Writing can be fun. It can be therapeutic. If you’re blogging to market your business, it should be profitable. If it’s not, you need to figure out what the issue is because you are currently wasting time, money, and energy from that precious brain of yours.
I’m not against blogging – in fact, blogging can work. After all, you’re reading this, right? Instead, I am totally against ineffective and inefficient marketing tactics. The following steps will help you troubleshoot that blog of yours, so print out a copy to keep at your desk. Or staple it to a pillowcase so you see it every morning you wake up. Whatever.
1. How well are you promoting your posts? Check out Scoop.it, StumbleUpon, Reddit and those LinkedIn groups you hardly ever use. Promote your posts on sites where people talk about the kind of stuff what you just wrote. I have a strategy that I use and it clearly works because, once again, you’re reading this. Send me an email (patrick@) and I’ll walk you through it.
2. Does the content resonate? Is it written in a way that will stick with the reader? Use lists, bullet points, small paragraphs, everyday language, cut the crap and get to the point. The idea is to get some value to the reader as quickly as possible; focus on that.
3. Is it relevant? Identify your reader, and ask yourself what they would want to know? Are you writing something that would help them, or are you just trying to show the world how smart you are? Write for your audience, not for yourself. This e-book I wrote goes into greater detail of what makes good content.
4. Are you providing a next step? Some call to action? Landing page? Newsletter signup? A “contact us for a free something-or-other”? If not, you’re missing out on one of the very few opportunities you’ll have on that website of yours. This blog post from Hubspot will give you some ideas for landing pages.
5. Is blogging something you should be doing in the first place? I’m not a fan of “me too” marketing, and don’t routinely advise clients to copy what their competition is doing, but it doesn’t hurt to take a look around. If you notice that no one is blogging in your space, but they’re blasting out links to white papers left and right, maybe it’s time to makes some changes to your content strategy. Don’t give up on publishing content, but do it in a way that makes sense for your business.
On second thought, don’t put staples in your pillowcase. Use tape or something. Safety first and all.