Monday November 5, 2018
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, someone is pretty much guaranteed to tell you that you should be blogging. However, blogging without a plan, just for the sake of it, and because you think you should, isn’t something that will boost your business.
If you honestly detest blogging and know it’s not your strength, you’re far better off focusing on the marketing tactics that you are good at, or hiring someone, such as Socially Grown, to create and maintain your blog for you.
If, on the other hand, blogging is your thing, but you want to know how to really make it work for you, read on.
Before you write a word, you need to know who you are talking to. If your audience is CEOs and CFOs, the language you use will be completely different from the language you’d use if you were talking to artists.
Your first step in writing an effective blog is to define your target market and develop your marketing personas, so you can have a conversation with your ideal client as if you already know them very well. Because you do.
Your blog should be a planned part of your content marketing strategy, not an odd appendage you tack on at the end.
Work out what you want to achieve with your blog, and where it fits in your overall marketing strategy. Decide who you want to help and exactly what you want to help them with.
That way, you’ll have a plan, which will make it much easier to blog consistently.
Your blog should amplify and add to everything you are already doing to reach your customers, from your social media messages to your email marketing.
It’s not just knowing who you’re writing to that matters, it’s also knowing what they want to hear.
Go through the below questions and answer them to really nail what you should be writing about on your blog:
• What are your clients’ pain points?
• What really keeps them up at night?
• What can your company solve for your customers that makes the biggest difference to them?
• What topics are they rabidly interested in?
• How can you help?
Those are the topics that you need to write about.
Again, this goes back to knowing your audience and what they want, before you start.
As well as using the language that your target audience prefers, think about the tone of voice that you’ll need to use. Does your audience love a good touch of humour, a blog that’s zinging with personality and personal anecdotes? Or do they prefer ‘just the facts’, delivered in corporate, serious language with plenty of statistics to back up what you’re saying? Find the right tone and you’ll draw your audience in even more.
Having said that, don’t be scared to be different, to have a strong opinion and to be completely and utterly yourself. Anyone can write a bland ‘me too’ blog, but only you can be passionate about your business in your own style, and that’s how you stand out.
Yes, you might put people off if they don’t share your opinions, but that’s a good thing. That enables you to find your ‘tribe’ of people who really get you and your business.
Your blog is your platform, your place to show off what you know and to build your reputation as an expert, and your posts should reflect that.
Instead of writing short posts with thin content, do a deep dive into the topics that your clients care about. The more helpful you are and the more you show your knowledge, the greater your reputation, the more your site will rise in the search engines, and the more clients you’ll attract.
Start with the problem you’re going to solve in the first paragraph to draw your reader in, and then solve it with your post. Don’t leave your reader hanging – well, unless you’re writing a series, of course.
Use statistics that prove your point and draw the eye, and quote experts in your field. Why? Because it shows that you know your industry, and you are then associated with those experts in your readers’ minds. And you might find that your article gets shared by those same experts to reach a wider audience.
If you’re struggling for ideas, look at what your competitors are blogging about. We’re not suggesting you steal ideas, and certainly not content, but why not use what they are doing as inspiration for what you can do on your blog?
Add value with statistics to persuade and add authority, links to other articles on your site which dive deeper into aspects of your topic (also brilliant for SEO), and link to other sites that provide more information.
Add exercises to help your readers work through a subject, create an infographic or perhaps add a downloadable checklist at the end – also great for building your email list!
Writing the kind of vibrant and fascinating blogs that keep your clients coming back for more can build a community around your blog. You could find the same people coming back again and again – commenting and getting a conversation going.
Now you’re not trying to convert cold leads anymore. You’re talking to warm leads who know who you are and love what you do. What a difference when reaching out to market your services.
Building a community of raving fans who can’t wait to see what you post next also makes it easier to ask them to share your posts on social media.
You’re not writing blog posts just to pat yourself on the back. You want your readers to take action after they’ve read your post. Figure out why you are writing your post before you start, and what you want your audience to do at the end of it.
Do you want a sign up for your newsletter, would you like them to comment to build engagement on your blog, do you want to send them to your sales page for a product or service that can help them?
Whatever it is, write a clear call to action at the end of your post that tells them exactly what you want them to do. Without a call to action, there’s every chance your ideal client won’t take any action at all.
Blogging can establish your expertise and boost your authority, grab and keep attention from people who hadn’t heard of you before, build relationships, drive traffic, start potential clients moving through your sales funnel and increase your Return On Investment (ROI).
Why wouldn’t you want to do that?
Know you need to blog, but you don’t have the time to write? Socially Grown are based in Staffordshire, but work with SMEs across the country to develop and grow their businesses.