Everyone Is Searching For Answers
Searching the net for a blog to solve a problem, answer a question or to discover a new idea to improve one’s situation has become a national pastime.
Be it for a recipe, a marketing idea or how-to information, your article may be just the thing that delivers anything from a simple solution to a life-changing idea.
Solutions or ideas that make a difference in some small way to the reader could start a ripple effect.
In fact, you may currently be experiencing a pain point of ‘ how to come up with interesting topics’ for my audience. If you are wondering what to write about here are the answers.
1. Reveal A Customer Need
The top blog categories just happen to be in the fields of fashion, food, travel, beauty, music, and fitness.
Perhaps you can see a trend here. People are desperate for answers to the questions of: what to wear, what to cook, where to go, and how to stay fit.
It may not mean much to us in the moment, but finding that special recipe for the side dish you are bringing to your future mother-in-laws Thanksgiving dinner is crucial to someone’s relationship.
Identifying the right exercise to lose your love handles before your way too expensive beach vacation may be a turning point in the reader’s life when they meet their soulmate on the beach.
When your audience has a need, look at the many ways your knowledge may help them solve their need. Then, make your solution relatable to them. Become a partner in helping them achieve something.
2. Apply Big Picture Blog Concepts
When the ideas you share are entertaining, informational, or inspiration to your audience they may just come back for more. There are two points that should be the thread tying everything you present together.
- Build Trust – Share authentic and honest dialog with your viewers. Mix it with real-life examples or stories to build trust. Over time, when a blogger’s information proves trustworthy, loyalty follows.
Share Ideas – Ideas are the new currency of doing business. Most of the information shared on blogs are a continuation of shared knowledge with a new twist or added opinion or conclusion. Innovation is a process where ideas are moved forward.
Challenge what’s been done before by presenting new ideas, methods or techniques. In this way, you become the readers’ partner in success
3. Build Blog Loyalty
Loyalty or repeat views of a blog are based on a relationship that grows from the hearts and minds of the viewers. To be successful, bloggers need to be sincere and relatable to their audience.
Ask yourself these four questions when developing blog content:
- Is my information of Value to the reader
- How does it enhance their Experience (customer experience)
- Am I making an Emotional connection
- Do I have a forum to Recognize my viewers or connect with them
These four factors are the motivators of customer loyalty. They work the same when you are writing a blog article or launching a customer loyalty campaign.
4. Tell Them What Type Of Blogger You Are
There are basically three ways to deliver content to an audience. They are based on sharing personal experiences, sharing information or sharing your take on personal experiences and information. The categories are Journal, Content Marketing, and Content Creation Blogs.
Here is an explanation of these blog styles along with how to be successful in each category:
The Journal Blog
In the early days of blogging Journal blogging was the most common form of the medium. An individual continually shared their adventures with readers. Viewers lived vicariously as they learned and experienced new things.
Consider The Pioneer Woman blog as a Journal Blog example. It is positioned as ‘A blog about plowing through life in the country’ by Ree Drummond.
She began her blog story by sharing the life of a city girl that moved to the country and learned to cook for a growing family living on the range.
At first, the blogger shared pictures of country life and stories of country living. Living on a cattle ranch she decided to do a very detailed post about the correct way to cook beef.
This post got more hits than expected. With that Ree Drummond began including more cooking segments.
Understanding Your Audience
Over time The Pioneer Woman created an empire. She expanded her reach to producing cooking television shows and publishing recipe and other books, while creating a tourist attraction for her small town in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
She built trust using stories of her life on the range as a photographer, a Mom, a cook and ultimately as an entrepreneur.
Shared ideas were in the form of cooking demonstrations, recipes, relationship building, family rearing and more.
At one point The Pioneer Woman engaged viewers by asking them to send in their favorite family recipe.
When she received over five thousand recipes, she painstakingly went through them and created a cookbook for her community, using their recipes.
Everything she did was geared around creating a shared experience for both the blogger and the audience to enjoy. Unknowingly, she followed the four steps to gaining customer loyalty perfectly.
Content Marketing Blog
I confess! I receive eight different content blogs every day. These are blogs that simply share content on a topic. I have signed up for news feeds, industry article feeds, local real estate listings and other topics of interest to me.
By way of example, one of the top content marketing blogs according to daily views is the Drudge Report.
The blog has no advertising and no sponsors. Their only business is providing links to media articles on what Drudge views as the most important articles of the day.
Drudge earns revenue from linked media content partners based on page views. A 2012 Business Insider report stated this about their business model;
“Assuming The Drudge Report gets 1.50 per 1000 shares, and one billion page views per month, The Drudge Report should be generating revenues of $15 – $20 million a year.”
