I’ve been doing a lot of research lately into the process of creating resonating content to grow a blog and what I’ve learned has not only impacted me in such a way that it’s going to change how I blog from now on, but if you’ve been having trouble getting social shares, comments, or any form of life on your blog, then I hope that this post will be an eye opener for you as my research was for me.
So just to give you a heads up, I’ll give a quick list of what will be covered in this post.
- Choosing your target audience
- Picking topic
- Crafting your headlines
- The body of the post
How to Choose the Right Audience for Your Blog
I can’t think of any other way to start this section than by saying that if you are sending private messages to random strangers telling them to please, please click the link and join your business because it’s the most incredible opportunity to have graced planet Earth and that they should sign up right now or the email will explode, then it’s a good idea to pay attention to this section.
Not only is it a sign that you have no idea what you’re doing (and that you really need to invest in yourself to learn proper marketing) or who exactly your ideal customers are, but you’re also wasting a lot of time sending messages that will most likely go unread and tarnishing your name in the process.
It’s easy to assume that targeting everybody who is a home business owner is the best thing to do because you have a larger customer base this way.
Believe me I fell for this too and tried to sell to every breathing organism that dared venture in my presence so there’s no shame in that (unless you already knew that that was wrong but are continuing to do it, then yes shame on you).
But by doing that you’re actually stopping yourself from being able to resonate with a group of highly targeted people who are more suitable to doing business with you compared to everybody else.
When you hope for just anybody to join your business or buy your product, you end up attracting and selling to no one.
Before I go into the process of how you can find your ideal customer base, there is something that I want to make clear beforehand because it does relate to how you decide on your target audience and how you interact with them.
Most marketers online have the biased mindset that what they’re offering is something that every person with a brain should instantly buy/join and that anybody who refuses to do so is a moron.
Don’t be like this.
Not only will thinking this way close of so many opportunities for you and give you an unpleasant demeanor, but you’re making yourself come across as a desperate, slimy marketer. And I know that that’s not you.
Realize that what you’re offering is not for everybody, and that the main purpose of picking a highly targeted group of people to market to is to find a group of people who actually want to learn more about, or are actively looking for what you are offering.
So to get you started on the right path, take out a pen and paper and write down the answers to the following questions to help you get a clearer idea on the type of person that you really want to do business with:
- What type of people do you want to join your business? Or what group of people do you prefer to do business with compared to everybody else?
- How old are they?
- Are they employed?
- What type of interests do these people have?
- What books do they read?
- Where do they hang out online/offline?
- What are their goals and desires?
- What problems do they have? And how can your product or service help solve them?
- Would they be interested in what you have to offer? If so, why?
Once you answer these questions, you should have a clearer idea of who exactly it is that you want in your team. Next step is finding out how to create content to appeal to this mass of targeted prospects.
Choosing One Topic to Focus On
As with any industry, there are a multitude niches within a niche as confusing as that sounds. Your job is not to focus on all ten million of them. Your job is to focus on one and one only.
For example let’s talk about MLM marketing.
There is active prospecting, social media marketing, ezines, blogging, PPC, article marketing etc etc.
What you need to do is pick one topic from all of these and zone in on it like a hawk.
When choosing this topic, make sure that it is something that you love learning about. Choose something that you will research and read about in your spare time because it feels more like a leisure activity than work. Pick something that makes your fingers itch in anticipation and reach for the keyboard just thinking about it.
To carry on from the target prospect example, let’s say I choose to market to women who are between ages 20-30, are working full time, and want to learn how to build their MLM and earn a full time income from that so they can quit their job.
They need to earn at least $5K per month in order to quit their job, and have decided to use Facebook marketing because they often go on FB and decide that this is the most convenient and best suited form of marketing for them.
As a result, you decide to become an expert at using Facebook marketing and want to build a blog around everything related to that.
So you write articles that talk about creating the ideal FB profile, how to create a fan page, FB PPC, building relationships on FB, prospecting on FB, how to create a group and use that to increase retention rates within your team, how to get more likes on your fan page etc etc.
Now this is where most people tend to get put off.
If you think limiting yourself to one topic limits the amounts of post ideas you can write about, think again. The examples I created above were sub topics I just randomly pulled out of my head without thinking too much, so imagine what somebody who is well versed in the area can come up with.
There will always be little details, problems, and constantly evolving tactics/technical details for every single topic available so running out of content ideas is impossible. Having trouble coming up with content is a sign that you need to learn more about your chosen topic, or that you’re in the wrong niche.
Writing about a specific topic will allow you to form a deeper connection with your audience as you will be addressing their specific problem as opposed to haywire blogging (which will most likely leave your audience just as confused as you are).
Also, if you’ve chosen a topic that you are passionate about as I suggested about, that will come through in your writing making it more fun to read.
As a result, the right people will be turning up to read your blog, and these are the people who will appreciate your content more, trust you, and hopefully do business with you.
Crafting Attention Pulling Headlines
There are few people out there who can call themselves true masters when it comes to writing the perfect headline, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be learning how to write attention capturing headlines or the concept behind why they work so well.
