If you’ve ever tried blogging, you know the feeling.
You finally sit down to write a blog post, and face the blank white page.
“What the fuck should I write about?”
Then a number of things happen.
Either, you close the laptop, thinking you’ll come back to it later. (But when you do, exactly the same things happens again.)
Or you down a couple of espressos (or G&Ts), and wait for some sort of inspiration to strike. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.
Or, you start writing something – anything – just to get some words down on paper. It might be good. Or it might be shite.
Even if it’s good – even if it’s really well written – is it good as a blog post for your business?
What Makes a Good Blog Post?
Right. We get asked this a LOT.
Let’s start with some guiding principles:
Know what your blog is there to do.
What do you want to achieve with blogging?
And I don’t mean ‘more sales!’.
I mean, what emotional response do you want to trigger in your reader?What EMOTIONAL response do you want to trigger in your reader? Click To Tweet
What do you want them to be after reading your content?
Do you want them to be:
- More informed?
You get the idea – you need to pick one of these.
You might have noticed that I didn’t write ‘ready to buy’ in that list – because that’s not always an emotional response. And you shouldn’t expect your content to take someone along the entire journey from cold audience to purchase.
It will move them along, but it won’t take them all the way.
So – you need to know what you want to achieve first. And this informs everything.
Don’t just write for the sake of writing – you need to do something with your content.Don’t just write for the sake of writing - you need to DO something with your content. Click To Tweet
Once you’ve decided, then it’s a case of figuring out what topics would achieve this. And this is all about research and listening.
I’m going to say that again, because it’s important.
Research and listening.
Not just picking a topic that jumps into your head. Look outwards to see what people actually want.
What they want to know. What they’re asking. What would help them. What would improve their lives, their business, and their situation.
And the only way to know this is to do your research, to ask, and to listen.
Find out what makes your customers tick – what problems they face, and what issues they’re struggling with.Find out what makes your customers tick - what problems they face, and what issues they’re struggling with. Click To Tweet
Then use blogging to help solve them.
This creates a strong sense of trust in you, and your business. And that’s absolute gold-dust for your marketing.
Want to know more about some sneaky ways you can do research for your blog? Get in touch, or book one of our training sessions to learn how!
So, let’s recap.
- You need to decide how you want your readers to feel after consuming your blog.
- You need to find out what problems your customers are facing, and how you can help them solve it.
Figure these two things out, and the rest falls into place.Figure these two things out, and the rest falls into place. Click To Tweet
Know Who You’re Blogging for.
Here’s something that I say in almost every training session we deliver:
If you try and appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no-one.
It’s a fundamental part of your marketing – understanding your brand position, and how you fit in to the wider marketplace.
It’s also a critical part of your blogging process.
Don’t try and write your blog to appeal to everyone.
Don’t even try and write it to appeal to a group of people.
Instead, imagine you’re writing it for one person – your ideal, or target customer.
You will naturally write differently to an individual than when you try and write to a group.
Some of our trainees even sketch or print out a picture of their ideal audience member, and stick it to the side of their monitor when they’re writing.
It sounds ridiculous, but it works.
Don’t write a blog post to “all estate agents”. Write it to Laura the Estate Agent instead.
It’s a quick hack that will make a BIG difference to your marketing.
Ok, Can You Give Me an Example?
Yeah, go on then.
A couple of years ago, Instagram introduced their Business Profiles feature. If your account represented a business, you had the option of switching your profile over from a Personal one to a Business one.
Almost overnight, Facebook Groups were full of business owners asking questions about it – what is this feature? Is it worth it? What are the risks? What are the benefits? Who’s already switched, and what have they learnt? Should they switch?
Then some press articles cropped up – all informative in nature: “Instagram has introduced this!”. None answered the main question – should I switch??
The occasional blog post appeared, generally fawning and sycophantic in nature: “OOOOOH, LOOK AT THIS SHINY NEW THING, I’M SO EXCITED!”. Dull, and unimaginative.
But these didn’t answer the main question: should I switch?
Then there was a spike in Google search traffic: should I switch to the Instagram Business profile?
And guess what – there weren’t any articles trying to answer this question.
Nothing had been written trying to break down and tackle the issue that business owners were facing.
Nothing had been written trying to make those readers better informed, and more confident in making the right decision for their business.
So that’s precisely what we did. We wrote an article running through the pros and cons, and ending with our recommendation. We aimed to write something that left the reader more aware of the issues they faced, and how to make a judgment call.
And guess what we called it?
Then we optimised it for SEO, and started distributing the post through our usual channels.
Within 48 hours, it was the most-visited page on our site, and was attracting organic traffic from around the world.
Those readers came back and consumed more of our content, and shared it with their networks.
We figured out: what do people need to know, and how do we want to help them solve it. We tried to make them smarter and more confident. And we wrote the whole thing to just one person.
Enough time has passed now that the blog has lost some of its relevance, but it still stands as a good example of how powerful blogging can be.
And at no point did I have blank page syndrome. If anything, it was one of the most straightforward blog posts I’ve ever written.
Over to You…
Now, go and figure out those gaps for yourself – and get writing!
As always, give me a shout if you have any questions, or want to run anything past me – always happy to help.
And most of all, HAVE FUN!
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