Today’s blog was created from an email I recently sent to a client after he asked me for some tips for blog writing. He knows that blogging is a good idea but he’s just not sure how to get started. After writing this email to him I thought “hey, I could turn this into a blog!”. Isn’t that how a lot of good blogs start?
So here are my Top 3 tips for blog writing for beginners.
1. Know your reader and be helpful on a specific topic
Many people think that writing blogs is necessary for good SEO and sure, it can definitely help. But first and foremost, you should be writing for your reader – your ideal client or prospect. Be helpful and not overly sales-y. Think about a problem that they have and give them some tips.
Be meaningfully specific about the area that you’re helping your reader with. If you’re a custom home builder, you might want to write about reverse living homes and offer some pros and cons to this new design concept. Now I can bet that by the time you’ve finished writing that blog, you’ve used the term ‘reverse living home’ so often that the Google Gods will find you and reward you with great treasures. Great SEO is a product of a well-written blog, not the reason you write it.
2. Ignore the writer’s block voice – they’re lying.
Seth Godin says that he “writes the way he talks, and really…who ever ran out of things to say?”. He also blogs daily, which is an incredible feat, but he notes that by making a commitment to blog daily, he becomes much more aware and in tune of things around him that matter. He forms more opinions on these things and shares them with an incredibly captive audience.
If you get stuck, consider creating a mind map with all the types of areas where you believe you can help your ideal client. Work out the core themes and add branches to sub-themes. Then create a calendar with a theme for each month. There’s a great worksheet here. Now when you sit down to write, you don’t have to pick around in your brain for an idea. Look at you theme, relate it to an experience and help your readers. If you’re still stuck for ideas, list your frequently asked questions and write a blog about each one separately.
Can you tell my theme is blogging at the moment?
3. Consider your buyer’s journey
This is a big one for me and understanding this tip can elevate you from mediocre to superstar blogger in no time. This is where we look at leading your reader through a journey where, at the end of it, they might actually buy something from you. Now the goal of your blog isn’t to get people to buy. The goal is to build trust and educate your potential buyer so that when they’ve made the decision to purchase, they know who to turn to.
The buying stages are:
1. Awareness: they know they have a problem but can’t identify it yet
2. Consideration: they’ve given their problem a name and are looking at all the possible ways to fix it
3. Decision: They’ve decided on the best course of action and are now looking for specific suppliers.
4. Repeat/Refer: They’re a current client and need additional support, education and opportunities to refer you.
When you think of a blog topic, consider which stage of the buyer’s journey it fits in. If it doesn’t fit, don’t write it!
Now, what does that look like for our custom home builder?
Awareness: The reader is at the early stages of their journey. They are in the market for a new home and aren’t sure yet if they should buy or build. They are design conscious and don’t want a cookie-cutter house.
Topic: 10 new home design trends for 2017
Consideration: The reader has decided to build! Now they need to consider their options. Should they use a project builder or a custom home builder to create their dream? Keep in mind here that you are trying to be helpful. For some of your readers, a project builder is the right solution so be fair in your assessment.
Topic: Project builder vs Custom builder – how to tell which one is right for your new home
Decision: Whew! They’ve decided to use a custom home builder. This is great news, but now they are actively looking for a supplier. Now is the time that they need reassurance that they’re going to make the right choice.
Topic: 6 questions to ask your custom home builder before signing the contract
Repeat/refer: Once you landed that great customer, the work isn’t over yet. You need to use your current client base to continually add value for repeat business and referral generation.
Topic: Top maintenance tips for your new custom home to keep it looking fresh
Keep in mind that a reader may come across your material at any one of those stages. So you need to have a good mix of blogs to attract and satisfy each stage.
I hope this has helped, let me know what your best blogging tip is in the comments below!