The One Question that Will Change How You Blog
Blogging for your business is hard. You're putting time and energy into writing posts that people may or may not read, and that's never easy. On top of that, you might be one of the many creatives who's struggling to figure out what the heck they're supposed to blog about, anyway. I've been there. (And I can tell you that the answer to "What should I blog about?" is not commas and other highly exciting grammar rules.) I've bounced around between so many blog topics, I can't even count them all. Grammar tutorials, video book reviews, behind-the-scenes of my writing process, random musings on life . . . the list goes on.
I could never seem to figure out the balance between sharing personal and professional, between writing for myself and writing for my readers. Since last fall, I've finally narrowed down what I'm actually about on my blog, and it's all thanks to one question.
Why do people read your blog?
It's a simple question, but it's an important one.
Think about the person you want to read your blog. Look not only at why she would hire you or work with your business, but who she is as a person. What's she interested in? What makes her laugh? What's one topic she can't pass up reading about?
Now ask yourself again: Why would she read your blog?
It might be solely for your informational content, but it's probably more than that.
I write about content strategies for creative entrepreneurs---but all of my posts also center around being intentional with your time, slowing down, or staying creative. That means entrepreneurs who are all about hustle and earning 6 figures aren't going to hang around very long . . . but those who are struggling to balance their personal creativity and relationships with running a business will find this a safe place to land.
People read Regina's posts not just for their epic and actionable tips, but because she's real and vulnerable and undeniably hilarious. Those are things her readers care about. People follow Kate at The Small Things Blog not only for her popular hair and makeup tutorials, but because they appreciate her quirky sense of humor, love of cats, and practical beauty tips for busy moms with little kids.
How to Find Your Secret Sauce
Maybe you don't know why people read your blog, but now is the time to find out. Try these strategies to get a better feel for your what your reader is looking for.
Do some soul searching
Take an afternoon to think about what sorts of things you're interested in beyond just the informational content of your blog. Your ideal reader probably isn't a carbon copy of you, but I'll bet you've got similar interests. She may not share your obsession with horror movies, but maybe she loves pop culture references. She might not love to garden, but she's all about holistic living and self-care.
Braindump all the things that interest you and that are important in your life. Then look for some overlap with your ideal reader. This is the first step to finding your secret sauce as a blogger.
Look at your most popular posts
Use Google Analytics to track down your most popular posts. (Here's a tutorial to help you with that.) Do you see a common theme? They're your most popular posts for a reason. Was there an underlying theme or something in your writing style that makes these posts stand out?
On the other hand, maybe they're all fluke posts that did well because of Pinterest---I have a few of those myself. If you can't find any connections between your most popular posts, try . . .
Look at posts with the most engagement
Social media shares and comments are often a better way to tell what your readers like than numbers alone. Readers who take the time to comment or spread the word about a post they loved aren't just readers who were drawn in by a catchy headline---it means they're truly invested in what you have to say as a blogger.
Look at posts with the lowest bounce rates
I'm often skeptical of relying on numbers alone when it comes to making major blog or business decisions, but your bounce rate is one analytic that can tell you a lot. If a post has a low bounce rate, it means readers liked what they read there, and they're looking for more of the same.
You know what to do by now, right? Make a list of the posts that have the lowest bounce rates and play connect the dots!
That's all great . . . but I still don't know what to blog about.
Still not sure how to incorporate what your readers want with solid content that helps your creative business? The Blogging for Business workbook might be for you! This 64-page PDF has all the actionable strategies you need to create a blog that works for your business---all without getting overwhelmed!
What are your best tips for using your business blog to connect with readers?