You know how important blogging is, but you’re not sure how to use your blog in ways that will help drive more traffic to your website, warm-up leads, and make more sales.
If you’ve been trying “this and that” in your blog content hoping to find what works, it’s somewhat like throwing darts in a dark room, where you haven’t a clue where the bullseye is.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a surefire way to make your company blog perform. It takes some effort – but you’ll eventually start hitting that bullseye.
We’ve made it simple for you to get started. There are 7 questions you need to answer before publishing your next blog post.
Keep them in mind when you get to the next blog post, and the next. Before long you’ll be publishing one killer article after another.
7 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself
1. Do you know your content personas inside and out?
Most bloggers don’t have a clue as to who their actual audience is or what their ideal persona looks like.
John Steinbeck offered this:
“In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person – a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.”
How to you go about identifying that single reader, your ideal content persona, so you know who you’re talking to?
These are 4 popular approaches. Try them all.
- Read online reviews of products similar to yours – starting with Amazon Reviews
- Find your target market on social media (Facebook micro societies)
- Dive into the online forums to find what people are thinking
- Ask your existing customers via an online survey
2. Do you have clear goals set for your blog?
Your first and foremost goal should be that your blog is authoritative. Your readers want to believe what they read is coming from an industry expert. Your blog needs to engender trust in your knowhow, and in your products. Above all, every blog post you write should further establish your brand.
It needs to stand out from the competition by exhibiting a definite uniqueness in the way it gives its readers solid reasons to place their trust in your business rather than in the competition.
By placing relevant keywords in your blog, it can be a useful vehicle for optimizing your website for the search engines.
Every time you start writing a blog post, keep this in mind. Your article should provide your existing customers with added value, and it should also serve as a tool for converting readers and new visitors into leads and customers.
Consistency fosters trust, loyalty, and relationships. The content in your blog post must be relevant to and consistent with your overall message; and relate to your other blogs as well. As one expert on the subject phrased it, you need to “stay in your wheelhouse”.
3. Is this blog post covering a hot topic in your niche?
Running out of ideas is not uncommon among bloggers; yet the best ones never seem to have a problem finding a hot topic to write about.
If you can’t find a hot topic you risk falling into the trap of writing to yourself – just because you feel compelled to say something about anything.
Finding a hot topic in your particular business sector or niche isn’t that hard at all.
Here’s how to do it in 3 steps.
- Go to Google Trends and plug in a keyword or keyword phrase; a broad, somewhat generic one is OK. Then refine your search to a more specific category, search for top and rising trends, and select “rising trends”, or “breakout trends” should it appear. Now you have a keyword or phrase describing a topic people are very interested in.
- Go to BuzzSumo and search your new keyword or phrase. This marketing tool will help you analyze what content performs best for a given topic and present you with a selection of supporting keywords.
- Go to Quora to find what questions people are asking about your trending keywords.
Now, you have an idea for a hot topic that might be of interest to your audience.
4. Does this blog post help you become an authority in your niche?
The answer should always be “Yes”. Most blog writers obviously know what their niche is but sometimes they forget about it when writing. They write about anything in hopes of pleasing everyone.
Which never works.
Your blog content must relate to your niche.
That doesn’t imply you can’t have variety. You need variety and your readers will expect it; but it has to be within the boundaries of your niche.
Variety further educates and offers added value to your readers and to yourself as well in terms of gaining a better understanding of your niche. The more research you have to do to write a blog, the more of an authority you’ll become.
5. Is your blog post aligned with your brand voice?
We’ve just discussed aligning your blog post with your niche. Let’s go a step further.
Your blog posts need to align with that which defines who you are, what your unique selling proposition (USP) is, and where and how you differ from everyone else; your brand voice.
Each post needs to be –
- Consistent in goals, objectives, and tone with your brand and all other blog posts.
- Evergreen. It should be intended for the long haul.
- Memorable. It should provide information readers would want to retain – or share.
- Authentic. If it isn’t, you can forget about it being consistent, permanent, or memorable.
6. Are visuals adding to the appeal of your content?
Images add appeal and make it easier for readers to assimilate and retain information.
Recent studies indicate that roughly 40% of all bloggers use 2 or 3 images in each of their blogs; 2 out of 10 use 5 or more.
Here are 5 types of visuals to consider. One or two might be all you need. Some are easy to incorporate; some require more effort. It’s whatever works best for you.
- Quotes – Adding an image of the author of a quote is a good influencer marketing strategy; particularly if the author is well known or an expert in the field.
- Data-Driven Visuals – a good chart or graph, like a picture, can be worth a thousand words.
- Infographics – Infographics tend to be user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. They must, of course, be relevant.
- Videos – Videos can be extremely effective, but they need to be well-produced and interesting to keep viewers engaged.
- Screenshots and Photos – Screenshots and stock or original photos are easy to incorporate. Make sure the images are high-quality.
7. Can you add a content upgrade to build a subscriber list?
If you plan to eventually add a content upgrade to your latest blog, give it a once-over before you publish it.
You may choose to take your updated, highly informative blog post and offer it as a free gift in exchange for a visitor’s email address. A PDF format piece usually works best.
As important as building your subscriber list is, don’t neglect your existing subscribers. Make sure they’re aware of and have ready access to your upgraded content as well. By doing so you’ll keep your relationship strong.
You need to ask yourself several questions before you start writing a blog. Answer them, and you’ll be in a better position to perfect and publish one that will help you in your niche.
Keep these 7 questions (and the answers) in mind, and good things will happen.
- Do you know your content personas? There are steps you can take to streamline and speed up the information acquisition process.
- Do you have clear goals set for your blog? Your blog must be authoritative, and relevant to your brand.
- Is this blog post covering a hot topic in your niche? Go to Google Trends, BuzzSumo, and Quora.
- Does this blog post help you become an authority in your niche? Detailed information and variety add value for your readers, and you learn more about your niche.
- Is your blog post aligned with your brand voice? The only answer is yes, totally.
- Are visuals adding appeal to your content? They definitely will; suggestions are offered.
- Can you add a content upgrade to build a subscriber list? Re-read your blog post before publishing it to see how an upgrade might be achieved.
We’ll be more than happy to provide an extra set of eyes for you if you would like someone to review your article before you publish it, or to go over with you any question you might be having trouble with.
If you need assistance of any kind, we’re here to help, and we will be more than happy to do so.