Are you still staring at that white screen waiting for inspiration to blog better?
Blogging can be intimidating because you are trying to create content that brings people to your website and encourages them to do business with you. For online leads, this will be the first impression a new customer gets of your company.
So, how do you create a process for blogging that will rank well and create consistently good reads to entice people to click and check you out? The last thing you want to do is waste a site surfer’s time, there is too much else they can easily be looking at on the screen.
Here’s a few ideas to get the blog juices flowing!
Create an editorial calendar
This sounds like a commitment but can be as simple as writing down a list of topics (whiteboard them), creating a Google Calendar or using a plugin on your site, do whatever it takes to help you blog better.
The folks over at Buffer cover it well here:
Painting is a somewhat seasonal thing, so its possible to do well-written content around what customers must be thinking about for their homes.
Having a plan laid out helps you to think about topics ahead of time. There’s more to blogging than just sitting down, thinking of something and writing it. Those are the worst blogs to read because you can tell someone hammered out quick, just to get a blog done and off the list. Potential customers showing up at your site may want you to blog better than that. They are not there to appreciate your writing prowess, but your words are the picture you paint for them on first impression.
The best writers we know jot down notes on topics that they can incubate and expand upon later. Capture your ideas in whatever form you can so they don’t get lost. Be thoughtful in your approach, and remember that people like topics that are presented with the intent to help, not sell.
In addition to seeking new leads, blogs are also a great way to keep your current customers thinking about you, particularly when supplemented by a newsletter. Steve Burnett of DYB Coach reminds his clients to stay “top of mind” with customers.
“It costs 500% more to acquire a new lead. Yet, that’s what we are traditionally taught to do, when we have a goldmine of leads, actually raving fans, that we allow to forget about us. If we create systems and habits to leverage these top 4 avenues, to stay Top of Mind, we’ll build a highly profitable business of A and B clients, without making a sale.”
How do You find Topics to Write about?
At the beginning of of our Roadmap series, we observed:
“Now that most everyone has a built a platform to blog on and published several variations of “Why we are the best painters”, “Which Paint should you use” and a few “Before and After” posts it’s time to rethink content and why we are blogging.”
If you’ve done the hard work of creating good SEO for your site/blog, it’s really important to make sure that when potential customers get there, they actually like the look and feel of what you have to say. You only get one chance to make a first impression and you only have a few seconds to earn a favorable one – meaning, the reader doesn’t click away.
Here are some ways to get inspired to create good original content:
Tess also shares some great suggestions on content writing and newsletters, we’ll be talking to her in an upcoming article to follow up on “How to create a better Newsletter”.
Darren Slaughter’s advice is simple, and spot on. Check out his video on the left.
“You being the pro that you are, realize it can’t always be about you, make your blog topics appeal to people who are interested in a “change” and see what your blog traffic does!”
Video is one of the most powerful ways to share your information these days. In fact, it’s becoming more the preferred means of how people search for information. So, don’t be afraid to show in addition to telling.
What are some of the questions you get asked by customers? Those are probably some of the same ones that future customers are searching for when they spot your in the search results.
Show it. Tell it. Own it. Blog better.
Create an Outline
So, if you want to pull people into your content, you should create that information gap early in your article.
Put yourself in the shoes of the person who might show up via Google and see what you have written. What do you yourself look for when reading other people’s content? If it’s unreadable, uninteresting or just plain ugly, you click away and regret wasting the time visiting a junky and unhelpful article.
Always go back and flesh out your initial outlines and drafts. People will click on it if they found your topic interesting enough to look at, don’t give them a reason to click away. Once they are gone, they won’t come back. That is the best way to lose a lead before you even get one.
Review, Revise and edit
Walk away from the piece for a bit. Then come back and read it, out loud. Share it with someone else, ask their opinion. If you are fortunate to have a mentor, ask them to critique, and consider their suggestions without getting offended. Here at BP, we use Google Documents to share drafts and brainstorm.
Publish and share
Before you publish a piece, make sure it is optimized for SEO, check your keywords and Meta tags. Also, be sure that your post has a featured image that is appropriately sized so it will appear correctly in social media. That is really important to enticing people to click on the link to begin with.
Bottom Line: Don’t forget who you are writing to in your blogs. You may be sharing them on Facebook, but ultimately the goal is to get it out past your colleagues, friends and family who already know that you are a paint company. You are putting it out there to connect with customers who don’t know you yet, and you are in competition for attention in the world of everything else that they are looking at on their computers or devices.
And that’s what we’ll be talking about next week!
Feel free to leave a link to your latest blog post for others to see in the comments below!