Although writing content is the most essential part of blogging, there’s a lot more to launching a successful blog than just writing a blog post. In this blog post, I’m going to take you, step by step, through the most effective, but easiest to implement, blogging path. We’ll start with identifying your ideal customer, then research keywords, and we’ll finish with promoting your blog post on social media and in email marketing.
Don’t worry! I know it sounds like a lot, which is why I wanted to write this blog post. I’m going to boil the whole process down to the most important steps and share them with you. If you follow this workflow every time you write a blog post, you’ll always be getting the biggest ROI (return on investment) from your blog post. You’ll be able to do it in your sleep in no time. (Although, I hope you’re not really dreaming about work!)
Busy? Pin this to your Pinterest board for later.
Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Customer
The key to creating profitable content is to know WHO you’re creating this content for. Who is your audience? What are their pain points? Can they afford your solution to their problems? No matter how well-written your content is, it will never be profitable unless you identify your target audience and create a client avatar.
When you’re blogging, you need to know who your readers are. Any content that you put out, whether online or offline, needs to speak directly to your ideal client. It makes no sense whatsoever to just write anything and expect people to respond. Experts call that “hope marketing,” where you create the content, publish it, then HOPE it resonates with someone – anyone – who will buy your products or packages. Why leave your marketing to fate?
Why do you need to know so many details about your target market? Because then you will know without a doubt whether your solution to their problems is affordable and desirable to them. Plus, you’ll be able to speak their language, which will demonstrate to them that you know them inside and out, and you’re ready to serve them.
Let’s get down to creating your customer avatar. Answer these questions about your target market:
- Are they female or male? Do you serve both?
- What is their age bracket?
- Are they married? Have children?
- Where do they live?
- Describe a day in their life.
- What are their daily struggles or pain points?
- What is their highest level of education?
- What is their income?
- What are their hobbies, interests and vocations?
Narrow in on who they are, painting the full, complete picture of what your ideal client faces every day so that you learn how you can help them.
After you’ve identified your ideal client’s struggles and your client avatar, let’s talk about your market. Within their struggles, you’ll find pain their points. This is where you will drive most your marketing and content.
Now that you’ve identified who you’re selling your content to, and what they need help with, use this worksheet to create content that will serve your ideal customer.
Step 2: Provide a Solution
After you identify your target market, it’s time to provide a solution to your ideal customer’s problem. How do you know what their problems are? Quite simply, observe what they complain about online.
Read what they say in Facebook groups, Reddit, member forums you belong to and other social media platforms. Read product or book reviews that are related to your market to see what people say is missing from those products or services. Or you can simply ask them by offering a simple survey through Survey Monkey or asking your list to respond to your email. You could also call some of your regular customers and ask for five minutes of their time, then politely ask them what they struggle with that’s related to your business niche.
This a group of people you have a real passion to help. It will become second nature to understand and witness their complaints and create content that will help ease their burdens.
No matter what your ideal client is currently facing, focus on their struggle and pain point. Make sure you are providing a solution that will help them.
We’re creating free, digestible content with action steps so that when your ideal customers click away from your blog, or your free download, they know that you are the expert that can help them. This will lead them to want to hire you, or buy from you, and pay you for your services and products.
Consider this free blog post an introduction to everything you can do for them. However, give them actionable steps but don’t give away all your top secrets. Those valuable secrets are reserved for those in your niche who are ready to invest in their futures by paying you for your expertise.
Step 3: Optimize Your Blog Post
You need to write your blog post so that it can be found on the web through the search engines, like Google and Bing. Keywords and keyword phrases are those words people use to search for information that you have to offer. Make sure that you have the right keywords on each page of your website as well as embedded in the body of your blog posts. You want to optimize your site for search engine optimization, using keywords that pertain to your niche.
Once you’ve added the keywords necessary to optimize your content on your website, including in your blog posts, you will drive traffic to your site organically, which means people plugging those words into a search engine will see your website pop up in their search results. There are many WordPress plugins that you can use, like Yoast SEO, which identifies areas where you need to add more SEO (search engine optimization).
How do you choose your keyword phrases? Start by using common sense. How would you search for yourself? Create a list of keyword phrases to use with all your website writing. This list should be fluid so update it every few months with new keyword phrases or by deleting those phrases which aren’t performing for you.