People want to know what is happening in the world and content-rich sources such as the Drudge Report have become a trusted go-to for many like-minded followers.
It’s important to note that many content marketing blogs have a bias or slant based on the publishing companies values.
This is how they find, keep and grow their audience.
Although the content marketing blog may be presenting a simple recap of a published article with a link, the recap, and articles chosen often appeal to like-minded viewers.
The harmonious opinions of the blog and its reader’s focus builds trust.
The linked articles about controversial topics of the day tell an ever-growing story that emotionally energizes the reader.
Content Creation Blogs
Seventy-eight percent of Chief Marketing Officers questioned in a recent Yahoo Advertising poll stated that Custom Content Marketing is the future of marketing.
Traditional print, TV and online ads are quick hits, informing consumers about your brand. You may be able to create an emotional connection in a thirty-second TV commercial. Will it be as memorable when you engage a reader in a blog?
Custom blog content earns the viewer’s attention by presenting something interesting, relatable and memorable when done right.
Consider B2B marketing blogs. The communications that draw the most attention and retain viewer data more than any other posts are White Papers and Case Studies.
There two mediums tell a complete story with a beginning, a comprehensive story and a conclusion that moves the reader forward in their career and business success.
Original Research is also a very powerful form of content. New research that you conduct and publish, and make available through your blog, positions you as the go-to expert on a topic.
Even compiling the latest research from multiple sources and creating a summary report or opinion draws information seekers in. This may also position you as an authority or thought-leader in your field.
Bloggers that create these types of fact-rich content become a trusted source of information.
5. The Blog Is The Business
While a Content Creation Blog may inspire, educate and entertain the reader, the primary goal is to promote the writer’s business.
Consider Seth.blog by Seth Godin. He is a Stamford University graduate and a former dot com executive. He went on to become an author, speaker, and educator in the field of marketing.
His marketing blogs provide brilliant and free content that he creates on an ongoing basis to inform and educate readers.
Make no mistake that this content is an introductory free sample. The reader is introduced to Seth’s world of books, seminars, video’s and more that are available for purchase.
Whether you happen upon Seth’s blog for information on a specific marketing topic or his latest words of wisdom, there is always more to learn.
I enjoy and learn from everything I have read or watched that Seth Godin has published.
Never have I felt sucked in to buy his material, Yet, I have purchased several of his books.
I consider him a thought leader in the field of marketing. I am always eager to learn and understand more on the subject.
His books are a great source of new ways of thinking about the field of marketing. They are also great reference material to have on-hand.
6. Be A Thought Leader
Be a thought leader in the minds of your reader. The content you create is the most important feature.
Sure, you want to earn additional revenue from the sale of ebooks, guides, classes or services. Always remember, if your content isn’t worth the reader’s time, don’t count on the reader going to the next step to make a purchase.
Your content needs to be the star of each and every article, video or white paper. The reader should be so impressed that they will be inspired to take the next step, a purchase action.
7. Blogs As A Brand Marketing Strategy
Business to business marketers are finding that blogging has become significantly more effective than traditional brand advertising.
This may seem like a bold statement. Consider the time and cost-effectiveness of blogging over traditional advertising. Only then the efficiencies begin to make sense.
According to a NY Times Consumer Insight study, 94% of people share blog content because they think it might be useful to other people.
In order to make your content more shareable, make it useful.
In the content creation blog success formula white papers, original research, and case studies are among the top drivers of B2B visitors to a blog.
These three techniques tell a very effective story.
They also serve to move the brand forward from a knowledge building perspective.
Original Content Case Study
Case in point, I had worked for a small product sampling company many years ago.
As a marketing tactic, we hired a research organization to conduct a consumer survey tracking attitudes about receiving a free product sample at different venues.
We also asked about the consumer’s intent to purchase and their actual purchase behaviors after receiving the product sample.
The results were very revealing to our organization. They were used to change direction and/or enhance our product sampling products.
We also sent the compiled research results to leading industry publications in the form of a press release. Every top industry magazine wrote a story about our little survey.
As a result, we actually received calls from top CPG companies which led to new accounts.
This was done many years before the internet was a thing. It practically launched the company’s brand. With the speed and level of sophistication available today, imagine the impact something like this industry study can have on your business.
8. Blogs Drive Sales Leads
According to Hubspot, B2B marketers that use blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67% more leads than those that don’t.
Delivering important educational content jumpstarts your brand and serves to shorten the sales cycle.
Research has shown that many buyers consume online content before making a purchase decision.
A Hubspot study found that 47% of consumers look at 3 to 5 pieces of content before taking the first- step towards making a purchase.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Wayne Dyer, The Father of Motivation