77% of 4.54 billion active internet users worldwide regularly read blogs. That should be enough to kill all the blog-is-dead buzz. The question isn’t “If you can grow your business through blogging?” It’s more about why you are blogging in the first place.
Is it just a hobby? If yes, well, good for you. Keep it as that. Don’t expect anything else. It’s not 2003. And nobody wants to listen to how your day went.
On the other hand, if you want it to be a dependable tool to promote or, even possibly, grow your business, you have to set your priorities right.
But that’s easier said than done.
Being a former digital marketing executive, I’ve seen my ex-employers (who had been in the game for quite some time) commit the same mistakes as a newbie.
Ironically, later on in my career, I went to make a comfortable living getting all the things right that they got wrong.
Here’s what makes the difference.
Don’t Make It a Sales Pitch
I understand. You are excited about your business, services, or product. But that’s not how your target audience feels about it.
Just think for a moment.
It was bad enough with billboards, flyers, newspaper ads, or even tv commercials. But now, it’s all over the internet as well. I can’t even listen to my workout playlist without having to listen to Burger King ads.
Now. Do you expect someone to get excited to read a 1000 words commercial for your business? Really? Would you? That’s what most entrepreneurs and even marketing agencies get wrong.
They build their blog around their products.
They over-optimize their SEO to game their way up into the search results.
And then, they expect their audience to show up.
But about a decade too late.
Times have changed, and people are far more desensitized to random businesses desperately trying to sell them stuff.
You can’t do that if you don’t grab their attention first. If you want their attention and trust, you better give them something substantial.
Solve Problems & Gain Credibility
Don’t forget that you are an entrepreneur.
Your job is to make your target customer’s life a little easier. Let your blog reflect the same energy. Instead of making it about your product or services, make it about problems.
If you are providing a training program on baking, find what problems aspiring bakers might face during their initial phases.
Like one might have trouble making soft dough for perfect bread. Or, people might not know how to get a good deal on their supplies.
Solve those problems.
And instead of plugging your course (from the get-go), you must write a blog addressing those issues.
Yes, you can leave a CTA in the conclusion. Yet, the main objective of the content should be to help them as much as possible.
If there is a big enough market and your solutions are on point, it will drastically improve your chances of getting higher visibility.
The only thing is, you have to make it searchable.
Optimize for Your Readers, Not the Algorithm
While working for those big-name digital marketing agencies, my job was to incorporate as many keywords as possible into a 700 words article. Some of them were even my works.
Yeah, sometimes they would rank well. But I had never seen one of those contents generate any views.
Most viewers would bounce off due to the not-so-subtle keyword stuffing. (I even highlighted them; so the crawler bots don’t miss them. Couldn’t risk it, could I?)
So, yeah. Don’t do that.
Work more on readability than the SEO score.
Don’t fluff it up, trying to reach a specific word count. It will only tire your reader down.
Instead, focus on cleaning it up and making it more enticing.
Trust me! It’s a far better call, even from a marketing standpoint, to make it more about the humans, with real emotions.
It doesn’t matter whether the emotion is positive or negative.
All you need is an emotional impact. It’s enough to make an audience would be inclined to share the content with its friends and family.
But you do have to make it easier for them.
Make It “Clickable + Shareable”
How to boost the instant clickability and shareability factor?
Get the Title + Description + Cover Image combination right.
And how to do that?
Forget about drawing in large numbers. Focus on one person. Who is the one individual who will benefit the most from your content? What would that benefit look like? How would it change his/her life?
Build your headline around that problem, that solution, or the change.
Make it known what your audience would get by clicking on your article.
Make no mistake.
I’m not encouraging you to go bonkers with your clickbaity shenanigans. That would single-handedly undo everything we have been building so far.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to rely on overpromising or false advertising.
There is a far easier and, at the same time, more effective alternative to peak your target audience’s interest. That would be: to tell your potential audience group what benefit they would get but withhold the how.
For example, “How I Keep My Routine” or “What I learned from reading these 3 business books” is boring. See the result when I mix it up a little bit.
Also, a good thumbnail is crucial in bringing your audience in. So being generic or too shady will not work well.
The easiest way to make it work is to go to Pexels or Unsplash and find clean, solid, bright, or well-contrasted images. And if you have the skills, you can always take it to Canva and level it up as you please.
Keep It Coming
So far, you have learned to chase your potential customer’s pain points, make compelling content around them, and package them with enough intrigue to generate mass appeal.
Now, the only way to mess it up is to publish once in a blue moon.
Here’s what you need to know. Having a vast and loyal reader base adds a world of legitimacy to your brand value. You can’t create or retain such traffic if you don’t maintain consistency.
Most digital marketing agencies miss the mark by
⛔ either focusing solely on quantity over quality
⛔ or letting their lack of initial traction cut down on their involvement.
What they miss is, at the end of the day, when you generate content that has market demand; and amp up your familiarity through your consistency, you can’t go far wrong with it.
To this date, I never promoted my business or services through my blog posts. Yet, focusing solely on my reader base has helped me with my bills.
✅ My earnings through my readership are good enough to replace a full-time job.
✅ I use my blog as a comprehensive portfolio to secure high-paying gigs.
None of it would be possible if I was desperate and selling my services was my priority.