Can’t figure out what to post on your contractor blog?
You’re really not alone. Lots of home services professionals struggle with that very thing.
In this post I’ve used a roofing blog as an example. But you can really extrapolate it out to see how you might generate content for any type of home services blog. This method works for electricians. It works for fence contractors. It works for gutter guys. It just plain works.
1. Pro and Con Posts
Talk about the pros and cons of different roof types. Or talk about the pros and cons of different roof coatings.
You could also talk about the pros and cons of different ways to clean your roof, the pros and cons of patching a roof vs. replacing it, and the pros and cons of attempting to do roof work yourself.
Since a bit of cursory research tells me that there are about 10 types of roof that homeowners can choose from, this type of post will at least give you 15 posts, or nearly two month’s worth of content.
2. Posts About Stuff that Endangers Roofs
Right off the top of my head I can think of trees, moss, and algae for 3 more posts. There’s also insufficient ventilation, which can cause a roof to rot from within, offering 1 more post. Another quick search gave me ice dams for one more.
3. Posts About Common Roof Problems
Posts that address punctures, leaks, moisture, and blistering are all options. Depending upon how you handle this you could create multiple posts for these topics, but you get at least 4 posts out of addressing them one by one.
4. Posts About How to Inspect Your Roof
You could devote at least one post on how to inspect your roof and how often it should be done in order to maintain your home’s health. You could probably do another post on why homeowners need to inspect their roof.
5. How-To Posts
You can get a lot of mileage out of how-to posts: how to patch a roof, how to put a band-aid on a leaky ceiling, or even how homeowners can do their own roof (they won’t, they’ll call you).
A very fast scan of “how to” + “roof” over on You Tube got me 21 topics before I got out of the first page, or almost three month’s worth of content. This topic would also include how to be safe while doing any of these DIY projects.
6. Posts About the Lifespan of a Roof
This is probably only good for one post that covers all of the different roofing types, unless there are mitigating factors that can make the roof last longer, in which case you’ve got 2 posts.
7. Dumb Crap People Do to Their Roof
Ahh…theoretically this topic could be infinite, but you can probably choose your 8 best stories for a solid month of content.
8. Stuff Related to the Roof
Here you can talk about gutters, soffits, fascia, and flashing, just to name a few topics. You could theoretically branch out into anything having to do with any of those topics, but let’s just call it a solid 4 posts per related topics for a total of 16 posts (2 months of content).
9. Posts About Roof Support Problems
Since my research turned up 5 categories of roof support, let’s be conservative and say that you can get 5 posts out of this topic, one for each category. As a roofer, you may be able to think of way more than 5.
10. What New Homeowners Should Know About the Roof
Many of your readers are either purchasing or living in their very first home. Up until this point nice maintenance men have come to take care of all their problems whenever they put in a phone call. That means there’s a lot of things they haven’t thought about when it comes to their roof. You have the opportunity to help educate them. We’ll call this 1 post.
11. The Roof as It Relates to Buying or Selling A Home
Both buying and selling bring their own issues when it comes to the roof. The buyer needs some good questions to ask the home inspector. The seller has to know how much work to put into the roof before attempting to sell. 2 posts.
12. The Costs of Repairing, Patching, or Replacing a Roof
Of course, every house is different and you still have to go out there and give each homeowner an estimate. But homeowners want to at least see some price ranges so that they’ll know if they can afford to even begin having the conversation with you. 1 post, or 3 if you can think of a way to structure it that devotes at least 250 words to each scenario.
13. Advances in Roof Technology
Theoretically you could put together infinite posts on this subject. A quick glance over Google News can tell you if there’s anything exciting or fun.
But for the sake of argument we’ll say that you might find 8 cool things in one year to blog about. 8 posts.
14. Solar Panel Issues
You may not be a solar expert, but solar panels definitely have an impact on the roof. You could talk about how to install the panels without damaging your roof, how to prep a roof for solar powers, damage prevention once the solar panels are on the roof and how solar panels get attached to the roof.
You can also talk about caring for solar panels since they become a related issue once they’re up there. 5 posts.
15. Anything You Wish Your Customers Knew
Every business I’ve ever encountered has dumb things customers do over and over again, and roughly 30 questions that every customer always asks. Your blog is an ideal place to address these issues.
For example, you could talk about what customers should do in order to prepare for your visit, whether or not they can live in the home while you’re working on it, and anything you can think of to make the experience smoother. I’ll only credit myself 3 posts here, but if you actually do get 30 questions you’ve got 30 posts.
16. Anything Customers Need to Know About Cleaning the Roof
When to clean the roof. How to clean the roof. Why they need to clean the roof. Why they shouldn’t use pressure-washers.
Since “how to clean the roof” might have been covered in the how-to section we’ll call this 3 posts.
17. Anything Related to How Storms Affect a Roof
The roof takes the brunt of most weather related conditions. You can talk about what to watch out for after a severe thunderstorm, a hurricane, a tornado, and a severe snow storm. You can also talk about how to prepare a roof for a drought. 5 posts.
