A beautiful blog with no audience is like sending your great American novel out into space. Maybe someone someday will find it and appreciate it’s relevancy and artistry. Maybe not. But the odds are stacked against you in this noisy word.
If you’re writing a blog for the pure pleasure of putting words out onto the internet, then go for it. Just don’t expect much response. But if you’re writing blogs as a business because you’re trying to gain traction, find customers and grow your brand, then you need a more targeted approach.
You need to set your blog up for your readership.
Know your readers (AKA your ideal customers)
If you don’t know who you’re writing your blog for, you’re essentially writing for no one. If you think you can just write great content and expect the right people to find it, sorry, but that’s not how this game works. You need to know your audience, down to the color of the buttons on their shirts (or maybe they hate buttons and swear by athleisure wear).
Start asking some big questions, then get more and more narrow in your research. You can’t be everything to everyone. Better to be everything to a select group of people (as in, your target audience).
Who are they? Get to know them inside and out. What do they do? Profession, motivations, career goals and ambitions. What do they want? Know their hopes and dreams, their needs, their pain points and the questions that they mull over all day long. No detail is too small when it comes to researching your readers.
Give your readers the content they want
Once you’ve figured out who your readers are, the next step is learning what they want from the content that you provide. This is about giving them both the content that they are searching for, as well as the form of content that they prefer.
Start by making a list of important, relevant topics about your business that you are an expert in. Next, find the keywords that fit in with those topics. You can use sites like Quora, Answer the Public or Google’s Keyword Planner to see who is searching for what and how often.
Next, find out what kind of content your readers prefer. Do they like infographics, videos, memes, data-driven research, inspirational content, industry insights or timely news? Dig deep into the research and you will come out with the form and the content that your readers will devour.
Once your readers start coming to you, they want to know they can depend on you. If you only blog once every thirteenth moon, they’re going to go somewhere else for what they need. If you blog in batches and dump out content they won’t know how to sift through the relevant information. Pick a schedule and stick to it (you better have a stellar content calendar!). That way your readers can know what to expect. They can subscribe to your blog or newsletter and look forward to your insights.
People like their blogs to look a certain way. Search engines like optimized blogs more as they crawl your site and rank you in their results. Yes, this applies to SEO but there’s a lot more to it. This includes but is not limited to:
- Meta titles and meta descriptions
- Keywords in post title and subheadings
- Internal links
- Credible outbound links
- Customizing the URL
- Crafting an engaging title
- Responsive design
- Avoiding jargon
- Format with shorter paragraphs
- Image alt-text
- Offering share buttons
- Using strong CTAs
Synchronize with social media
When you post new blogs, make sure you are coordinating their launch with a social media campaign. Additionally, you can use snippets from your blogs as content in your socials. The big idea: when you create great content, you need to share it and let people know how it can help them. Get them to click, get them to engage and get them to share it with their followers.
Good things take time
One final piece of blogging wisdom: give it time. Blogs are not meant to be a get rich quick scheme (no matter how many big shots out there are claiming otherwise). Blogs take time to write well, they take time to rank on search engines and it takes time to build your credibility. But if you follow all of the steps above and you stay CONSISTENT, you will see results.
So, how about it? Are you ready to revitalize your blog? Or are you ready to launch a new blog with a systematic and targeted approach? Awesome!