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Coming Up with Ideas for Blog Posts: How to Turn an Email into a Blog Post

Ken Gaebler

Ken Gaebler

Most people are thought leaders and they don’t know it.

As marketers, a big part of our job is helping clients to find their ruby slippers. They’ve got the magic ruby slippers on already, but they don’t recognize what they’ve got.

It’s true. As marketing consultants, we often walk in and, say: “Hey you do realize that this aspect of your business is really interesting and you could use it in the following three ways to accomplish those four incredibly important organizational objectives you just told me about?”

Sometimes, it turns out, the answers are in front of you but you don’t see them.

Thought leadership ideas and blogging topics are the same way. Our client partners often are stumped on what to cover in their blogs. What are good topics for blog posts? What expertise do I have? What do I have to say that’s interesting?

Sure, you can pay us to develop your thought leadership programs, deliver an extensive list of blog topics, and help you to write them. But coming up with good blog topics is easier than you think.

The reality is that most of us thought-lead our way through each and every day without even realizing it.

For example, if you are a professional services firm, like we are, you probably send out a couple of emails a day to clients or employees where you give them some sage advice. So, why not turn one of those emails into a quick blog post?

Check out the email below that I sent to one of our Account Directors the other day. (Keep scrolling to get to it. BTW, I edited it to not include any real people or company names.)

Took me ten minutes to write it. Give me another ten minutes and I can turn it into a quick, thoughtful blog post, entitled something like “Website Redesign Considerations for Pivoting Entrepreneurs”

I know you’ve got emails like this that you can dig out of your Sent folder.

If this is your assigned week to write the company blog post, do a little digging in your email and you’ll probably find a great topic to cover. If email doesn’t produce, look at a recent Powerpoint deck that you created, or just think back to a recent conversation you had.

Sure, you can start with a blank piece of paper and brainstorm on ideas, but odds are, you’ve already got some great blog post ideas and content lying around. They just need a little polishing up.

Remember, it’s a blog post, not the Great American Novel. Write it fast, make sure it conveys some use to somebody out there, post it and move on. Mix that tactic up with occasionally taking the time to write something more extensive and you’ll avoid the cardinal lights-are-on-but-nobody-is-home sin of most company blogs: months going by before a new blog post is added.

The bottomline? When it comes to thought leadership and blog post ideas, you’ve already got a pair of magical ruby slippers. You just need to put them on and click your heels.

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Ken Gaebler

Date: Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Subject: Re: Question on New Client Website

To: ******


Here are the steps they need to take, assuming that they are dropping (i.e. closing down) the old site and replacing it altogether with the new one:

1. Create a list of every page that is on the current ****** site. Since they have many pages and may not be keeping an active list, there are two ways to get the list. First, if they use a CMS, there is probably a database within the CMS and they can likely query a table to get all the active pages. Second, if they can’t get it that way, they can use a crawling product like Screaming Frog to crawl the site from top to bottom and it will generate the full list of pages.

2. Paste that list of pages into a spreadsheet, and for each row, add an additional column called 301 Page. (This will be the page that the old page is 301 redirected to. Doing so avoids them losing any link juice that they accrued on the old site. See for additional details.)

3. For every row in the spreadsheet, key in the new URL path that will exist on the new domain. So, for example, https://www.******.com/contact would maybe 301 to https://www.******.com/contact, assuming that’s the contact us path on the new site. When there is no obvious match from old to new, they still need to pick a page on the new site because you don’t want any given page to not have a 301 entry. While it can be tempting to just 301 all those orphans to the home page (or to the buy now page to give pagerank to your money page), Google prefers that you try to 301 to a page that is most relevant to the original page.

4. After building out the spreadsheet, then the web dev team has to implement the 301 redirects such that they are completely active on the day they cutover from one site to another. Typically, Google will take it from there as a far as getting the old site out of its index, conveying old site PageRank to new, and indexing the new site.

If they are going to have both sites live, but they are spinning off part of the old business into new, it’s a similar exercise, only the spreadsheet only contains the old site pages that are being migrated or deleted.

Hope this helps.


On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 3:14 PM, ********* <**********> wrote:


One of our PR clients, ******, will be pivoting to a new business model and new name, ******. This will include a new website and URL.

I’m wondering if you have any wisdom on best practices for transferring his Web presence to the new site, especially given that he has a lot of inbound links from PR, many that go to ******.com but others that go to deep pages.

What types of redirects should he be setting up? What SEO concerns should he have?

It’s not something you need to spend any amount of time on, but if you have something already written on this, it might be helpful for our team.