What the bloggity blog is going on with blogging a blog these days? Does blogging even matter anymore? Well, according to the SEO and marketing mavens at HubSpot – if you want a bump in business – heck yeah, it does!
Let’s begin with a couple of ideas we shared in previous posts: first, that more than anything, marketing your business is about educating your audience, and second, that being an expert in one area may not translate to others. And yes, that can include writing valuable blog posts.
Now, one of the most common frustrations we hear from clients who dislike blogging is that they can’t come up with subjects to write about. (This happens with other content marketing too, like vlogging, for example.) Turns out, developing ideas for your blog is one of the easier challenges to overcome and we’ll address that soon.
Before we go there though, concerns like that beg the question of what you want to teach your audience! After all, if you don’t know what your goal in writing a post is, how can you address a subject effectively? (Simple answer is, you can’t!)
There are many types of blog posts, including a “How to” type, a “Newsy” type (also known as “Newsjacking”), an “Interview with an Expert” type, the tried and true “Infographic” post, the definitive “Final Authority” type of post, the Google-friendly “What is… [insert subject]” post, and more. (What? More? Yep!)
However, those are merely different kinds of blog posts; that is, the various ways you can approach a certain class of subjects that will (hopefully) capture the interest of your target audience.
3 Classes of Blog Posts to Work On
Essentially, there are just three things you can teach your audience, despite the many ways you can teach them. In other words, whether you choose the “How to” or “What is” approach to an individual blog post, they must address your industry, your brand, or your products or services.
This does not mean that these three categories cannot overlap in one post but, best practices suggest that maximum clarity is best achieved through a narrower focus on your subject. Doing this will also allow you to address the same issue in alternate ways.
If you want to get a bump in business through blogging, think about these three classes of blog posts:
- Big Picture or Industry Info – It is very often the case that prospects simply don’t know what they don’t know. This frequently includes a Big Picture view of your industry or niche. An example of this might be online coaching. What’s available? Well, there’s career coaching, business start-up coaching, and profitability coaching. Or, your audience might be curious about coaches who specialize in online marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and/or messaging.
Then you have an almost mind-bending variety of personal approaches, like life coaching, nutrition coaching, weight loss and maintenance coaching, happiness coaching, yoga, Pilates, flexibility coaching, personal training, and just about anything else you can imagine. What type of coach are you? Where do you fit into the massive menu of online coaches who make themselves available in a staggering variety of markets today?
You can literally define your niche, as well as yourself, using any type of blog post you choose. And, if you’re creative, you can do it over and over again! (BTW… Creating an informative Infographic is a great way to approach the Big Picture post.)
- Brand Comparison – How do you match up against your competition? Why do you deserve their business over another (coach?), when you all seem to offer the same things, at least to them? Where do you excel, and how?
These are all important questions to answer for prospective clients and they too can be approached in a variety of ways. You can display your expert status by writing a comprehensive “Final Authority” post on subjects that address any pain point common to your clients. You can offer real-world solutions to those pain points with a well-crafted “How to” blog post. Or, you can offer the latest information from studies on those solutions with a thoroughly researched “Newsy” post.
These are all brand building steps that are possible with blogging because they can clearly set you apart from your competition. (BTW… You can do this without naming names. Simply say that, while others do it this way, my clients feel/are better doing it like this!)
- Products and/or Services – OK, it’s no brainer time here. Your online business either offers products or services – or both. What are they? How are they better? How much do they cost? Why are they worth it?
The book you wrote and are selling about how to do, or be better at, something clearly lends itself to a “Final Authority” post. However, it may also be a fantastic opportunity for an “Interview with an Expert” post with another recognized authority who’s willing to praise your unique approach. Have you and your book been in the news? Well…
Whether you offer some type of personal or professional services, answering the most popular search engine query about it should generate both traffic and a bump in business. Oh yeah, that would be the “What is… [insert subject or service]” question.
Think about it. How often do you find yourself sitting around and typing “What is [this, that, the other thing]” into a Google, Bing, or Yahoo! search? Weekly? Daily? Hourly? (Minutely? Can we write that? It’s our blog, so yeah. We can!)
Well, this is a pretty long blog post so, we’d like to ask you this question: What type of post is this and which class does it fall into? We have our own ideas on this but would love to get your impressions in the Comments section below! (Truly. We would love to hear from you.) Oh, and stay tuned for that post we promised about how to develop subject ideas for your blog.
Or, if you’d rather discuss the things we’ve shared about blogging for a bump in business, feel free to get in touch with us today.