One of the main problems with bloggers and other online business owners is that they struggle to produce the type of content that connects with and engages their audience.
This causes a chain reaction that in the end affects their relationships, revenue and possibilities for growth.
This doesn’t only affect first time bloggers. Believe me even the greats have days where they simply have nothing to write and are completely stumped.
Surprisingly, for some reason some people seem to be immune to writer’s block and blank screen syndrome. They keep pumping post after post of amazing content and you keep scratching your head and biting your nails wondering what their secrets are.
Well they don’t actually have any secrets. They just know things you don’t know that you don’t know (if that made any sense) and you can’t be blamed for that.
Now enough talking, let’s get down to business.
Most super bloggers understand the following five things.
1. They know who they’re targeting.
2. They know the importance of a Unique Selling Proposition.
3. They know the art of being creative without necessarily creating.
4. They know the importance of research.
5. The know the importance of writing to change lives.
Now I’m going to break these down and make them easier to digest.
Know Your Audience
I’m no expert but the first thing any marketer would tell you would be to know who you’re targeting. When you know who your audience is then everything becomes much easier. You are able to craft every piece of content you write to appeal to them and they will absolutely love you for it.
They will not hesitate to subscribe to your feeds, join your lists or even buy your eBooks because they would feel like you understand them and their needs. The good part about it is you genuinely would!
So the question now is, how exactly do you get to know your audience?
There are two incredibly effective places to get all the information you need about your audience. The best part about it is that they are both at your disposal for free!
These places are:
1. On your blog.
2. Off your blog.
On your Blog
Your blog is a gold mine of information if you know just how to mine it. Here are some strategies.
1. Review Your Stats. If you haven’t already installed Google Analytics, install it now. Google analytics is a world class website analytics tool that allows you to study your reader’s behavior from the time they reach your site to the time they leave it. It shows both your most popular and least popular posts. You can use this information to figure out why the readers responded more to those pages and not to others. It also shows you how they navigated through your site and this can be useful when it comes to tweaking the design of your blog.
Now I don’t need to go deep into the power of Google Analytics because there are people who are better qualified than me to teach it like:
2. Pay attention to comments. Most bloggers don’t pay as much attention to their comments as they should. When it’s not the random surfer trying to get a free backlink, it’s usually someone genuinely interested in what you have to say and giving you important feedback. Use this information! You get to know exactly what your reader wants directly from the source which is awesome. Also don’t be afraid to join in the conversation. You get to cover more ground that way and build important relationships.
3. Ask! It never hurts to ask. I think it was Wayne Gretzky who said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” If you don’t ask you never know what they want or what you’re missing. Most readers would be happy to contribute if you just ask. Putting up a blog post or poll asking them their opinions works extremely well and can also give you a lot of ideas. So swallow your pride and JUST ASK!
Off Your Blog
1. Visit Related Sites. Visit sites that are similar to yours. If they are doing better than you, it means they are doing something right. Get ideas on what post types their audience responds to the most. Study their writing styles but be careful not to do exactly what they do 100%. You have to give them a special reason to come to your site. I mean no one really wants another Copyblogger or DailyBlogTips if they’re going to be exactly the same.
2. Ask the Don (or Donna). Simply put, get help from the guy or girl who is doing better than you. Shoot them an email asking them about their site. Heck, give them an interview! Most bloggers would be happy to help because where you see them as a threat or competition; they see you as a potential partner. Some even offer critique services which you can really benefit from.
Derek Halpern offers this type of services and he can show you how to increase you conversion rates as well.
Create your Unique Selling Proposition
Your unique selling proposition is your identity. It’s what makes you stand out among the 181 million blogs on earth. It’s what makes people decide whether to visit yours instead of one of your rivals.
Just to put things into perspective, let me give you two examples.
Derek Halpern. This guy is personally one of my favorite bloggers (that’s why I mention him a lot in my posts). What he did was notice that though people where talking a lot about techniques of marketing; they didn’t explain the psychology behind them. So he created social triggers to fill the void and it was all uphill from there. (That’s 17000 subscribers in 11 months!)
Steve Kamb. Now this guy, I respect. He took the weight loss niche and turned it upside down and inside out when he created Nerd Fitness. He approached fitness from a whole new angle. This had never been done before and that’s why it was able to grow so quickly.
With uniqueness comes strong branding and with that comes loyalty. If you want to create content that strongly appeals to your readers or customers and keeps them coming back, give them something they’ve never heard before.
ULTIMATE EXAMPLE OF UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION
ULTIMATE EXAMPLE OF UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION
Again I think there are people better qualified to teach you more about USP like:
Greg Ciotti on his post Your Unique Selling Proposition: Why It Matters, and How to Find One That Really Works on Sparring Mind.
