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My personal development blog Motivate Me celebrated its 7th birthday this month. What began as an online space to share my personal resolution challenge became an award-winning platform for all things self-help and motivational.
To build a blogging platform that attracts over 200,000 viewers takes time and dedication. Over the years, I watched my fellow bloggers closely to see what they did, what worked, and what didn’t. I read their posts and commented, I shared their links and words of wisdom. In return, they reciprocated and taught me how to improve my content and marketing.
What’s your niche?
One thing that didn’t change was my niche. Motivate Me has had a make-over since it launched on January 1st 2013, but it’s still dedicated to self-help, personal development, and sharing inspirational stories.
I follow a wide variety of blogs from author and writing blogs, to professional development and inspirational blogs. I’ve also been known to frequent the occasional beauty and fashion blog! One thing they all have in common – they know where they belong, and they offer their readers exactly what they need.
When I ran my holistic health spa, I was in the perfect position to understand my customers’ pain points.
I knew they needed help learning how to manage their time, set goals, create a vision board, or discover a new skill. They worried about finding the balance between building a career and caring for their family. Self-belief, imposter syndrome, and overwhelm were issues they struggled with all the time. These pain points became the focus of my blog content because that was my niche.
What’s your niche? What industry does your business fit into? Are you a VA, a therapist, a coach, a crafter, or something else?
The biggest mistake I see new bloggers make is always writing about themselves, their journey, why they do what they do, and providing a sales pitch. Your target audience doesn’t want this. They want solutions to their problems. It’s ALL about them!
As an aside, there IS space to share your story, business journey, and why you do what you do as you build a relationship with your audience, but it’s a balance between offering support and providing information about your business.
Brainstorm your customers’ worries
The first step to creating valuable blog content is to make sure you’re answering the questions that your audience are searching for.
For Motivate Me, the issues included:
- Overcoming fears
- Inspirational books
- Slow living
- Learning to laugh more
- Turning their life around
- De-stress techniques
These are just some of the topics I’ve covered in my posts over the years.
Think about the questions your customers ask you ALL the time. What’s their biggest worry? How can you help them find a solution?
Grab a piece of paper and brainstorm everything that comes to mind. Check your social media comments for questions that come up time and again. Go over old emails to see any keywords (for example, ‘stress’ or ‘help’) that people use in their language when talking about your products or services.
If you’ve got seventeen emails or Whatsapp messages talking about the stress of running a business, then you need to write a blog post offering your top tips for alleviating this kind of stress. Give your customer what they need.
TOP TIP: Narrow down your potential topics into 5-10 categories.
Getting started with your blog
Let’s look at a few questions you can ask yourself to help you pin down the right content to share on your blog.
- What’s the purpose of your blog? If you’re writing a blog because you think you ‘should’, I’d advise you to re-think your marketing. Blogging is a long-term strategy that promises a rich reward for business owners who commit to sharing regular content. Answer these questions carefully.
- How often are you going to post? Monthly content is acceptable; fortnightly is better. Adding regular content to your blog pleases the search engine spiders who are frequently crawling over the internet looking for new stories to share. The more you share, the happier the spiders!
- What will you blog about? As well as doing a brainstorming session, you can also think about recurring content that would be useful, such as a monthly series, weekly interviews, bi-weekly product reviews, seasonal content, etc. Don’t neglect the things you’ve learned on your own journey – ‘what I wish I’d known’ posts are popular.
Call to action
To grow your audience and attract new customers, you need to use your blog as a strategic marketing tool. Not only is your blogging platform a vital way to raise your visibility online, but it’s also the perfect place to get your customers to engage with you.
What do you want them to do next?
They’ve read your post to the bottom, and now you’ve got the opportunity to ask them for more input.
Here are a few calls to action (CTA) points you could add:
- Sign up to your newsletter
- Buy your eBook/Book
- Book a place on your workshop/course
- Like your Facebook page
- Join your Facebook group
- Connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc
- Subscribe to your YouTube channel
- Read another article of yours
It’s worth noting that you can add more than one CTA. You might want to invite the reader to sign up for your newsletter as well as join your Facebook group. Mix it up and see what happens. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
TOP TIP: You can always edit a blog post once it’s published, which means you can go back in and update your CTA.
Over to you – What are you going to blog about? Do you know your niche? What categories could you create for your content? Let me know in the comments below.
In the meantime, feel free to sign up to my mailing list to receive regular tips, advice, and support on your blogging needs. P.s: this is a CTA!