Stop me if you’ve heard this one before- when asked why you’re having a hard time coming up with a blog post you reply, “But I don’t have anything to write about….”
Complete and utter hogwash.
I am still firmly convinced that the number One reason why insurance folks DON’T blog is because their brain has convinced them there is nothing to write about.
And that is just plain crazy. The insurance industry, let alone your little agency, is RIPE with topics to write about. I think where most people fall down is that they don’t have a system that collects possible topics for future posts. Here’s my process to find and write your story- adapt it to your own needs and I guarantee you’ll never struggle for content ideas again.
My Fool-proof system to find and write your story
Step 1: Shut Up and Listen, Then Write Down What You Hear
When a customer asks a question, I listen closely to that question. If it’s a question that I think a lot of other people would want to know the answer to, I write it down in my notebook. Yes, it’s a real notebook. Nothing fancy, just a plain, old 1 subject notebook you would buy for school. I used to use a composition book (remember those small notebooks with the black & white cover?), but I outgrew it.
I’m almost embarrassed to share, because it’s so simple. But simple still works. You could use every technological item at your disposal, but I’m a big believer in keeping things simple. The insurance industry makes things complicated enough, let’s not add to it OK?
What if you’re not as hands-on with your customers as you once were? Then ask the people who are hands-on (think CSR’S & producers) to take custody of the “notebook” and do the same thing. It takes just a few minutes to collect questions. They could give you a ton of content in probably very little time since they deal with the majority of the day-to-day transactions.
Step 2: Gather stories from the press too, including newspaper, TV, social media, etc.
Just recently, my community has been hit with several arsons. Hmmm, do you think a post answering the question “How do homeowners policies respond to arson?” would be timely and helpful?
Or maybe some of your Facebook friends are having a conversation about insurance rates and wondering why Joe is paying so much more than Sue. You could write a post that answers the question “What determines how much my auto insurance will cost?
Step 3: Answer the questions you’ve written down in your notebook or collected through the media
On my Alan Galvez Insurance blog, I am working very hard to make every blog post title a question that a customer has asked. Why you ask? When you do a Google search, how do you type in what you’re searching for? I bet you use “What is, Where is, How Does” and a variety of other terms that are basically questions you’re asking Google to find the answers to.
So why not use that same format in creating your blog post titles? Bet you’ll have better success in being found in Search if you frame your titles in language your audience is using. In other words, think like the customer.
So, when I go through my notebook, I choose a question and use that as the blog post title. Then in the body of the post, I answer the question.
And that’s truly the magic formula.
And it can work for you.
Here’s some examples from my own agency in just one week
I had no less than 3 questions that came through everyday interaction with customers:
- What do I do need to do with my insurance policies after death of my spouse?
- How will my auto insurance policy pay when two cars on the same policy hit each other?
- What’s the true value of life insurance? (after speaking with a widowed spouse who’s husband left her nothing)
Do you think your customers would want to know the answers to these questions? Of course they would. So tell them.
There is ALWAYS plenty of opportunity to find and write your story. You just have to be willing to listen, look and write it down.
Have you used this approach? Does it work for you? Do you have other methods of finding stories that you have found helpful? What’s your magic formula?