Before you write thousands of characters and invest hours into your next blog post (or podcast recording or video shoot) to promote your business, ask yourself these 4 questions to get clear about how that content can get found on Google and turn your readers into customers:
Why does my audience need to know this?
If the reason that you’re writing is “because I post every Thursday”: don’t write it.
If you’re writing it because the idea came to you in a dream: don’t write it.
If you can’t identify why you’re writing the post: don’t write it.
BUT. If you can pinpoint the problem that you’re solving for your reader by writing this post? By all means, continue.
How is this different from existing content on this topic?
Listen: You’re probably not the first person to write about whatever is on your mind. But you do have a unique point of view to share with your audience.
So take a look around what’s being written by other people in your industry, and figure out what’s missing. Review what’s already on your blog, and find the holes in the process you’re sharing with people. Think of a new approach to something that’s already said.
For example: I am certainly not the first person to write about blogging, by any means — there are literally 10 billion search results for “how to blog.” But I help people writing content to get found by their ideal clients through organic search. Which is very different than “how to blog for profit” or “how to blog for photographers” or many of the other long-tail keywords that show up in those search results.
How are your blog posts stacking up? Are they providing value to your audience and leading them down the path to a sale?
How can it help me if my somebody finds this?
If you’re writing to support your business, you’re not writing out of the goodness of your heart. You need the content to work for you. (Everything on your website should help lead the reader to eventually become a customer.)Everything on your website should help lead the reader to eventually become a customer. If it doesn't, it's not good marketing, and it's wasting your time.Click To Tweet
So: what is this blog post helping you sell? You don’t have to sell directly from the post. In fact, let me be clear: Don’t expect to make a sale directly from one contact with a reader.
But the blog post should showcase what makes you different from other people talking about this, and should make that person want to get to know you better, which could start them down the road to hiring or buying from you.
So what’s the end product or service that somebody reading this needs?
For example, most of my blog posts support my SEO services and trainings. So if you’re reading this blog post, I want to demonstrate to you that I know about SEO and I can help you understand it. If this blog isn’t accomplishing that goal — of helping me gain brand awareness and help you to trust me as an expert — then it’s not doing its job.
What do I want the reader to do after reading?
So what’s the goal of this post? What will be the call-to-action for the reader to thank you for generously sharing your awesomeness?
If you’re sell services or products, do you want them to sign up for your email list, join your facebook group, or book a discovery call?
Or if you’re in affiliate marketing, maybe you’re sharing a sponsored post or product review & you want your reader to go check out that product (using your affiliate link, of course).
Make sure everything you write is leading to that call-to-action. (If that means you have to create a freebie opt-in to continue the conversation, build that into your plan as well.)
Here’s what I mean: I’ve created a freebie that summarizes this whole blog post in one page, and included it in my free SEO Starter Kit. So right now, I’m gonna include a call-to-action that you can download the Starter Kit in exchange for your e-mail. Cool, right?