It’s the CONTENT that matters
I see and read many blog posts in the course of a working week and it would be fair to say that most are a little on the ‘thin’ side. They promise me ‘three top tips to make the best victoria sponge’ and deliver instead a thinly veiled advert for strawberry jam instead. The same is true for many of the free ebooks I’ve downloaded when signing up for the latest ‘must have’ newsletter.
The websites and blogs I love, which are also the ones I recommend to others, are those that give me really good, helpful information about the things I want to know about. They are not the ones that say they’ll tell me all if I pay them a dollar for the privilege.
My loyalty, as with most of the web using public, is earned by consistently meeting and matching both my needs and my expectations. When that happens, the chances of me buying something from those websites increase because I’ve got to know, like and trust them. Those same chances are slim if the opposite is the case.
I can speak from first-hand experience with both of my business hats on. The Hysterectomy Association offered loads of information for all sorts of audiences and it neatly packaged that information up into different variations. It also sold other books, products and services that women using the site will find helpful to them. I also know that the vast majority of its 200k monthly visitors never bought anything from me, they simply wanted good quality information to help them make an informed choice. However, I also know that because of their positive experience of the site they were highly likely to recommend it to other women they know, the medical professionals treating them and other service providers. As a result, the audience grew and the revenue increased alongside it.
This website follows a very similar pattern. Most people visit because they are interested in the topics I talk about. A few get involved by being one of my author interviewees and an even smaller number will go on to buy my books, workshops, courses or take part in the Hysteria Writing Competition.
Neither of these successes is inevitable though. To be a Rock Star Blogger you have to know your subject. The more you know and the more you can share the better. If you do this consistently then you will attract an audience who love what you do and what you have to say and who may or may not go on to buy something from you. At the very least they’ll probably recommend you to others who also may or may not buy something, but who will also recommend you, and so it grows.
Bear in mind that it’s ‘subject’ as in singular, not plural. You can go off at tangents as long as you bring it back to the core topic. The reason for this is simple, if you want to attract a relevant audience that loves what you have to say and is willing to put their reputation on the line by recommending you to others, you have to give them what they want on a regular basis. If your audience is looking for information about women’s health, that’s the topic you work with; if it’s dog grooming then you will turn the audience off if you happen to start chatting about menstrual cramps.
You can’t just write a single post about a subject and be seen as an expert – Rock Star Blogging doesn’t work that way.
The Rock Star Blogger is someone who knows their subject inside out, upside, downside and backwards too. They understand the nuances of every issue that crops up and have an opinion. They have experienced what they are talking about and share that experience with their readers. Of course, it goes without saying that they are also learning all the time. I learn as much from my readers as they do from me. They are constantly challenging me with the questions they ask, which I then need to research and learn more about too.
What they haven’t done is read a book or two so they can regurgitate the contents into blog posts. When they read, they read to research something they are already familiar with.
To know your subject so well you really have to love it and be passionate about it. Combine this with whatever your motivation for blogging is and you could have the start of a winning formula.
It is this passion that will keep you writing even on the days when no one visits your little piece of online real estate; when it can seem as if the wall is too high to climb and your dream is just too far out of reach.
So many people set up a blog about a subject they know nothing of because they did some research and found that the phrase ‘baked bananas’ gets around 18,000 searches every month. The problems come when they can’t keep up the momentum of delivering good quality, fresh information and news on a regular basis because they aren’t really that interested themselves. Because they don’t value the information they tend to make that basic mistake of talking only about a topic from the perspective of what they’re selling. In other words, they aren’t writing for their audience, they’re writing about themselves and their business instead.
To have any chance of long term success pick something you are genuinely excited about and interested in, it could even be just a single aspect of the business you love. It may have a much smaller audience, but that audience will be loyal if you are working to answer the questions they have. Taking this tack means you’ll have a much easier time encouraging those who are interested to become regular readers than if they just happened to come across your latest advert for strawberry jam in a recipe for Victoria Sponge.
I’d be interested to know if you blog or produce content. If you do, what do you write about or share and what was it that motivated you to get started in the first place?
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