Recently I shared 10 really great reasons you should be blogging if your goal is to create income with your business.
In case you missed it, go check it out now because if you don't know why you're doing something, you'll hate it and give up.
Once you understand why blogging is so darn valuable to your business, the next two important things to figure out are:
- who you should write to
- what you should write about
First thing's first: I am assuming you don't want my guidance for writing a lifestyle/hobby blog. Because I'm not the right resource for that. Instead, you're here because you want to launch a blog on your business' website; as a place to create relationships with your customers as you empower them to be self-educated buyers (of your products and services).
Currently I'm reading an awesome book called The Invisible Sale by Tom Martin. In it, he explains the sales process is becoming increasingly invisible. Meaning, people can click from one site to the next, learning about what they want to purchase without needing to speak directly with a sales person. Once they feel informed enough, they make their decision.
According to Google's 2011 ZMOT Research Report, consumer shoppers consult an average of 10.4 sources before making a purchase.
"Even for relatively simple decisions such as picking a restaurant, consumers consult an average of 5.8 sources."
- tom martin
What does this mean?
Well, it means you need to be writing about topics that are useful, relevant, and helpful to your dream clients. Topics that empower them to feel confident and educated.
Not sure what those topics are?
Remember when I suggested you should spend your energy connecting with the same kind of people who are already buying from you? You might find them at networking mixers, in Facebook groups, at trade shows, in the comments sections of other blogs...
The point is, pay attention to what those people care about. What they are struggling with. What questions they ask you. What questions they ask others. Pay attention.
Keep a notebook handy or use an application like Evernote to gather ideas you can turn into helpful blog articles.
One of my clients is a hairdresser. I told her to pay attention to what people are talking about in the salon. Both, the people in her chair and across the room. What kinds of questions are they asking when it comes to styles, cuts, products, and hair health?
That's what she should write about.
In addition to feeling educated, your audience wants to determine if it likes you. Trusts you.
Educational content can feel stiff and stale if it's not infused with you!
Be professional but be real.
Content marketing is a cumulative relationship-building process. Each time you write you are going on date with your audience. As you know, building and strengthening any relationship takes time.
Let your audience get to know you in small, respectful doses.
Give them a peek into your vulnerabilities, your style, your journey, your beliefs, your sense of humor...your personality.
The trick is, set up some margins so you don't venture off into drama-land.
The margins I stay within are:
- Is it helpful?
- Is it kind?
This keeps me from over-sharing (because that's awkward...for everybody). It also keeps me from being judgmental, self-righteous, or blabbing for the sake of attention.
So here's your homework for today:
Dedicate a place - a notebook or a digital application - to brainstorm and capture questions your dream clients are probably asking as they explore the internet for the solutions you offer.
Next to each question, write a possible title for your article (you can change it down the road).
Coming up! I'll teach you how to take your list of possible topics and find the themes. Doing this will help you create categories on your blog. Categories are a great way to organize your content because they help your reader quickly find the information they need. Categories also make setting up your editorial calendar easier (which I will teach you...of course;).
In the meantime, get those ideas flowing! As always, if you have questions or comments simply ask below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm happy to help!