Know who you’re talking to and why.
If your audience members are not sure if you are speaking directly to them they’re not going to hang about for long.
Go back to the reason that you’re blogging. This will give you a very clear idea of who your audience members are, the relationship you want to have with them and what you want to say to them.
A good trick to help you stay on track is to single out a specific person who is typical of your audience members. Let’s call this person Alex. Find a picture that looks they way you imagine Alex would look and pin it up near your blogging space. Every time you blog, speak directly to Alex. (If you’re blogging mainly for SEO your audience is Google!) [pullquote]Every word you write is a second of someone’s time you’re asking for, so make sure it’s worth it.[/pullquote]
Imagine the action Alex will take as a result of reading your blog and the difference it will make to her/him. If you’re not going to make a difference to anyone, maybe you need to re-think the reason you’re blogging. There’s enough noise out there without you adding to it just for the sake of hearing your own voice.
Be useful. Be original. Be amusing.
No-one will read your blog to hear about your latest intern, the meeting you’re lining up with the CEO of a blue chip company, the humble brag about a big new contract or an industry prize. That’s not what blogging is for.
Figure out what Alex is struggling with, what keeps her awake at night, what would make his life easier and blog about that. [pullquote]What are the questions your clients ask you? Blog about the answers you give. [/pullquote] If you are actively working with clients and customers (people like Alex), you’ll never run out of things to help them with and therefore you’ll never run out of things to blog about.
Give your expertise away
I sometimes hear a reluctance to giving away information you’d usually charge for. If you feel this way, get over yourself. Unless you’re at the cutting edge of technology, everything you do is already out there for people to find and if they find someone else showing off their expertise, being generous and original in the way they do it, guess who they’re most likely to hire?
Create evergreen content
Lots of marketing folk suggest using a content calendar so you bend your message out of shape to make it fit with Easter/ Mothers Day/ Halloween etc. These are usually the lamest posts you’ll ever read and everyone has already switched off at the truly awful tabloid like headlines: “An eggstra special idea”, “A Spooktacular Offer”, “We’re spreading the love” (accompanied by hearts and cupids), “‘Tis the season …. “, “Slay bells” (seriously – I got this one twice).
Much better to write really good content that you can use at any time of year and re-use it in lots of different ways:
- Re-tweet old posts
- Publish on LinkedIn
- Create a Slideshare
- Group extracts of posts together in newsletters
- Expand on posts to make E-Books
- Give away PDFs that give more information on posts.
The next post in this series is about Frequency and Length!
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