What goals did you reach with your last blog post? What information grabbed the attention of your audience to make them read? How was the CTA formulated?
These are questions you should be able to answer before you start writing every. single. post you ever publish for your business blog! By not having 5 key factors figured out before you write, its easy to lose sight of the big picture and have a compilation of posts directed at no one but yourself.
And we’re not trying to sell your work to yourself, are we? Answer the following questions to get your next blog post on the business track:
1. Who is your audience and what do they want to know?
When you’re using social media to persuade and grow trust with potential clients, you have to improvise when you can’t talk to them face-to-face. The new conversation is your blog post, and when you’re writing it you need to have a clear picture of what your audience looks like. What they want to know. What they should expect from you if they were to consider hiring you.
So, what does your audience look like, and what do they want to know?
2. What headline will hook their attention to read?
The first step to getting people to read your blog is to write about something they care about. The second part is using kick-ass copywriting skills to make them actually visit your site. You can use my headline as one example. Notice how I start it with the number 5, insinuating a list post — very popular for scanning. Next, I used the phrase “must know” to give the reader a sense of urgency. Last, I said what the list of things would affect. “Every Single Blog Post”. Now they’re really curious because there may be something important they’re missing every time they write. And so they click, and end up here. That’s how I got you, right?
How do you write your headlines?
3. What call-to-action does your post instruct?
Somehow. Someway. Your blog post needs to give your readers an action to take. Whether you work it into your writing or put it at the very bottom of your post. This is important because it proves the trust you’ve built with your audience and how comfortable they are to be a part of your community. Most of my posts (including this one) have a call-to-action asking for comments. These are very important to me because I know I’m not the only source on the internet with information about social media marketing (obviously) and I’m giving ANYONE an opportunity to share what they know as well for the betterment of my entire audience… even myself.
One caution for you online marketers out there. Promotional CTAs, like products and services to buy, might be the reason you’re blogging in the first place, but you can’t over do it. As Michael Port says in his book, Book Yourself Solid, stick to the 80/20 rule: 80% should be free content, resources, and opportunities, and 20% should be made up of offers, products, and promos.
What is your default call-to-action and why?
4. What keywords would your audience search for to find this post?
This piece of information is going to help you with your SEO while still writing for humans. As you’re thinking about the topic and headline for your post, you always want to consider how people might search for this information. What keywords come to mind and how can you make sure they’re incorporated into the content? Keep a list with only the most important ones and keep them in mind as you write.
I don’t like my clients to get too hung up on how to optimize their posts for search engines because to be quite honest, the only way to help your blog get better SEO is to write about stuff people actually want to know (this also goes back to the 80/20 rule). So don’t go overboard with this because as long as you’ve answered the other 4 questions on your checklist, you’ll be in great shape to publish.
What do people search for to find you?
5. What is your goal?
Most of your blog post’s goals are going to be generally similar because you should mostly be trying to build relationships with your audience. For instance, my goal for my blog as a whole is to inform my readers and develop trust between us so that they might sign up for my newsletter and think of me in the future for their social media marketing needs. For this post in particular, my goal is also to attract new readers with compelling content. Yesterday, my goal was for you to get to know one of my current clients to find out more about his philosophies and how I help him market his work.
This stuff might seem obvious to you, but if you don’t keep your goals in mind as you write, you’re not going to blog in the best mindset to grow your business. You always want to have an end result to reach so you can reach it then continue to grow it.