Most of my clients want to set up a blog when I am building a website for them, but many are finding it really hard to get into the habit of writing regularly and are struggling to build the momentum that would help them support their business magic. Here are my best tips for getting stuff done and creating content that connects you with your target audience.
Identifying your blogging goals
These are obviously different for everybody and there are no wrong answers, but – the clearer you are on this, the easier it will be to make your blog a success. Here are some examples for possible goals:
- Driving traffic to your offerings
- Establishing yourself as an expert
- Providing valuable support
- Being part of a wider discussion around your favorite subjects
- Sharing your experiences
- Giving potential clients a way to get to know you and your work
Creating a schedule that works for you
Most people will tell you that consistency is everything and I really believe that is true, both for blog posts and for newsletters. However I don`t think that you need to post every Monday if that doesn`t feel great for you. I used to hold myself accountable to writing something every week and ended up producing some content I wasn`t proud about. I am now writing regularly, but not always on the same day and if I feel like I need a break to gather some new inspiration, I am fine with that too.
Solving problems for the people you care about
The best blog posts are always those that provide highly valuable information, touch on a very relatable emotion or solve a pressing problem for someone – they get shared because they enrich our lives and are worth our time when we are so bombarded with information every day. When you become an expert on a subject, its sometimes hard to even realise what common problems are. As an example – I didn`t realise that many people are struggling with setting the correct social media preview image for their blog posts, but when I wrote a post about this, it was super popular. For this reason I love answering questions in my own and other Facebook groups – it gives me a feeling for my audience and I get inspiration on what might help them. If you are not sure what might be of interest to the people you would like to connect with, just ask – send a newsletter with a survey, ask your social media following or post in groups.
Creating a system for your content
As you grow your blog, it might make sense to set up a simple excel sheet or Trello board to gather all your ideas and spread them out over the next few months – that way you will never get that nagging feeling that you should be blogging, but the ideas are kind of not coming. Maybe you want to plan to write about a special topic every other week, maybe you want to run themed months and competitions or maybe you want to make it a goal to write on guest posts on another blog each month – make a plan and stick to it.
Driving traffic and building your audience
There are many ways to attract attention and I think its really important to find the ones that are truly joyful to you. I am no longer giving video interviews for example because I find them terrifying, but I love being on podcasts, oversharing on instagram or writing guest posts. Generally the four most important traffic streams, at least in my business, are social media, clicks from my newsletters, clicks from other sites that feature me and paid ads. Before you spend any money or a large amount of time it makes sense to sit down and think about how you can maximise your outcome while minimising the effort you need to put – in my opinion that can be done by following your heart and intuition and by being helpful to people.
Making people aware of how they can work with you
Triple check: Do new people who land on one of your blog posts immediately understand who you are and what you are offering? Do they know how to connect with you and where to find you on social media? Can they opt in to your newsletter with one click? Are you letting them know about any special offers? Now that you worked so hard to build your audience you obviously want to make sure that you are converting that traffic into a loyal fan base.
Another important aspect is the interconnection of your blog posts – if you are touching on something you have written about before, it makes total sense to link the two – that way you are engaging your audience, meaning that they will spend more time on your site exploring other aspects of you work. Also make sure to really use your blog side bar – link to your offerings, your about page and highlight other related posts.