You’ve already heard us wax lyrical about the importance of having a blog on your website. Just in case you need a reminder of their merits, blogs offer a way for visitors to engage with your site, set you up as a go-to authority in your industry, and boost your search engine ranking thanks to the inclusion of keywords and fresh content.
But I know what you’re thinking. You’re an engineer, not a writer, right? You don’t know where you’ll find the time, the ideas or the talent to regularly write new blog updates.
Well, no more excuses; I’ve made it easy for you. Here are 12 ideas for blog types to get you started and have you blogging like a pro in no time ...
1. Recent engineering projects
Start with what you know best. Demonstrate the scope of your company’s skills by writing about your involvement in a recent engineering project. Discuss the process you took, challenges that arose and the end result. Was there something about this project that was particularly innovative? Was there a solution that your company was able to provide that others couldn’t? You may want to break projects down into updates, like this New Zealand-based engineering firm has done. Include photos or diagrams at each stage of the project where applicable. Some quotes or a testimonial from the client or project partners will round it off nicely.
2. Highlight tools and technology
Give readers an inside tour of your workshop or job site by profiling particular machinery, tools or processes you use in your line of engineering. Have you created a customised solution for your practice? Include photos or video demonstrations of the machinery at work, and give examples of how you’ve tested the limitations of the tools to come up with some creative solutions for your clients.
3. Product Reviews
Is there a new product, machinery or piece of equipment that has just appeared on the market? Address the questions on everyone’s lips by doing an X vs Y product review. Which cable works best for which application? What circular grinding machine gets the best results? Which is the superior sensor?
4. Industry updates, recent legislation or relevant news
What’s the latest industry goss? Are there new rules and regulations that your clients or colleagues should know about? Perhaps there have been recent discussions in the media regarding environmental, political or social issues which relate to your field. Write a blog post in response to recent industry news - detail the facts or provide some commentary of your own. It’s OK to rock the boat a little.
Profile an industry thought leader, or someone who is respected in your business circles. Perhaps they pioneered a recent innovation or have championed change in the industry. Or, interview your own customers; ask them to talk about their project, the solution you were able to deliver, and their experience using your firm. Why not think about including this as a video blog?
6. Staff profiles
Take your readers behind the scenes. Let them know what it’s like to work for your company, and introduce the people behind the business and the brand. Maybe someone on your team has a particular skill, has contributed to a well-known project or they’re working on their own clever creation in their workshop at home. It encourages a more personal connection and gives the impression to potential new talent that your firm is a great place to work. This company features a series of ‘Consultants tell their stories’ posts, or take a look at how we’ve done it here at WorkflowMax.
7. Answer FAQs
What are some of the common questions you encounter when you’re on-boarding new clients? What are some of their concerns or potential objections? Perhaps it is the first time that a potential client will be engaging the services of an engineer - what are some of the things that they should know about the process?
8. Write a list
No particular penmanship talents required here, just a little research. This could be a list of other interesting blogs or websites that cover your field of engineering, helpful resource sites relevant to your industry or engineering management, suppliers or online stores, best software apps, industry publications, engineering feats or failures, famous engineers in history, social media influencers, weird industry facts… the list, excuse the pun, goes on and on...
9. Use or review white papers
Break up your existing white papers into more accessible, shorter articles. Summarise the key points or break it up into a blog series. If your company doesn’t have white papers of its own, you could review a white paper or presentation and provide a summary or opinion piece from your own perspective.
10. Report from a conference or trade show
Have you recently attended a conference, given a presentation or checked out the latest innovations at a trade show? Give some insider insight on topics that were up for discussion and your ideas about where the industry is headed.
11. Weird and wonderful engineering creations
Have some fun with this one and research the not-so-serious side of engineering by featuring some wacky creations or funny engineering failures - here are 27 of History’s Strangest Inventions to get you inspired.
12. Recent innovations or technical developments
The engineering industry is dynamic, whatever field you are in. There are constant changes and updates in products, technology and processes. Show your readership that you are always ahead of the game when it comes to the latest innovations and ideas in your industry by discussing recent news and releases.
Tips for maintaining a successful blog for engineers:
- Set up a strategy - decide on your purpose and goals. Will your blog only be technical or will it include personal commentary, or a mix of the two.
- Recruit a blogging team - spread the load and enlist the help of your colleagues. Ask them to contribute a post once a month or feature as a ‘guest blogger’.
- Stick to a schedule - decide how often you want to publish your posts and establish a blog calendar (we recommend at least once a fortnight). Give yourself plenty of time to craft your draft, review and publish.
- Decide on a comment policy - most blogs will have a comment function that you can either turn on or off. If you choose to accept comments, make sure you decide who will be responsible for responding to comments and keeping an eye on discussions.
- A personal touch - include the names of authors and a photo. It will help establish your identity as an expert in your field. You'll see my face, and a bit about me at the end of my post, like this:
- Photos - make sure you break up text with some high quality images and photos.
- Link to external sources - include links to resources or other related sites or publications to provide added value to your readers.
- Include a call to action - The focus of your blog should not be to sell your product or services. However, a call to action at the end of your blog to direct readers to contact you, or read more about your services should always be included. We often include this call to action on our blog:
- Create a blog journal - keep a note of all your ideas, and ask your team to do the same. Create a shared document or use an online collaboration tool such as Trello.
You’ve now got 12 blog post ideas that can help you establish your firm’s content calendar - so you’ve got no excuse to not produce at least one blog a month for the next year to prevent your blog from being a wasteland of creativity. Once you get started, you’ll see how easy it is for one idea to inspire another, and blogging won’t seem like such a challenge!
Does your engineering firm’s website have a blog? Do you have tips for creating a successful content strategy?
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