Blogging for Business | Identifying Your Ideal Reader + Content
As you work on the February Challenge, you may be doing some brainstorming about topics and blog post ideas. Blogging can be really fun, especially if you're the type of person who likes to write, take pretty photos, and share information. I am definitely that type of person, and I actually started blogging long before I started my online business. The problem was, I started blogging with no plan or long-term ideas for branding or monetizing. It was just for fun! I blogged about anything and everything that I was interested in. I was having fun, but my readership was pretty low.
Starting a blog for business is completely different from starting a hobby blog. Even once I opened Charm & Gumption, I struggled for years with figuring out how to join my love of DIY projects, business, style, decorating, and general lifestyle topics with the very niche products in my shop.
If you want to have a successful business blog, you need to determine your ideal customer first. Once you know exactly who you're selling your products to, you can align your blog content with information that your ideal customer is interested in.
The whole point of blogging for business is to drive traffic to your products and increase your sales.
So, take a look at your ideal customer, and create content for him or her.
For example, I sell products and services for creative online businesses, so my blog content is all about helpful tips for creative online business owners. If you sell crochet patterns, then your blog could be all about inspiring crochet projects and tutorials. Another way to approach it is by style, so if you sell Swedish inspired home decor items, your blog should be filled with inspirational photos of Swedish interior design. If you sell modern baby clothes, you could blog about all sorts of topics for stylish moms.
Does your blog need to be laser-focused? It definitely helps. That's not to say that you can't pepper in personal info here and there, especially as your blog grows and your readers become more interested in you. My big list of blog post ideas for businesses (available in the free resources library) has a ton of lifestyle post topics that could be seamlessly mixed into your very niche content.
But always remember...
People are selfish.
It's just the truth. They don't want to hear about what you had for dinner last night, what you wore today, or your cat's new favorite toy. Every single time you create a post, you need to be thinking about what is in it for the reader. What are they going to get out of this post? What value are you bringing them?
But what if you enjoy writing about a plethora of different topics?
I am the queen of varied interests, and a total "jill of all trades". As I mentioned earlier, I used to blog about tons of stuff. But once I finally realized that I needed to bridge the gap between my blog content and my products, I got really targeted and focused, and my blog has grown exponentially. Check out my traffic growth since I started creating focused content in November of last year.
So if you want to blog for business, my advice is to keep it as focused as possible. And if you want to also have a lifestyle or personal blog, just create a separate blog for that, and treat it as a hobby. On my personal blog, I don't have a strict posting schedule or even a niche. I just blog about whatever I'm interested in at the time, whenever I have the time available. It's really freeing to have that creative outlet / online journal with no rules, as well as a blog that drives traffic to your business.
How are you progressing with the February Challenge? What struggles are you facing? Any other advice for new business bloggers? Let me know in the comments!