18. Roof Ventilation Issues
You can talk about choosing the right roof ventilation, preventing problems with roof ventilation, what roof ventilation does for the roof and the basics of what any homeowner needs to know about roof ventilation. A roofer might know still more things that homeowners should know about roof ventilation issues, but we’ll call this 4 posts.
19. Timing Issues Related to the Roof
Examples include when to repair or replace the roof, and whether or not you can get service in winter. 2 posts.
20. Roofing Products
Products could include ladders, gutter cleaning attachments, roof cleaning tools, and shingles. You could write up reviews, talk about what homeowners should look for in each product, and even talk about any products that are a waste of time.
You can also give specific instructions for using each product, especially if there are safety considerations involved. We’ll be conservative and call this 6 posts.
21. Checklist Posts
I can think of 2 checklists off the top of my head: a checklist for winterizing a roof and a checklist for spring cleaning the roof after the snows go away. You may be able to think of other useful checklists.
22. Hanging Holiday Lights
You’ll want to save these for December, of course, but let’s face it…lights are mostly hung on or near the roof, giving you every right to talk about them on your blog.
You can talk about hanging light tips, you can talk about hanging light techniques, and you can talk about hanging light safety. You can talk about how to hang your holiday lights without damaging the roof.
If you’re feeling ultra ambitious you can drive around town and spend a little time taking pictures of some of the coolest light displays on roofs all over town. You can probably do this once a week clear up till Christmas before it gets old.
Total posts: 8, enough to carry you from post-Thanksgiving clear up until Christmas without breaking a sweat.
23. Problems With Various Roofing Materials
Since individual roofing materials can each present specific problems you can talk about any roofing materials that your company uses. If you use all of them, you can get at least 10 posts out of this by talking about anything from cracked and broken tiles to the way that little granules break off of asphalt shingles to clog up gutters.
24. The Roof and the Environment
There’s probably actually a ton of material here, but I can think of 3 topics off the top of my head: green roofing options, energy efficient roofing, and the new trend towards creating “living roofs” with strips of sod.
You can talk about what each of these options are, and you can talk about whether or not they’re a good idea. For example, a carpet of grass on the roof may make homeowners feel like hobbits, but will they experience big problems or special concerns later?
As a result, we’ll call this 6 posts.
25. Naughty Contractors
You can devote these types of posts to spotting roofing scams and showcasing photos of crappy roof installations you find all over town. You can also tell homeowners how they can tell whether or not their contractor has done a good job on a roof (add pictures of some of your own installs).
The bad roof photos will need explanations of why the installations were so bad. We’ll say you can find 4 of those, which means you get at least 6 posts out of this topic category.
26. Story Time!
This topic involves taking before, during, and after pictures of installations you’re actually doing. Tell the story of you and your team hard at work in the field using a photo diary.
Did something cool, funny, or strange happen? Make sure to include it. If the homeowner’s spider monkey got out of his cage and crawled up there to run off with your hammer you’ll get a ton of mileage out of sharing the tale.
Assuming you do at least one roof installation a month we’ll call this 12 posts. You don’t want to do this all the time, but a once-monthly post about what you’re doing is really great content.
In addition, if you attend any trade shows or home shows you can blog about those, offering you 2 more posts from this category.
27. How to Choose a Roof Contractor
This is sort of one of your very few “gimmie” posts where you get to spend the whole post talking about what makes a good contractor and how you meet every one of those criteria. Use this one only after you’ve generated a few months of great content with other stuff. You get one of these.
28. Community Events
Theoretically this is an infinite category, with some caveats. First, you probably don’t want to let this category take over your blog.
However, once you stop you have to devote at least 1 blog post a month to it or the lone community event posts look weird.
Third, it’s best if the events are related to what you do in some way. So you can post about the home show, you can post about your local hardware store’s free class on how to hold a hammer, you can post on the first time homebuyer’s class, and you can post about the summer camp that teaches kids how to be contractors. You don’t want to come out of the blue and post about the 10K run unless you or your guys are competing in it.
The exception to this rule is charity stuff: you can almost always post about charity events without really hurting anything, just as a way to forward the interests of your community. However, it’s stronger if the charity event has some tie-in to what you do.
See Small Business Search Marketing’s Post: The #1 Problem With Local Blogging and Local Content before you try this stuff.
However, assuming you find 1 blog post a month to do on community events: 12 posts.
29. Answers to Specific Customer Questions
Q&A posts are great, so if you get specific customer questions that don’t fall into the “30 questions everyone asks” then you can devote entire blog posts to answering them. This requires you to really keep your ear out and to pay attention when you talk to your customers.
This might happen six times a year so we’ll call this 6 posts.
How Many Posts Did We Come Up With?
That’s 87 weeks of content. So there you have it roofers. You have no excuse not to start a blog on your website.
Of course, if the thought of writing 175 posts over the next 3 years fills you with dread you could always contact us to talk about our blog writing services.
Either way you now know that filling your home services blog with content is totally doable.