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We have all been told time and time again that we need to be blogging. We have heard all of the benefits like: “It’s good for SEO”, “It keeps readers coming back to your website”, and “It positions you as an expert”. If you’re anything like me that all sounds pretty enticing and has made you a believer! So you start blogging to get all of these awesome results you were told about.
After a little while it can become pretty draining if you aren’t seeing any results. After all you are running a business and you want to make sure you are spending your time on things that are supporting and growing that business. So today I want to talk to you about how you can turn your readers into customers with blog topics that sell.
Step 1: Blog For Business Not Lifestyle
Your blog is for your business. You are using it to grow your business and keep readers/potential customers engaged. It is not a journal or a diary (unless your business is being a professional blogger, then it might be). With that being said the #1 thing to keep in mind when brainstorming blog topics are your readers/potential customers. Your blog is for them and what they want to read. So therefore you need to write on topics that will keep them coming back. With keeping that in mind you need to know what your readers are coming to you for. For example if you are a photographer you probably wouldn’t have readers who want to hear you talk about where to buy the best running sneakers. Instead they want to hear about photography, having a business, or getting their pictures taken. Which brings me to step 2.
Step 2: Find Out What Your Readers Want
So as I mentioned before you should write about things that will keep your readers coming back. Your question back to me might have been: “Well how do I find out what they want?” There are two simple words to solve this problem. Listen & Ask. It’s as simple as that.
Two ways you can implement listening in your business:
Frequently Asked Questions
Are your customers/readers emailing you questions? Any question you get asked even if it is not a frequently asked question you should be taking note of. I personally use Evernote and in Evernote I have a notebook just for questions I get asked. These questions are gold. Your customers/readers are telling you exactly what they want to know. These could and in my opinion should be turned into blog posts.
Pay Attention To Content Engagement
If you are getting a lot of likes, comments, or shares on any content you put out (including social media posts) this is your audience telling you they are interested in that topic. So you should definitely keep track of what they are most interested in and put out more of that.
Two ways to implement asking in your business:
Literally just go out and ask your ideal customers what they want to know. Email them and ask specific questions. Sticking with the photography example some questions you can ask are:
What are your biggest concerns with getting your pictures taken?
What questions do you have about my packages?
Do you have any questions about the day of the shoot?
Or ask these questions in a survey. Use their responses as blog posts!
You can subtly ask by just putting a PS. In your blog posts or asking your audience for their thoughts in a social media post. Encourage them to send you their questions.
Just from implementing this listen & ask method you will be sure to get tons of useful information that you can use for more than just blogging.
Step 3: Solve The Problems Your Customers Pay You To Solve
To have a business you need to solve a problem. Yes even if you are an artist/creative you solve a problem. Problem: I need a gorgeous photo of my family on my wall. Solution: Hire a photographer. So in your blog posts, solve the problems your customers pay you to solve. If you are a photographer maybe you sell mentoring sessions. So teach short photography lessons in your blog posts. This will do a few things. One it will build your credibility and establish you as an expert. Two it will give people an idea of what it’s like to work with you. Three, if they are the right fit it will make them want more!
Now I know what you are thinking. “If I give my stuff away for free then why would people buy anything?” Well one, you are not giving away everything. You are just giving them parts and two you probably aren’t giving it away in the order you know people should be learning it in. So it will be great content but people will still want the full experience and that’s worth the investment. So make sure to have blog posts that are showcasing what your customers pay you for.
Step 4: Get Your Readers To Realize They Need Your Help
This final step has to do with your launch content strategy. When you know you will be launching a product/service or opening up spaces that you want booked, then you should be planning for it. One of the things that should be planned is your content, in this case your blog posts. Depending on how frequently you post you would either start this process off further or closer to launch date. Frequent = 1-2 weeks before. Less Frequent = 3-4 weeks before launch. In these posts you would subtly start building up to why your readers should hire someone (you) to help them with a particular problem or need they have.
Example: Wedding Photographer
Early out you may casually start commenting about wedding season in your posts. Then you would start building up to posts like: “How To Find The Right Photographer”, “Why You Should Hire A Professional Photographer For Your Big Day”, and “My Customer Experience”. Then you would end with an announcement that you are now booking for the season.
All of those posts were just strategically building up to why someone should hire you. So use this method to take readers on a journey of why they need what you have to offer.
Blogging should be a part of your business. Not just for all of the wonderful intangible results it can get you. But also for the real tangible results like money! If you use your blog in a strategic way it can be a tool that you can count on to grow your business. I would love to hear one insight you took away from this posts! Let me know in the comments below!
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