I first started blogging as an effort to support my online marketing effort. I knew “content marketing” is huge, yet I had NO idea where to begin…
I couldn’t even figure out what to write about!
My first post (published about 4 years ago) was hmm… lame. It took me a loooong time to cough up those 300 words, and even longer to hit “publish.”
It wasn’t even my “original” idea! I did a “review” or “round-up” of some sort, pulling together information from a few sources on a certain topic.
I figured if I were to blog consistently and make it work for my business, the process couldn’t feel like pulling teeth.
There gotta be some strategies, tactics, cool tricks and shortcuts to this whole “blogging” and “content marketing” thing.
I did a lot of research and invested in quite a few trainings.
Most touched upon how to come up with topics to write about. Many covered how to re-appropriate content so it looks like you are “everywhere.” A few shared deeper tactics on promotion and syndication. Another handful delved into using content to launch/promote products and programs.
But soon I realized all those strategies and tactics were only half the story…
Dutifully carrying around a journal and jotting down random ideas that came to mind was not enough, nor was reacting to current events, if the content lacks focus. Writing “what comes to mind” can easily turn into an exercise of “throwing spaghetti on the wall.”
Submitting to articles sites and posting content everything can feel like a dog pissing around to mark territory, yet the “territory” has no practical use for it.
Implementing “me-too” strategies and tactics can turn into busywork, if they are not integral to the rest of your core message, brand personality and marketing plan – pulling you in 5 different directions and worse, makes you sound like a schizo from one platform to the next.
Blogging for business growth is more than a weekly writing exercise. You have to do more than just going through the motion. There is no “phoning it in.”
How can we put a focus on it so the time you spend on writing can contribute directly to the growth of your business and your bottom line?
How can we create a filter and a framework so your various ideas can be weaved together in a meaningful way, so they can help you boost your expert status and generate high-quality leads?
If you want to turn blogging from weekly writing exercise into a marketing activity that helps you drive traffic, generate leads, and even convert your readers into customers or clients, you need to dig deeper.
You need to write about…
Blog Topics that Convert
That means, writing content that MATTERS.
Matter to whom?
There are three parts to this equation: YOU, Your Audience (aka, ideal clients or niche) and Your Business. (Not too complicated, isn’t it?)
1. What Matters to YOU
If you feel like punching the clock when you sit down to write, your readers can sense the lack of excitement and enthusiasm.
On the other hand, if you infuse your value, passion, conviction, and superpowers into your writing, the energy is contagious – it’s the good stuff that makes connection and drives conversion.
So what matters to YOU? What riles you up? What can’t you stop talking about? What is important for you within the broader realm that your business belongs in?
(E.g. weight loss is a broad topic… but YOUR idea of healthy weight loss is probably very different from the company selling fad diet pills. You would want to take a stand in this matter and share YOUR point of view.)
The service or products you sell is the “what”, but what is driving your “what? What is your WHY?
Why the heck did you go into business in the first place? What do you stand for? What is the one thing you want to be known for? What do you believe in?
When you are able to find what excites you, you will be able to tie everything you write together into ONE cohesive message that is true to who you want to BE in your business.
2. What Matters to Your Audience (Your Niche)
Since we are talking about using blogging to support your marketing effort and grow your business, we have to look at those you serve (and will pay for your stuff.)
You could be writing the most epic content on the planet, but if it’s not relevant to your ideal clients, they won’t care. Ouch, I know.
To be relevant, your content needs to address a problem for which they are actively seeking solution. You need to know what they want, and how they talk about it.
In a way, “relevance” is a “first impression” thing. When they see your article title, are they going to click through and read the post?
There are many trainings out there talking about writing “headlines that sell” so I am not going to belabor it here.
But writing “headlines that sell” to get the click through is just the first step.
Have you ever come upon a “hot headline,” clicked through only to find a canned 7-tip post that is nowhere near to scratching the itch? What did you do? Clicked away (if you were me, scream “are you kidding me??!”) and never come back.
You want not only traffic, but also CONVERSION.
Many can write good headlines, but what makes your readers buy YOUR stuff?
Secret lies in nailing the words that sell. The words that create…
Resonance. Emotional Connection.
These are the magic sauce that makes YOU unique in the eyes of your ideal clients.
When they establish the connection with you, when they are inspired by and believe in your WHY, they won’t be making decision solely based on “price” and “features” of your products and services, so you are making “competition” a non-issue.
Resonance and emotional connection rarely happen in a day, on through one post.
You have to show up consistently – if you can’t show up for your peeps, how can you expect them to show up for you?
You need to be honest, vulnerable and transparent (in areas that are relevant… we are not going about throwing tantrums or doing whine-fests) – which requires that we overcome our own fears so we can be ourselves, fully and unapologetically.
You need to use the words that connect you with your readers while letting your personality and excitement come through.
It’s not just the facts; it’s not just what you say. It’s how you say it that makes a difference.
3. What Matters to Your Business
There is nothing self-gratuitous when blogging is used as part of a content marketing strategy.
You need to get clear on your business goals and objectives, so you can design your content around what’s happening in your business.
If you are launching a product or program, how are you going to design and schedule content to support the marketing effort, put you in the path of the potential buyers, and get their attention?
If you are trying to increase your exposure through guest blogging, which sites do you pitch, and how are you going to position your content so it’s relevant to their audience while highlighting the value you deliver within that context?
If you have plan to write a book and need a list to support the launch, how can you use blogging as a way to build your list of subscribers and how are you going to nurture the leads through on-going effort?
When you get clear on your objectives, you can design a plan so you can stop chasing the bright shiny objects and do what matters – including choosing the blog topics that will help grow your business by getting the right people in the door.
Ready to use content marketing to get in front of a whole lot of ideal clients in a way that positions YOU as the expert? Grab this guide to turn blogging from weekly writing exercise to daily profit generator:
About the author: Ling Wong
Ling is an Intuitive Brainiac. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, she helps the multi-talented and multi-passionate maverick solo-entrepreneurs distill ALL their big ideas into ONE cohesive Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a Plan to cut the busywork and do what matters, through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.
Ling helps her clients optimize the space between individuality + originality vs. “tried-and-true” marketing so they can express their WHY unapologetically and profitably without reinventing the wheel.
Find Ling and grab her free “How to Find YOUR Winning Formula” Training Series here.
This article was first published by Ling Wong