The “should-I-or-shouldn’t-I” internal dialogue that people have about blogging is extremely common. It seems like a big commitment, but you have a sense that it is a powerful tool. How do you decide whether or not it’s worth your time? Believe me, I wrestle with similar questions. As a writer, I find myself constantly juggling priorities. The more time I spend building my own blog (which also serves as a portfolio of sorts) the less time I have to spend writing for my clients (which pays the bills). Do you feel that way too? Does maintaining a blog feel like a worthwhile task that may also be a big distraction?
Over the last 5 years, I have written hundreds of blog posts for individuals and companies ranging from inspirational speakers to home designers, plastic surgeons, and manufacturers. In that time I have discovered what I believe to be the most critical work you must do to have an effective blog: define your audience.
That’s right, you define your audience not the other way around. Too often I see people writing blogs with very little focus, and if you want a regular readership you need to provide enough specific content to keep your ideal clients coming back. I encourage my clients to make a list of 3 or 4 categories for which we can create blog content and stick precisely to those areas.
Let’s work from an example. Imagine I’m a massage therapist and I start a blog with the purpose of drawing in new clients. My specialty is a type of massage that prevents athletic injuries. So when I conjure up an idea of my ideal client I know that there are a few issues that will be of specific interest to them, physical health, athletic performance, and injury prevention. Now I can work from these themes to create content that I know will speak to the people I want to work with the most.
Ok, this next part is really important.
Now that you have determined who you’re writing for, and what you’re writing about, you should start every single blog post knowing from the outset what you want that person to do when they’re done reading.
In the case of our massage therapist, the goal is that the person would book a service, and her blog post should provide readers the opportunity to do that. At the very least the reader should have easy access to a link or button to contact her, and in most cases, I recommend a direct invitation to do so.
Your blog has the power to draw new people to your site and establish yourself as an authority in your specific field, but if you’re posting blogs on your website that do not have a call to action you’re missing out on potential business. Plain and simple.
Before you add another post to your blog I hope you’ll sit down and take a few moments to write something with purpose. An effective blog is a powerful marketing resource. And, if you find that you don’t have the time to dedicate to this task, send me a message. I’ll happily provide you with a free consultation to see how we can grow your blog together. (See what I did there?)