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Some business owners will already know good blog content is highly valuable when it comes to ranking well on search engines. If you’re in business and you didn’t know this already, then where have you been?
Ranking may be one thing but blog content shouldn’t be seen as simply a tool to rank well it should be much more than that. Blog content is a conduit, a way of communicating directly with existing and potential new customers, providing solutions and answering questions.
You can have the best website design, with all the best bells and whistles but unless all of this is tailored to your customers needs and you supply just what they need, it all ends up being a waste.
This blog post should at very least help you in creating blog content that’s valuable in more ways than one and if you read to the end may inspire you a little too.
Blog Content Mega Tip – start with the end in mind
You can use all the fancy tools and online resources for generating blog content, you can write just exactly what you like, at the end of the day it’s your blog. All the same if you want your content to benefit your business then you need to write for the boss. Not the CEO or the CFO, you must write for your customer.
If you understand nothing else, this is possibly the number one mega blog content tip EVER! Practice this one single tip and you’re half way there.
If you’re in business then you’re number one goal is selling products or services to customers. If you don’t understand your customers you sell less. Understand customers you sell more. So by virtue of the fact you already sell products or services to customers it shouldn’t be too difficult to write for your customers and potential new customers.
So here’s some tools and ideas to get you started.
Blog content tip number 1 – learn about customers and potential customers.
This may be difficult if you’re just starting out but there are resources both raw business owners and experienced business owners a like can use to learn about customers and potential customers.
- Do a survey. Ask existing and potential customers what their principle problems are. Do they understand what your business offers. Add a survey to your website, ask your web designer or use tools such as Survey Monkey.
- You’ll soon start to see a recurring theme in the responses. Distil your themes into keywords or questions that relate to your business. If you’re a tyre company, it may be questions such as “Why does my car drift to one side on the motorway” or “What’s the minimum tread depth to pass an MOT”. These are valuable content triggers for blogs.
- To understand how people use these keywords in search use Google Adwords Keywords Planner. Google will return not just the exact keywords but phrases and searches related to the keyword, along with an understanding of the popularity of each of them. Look at the phrases with high volumes.
- Once you’ve understood what keywords and searches to focus on, take a trip over to Google Trends. Punch in some of your most promising keywords and hey presto Google will show you how these keywords have been trending over time. Plus you’ll also see at the bottom of the page some related topics and related searches.
- If you want to stay ahead with the content around certain keywords create a Google Alert. Google will send you new relevant content every day to your inbox.
Blog content tip number 2 – answer the obvious questions
No matter if you’ve been in business a week or 40 years, we all have at least a little more experience and knowledge about what we do than the general public.
We’ll know there are certain questions people will always ask, certain aspects of products or services people regularly want to know. If one person is asking that question ten others will be too.
Take a walk back through your memory, think about the questions you’ve answered in conversations either socially or in a business context, you’ll find you share more wisdom and knowledge than you realise. The questions that you regard as ‘common knowledge’ can be unknown to many.
Never forget potential new customers grow up each and every day. In a recent survey (British Nutrition Foundation – 2017) almost a third of UK primary pupils think cheese is made from plants and a quarter think fish fingers come from chicken or pigs!!!
Never take your customers knowledge for granted, many may simply not know, they may be simply too young to the market to know. Blog about it – educate.
Blog content tip number 3 – find the questions customers are asking.
So you’ve covered quite a few bases in your quest for valuable blog content. The third tip is hoovering up around some other final resources to provide you with the ultimate set of content ideas. You can find more of the types of questions people are asking and some variants on a theme by using other resources.
Websites such as Quora and Yahoo Answers have a host of questions answered by people from all across the globe. The chances are the question has been asked and answered you may just be able to answer it better on your own website.
If you need a resources that aggregates a whole host of search keyword type questions try Wordtracker.
Next look through competitors Frequently Asked Questions, you may be able to re-purpose some questions and answer them in a better and or different way.
Lastly some websites have a comments sections, these sections often appear at the end of posts. If you take a look at the comments section, often people will pose new questions or extend the scope of the existing post.
So there you have it probably more than 3 tips to help you create valuable blog content for your business. All the same a plentiful resource to start you off on your quest.
If you have read from the start, you may recall I mentioned a little inspiration at the end. Well here it is all wrapped in a conundrum.
The inspiring bit – the ultimate conundrum when it comes to blog content and possibly the best tip yet.
Once upon a time when I first started out in the advertising and marketing industry (circa 1993), print and tv commercials worked on this principle –
50% of marketing works and 50% doesn’t.
The holly grail back then was working out what did and what didn’t work. Back in the day we dared to fail, we used gut instinct and a marketeers innate sense of ‘pitching it out there’. As the old saying goes –
Throw enough sh*t at the fan some of it will stick.
Today however things seem a little different. Potentially we can get closer to making 100% of what we do work. The closer we get, the greater return on investment from our sales and marketing efforts.
But wait… the conundrum is this.
If the only way we’ve been able to get closer is by using the data we receive from search and other forms, and these data machines are being used by a potential customer base of billions. Then it follows that we have a mountain of data to work through and potentially an even more problematic mountain of issues in interpreting the data.
Many people when they get to this stage get lost, become buried and beaten by the mountain of contradicting information and even greater mountain of data. So they give up before trying, or worse their head explodes.
Don’t give up – use the force 🙂
This is the bit you can’t easily learn – use the force. Use the bit of you, you only get through truly being able to walk in the shoes of the customers you want to attract. Use the wisdom of your years, understanding of people, your imagination and vision of what you want to achieve. Link all this together and – create!
Empathy with your customers comes not just from data, but a wisdom, a knowledge, a gut instinct the type of gut instinct used way back in the days before the internet, in the analogue days.
This is the bit that’s tough to teach and tougher to learn. Collect all the data you like, but if you can’t deliver it in a way that has empathy with your consumers and their aspirations, then you fail.
The greatest skill Steve Jobs had, wasn’t being able to design, write or even sell. His greatest skill was being a person who understood people and a person that dared to fail. More importantly he had an instinct not just for what people needed, but for what people didn’t even understand they knew they needed until they saw it. He fused often existing technology with an innate instinct for the customer he wanted to enchant. He used the force of creativity, channelled a vision and created the cult of Apple.
If you want to write valuable blog content do the following.
- Evoke the spirit of Steve Jobs.
- Understand the data you have
- Walk in your customers shoes
- Dream a little
- Just do it – give it a go.
What’s the worst that can happen, you get it wrong. As a species we have been getting it wrong since the dawn of time, getting it wrong means you are simply one step closer to getting right. We all must fail in order to learn, failing breeds success.
So start writing.
If you’re still stuck or simply too busy dealing with business and you want someone who isn’t afraid to analyse the data, walk in your customers shoes, dream a little, then write. Get in touch … I may use the force 😉 and my head won’t explode.