After you create your list with common sense phrases, turn to a keyword research tool, such Google or Google Trends. Start typing your keyword phrase into Google and see if it auto completes. If it does, that means people are looking for that keyword phrase. If not, you should try something else. You can also use Google Trends to see if people are searching for your keyword phrase and how often. As you get more familiar with blogging, there are more sophisticated tools you can use for keyword research. (I also use a free Chrome extension called Keywords Everywhere. Whenever you search for a keyword phrase on Google, YouTube, Amazon, Etsy and other websites, you can see how popular the search words are.)
A note about keyword phrases: always write your website copy and blog posts naturally, the way you would speak to someone in a conversation. Certainly, use your keywords but do it naturally or the search engines will penalize you for “keyword stuffing.” Plus, you don’t want to sound like a robot. That will definitely turn off your potential customer.
When you get a little more experience blogging, you may hear the term “long tail keyword phrases.” Those are phrases that incorporate 4-5 keywords, sometimes more, that help to drill down to a specific niche or sub-niche. These types of phrases are excellent for doing local SEO or getting very specific.
Step 4: Add a Call to Action
All your blog posts should also have a call-to-action. A call-to-action is an action you want them to take when they’re finished reading your blog post, and it should benefit you. As you’re attracting your ideal clients, you’ll also give them a call-to-action to either sign up for your email newsletter (which I highly recommend), sign up for a free offer, a free webinar, a free challenge or a free strategy session. Or – if you’ve really groomed and nurtured your following consistently – you can use a paid call-to-action, where you are offering your services or products. In other words, selling!
Typically, a call-to-action is towards the bottom of the blog content. You can ask a simple question and link to your sales page or your email opt-in page if it is for a free offer. Then you take your content that you’ve created for your blog and you share your blogs online across many platforms.
“Platforms” simply mean other places to publish your content. Your blog and your social media platforms are probably the most popular options but don’t forget about your email list or guest blog posts on other people’s websites. Even if you film YouTube videos or Facebook Lives, you can add a call-to-action on each video, thereby giving that content purpose.
Focus on at least two to three platforms that your ideal client spends the most time on. Remember, the idea is to draw the attention of your readers, your followers, and your ideal clients organically. Don’t put all your efforts into one specific platform because your audience is likely spread out among many different ones. You want to meet them where they are, but you also don’t have to use every single social media platform unless your ideal client is using it. Be selective and focused; and perfect the art of one platform at a time before adding another one to the mix, especially if you tend to feel overwhelmed with too much to remember. It’s so much better to master Instagram, for instance, than to be sloppy on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Step 5: Promote Your Blog Post
Now that you’ve published your blog post, it’s time to market it to the masses. Yes, organic search engine results are wonderful and you’ve optimized to take advantage of that avenue but you shouldn’t rely on organic results completely. Again, think of how many people have websites and blogs. Chances are high that if you don’t tell people yourself about what you do, they may not find you at all.
Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn! Publishing content is how you will attract new followers via social media. Marketing your content needs to be a consistent, daily effort. However, there’s a fine line between marketing consistently and spamming people with your content. Nobody likes spammers so work on sharing your content in a way that builds relationships.
Start with sharing your content on your Facebook business page. Your Facebook posts can be your full blog post (if it’s short) or an excerpt with a link back to your blog. Or you can start a conversation about the same topic and add a link to the blog post in the comments section.
When someone adds a comment to the conversation, be sure to answer. Not only does this keep the conversation going but it shows that you’re attentive and caring about your audience. Do similar posts on any other social media platforms you use. Also consider promoting the same blog post multiple times during a week. Social media moves quickly and you have a better chance of more people seeing your blog posts when you publish multiple times.
You can also use social media ads to bring your content to more people. Facebook ads are very popular and easy to set up. They provide such an incredible way to leverage your business and the programs that you offer, to specific, ideal clients. You can target your ideal client’s location, age, gender, interests, and mirror those interests to your business.
There are so many ways to target your social media ads but the rules can get complicated. You can hire somebody to do this for you or you can learn the ropes yourself. But you will need to use social media ads if you want to drive paid marketing people to your content.
Be sure to add a call-to-action to your social media posts. It can be as simple as “click this link to read more.” Believe it or not, people need to be told what to do most of the time. You might also say “if you like this, share it with your friends” or ask a question and say, “answer me in the comments.” Always leave them with something to do.
You’ll also want to send emails to your list to let them know about your new blog post. At minimum you should email once a week, to keep your readers familiar with your name, but some experts even suggest emailing every day, provided you have information to share and it doesn’t always sound like a sales pitch.
By establishing this relationship with your readers, you’re showing them your expertise and now you’re just going to enhance that relationship and get your ideal client to hire you through promotional emails and offering ways to work with you. At the same time, you must hit all their pain points for your marketing to be effective.