Oh. My. Goodness.
There is a lot of noise out there in Business Blog Land.
I've been falling behind in my goals for my blog over the past couple of months. I dealt with a long-standing health issue, a busy bustling business, and catch-up. Always catch-up. Falling behind is ironic - because I love business blogs. They are a fabulous way to make a human connection with your audience, whisper to Google about what you do, and to share knowledge with your circles. However - when blogs are misused and abused, we start to regurgitate and navel-gaze we are wasting our own time as well as our readers. We end up - instead of being a helpful resource - contributing to cyber noise. Please, don't be a noisy blogger.
Quality and Quantity MUST go hand in hand.
There are two common pitfalls business bloggers run into.
1. High-Volume Posting
Writing a bunch of garbage to stay present. No strategy, nothing useful, and plagiarized or regurgitated content. Nothing original. Nothing Interesting. Nothing helpful.
If you post twice a week and your blog is shit - your time could be better spent.
2. No-Volume Posting
Just as detrimental - no-volume posting is when you turn the volume down so much there is silence. Either you are too precious with your ideas, you forget to write, or you're uninspired. Either way - you're a no-show to your blog.
If you post sporadically and your post is gold - you won't reap the benefits you should.
We have to start somewhere - but it pains me to see people invest time and resources into pointless blogs. Your blog should strike up a conversation - in emotion or words with your clients. If you're too loud, or too quiet, you miss the opportunity to connect.
Here are 9 tips and tricks that will help you write blogs that people will actually want to read.
1. Remember Who You Are Talking To.
This is the BIGGEST mistake I see on blogs. When an authour publishes a book their audience is always front of mind. If you have a conversation with someone and pay no attention to their body language and interests - you lose them. If the people you are writing for don't care - you might as well shout into a pillow because no one is listening.
2. Care What your Audience Cares About.
All great marketing promotes conversation of sorts. Whether inviting an emotional response or asking for an actual communication. I've got news for you - your clients care about their own day more than yours. Does your post strike a chord with them? No? Does it make them laugh? No? Then what is the point? Do some research, find out their pain points - then strike right in the feels. The added benefit besides empathizing with the people who are your lifeline in business is that you create need for your product or service indirectly. Boo-yah.
3. Write It Yourself - For Goodness Sake.
It is draining to weed through regurgitated garbage. I remember, before I realized that people copy each other constantly, looking for the answer to business problems in blog after blog and feeling like none of them were valuable. People can tell when your posts aren't original. I have been asked in the past to rewrite "bait" posts - and I couldn't bring myself to do it. Why? Because they suck. Ok, they get people to your site - but then say the same things as everyone else and leave people feeling cheated. Give your clients the benefit of the doubt - they are smart, and they are busy. Give them good blog posts to read.
4. Lean Into Your Actual Experience.
I believe we copy when we have no experience. When you are writing about something you don't know - it is easy to regurgitate. Instead, write about a topic where you have experience and trust the wisdom you've learned from picking yourself up and dusting yourself off. We all fail. Share failure. Share victory. Be human.
5. Remember Why You Are In Business.
It is easy to get sidelined when you are in business. Distracted by customer demands, your own Modus Operandi, business requirements in and out of your wheelhouse and visioning to be the best of the best. Don't get distracted when you blog. Start with a long range plan so you stay on point to your "why".*
* If you don't know what I'm talking about, buy Simon Sinek's book Start With Why immediately.
6. Think About Your Clients' Pain Points.
Always start here when planning. What are your clients searching for online that you can answer? Perhaps they don't even know what the answer is. Spend some time getting into their thought process and try your best to be helpful. It is like the cocktail party rule - 80% useful information, 20% promotion. Everyone wants someone to care. Be that person for your clients.
7. Think about Your Products And/Or Services.
Looking for content? A good place to fill out your content is writing abut your products or services. Features, benefits, uses, testimonials. Don't get too promotey or you'll lose your audience - but if you fill 80% of your content with useful content - use that other 20% to promote yourself. You've earned it.
8. Don't be a Baby - Ask For Something.
In fact, even babies ask for what they need... You took the time to write it - now ask for something in return. It should make sense with your blog post, of course, but use calls-to-action. It can be as simple as asking for a comment. When we market ourselves we ask about ROI - and a blog is a marketing tool. What ROI do you want to see? Make it happen.
Really - you're doing your reader a favour too. When people are surfing blogs on mobile, they want to know what the next steps are. Make mindlessness easy.
9. Do What Feels Right
If you want to be heard, don't trail behind what other people in your industry are doing like a sheep - do what feels right for your business and be proactive. In the words of the late Devin Wilson, gone but never forgotten, "Be heard, not herd."
But Wait - There's More!
I love to help small businesses make a deep impact - and blogging is one of my favourite tools. I love it so much - that I wrote a book about it! Would you like freebies and updates about it's release? Join my blogging club today.
No nonsense - just good content - Authentically.