Personalized Content Marketing to Grow Your Business
 In Blogging

Snowman hitching a ride to FloridaIt is cold here in Atlanta, like 5 degrees cold, and hitchhiking to Florida wouldn’t help much because it’s 36 degrees even in Orlando. Cold is cold, and since only 10% of my newsletter subscribers reside in other countries, chances are it is cold where you live too. I hope you are staying warm and cozy wherever you may be.

Speaking of readers from faraway places, it blows my mind that I have readers from all over the world.  I recently noticed a flag I didn’t recognize in my newsletter signup notification report, so I looked it up and it was someone from Myanmar!

I find it so unbelievable that I can post something on my website, send it out in a newsletter and people who I don’t know go to my website and then write to tell me that they are reading all my posts so they can get their businesses off the ground. Wow!

A few short years ago, it was not really possible for just anyone to develop an audience on his or her own. If you weren’t a journalist or weren’t with a major company, it would be hard to get any traction on your own. Writers wrote articles, books, and screenplays and sent them off to publishers only to get a stack full of rejection slips.

Nowadays, you can publish your own work, start your own business, and grow that business by connecting to people with engaging content. If you find the magic key, the people that matter, the people that need and want what you have, will find you. How cool is that?

What kind of content do people want to read?

1. Content that tells a story.

2. Content that challenges what we believe.

3. Content that confirms what we believe.

4. Content that makes us cry.

5. Content that reminds us of what is important.

6. Content that takes us for an adventure.

7. Content that surprises and delights us.

8. Content that makes us think.

9. Content that teaches us something we didn’t know we wanted to know.

10. Content that inspires us to take action.

11. Content that encourages us to be our quirky selves.

12. Content that makes us howl with laughter.

13. Content that is unexpected.

14. Content that encourages us to live our dreams.

15. Content that reminds us that sometimes life is hard and that we can prevail.

16. Content that tells it like it is.

17. Content that has us believe we are capable of greatness.

18. Content that lets us in on a secret.

19. Content that is edgy.

20. Content that entertains.

If we want to connect with people we have to create content that will make them think, feel and take action.

Content which excessively promotes you or your products comes across as rather blah, blah blah to your reader… it gets tuned out unless it has some angle that is in the form of a story or emotional hook that relates back to them. What is it that your customer or client desires?

This morning I received an email newsletter from one of my web design clients that brought me back to the post on her website, Linda’s Italian Table. I am not a baker and, currently,I am not a cake eater either (lost 18 pounds since October and still at it), but I did read her entire post. It started with a decadent looking photo of a cake taken by Linda’s husband Tommy and then it went on like this.

Buon giorno!

I am about to share my favorite cake recipe with you! This one is a keeper folks! It is called NOVECENTO CAKE! This cake has so many ingredients in it that I love – hazelnuts, mascarpone, Nutella, whipped cream, and Frangelico liqueur. It just spells L-O-V-E. This cake also has kind of an interesting story…

Well, were you drawn in to read this? I’d say Linda gets the Radiant Orchid award this week for her beguiling text.

If you argue that because you are a large company, this personalized content oriented approach won’t work for you, then take a look at Moz, (named changed from SEO Moz a marketing analytics company). They have, several blogs, but the one I love is Rand’s Blog by their CEO, Rand Fishkin. They do a fantastic job of coming across as real, which sets them apart from the ho hum, trying to get your dollars, kind of marketing company that everyone is wary and weary of.

I challenge you this week to sit down and think about your clients. What are they like? What are their problems? What do they need? What do they get from you? Why you? What do they want more of? How can you let them know you care?

What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment, and let me know your thoughts on personalized content marketing to grow your business.

PS. Snow photo courtesy of Google’s Auto Awesome feature.

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Showing 6 comments
  • Linda Hanks

    Judi – What a delightful surprise to find my post, Novecento Cake from LInda's Italian Table,featured in your post for today! Thank you for your kind comments and I accept your "Radiant Orchid" award with pride and a smile. I have to credit you, however, as you were the one who set me on the right track a couple of years ago with the restructuring of my website, the birth of my newsletter, and your very wise counsel. Since then, Linda's Italian Table has come a long way in reaching out to a vast following. I never miss your newsletters and always find something of value to take away. Thank you for the recognition today and for the work that you do for all who follow you! Happy New Year!
    My recent post Recipe of the Month January: Novecento Cake

    • judi knight

      Linda, You have done a super job with your website. Your writing, recipes, photos and all reflect the care and dedication you take putting these posts that reflect the passion and expertise you have for your subject. Would you be interested in submitting a talk for WordCamp about your experience as a food blogger? Applications are due Monday. You could also do a panel with a couple of food bloggers.

  • Margaret

    Judi! I am so glad that my friend Pat forwarded your Jan 8 column to me. Instant fan! The content ideas and challenges you describe are great. I intend to re-do a good bit of our web content by asking the questions you suggest. Great stuff! Margaret

    • judi knight

      Margaret, I am glad Pat forwarded my post to you too:-) I would love for you to sign up and to write me an email and tell me what you are working on. It helps me to know who my readers are and what they are working on. Glad you found it helpful. Stay tned for a free Google Hangout on Air coming soon on the topic of content marketing and connecting with clients.

  • Tom Tortorici

    I love the list of content types! In some quarters, there seems to be a bias toward using posts as just a place to put keywords, but this puts things in perspective. I want to keep the list as a resource and inspiration, for when I'm coming up with blogpost ideas. And the fact that no. 2 and no. 3 are both in there confirms that humans are complex, multi-faceted creatures.
    My recent post Connecting Your WordPress Website to Google

    • judi knight

      Hi Tom, Thanks for letting me know. I just have become so sad/irritated when I see companies putting out blog posts no one would even click on much less read. It does not and should not be that way. It is almost worse than nothing. And yes the other pet peeve is that all the words on thie site sound like they were written for search engines. Thanks goodness Hummingbird is trying to make the point that Google is smart enough to figure out what you are saying without cramming the same phrase down our throats 30 times in 300 words.

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