You're not blogging for YOU, you're blogging for THEM!

268/365 - Default StateIt's a common mistake, and a common question:

Nikki, I find it really hard to blog – I'm running out of things to say about my business!

When you start a blog you're usually all gung-ho – you'll blog every couple of days, there's loads to say about your accountancy services / nappy website / building company etc etc. And at first it's easy. You blog about your great products and services, new clients, special offers and more. But then it gets a little harder – every blog seems to be the same, the readership has trailed off, comments have come to a halt and you wonder why you bother.

One morning you sit down in front of your blog to update it and your mind is blank – you have nothing left to say! It's all been said, so what can you do now?

You've fallen into the classic trap of blogging for YOU, not THEM. THEM being your audience, your readers, your market.

See, blogging isn't JUST about promoting yourself and saying how great you are. Really it's not. It's about engaging your audience, it's about attracting your target market, it's about attracting the right kind of people. No-one wants to read about how great you are, day in, day out (except maybe your mum, and I'm pretty sure even she's bored with your blog by now if that's all you've been doing!)

Think about your target market – what interests them? What things are they reading about, looking for, talking about, asking questions about? THAT'S what you should be blogging about. If you start doing that, you'll be promoting ourself by default – the difference is you'll have an audience to promote yourself TO.

So let's take the 3 examples I used above – the Accountant, tyhe Nappy website and the Building company.

Here are 3 example blog headlines for each one:

Accountant

  • Can I claim entertainment expenses against my tax? Answer questions your clients are asking – give something away for nothing. These types of questions are always being asked, and the answers can be found on Google – make sure people are finding YOU, and the more good advice you give the more likely they are to come to you when they need an accountant.
  • Free Tax Year Calendar – again, give something that will help – brand it with your logo and contact details and offer it as a free download
  • The Budget in Plain English – use what's in the news to create blogs that people want to read. If the Budget is big news, write about it, if it's close to a tax deadline, write about that. Use what's going on around you to generate blog headlines.

Nappy Website

  • Congratulations to X, Y Z on their pregnancy / baby's birth – celebs are popping out babies all over the place – it's easy blog fodder and people like to read about it. (ahem.. apparently)
  • Our thoughts on … – read the online newspapers, there's always some 'expert' or another spouting off about the latest childcare fad / parenting skills / how it was different in the olden days – use it. Take an article that's in the news and write about it – give your thoughts and opinions, and publish them.
  • A review of … – review someone else's product – this obviously works better if it's either a glowingly fantastic review or a spectacularly negative review – find something that's related to your product and review it. In this case it could be baby clothes, a nappy sanitiser, baby bottles, whatever – review it and then let the product owner know you've reviewed it. If it's a good review they'll want to tell everyone!

Building Company

  • Be thankful your builders aren't like THIS – there are loads of cowboy builder stories and videos out ther e- use them
  • How to… (fix a wall that's falling down / plan an extension / etc) – free advice always goes down well. Turn it into a PDF, stick your branding on it and offer it as a download.
  • X Questions to ask your builder – again, free advice. Give people information and they'll love you for it – you could also take the opportunity to answer the questions, from your point of view, putting you ahead of anyone they're thinking of using. Take the work out of it for your potential customer and they just might use you.

So there you have it., Pretty generic, but I hope you've got the gist – stop blogging about you and for you, and start blogging about the things your audieence is interested in and looking for.

Let me know how you get on 🙂

==

Creative Commons License photo credit: helgasms!

So who else do you write blogs for? Err, we can't tell you…

?It’s one of the questions I dread the most, and I always giggle nervously when it gets asked.

“So who else do you write blogs for?”

See, we ‘ghostwrite’ blogs for loads of different industries – just thinking off the top of my head of the blog posts I’ve written today, they’ve been for:

  • a women’s coaching website
  • a cosmetic surgeon
  • a company providing workwear
  • a video production company
  • a telemarketing company
  • a website selling children’s clothes
  • a car rental website
  • a business networking website

to name but a few.

We take the time to understand their business, we write about their products and services, comment on items in the news, keep their blog up to date and help them to generate visitors and leads.

We even have a special offer on blogging for January.

But I still struggle every time someone asks me to show them the blogs we write for others. Because a part of the blogging service is that as far as anyone knows, it’s YOUR blog, and it’s produced by you, in the same way that a ghostwritten book is often not actually written by the person named as the author.

Now to my mind, there’s nothing wrong with having your blog written by someone else, as long as they understand your business, your service, and the things your potential clients want to read. It saves you time, makes sure your blog is regularly updated and ensures that you get all the good bits of having a blog (readers, comments, good search engine positions etc) and hopefully none of the bad (down time, lack of focus, ages spent thinking up titles etc).

But I can completely understand why our blogging clients don’t want others to know that we’re writing their blog for them, and so I’ll continue to protect their anonymity.

Potential clients can of course read our own blog, but my tone when writing for myself is very informal and often quite blunt, which isn’t always the case for client blogs that I write!

So it’s a conundrum I’ll continue to puzzle over – which is a shame because I do really love doing the blogging side of my job, writing short posts that generate response and comments, pointing towards great services and products or just ‘chewing the fat’ over 300 words or so.

I’d welcome any ideas as to how to get over this hurdle, and also look forward to the ‘why you shouldn’t get someone else to write your blog’ comments I’ll no doubt generate with this post 🙂
Creative Commons License photo credit: Stéfan

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