It’s a skill that will pay off in the long run so choosing to invest your time in learning more about it will be one of the best decisions you can make.
Ironically, if there is an area of blogging that is ignored the most by the majority of bloggers out there, it’s the headline so get this right and you will be putting yourself way ahead of the competition.
The purpose of your headline is to get the reader to click through and read your article.
A fairly simple role, but one that can lead to tremendous amounts of traffic when done right.
It should immediately capture the attention of your ideal audience and give them a reason as to why they should read your article.
When I first started blogging, I used the crappiest headlines you could think of.
They were long winded (10+ words), vague, and gave absolutely no reason as to why anyone in the world, let alone an internet marketer should click on it.
However when I made the transition to be more picky and choosy about the headlines that I would use in my articles in addition to learning more about how I can write better ones and why they work, I got more traffic, click throughs, and social shares on my blog as a result so trust me when I say that paying a lot of attention to your headlines can work wonders for your blog.
Now with that said, I still have a long way to go with headlines although I would like to say that I have made a good amount of progress compared to when I first got started.
So what I’ll do here is I’ll share with you my resources for where I learned about writing attention pulling headlines. I refer back to these quite often and they have never let me down so I know that they will be a massive help to you too.
- I use Jon Morrow’s 52 Headline Hack’s eBook as a guide when writing my headlines. I also like how he takes the time to explain exactly why they work so well and in what context to best use a specific type of headline in for maximum results.
- I also read through the free content that Copyblogger teaches when it comes to creating awesome headlines.
- Glen Allsopp’s blog post on getting links to your blog post also goes into great detail on how to write the ideal headlines for maximum traffic and backlinks.
- Chris Garret’s free eBook on 102 proven social media headline formulas is another great resource that I use quite often as well.
- At the end of my headline brainstorming session, I use this free headline analytics service to access how effective they are in arousing curiosity and an emotional response within my target prospects.
The Body of the Post
Address a Specific Need
You’re either solving a problem through your blog post, or you’re addressing a need that your target audience has.
Either way, make sure that it’s only one problem or need that you are addressing per post.
You don’t want them to wonder why you started talking about keyword research when you were talking about headlines just a few moments ago.
Also make sure that you give away information that is actually useful. And by useful I mean something that can be applied straight away, or a new piece of information that can greatly help their business.
No I don’t mean using your articles as therapy for your life problems. I’m talking about being conversational in your writing style and sounding like a relatable human being instead of somebody trying to write the next textbook for university students.
Share your own thought, ideas and opinions in your posts as if you’re talking to a close friend.
Your readers are coming to your blog not only to learn something new, but they want to be entertained in the process as well. So why not give them what they want?
If you think a new marketing tool is full of crap, say it. If you found a great resource that your readers can benefit from, tell them how excited you are that you found it, why it’s awesome, and that you would be happy to share it with them.
You’re not only doing your readers a favour by being honest, whether it be through a warning or a recommendation, but you’re making the content creation a lot more fun for yourself.
Some people say keep your articles short and sweet because the attention span of the web surfer is short, and that if you don’t get to the point quickly, the visitor will click away (somewhere between 400-800 words they preach)
Another side of the fence is write juicy, detailed articles that are jam packed with value to the point that no matter how long the article is, it is compelling enough to keep them reading all the way through (800+).
Although I don’t think that one is better than the other, the length of the article depends’ entirely upon the topic being written about, so to say that your article must be like X every single time just damages your creativity, the quality of the content, and makes writing harder than it has to be.
I’ve written a post about blog post length here and how paying too much attention listening to how my article had to be between this and that made me procrastinate and harder to get my ideas into writing.
In my opinion, an article is as long as it needs to be. I’m not saying be skimpy on the value because you’re lazy to write or being a long winded old fart. Just make it as long as it needs to be and no longer.
Use Sub Headlines
This is a great way to make your content easy to digest and allows the reader to skim to the important parts where necessary.
Sure every blogger out there wants the reader to eat up every single word they’ve wrote because they poured their heart and soul into every word, but how often do you find yourself skimming through an article?
This is about the readability for your audience. I’m sure you’re not too thrilled about diving into something that is nothing more than an enormous mass of text where you can’t even tell where one section begins and ends either.
Short Paragraphs and Sentences
Seeing a massive chunk of unmerciful text with no white space in between is something that will make any reader, no matter how enthusiastic, hesitant about going any further than the headline.
I’ve encountered articles that have paragraphs so large it’s likely that anyone reading it will either accidently skip a line or keep re-reading the same sentence again and again because they can’t tell where they are. Or maybe that’s just me…
Either way, this ties back to readability and making the experience as easily digestible for the reader as possible.
Let’s keep this one simple: make your sentences and paragraphs short.
Over to you
Now that you’ve gone through the entire article, you should be more confident in the content creation process now that you’re better equipped.
Seeing as I’m not perfect and still have a lot to learn about blogging, do you think that there is something that I missed when it comes to creating resonating content?
If so leave a comment below and don’t forget to share this post.