics that make you an industry standout that customers respect.  Maybe you’re cutting edge with a cleaning technology, maybe you’re leading the charge on the local food sourcing, maybe you installed solar panels and produce your own electricity.  Tell the story!
  • News – perhaps the most perfunctory use of content, but not to be entirely dismissed.  If you’re posting news about new events, new staff, new menus, etc. – please be creative.   Sneak peeks, interesting photography, storytelling about the event – don’t just slap up a link to Eventbrite.

Being an Entertainer

It’s much easier to educate than it is to entertain.  Why?  Because what you think is entertaining isn’t always what your customers think is, and sometimes you just end up coming off amateur, or worse, offensive.  

Don’t get me wrong: having some fun with your content is a great way to build a bond with clients new and old.  Just do so tactfully and strategically; this isn’t something you need to overthink.  Let’s say you have a tea shop and you ask clients to send in photos of their oldest, zaniest tea mugs to share on a photo gallery and you’ll send ’em their favorite tea of they get featured.  A simple gesture to get people involved and is “fun” without being complicated.    Please, do not feel the need to do the Harlem Shake or whatever the fad-video-of-the-day is.  Pick things that are very relevant to your business.  Have fun with it.

Honestly, I could spend another hour picking and posting links to example blogs from people who are doing a great job.  After a while, though, it starts to feel like you’re taking an exam and peeking over other students shoulders.

Whether you are educating or entertaining, ask yourself: what would make your ideal customer smile?
That’s all your content strategy needs to get started.

Extra Resource: Now that you’re writing down topics, you might also enjoy an earlier article of mine: 5 Tips for Website Owners Who Aren’t Writers.


Leave a comment on any of the summer lovin’ series articles and get a free 45 minute brainstorming session with any consulting packages you book during the month of May. Click here to learn more about what I do and get the conversation started.