The secret to getting traffic to your website is providing content that is in sync with your brand, and valuable to your customers. It’s important to write content that shows your expertise, is entertaining, or develops a relationship between you and your people. You will notice a couple issues arise: first, how to find valuable content and then, how to make it your own.
In order to develop a content strategy, you need to know your right customers and what information they will value receiving from you. Who are they? What are their pain points, where are they coming from? What is the best way to communicate with them? What do they really want to know? How can you be the source of making that content accessible to them?
When you have the answers to those questions, create a short list of content areas to focus your blog posts on.
Start collecting post ideas on these areas. A great way to create content is to keep track of the questions your clients ask. You can make a list of topics your clients need to know. You can also write posts on things you want your clients to do. To get more informed on relevant topic areas, research what other people write about on your topic areas, and follow their posts. You can share their posts on Twitter or Facebook for your clients to read.
There are tools that can feed you information on your specific topic areas, and give you a way to save the research so you have it on hand when you start writing posts.
Here are three tools I find helpful for keeping up on my topic areas and coming up with blog post ideas:
- Scoop.it allows you to you create boards of content on specific topics and then add content to these boards. You can find people on Scoop.it that have boards with relevant content and follow them, thus having access to their content. If you spend some time finding the right people with boards containing the right content, then you’ll come across great articles that will come in handy for future blog posts.
- Feedly allows you to gather feeds from all of the blogs you follow so you can read them and stay up to date. You can put the feeds into categories to make it easier to keep up with topics you are interested in.
- Evernote is useful for saving interesting articles you find online. Simply give a click of the Evernote icon in your browser and you can add the article to a notebook on that topic. This helps with researching a topic before you write about it.
Make sure you know you are not going to copy these articles; instead, use them to get ideas and pull together your own thoughts on the subject. You can certainly quote other articles, and give people who have provided great content a shout out with a link to their posts, but you really want to take a topic and make it your own.
Creating your own discussion is about putting the topic in context for your readers. There is nothing new under the sun, but you will have your own spin or story to go with the content, which is just what your readers are looking for. Yes, they can get similar information a lot of places, but if they like to get it from you in person, then bring that same essence to your writing online.
When I started my business, one of the hardest things to accomplish was to translate how I am with my clients and prospects in person to creating an online presence that captured my personality. As a psychologist, my writing came across as impersonal and academic.
That’s the opposite of how I am in person. Over time, I realized that if I wanted people to follow my blog, and sign up for my newsletter, I had to provide value to my clients in my own personal way. I relied on creating a context for the information I was sharing.
The hardest part, for me, was to figure out how to put this content in my own words, and emphasize the parts that my people needed help with. I knew from working with people in person, that my psychology background was very handy in helping people do what they knew as much as helping them know what to do.
But I realized that my writing did not reflect that. I had to find my voice and use it to tell stories that only I could tell in my own way making it relevant for my readers. This is how context comes in.
So find your topics, and write your blog posts. Write posts that are beneficial to your clients or customers but let yourself or your brand show up, whether you are talking about lawn-care or beauty products. Write like you are sharing secrets with a valued friend. That is powerful and is the secret to attracting a following.