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!

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About Nikki

Author of many 30 Day Blogging Challenges, Nikki spends her time helping small businesses with Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing. With 17 years of experience, she hasn't yet found someone she couldn't help to get more business from their website.

Comments

  1. Hi Nikki,
    I think a caveat needs to be added to this article as i believe it only really applies to business blogs. After all you are only blogging for "them" if you care about marketing the blog to as many people as possible. Many people blog to get things off their chest and have no real interest in capturing as many visitors as possible. Personal blogs and business blogs can be very different!
    I know you know this but felt the point should be made!

  2. Fair point, but most people reading my articles are trying to market themselves, so are more than likely businesses such as yourself I would imagine 🙂

  3. I would agree whole heartly with your points here – I would only add the niche blogging is often far more beneficial to your overall plan than generic blogging.
    So I would just add to the concept a little and instead of just saying Accountant – get the accountancy firm to niche their blog, for example to: Accountancy for Left Handed Train Spotters. Then do the exercise you suggest and consider what the target audience within that niche is looking for or what their "pain" areas might be that they are looking for solutions on.
    A niche blog will always attract more traffic if of course you have researched that the traffic exists in the first place!

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