Getting Creative(…or not )
You don’t have to be create to be creative. In all honesty, I stole this one from Danny Iny from his guest post on Copyblogger.(A good example, no?) Coming up with ideas for posts is easy if you know where to look. A simple process I use to come up with blog post Ideas when I’m completely blank is:
1. I visit a related popular blog and look at their recent posts as well as their most popular posts (they’re usually in the side bar)
2. I write down the title and type of one of the post e.g. ’21 ways to make a million dollars in the next 10 minutes – list post’
3. Then under that I write information the author missed.
4. I write the interesting questions the readers asked in comments.
5. I write down my alternative solution or things I don’t agree with.
The beautiful part about this system is you get ideas without really using a lot of effort and these ideas can be used for your next epic guest post as well.
Other ways to create without creating:
1. Explain your personal success. Have you noticed how popular success stories are? Do you know why? It’s because it shows people that it’s possible for them as well. People respond to these kinds of stories. So pick a time in your blogging career when you achieved success and tell your story. It’s unique because it happened to you and you don’t have to think much.
Pat Flynn gives a monthly report of his earnings on Smart Passive Income and this generates a lot of interest among his readers(me being one of them… I swear this guy is a genius).
2. Explain your personal failures. Has the same effect as explaining your successes. If you had to read a post title that said ‘5 Reasons I Will Never use Pinterest as Part of my Marketing Strategy Again’ wouldn’t you be intrigued? People would want to find out why you made such a statement and will click through.
3. Link to some old posts. Monthly and yearly mash ups are great for posts especially for those readers who might have might have missed some of your work.
Research is probably the most important part of the whole post. Without it you’re just dishing your readers a whole bunch of nonsense. If you don’t do any research for your post you’re risking your readers trust in you which is not an option if you want to create a thriving business online.
Well researched content:
1. Shows you know your stuff.
2. Shows that you care about providing your readers with value.
3. Helps create a stronger brand because you can back up your claims.
So the next time you write a post quote a book or give some statistics to back up whatever advice you’re giving your readers. Trust me; it will do wonders for your credibility.
Now that you probably have all the information you need, it’s time to put it all together. After all, you could have the word skills that even Shakespeare would envy but if you fail to present it in a flowing and logical way then to the reader it would be absolute garbage.
You have to be familiar with the anatomy of a good blog post.
Every good blog post has an amazing anatomy i.e. it has a certain structure to it that makes everything easy to follow and really stand out.
There are many anatomy types out there but so far the best in my opinion is Danny Iny’s which you learn in his free webinar for Write Like Freddy and this is how it goes:
HeadlineàHookàRoot of ProblemàOutline of SolutionàImplementation of SolutionàEngagement Building Question.
Headline: The very first thing that catches the reader’s eye. Without an eye catching headline they won’t be bothered to even read what you’ve written.
Hook: This is the first few paragraphs of a blog post that if you land on a site, you have to click the read more button to get to the rest of the post. It’s the part you put before a tag in a Wordpress blog or jump break in a Blogger Blog. It’s probably one of the most important parts of the entire post because it determines whether the reader will continue reading or not.
To create an excellent hook you have to describe in detail the pain the reader is having or the pleasure they would like to have. It’s as simple as that. It draws them in and keeps them interested.
Root of Problem: This is also a very important part. This allows the reader to recognize where the problem is coming from in the first place and how they can avoid it in future.
Outline of Solution: Here you describe your solution and you have to make sure that you are as thorough as possible. The post doesn’t have to be long, just enough to get your point across. If it takes 300 words, great! If it takes 12,000 words(like the viper, Glen), even better.
Implementation of Solution: Explain how they can get started by using your information to solve their problem.
Engagement Building Question: This is what gets them talking. Leave them a question at the end of your post that they can respond to and make them good. This creates relationships between you and your readers who can turn into potential customers.
If you have any social media accounts, get on them and promote like crazy. After all there’s no use in creating quality content if no one’s going to see it right?
Read and reply to all your comments. If someone retweets one of your posts thank them, if they mention you in a tweet thank them. If they Digg your posts, Digg some of their posts back. Get involved with your readers! Once they start to feel comfortable because you include them you would not only have gained a loyal subscriber. You would have also gained a friend.
P.S. I would also recommend getting a Facebook page for your blog if you don't already have one. After all that’s where 8 hundred million people are! I personally don’t have one for Electric Blogging. It’s not because I don’t want one. It’s just that I’ve never found the time to build one. But I can assure you that one day soon, I will.
Over to You
I put in a lot of work writing this post. Where I am right now, it’s 2 in the morning!
So now it’s time to hear from you.
How do you find great content ideas?
What’s your biggest problem when it comes to writing content?
How much research do you really do for your posts?