Blogging is a commitment. It is not a “let’s try for a couple of months and see how it goes” situation. For results and fulfilment to happen, blogging is a long-term commitment that takes work, intention, and dedication.
I mean…some may say it’s similar to being in a marriage.
With 2020 clearly showing that businesses must have an online presence of some form, properly setting yourself up for success in moving online to build community takes focus.
Sweet, sweet focus.
But what in the world should you focus on?
Sweet, sweet blogging focus 1: Your blogging audience (AKA: your marriage partner)
Yep. You may have all the greatest thoughts in the world, but if your partner isn’t able to understand them, isn’t interested in them, or worse…can’t even find them, you’re putting your energy and resources into the wrong thing. SO, ask these questions about your blogging audience to ensure you’re connecting with the right partner for you!
- Who are they? (demographics: age, gender, business, “title”, industry, etc. and psychographics: values, beliefs, lifestyle, habits, etc.)
- What problems do they need you to solve?
- What information are they seeking…and why?
- Where are they looking for this information? (e.g. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, DuckDuckGo, etc.)
- What do they want to get out of your blogging relationship?
- How will you meet their needs and communicate with them?
Put your answers together and you have your perfect blogging partner to write to.
Sweet, sweet blogging focus 2: Your why (AKA: your reason for being together)
Starting a blog is all fine and dandy…but without knowing what the overall purpose of your blog is, again, you’ll most likely put your energy and resources into the wrong thing.
For instance, if you’re looking to create relationships and conversations with your blog, but are constantly selling products throughout, there is an inherent disconnect between your why (building deeper relationships) and your doing (transactional selling).
Note that NEITHER is wrong – a blog can absolutely be a place where you create content that informs while selling at the same time. It’s merely knowing your reason for starting the blog in the first place that will set you up for long-term dedication and success.
So…get to know your reason for committing to your blog with these questions:
- What do I want this blogging platform to do for my business? (e.g. share industry information, act as a lead generation tool, organically improve my search engine rankings, engage conversations, etc.)
- How often am I willing to commit to doing this?
- What is it that we (you and your blog marriage) really want to talk about and build from our content?
Is your blog’s reason for being to act as a lead generator? Well, congrats! Small businesses with blogs tend to see 126% more lead growth than small businesses that don’t.
A blog purpose to improve your organic search engine rankings? Great! Companies that blog receive 97% more links to their website, naturally supporting aspects of search engine optimization!
Even if building your community relationships is the purpose – your blogs have the potential to encourage twice as much email traffic by tailoring the content to create engagement based on this.
Sweet, sweet blogging focus 3: Your fundamental foundations (AKA: your strong base)
What is the foundation of your blog beyond your reason for being.
Sure, love, is a great reason to get married…but what are the fundamental core pillars that will help you navigate the ups and downs and confusions of “shiny object distractions” to keep you committed to your relationship and purpose for being together? For blogs, I call these our blogging categories. The solid three-four pillars upon which you create all content in support of your blog’s purpose.
All topics you then develop support one of these pillars. If the topic doesn’t connect to one of your pillars, let it go.
For instance, my blogging and content pillars are:
- Branding and content
- Mental wellness and psychological safety
- Leadership and entrepreneurship
For all pieces of content across all mediums, topics written about fall underneath one of these pillars. All other topics I want to write about that don’t (AKA: my dogs, delicious wines, personal interests and family items) are kept private. This helps to focus on topics and content that reinforce these pillars. Questions to ask yourself to build your pillars:
- Who is our company at our core? What do we stand for?
- Where are we continually investing in our expertise to be in service to, or create greater value for, our clients?
- What is our audience passionate about? Why are we passionate about this? (hint: these often relate to your core values)
Super cool things happen when you begin finding what to balance your blog’s purpose on. Even better? topics that fall into multiple categories depending on the specific angle, info to share, and audience you’re speaking to!
When you look at this all combined, you are able to find more focus to create a blog that succeeds. It’s about taking the time to build a solid foundation for where to start the beginning of, what will hopefully be, a long, ever-growing relationship.
How are you finding your business blogging relationship to date? Connect with me and share where your relationship could be improved!