Sometimes it’s difficult to get inspiration. When inspiration fails to strike, it’s tempting to fall back on old standards like “10 Best WordPress eCommerce Plugins” and or “The 21 Best Image Gallery Plugins”.
Running a blog can be a lot of work. And sometimes it can be difficult to get inspiration. When inspiration fails to strike, it’s tempting to fall back on old standards like “10 Best WordPress eCommerce Plugins” and or “The 21 Best Image Gallery Plugins”. This type of content may get you some traffic from Google but it’s definitely fallen out of popularity in recent years. If you’d like to build credibility for your blog you need to start writing content that is genuinely useful for your readers. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can approach it.
Tutorials are a great way to give back to your readers and to get new readers to subscribe to your blog. It’s true that there are a lot of tutorials out there, but only a limited number of them are actually any good. Besides, WordPress is constantly evolving, and the ways that people are working with WordPress change too. If you can write a tutorial to show people how to do something innovative or novel then it’s going to be a hit. You can also write tutorials that have already been written before by other people, just write them better.
Another way that you can approach tutorials is to write about how your users can make better use of your themes. This can be a complement to your documentation, providing more advanced learning for your users. Over time your tutorials will build up to be an excellent resource for both your customers and other people in the WordPress community.
Tip: if a tutorial is out of date, update it! Or write a totally new tutorial. You could also place a notice at the top of the tutorial to say that it is out of date, directing people to the new tutorial.
Daily Tips and Hacks
Short tips and hacks that show your readers how to one thing are a great way to produce regular content without too much of a drain on your time. Try to write short posts that are useful to your readers. This could be new plugins, plugins that work well with your themes, code snippets, important pieces of news, or how to achieve fun things with WordPress. There are a few blogs already doing this successfully. Check out WP Recipes or Sarah Gooding’s feed at WPMU.org.
Tip: use your Twitter feeds and RSS readers to keep track of what’s going on in the WordPress community. You’ll always find inspiration out there on the internet.
When a new version of WordPress (or BuddyPress, for that matter) hits beta you’re going to have to run it and make sure that it’s working with your themes. While you’re at it, write an article about the latest features. Many WordPress users don’t follow development, and wait until the update to get their first look at what’s new. Offer them a “sneak peak” of what’s in store when they actually update. This can be a great way to stimulate discussion on your blog. You can also talk about the features that will be having a major effect on your themes, or alert users to any potential issues.
Tip: Don’t just report, have an opinion. Talk about the features that you like, and the features that you hate. Make suggestions about what you think could be improved upon. See what your users think.
Case studies work on loads of different levels. First of all, they showcase your themes in action. Second, it teaches your readers about the powerful things that they can do with your themes. Next, it makes the person who you do the study on feel good about themselves for being showcased on your site. Finally, it demonstrates that you care about your users and want to build your community. Those are some pretty good reasons to start writing case studies. Get in touch with people who are doing interesting things with your themes. Here are some suggestions for things you could ask them:
- What is your website for?
- What theme did you choose and why?
- What plugins did you use to extend your website?
- Did you do any customizations to the theme? If so, what?
- What challenges do you think you’ll have in the future?
Tip: reach out to people in your community who don’t normally get featured. They’ll appreciate your interest which will strengthen their loyalty.
Whenever you release a theme you’re no doubt going to announce it on your blog. However, this isn’t just a great marketing opportunity, it’s a chance for you to focus your content around the theme that you are publishing. This way you’re giving your customers a theme, and you’re also giving them the tools they need to make the most out of that theme. For example, say you are releasing a video blogging theme. You could plan your content strategy like this:
- Monday: Theme release
- Wednesday: Tutorial on setting up the theme
- Thursday: A detailed guide to video blogging
- Friday: Plugins and tools for video blogging
This way you’re not just announcing your theme and leaving it at that. You’re providing your readers with a bundle of content that will help them to make the most of your theme.
Tip: plan your content in advance so that when your theme is released you have a week of posts to go along with it.
Those are just some of the ways you can create content for your theme shop blog. If you’re like more general inspiration, check out these posts:
- 22 Ways to Create Compelling Content When you Don’t Have a Clue (infographic)
- How to Come Up With Blog Post Ideas When You Have NO Ideas
- 21 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue