If you’re thinking about starting a blog for your business, first of all let me say “CONGRATULATIONS!”
Making that decision to run a blog is a big decision to make, and one that will be a massive asset for your business moving forward.
Benefits of having a blog include:
- Attracts more quality visitors via search engines.
- Shows your clients that you are a knowledgeable expert in your area.
- Encourage communication between yourself and your customers.
- Gain a positive reputation within your industry.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Running a blog can be massively beneficial for you as a professional, and for your profitability of your business.
So you’ve decided to start a blog for your business… what’s the next stage? Well before you do anything you need to ask yourself some very honest questions.
These are the first steps to take when becoming a blog guru:
1) Decide WHY you’re starting your blog.
When we see other popular websites, we often see the various different ingredients, but don’t entirely understand how they bring it all together to be so successful.
One of these ‘ingredients’ is the blog. There are many reasons for running a blog, but if you want your blog to be a true success for your business, you need to decide *why* you’re starting it in the first place.
Reasons can include:
- Keeping your customers informed about changes in your business.
- Because you love helping people and see it as a way to increase your exposure.
- To build your list.
- To pull prospects back to your website to move into your sales funnel.
- Adding fresh content to your website to improve your rank with Google.
- Creating relevant content you can point your customers too.
- To build your reputation as an expert in your area.
By deciding the actual reason WHY you’ll run a blog on your site, it will drastically change the type of content you will write about.
So make this decision early to keep the content concise and relevant. If you just write anything and everything, you’ll find that your blog writing will lose direction, and ultimately fail in adding value to your business.
2) Decide WHO you are writing to.
When creating your blog, it’s important to decide who you are writing too. However, the “who” you are writing to needs to be very specific.
In other words, saying you are writing for “women” or to “people over 16” is not specific enough. Instead you need to create the perfect avatar for your blog. An avatar is a written personification of the super-specific type of person who is reading your blog.
An avatar therefore is a more three dimensional representation of your ideal reader and can include; age, health, hobbies, employment, race, emotions, experience, expertise and other demographic and social cultural environments.
So for example, if you are writing a blog for a travel website, your avatar might sound something like:
As a result, she’s looking for ideas and options on how to spend that time in a fun but productive manner. This can include travelling or volunteering abroad. She sees herself as independent above everything else, and sees this as an opportunity to start building experiences away from her family.
Although she wants to explore the world, her finances are limited, and as such, she’s looking for ways to take part in her travels on a shoestring budget. She is also concerned about any possible dangers that might come with travelling, and is looking for information on how to make the experience safer so she can take off with peace of mind.
By creating this avatar in advance, you can look at the blog titles you intend to write and either:
(a) Ask yourself if this blog is relevant to your audience or
(b) How you can write it to make it relevant to your avatar.
If you struggle with creating your avatar, why not speak to your customers and see what makes them tick? In all likelihood they will have a lot in common!
3) Carefully Choose Your Key Topics
Obviously your blog is no doubt going to be one of many that cover your industry. So how do you stand out from the crowd?
One thing that many bloggers are guilty of is being too general as to what they cover in their blogs. To stand out from the crowd it’s important to choose key topics to cover, and become experts in those areas.
After all, your industry is VAST… but if you talk about anything and everything within your industry, you’ll quickly discover that you are less likely to get repeat visits from your readers because your focus is too wide.
So here’s what you need to do to make your focus more specialised:
- Brainstorm all the topics your blog could cover. You’ll see from our blog we have topics such as: copywriting, email marketing, online advertising, social media, etc.
- Choose 5-6 of the topics that your blog will cover.
- Out of those 5-6 topics, select only two topics to specialise in to begin with.
- Quickly brainstorm 5-10 blog posts for each of your two topics.
- Starting with your first topic, write and publish 5-10 blogs over the next 6 or so weeks.
- Then repeat the above step with the next topic and so on.
Why do you take it one topic at a time?
You need to position yourself as an expert in these areas and a spray and pray approach when it comes to a business blog is not the way to go.
When you’ve got 5-10 blog posts in each topic, it’s time to create your ‘Resources Page’, which is simply a collection of your really useful blogs from your top two topics.
When you’re pitching to another blog owner to guest write for them, point them to your Resources Page. It immediately shows you’re an expert in the specific topics you want to write about and they’ll more than likely say “yes”.
Voila! Credibility: Check!
When designing the blog for your site, follow these 6 simple steps and you’ll start on the best possible foot.