The only thing worse than not having a blog, is having one that makes your brand or business look unprofessional.
When prospective clients request my help in creating products and programs, one of the first things I do is take a look at their blog. I’m curious to see how they are showing up in the online world to their audience. Why? Because if their goal is to sell products and programs online, they have to be able to demonstrate credibility and authority through their online showcase, a.k.a. their blog.
If you have a blog or website that’s just a placeholder for your contact information, filled with impersonal marketing messages, and non-specific calls-to-action – you are wasting your money (and probably losing it too) by directing people there. And if your traffic isn’t bringing you leads, or helping you convert leads to clients, what’s the point? This also goes if you haven’t posted new content since 2013. You are offering no incentive for VIPs (Very Interested Prospects) to remember you or make a return visit to your site.
So, does your blog contribute to making your brand (or business) look credible?
Credible blogs, have the following three things:
- a target audience
- a clear purpose, and
- quality content
Do you know who you are talking to?
Unless you are writing a personal blog that chronicles your adventures and thoughts, your blog should be more focused on your audience’s needs and less on whatever crosses your mind.
And who are your readers? They will be your target market, or as I like to call them, your VIPs (Very Interested Prospects). These are the people who you would like to turn into loyal subscribers and customers!
Everything you add and every piece of content you create should help answer these 3 questions:
- How will this benefit my VIPs?
- How will this steer them towards my site and not my competitors?
- How will this contribute to the experience I want my VIPs to have?
- What action or response am I aiming for?
Your mission is to have a blog that helps your readers:
- Know who you are and what differentiates you from others in your field.
- See enough value in your content to want to subscribe to your RSS feeds or newsletter.
- Feel that you are an authority and resource that can help them get results.
- Turn into raving fans and loyal customers or clients who spread the word about your work.
Why do you have a blog?
If you are unclear about what you need your blog to accomplish, how will you know if it’s successful?
Is the purpose of your blog to:
- Create passive income for you?
- Increase your online “presence”?
- Showcase your work, through client success stories?
- Highlight your industry expertise, thought leadership, and credentials?
- Be the “go to” resource for professionals in your industry or niche?
- Increase awareness and education by sharing resources like free reports, audio content, or instructional videos?
All of these may not apply to you. For each one you’ve answered yes to, think about how you can add that particular focus to your blog.
If you haven’t given any thought to what you want to accomplish through blogging, this is your opportunity to invest time and energy in re-focusing.
Up to 64% of traffic to your site will be organic; traffic is sent to your website from people using search engines, like Google or Bing. The more search engines like the quality of your content, the more you’re going to appear in top search results for people trying to find answers, information, and solutions online.
This means you can’t just create crap content. If you are serious about using blogging as a main marketing strategy, you’ll need to understand what constitutes quality content and then make sure you meet those standards.
Aside from attracting search engines, you want to attract and engage your target audience. You want them to stay, browse, read, enjoy, learn, and connect. The way to do this is to produce fresh, quality content, often. According to HubSpot:
“…companies that blog 15 or more times per month get 5X more traffic than companies that don’t blog at all. And if you’re a small business, increasing your blogging frequency can move the needle even more… small businesses (1-10 employees) tend to see the biggest gains in traffic when they publish more articles.”
Your goals then are to:
- Identify niche-relevant content that your audience is hungry for,
- Publish consistently, and
- Promote it to your VIPs.
Tips for Creating Quality Content
You can find high-quality content about your niche from experts all over the Internet, summarize the content, add your insight or opinion, then link directly to the original source. I use tools like List.ly or Paper.li to help me find relevant content for my audience.
Get Other People to Create Content for You
If writing is not your strength or you don’t have the time to consistently produce high quality content on a regular basis, get help. There’s nothing wrong with hiring a ghostwriter, using PLR (Private Label Rights), or inviting guest bloggers to contribute content.
Mix Things Up
All of your posts don’t have to be super long — they can range from 300 to 750 and be fine. And your content doesn’t have to be all text. Add variety through using podcasts, videos like you find on YouTube, and other forms of media. Right now infographics are hot. My two favorite infographic tools are Canva and Piktochart.
Make Sure Your Content is Well Developed & Researched
It’s brilliantly easy to research what you want to say before you write. Especially if you want to position yourself as an authority, it’s important that your content be accurate and reflect some knowledge of the topic outside of just what you know. Content that is not well developed looks unprofessional and can have a negative impact on your reputation.
Your Content Needs to Be Well Written
You don’t have to have perfect grammar, and most readers will forgive a a few misspelled words (thankfully), but you do have to use the language that your target audience would use. You also want make sure you are writing to their level: don’t talk down to people and don’t talk over them. This is why it’s important to know your niche as well as the audience you’re trying to reach.
Create Timely & Evergreen Content to Establish Authority
Timely topics as well as “evergreen” topics are important to your content strategy. Timely topics are those trending issues and news items that are important to your audience. Evergreen topics are not limited by time, they are good forever. Both types of content help generate traffic.
Given enough time to think, you can come up with an enormous amount of content and a strategy for creating it. Using an editorial calendar to plan ahead will help you succeed where others fail.
Bottom Line: Your business blog is your voice. It speaks directly to potential clients without ever needing you to be there. If you follow the tips in this post, you will no doubt create a blog that’s both credible and bankable.