"The inherent tension in marketing is that companies always want to talk about themselves and what their products or services can do. Everyone else, meanwhile, only wants to know what those products or services can do for them. Creating content as a cornerstone of your marketing allows you to truly place yourself in your customers’ shoes, to adopt their vantage points…" -Ann Handley, C.C. Chapman, and David Meerman Scott, Content Rules
Get Your Message Right
You need to figure out what your blog is all about, and guess what? It’s not all about you, or your business, or your product, or your service.
It’s about your customers. It’s about stuff that is interesting to them that you happen to know about.
"Why are you creating? Good content always has an objective; it’s created with intent. It therefore carries triggers to action." -Handley, Chapman, and Scott, Content Rules
Define Your Blogging Purpose
You may have in your head a statement like, “I want my blog to help people,” or “I want my blog to give me a way to interact with my customers.” Neither of those really defines a purpose for your blog that will give you good direction in how to run it, who to reach with it, and what to write about on it.
Find the Problem You Solve
If you’ve done your due diligence, you have an idea of your ideal reader. You know who is interested in what you’re writing.
Now you need to take it a step further and ask yourself, what are the main problems that my ideal reader deals with daily?
These need to be important problems, not random, I-have-a-sudden-itch-I-can’t-scratch problems. People may search Google for those problems, and they may read a couple of posts on your blog, but they’ll be there and then gone.
You need to get to the real problem, the problem that your ideal reader grapples with daily, the one that, if you can provide an answer or a solution for, will make her your customer — and your friend – for life.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
That’s how you build a blog, by finding the problem and solving it, over and over and over again.
If you can accomplish that purpose with your blog, then every reader who comes across it and has that problem will want to come back. You will be solving a problem – a big problem – that keeps your readers awake at night. And for that, they will love you and keep coming back to you.
So, what’s eating at the core of your ideal reader? What’s their problem? What’s weighing on his brain, wearing her down, keeping him up, stressing her out? Figure that out and you’ve discovered the purpose for your blog.
And Here’s the Really Cool Part…
If you’ve accurately identified the people you want and need to reach with your business, then the “solution” to the problem will be exactly what your business is all about. You’re not forcing value here. You’re really the right fit and you have a genuine answer, a way to help, a solution. You’re not making it up; it’s right.
You want your blog to serve your customer, and you want your blog to build your business. If you think it through and do it right, you’ll end up with a blog that does both.
Annie Mueller enjoys creating a personal yet professional voice to render complex topics understandable. Her passion is helping home, small, and micro businesses succeed. Read more about Annie here.