Are you one of those marketers who thinks that more blogging is all it takes to run an online business? That if you talk enough about your subject, people will buy what you want them to? It certainly does pay to be active online, but a lot of would-be bloggers find their efforts wasted. They churn out article after article but it’s like they’re spinning their wheels in the mud, not getting anywhere. If only they could produce enough content fast enough, something’s got to eventually stick, right?
Nope. That’s a reactive strategy. You need to get more proactive about what you’re doing on your blog if you want it to result in increased profits. Here are five tips for getting more hands-on and deliberate with your effort.
1. Stop Expecting Consistent Writing Alone to Make sales – Get Out There!
Look at what the top bloggers in every industry online are doing – they don’t just keep writing and expect sales, and these men and women are certainly not living in bubbles. They all know each other, right? They interact with one another, post on one another’s sites, and talk about what each other are doing.
These days, online marketing is a very social endeavor.
You’ve got to work hard to gain respect in your niche. You need to contact people and build relationships. Land guest post positions on the right blogs. And create organized campaigns to get yourself attention on social media.
You’ve got to work hard!
2. Figure Out Who Your Audience Is
Who are you even talking to when you write your blog articles? Because you can’t talk to everyone about anything pertaining to your niche and expect them to listen.
What you need to do is define who your target audience is so you can identify what it is they want to talk about, why, and what type of voice they respond most well to. These are your customers, and you should know their demographics well.
3. Figure Out Where Your Audience Is
Once you’ve figured out who you’re talking to, then you can do some research to identify where they’re hanging out to talk about your niche. This way, you can streamline your efforts by finding new ways to get yourself there with them, whether that means buying the right advertising space (online or in print), ramping up your social media presence, or interacting more on forums.
4. Decide What You Really Want Them to Do
Is it realistic to ask a stranger for a sale – before they trust you? Of course not. Most people who come to your website will be visiting for the first time, so if you push for a sale in your articles, you are likely going to alienate and scare them off.
Your blog is a place to earn trust and build relationships. So your call to actions should be about building upon that relationship further, not buying stuff. That means getting them to connect with you on social media or sign up for your list. It’s the residual effort and familiarity (or your rock-solid email sequence) that should be closing deals for you.
Or maybe not. Maybe that doesn’t apply to your audience. But it’s at least something you should reach some certainty on. What is the purpose of your articles? What do you want readers to do, and why should they do it?
5. Identify Their Fears and Desires!
You won’t be hitting these buttons all the time, but you need to know what they are so you can formulate an overall blogging plan. As hinted above, too many bloggers just identify their niche and produce a steady flow of content without giving any thought to the why of their overall message.
Just talking about the niche is a weak approach. You need to talk about what they want to hear. Address their concerns and eventually find ways to link those hot buttons with whatever it is you have on offer. Are you running a business or a newspaper column?
If you’re taking a generic approach to your blog, it’s time to change course and get more serious. It’s time to develop a strategy, so that every article you put out has a purpose, even if it doesn’t seem that way.
It’s the difference between running a business and having an online hobby.