In the beginning, blogging was for impassioned rants, dispirited whines, and the occasional photo of your dinner. Now we've got Facebook for that time-wasting nonsense, blogging has been adopted by businesses as a way of connecting with their customers through content marketing.
Why Bother Blogging
Your blog serves the following functions:
♥ Showcase your expertise.
♥ Build your credibility.
♥ Spread awareness of your brand by creating shareable content.
♥ Help customers find your business by creating content for search engines to index.
In exchange for a little time spent creating content, you get a permanent client magnet attached to your website - not too shabby, eh?
What Goes On The Blog
Focus your attention on the three types of blog post make your business blog more effective.
#1 Search Engine Bait - Not as dodgy as it sounds.
#2 FAQs - Not as boring as it sounds.
#3 Personal Insights - No soapbox required.
#1 Search Engine Bait
There are certain phrases your target audience are typing into search engines to seek out a solution.
Those are your target keyword phrases, the phrases you want to have scattered over your website for search engine bots to discover & index.
Writing blog posts based on these keyword phrases is a good idea because –
a) by responding to a need for information you are adding value and building your credibility.
b) new people who were previously unaware of your awesomeness will discover you when your blog post shows up in the search results list.
For example, if a nutritionist targeted the phrase ‘tired after eating' they could write:
* The surprising reason you're so tired after eating;
* Six foods to avoid if you feel tired after eating;
* Tired after eating? Do this.
These blog posts will act as a library of useful resources you can refer your clients to again and again.
What questions are you asked most frequently? And what are some of the concepts or topics you commonly need to explain?
Write a list of things you're tired of explaining, stuff you wish your clients knew already, and questions you hear time and again, and you'll have plenty of material to blog about for weeks.
#3 Personal Insights
Used sparingly these can help your audience get to know you better.
After reading your ‘About’ page, your prospects are hungry to know more about you. The more they feel like they know and trust you, the more comfortable they will be picking up the phone, sending you an email or booking a consultation.
Share personal stories that will resonate with your audience and give behind the scenes information (and photos or videos) and how you run your business.
The traditional method of blogging looks like this:
Step 1: Add ‘write weekly blog post' onto your to-do list
Step 2: Do everything else on your to-do list
Step 3: Spend an hour trying to think of something to write your blog post about
Step 4: Give up and make a cup of coffee.
I'm going to tell you to do something right now that will magically make this whole process much less painful.
Open a spreadsheet and make a table with three columns - two wide ones, then one narrow one.
In the first column, inspired by the three types of blog post outlines above, write as many title ideas as you can think of. Then in the next column, against each title, write a one sentence summary of what that post is about. Finally, put a star in the end column against any blog posts that are super-important to get done sooner rather than later.
That's it. That's your full blog strategy right there. Don't make it any more complicated than that, or you risk being paralyzed by planning.
Writing Your Blog Posts
First, and this is a strange thing for a copywriter to say, but you don't have to write your blog posts. Here's a list of alternative content ideas for your posts.
But whatever format you choose to communicate with, you will need a framework to base your posts around.
And finally, if you're still struggling to get the words out, you may need a mindset shift - maybe it's not the blogging that you're scared of.
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