It’s a jungle out there. Today, millions of blogs exist on a wide range of subjects. Want to learn about organic hobby farming? A 3 day potty training crash course for the little one? There’s a blog, or 50, for you. So lets take a look at how to make sure your content reaches it’s target audience.
60% won’t read past your headline
Recent research has shown that 60% of people don’t read past headlines when scanning their news feeds and social media. It doesn’t matter how good your content is if it doesn’t get read. It seems like every headline looks similar these days, and that may be true, but it’s not without reason. YOU NEED TO GET YOUR READERS ATTENTION, and there are some proven ways to do this. Most of the articles that are in your news feed right now have titles with forceful words that help grab attention. These might be: Stop, Don’t, Never, or Always. Including these words in your titles lets the reader know that they might be, “Missing out on this priceless information.” Other headlines might include lists, numbers, “How To”, or “Guide.” This lets readers know that you’re the expert and they should read on. If you’re offering something they need, you need to make sure that message gets across right away with a catchy headline.
Be the expert
So you run a great business. You could probably talk all day about the in’s and out’s of products or services you sell, but what do you blog about? For many people when it comes time to put pencil to paper (or fingers to keyboard), all of that knowledge suddenly disappears. People tend to not realize how much they know, and often lump it all together in one area of expertise. To some, “car maintenance” is one well defined thought in their mind. Something so simple and routine that it doesn’t warrant a second thought. For those who aren’t experts, that simple phrase could produce separate articles on oil changes, window wipers, tire maintenance, winterizing your car, air filter changes, detailing, etc. Now you have 6 weeks worth of articles if you publish on a weekly basis. It’s a good idea to sit down and make an outline of your areas of expertise. Then you can further subdivide each area to arrive at individual blog entries.
Beg, borrow, but don’t steal!
Having a hard time coming up with a topic for this month’s post? What have you been reading about lately? Is there an article you found interesting? Write about it. Not every post has to be an original thought. If that were the case, life would be a whole lot more black and white. Maybe you found an article thought-provoking but your opinion differs slightly. Maybe you have a different take or have something to add. Write about it.
Another option is to solicit ideas from those around you. Ask your coworkers or employees for ideas. You might be surprised at what they have to add to the conversation. They might see a whole different side to your business that you haven’t even considered. Business owners are likely to have a different perspective on their company than consumers. Your employees can help you bridge that gap.
Last, and possibly most important. Don’t steal content. If you’re basing your articles on someone elses work, adding to it, criticizing it, link to it! It not only gives readers a frame of reference, but also lets them know that you’re not claiming credit for work which doesn’t belong to you.
“Less is more” – Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe
Get to the point. As a blogger, you’re already competing for readers attention. Outline the main points of your article, write a draft, then boil it down. Figure out exactly what you want your audience to take away, and give them exactly that. No more, no less. Need I say more?
Be a chameleon.
Finally, you have great content but how do you know if you’re getting the message out? If you’re purpose in blogging is to advertise your business and drive traffic to your website, you have to constantly adapt to your environment. First however, you have to know if you’re getting read and shared. One easy tool you can use is Google Analytics. This is a simple, yet powerful tool which allows you to analyse who you’re reaching, when, and how often. Using this information, you can see what kind of articles get shared, and which ones flounder. If you want to get read, you’ll use this information to help you provide the kind of content your readers want.