WRITING GUIDANCE & INSPIRATION | Starting a Blog? Here are 4 vital questions to guide your blog content strategy.
You've started writing a blog without a blog content strategy...
Starting your blog is a vulnerable journey. It takes courage to put yourself out there, and it's completely natural to feel like you don't know what you're doing—even if you're a strong writer. When I started my blog, I had no idea what my blog content strategy was or how I would convert clients. All I knew is that I needed to write a blog. Often, I wasn't sure whether my writing was landing, or whether I was just flinging words into cyberspace.
What I've discovered over my 20 years of writing experience is this: Writing content that engages your ideal clients is about consistent practice, combined with a commitment to trial and error, a good sense of humor, and above all, trusting yourself.
Here are the four questions I ask my clients that can help you create a client-converting blog content strategy.
I can't emphasize enough that writing is a practice. Most importantly, it's your practice. Ask yourself any and all of the questions below. Know that the answers that work and that don't work will change, depending on your needs.
Start at the end: What results do you want to create?
This fall, I started working with Brenda Newhouse to help generate more leads through my website. She advises that when you write content, focus it on the tangible results your clients want (and you want to provide). This doesn't mean that your blogs are sales pitches, but rather, that they speak to the urgent wants surrounding what you offer. For me, this means helping my clients create content that converts clients and feels authentic, focusing on the following topics: About Me pages, blogging, and editing their marketing materials.
The results you want to create build a win-win relationship for you and your ideal clients. By creating content that educates, inspires, and provides solutions based on your key offerings, you're attracting prospective clients with every blog.
How can you draw inspiration from influencers?
Reflect on who in your industry you admire, both for their presence and for the work they do. Are you subscribed to their websites, and do you keep up-to-date on their content and offerings? Ensure that your answer is yes to both. Then, pay attention to the specific qualities of their presence and work that resonate with who you are and what you do. Reflect on how they talk about those aspects in their blog, and notice how their readers interact with their blog content.
What words, phrases, anecdotes or other information is generating interest on their blog? How does this align with you and your business in a way that you could adapt in your own content? Citing influencers in your work and hyperlinking their writing in your blog can help you build your own influence, too.
How will you ensure your blog content strategy converts your ideal clients?
Converting clients is an ongoing experiment. There is no exact formula that will guarantee results all the time, for every entrepreneur. However, implementing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and other online lead-generating best practices will make it much more likely that your content will convert your ideal clients. It's worth investing in someone who can implement, test, and evolve evidence-based SEO and lead generation strategies through your blog.
Link up your blog to Google Analytics and download SEO tools like a Yoast WordPress plugin. Set aside time each month to review what content is performing best and how to continually improve your blog content strategy based on both your business goals, and also what your clients are searching for.
Which of these questions do you need help answering?
Your best writing happens in collaboration with others who get you and your business goals. Consistently connect with people who can give you the support you need to achieve your goals, and who can help you assess whether your blog is helping you or hindering you in the process.
Avoid asking your support team general questions such as "did you like that blog?" and "what do you think?" Instead, ask specific questions based on what will support your goals.
For example: Did you think the tips I provided for how to do X would be accessible for single, working parents who don't have a lot of time to spare?
Your blog content strategy is what births blog content that converts. Invest time each day asking as many of the previous questions as you can that resonate with what you need. Stay tuned next week for blog content creation tips to keep you on track with writing consistent, client-converting blogs.