In the forest of online content, along the vast landscape of social and promotional messages we all constantly receive, how will your blogging tree stand out enough to attract your ideal client?
There are three elements of decorating your blogging tree so that it stays fresh and appealing:
1. Twigs – Connective content
I recommend that service-based business owners aim for one new blog post every week. You don't need to reach that goal perfectly (I certainly don't) or immediately (it often makes sense to plan a gradual transition from a monthly newsletter to a weekly blog).
You may be thinking, "Every week? How am I supposed to add blogging to my already busy schedule, and still keep up with my business's primary activities?"
My weekly blogging method is designed to systemize and simplify the blogging process for you. Once you've written your monthly feature article (designed to help your readers and meet your business and blogging goals), you can build on that topic over the following three weeks with fun, creative content that comes naturally to you, whether that's:
- Audio (we'll cover video below), e.g., an interview with a related expert
- Storytelling, e.g., a client success or an interesting experience from your life or business that relates to the topic
- Reviews and recommendations, e.g., for a website, book, product or service that would be helpful to your reader and is complementary to what you offer
2. Leaves – Illustrative content
For those who would rather talk than write, video posts seem like the perfect solution. Be aware, though, that a certain percentage of your visitors (myself included) prefer to read content. When I visit a blog I rarely watch videos or listen to audio, as I explain in this post about why audio isn't enough. So be sure to include a synopsis of the key points you cover in the video – otherwise readers like me will never experience your brilliance.
Whichever type of connective or illustrative content you use, write something about why you're sharing it, how you found it and/or how your reader might use it. This brings you back to the forefront as the expert and host of the blog, even if you're sharing content someone else created.
Other forms of illustrative content include slide shows (or slide show videos), comic strips or the wildly popular infographic (I recently shared one about content marketing).
3. Flowers – Images
Images create visual interest on your blog, connect with your readers at a different level, and break up the text on the page, making it easier on the eye. Choosing the right image can also help drive home the point you're trying to make.
Here's a tip from an earlier post: Start your image search by naming the emotions you want to capture – i.e., the pain of having the problem you're trying to solve, or the joy of solving it. Then add another search term that's more descriptive or literal.
According to Facebook expert Mari Smith, including photos in your blog posts also makes them more appealing when you share via social media sites such as Facebook.
My favourite resources for blog post images are iStockphoto (paid) and stock.xchng (free), along with PicMonkey (free) for resizing or editing your photos.
You've got three weeks every month to play with these techniques and choose the decorations for your blog. You can get into a routine (e.g., do a new book review in the second week of every month) or be spontaneous (e.g., turn on the video camera and talk about a question that customers have been asking this month).
With so many options for connective content, illustrative content and images, there's no excuse for a bland or boring blog. Show your ideal clients who you are and why you're the right one for them.
P.S. After you've done all this work to attract the right people, don't repel your readers with typos or bad grammar. Before you publish, walk away from your work for a while, then come back and read it out loud to catch any mistakes. Ideally, you'll have someone else who can look it over for you (hey, we do that!).
Linda Dessau, CPCC, is the author of Write Your Way to More Clients Online and the founder of ContentMasteryGuide.com. She offers ghostwriting, editing, training and consulting. If you want better results from your online writing, contact her today to learn how she can help.