Epic long-form content.
A fascinating opening.
A strong point of view.
An emotional and inspirational close.
You try to do this every time you write a post. You've read all about how “Content Is King” and we are all taught that we have to write high-quality content for our blogs to be successful.
You feel you are writing the best quality content you are capable of. But you aren't getting more than 3 comments per post, your traffic is pitifully low and you don't even get the social shares you so desperately want.
You spend plenty of time creating your content. Maybe you have a podcast or started doing video blogging. You feel like you are doing all you can to make sure you have long, meaty posts, audios and videos that will interest your readers.
But unless you are tapped into your readers' fears and struggles, it doesn't matter how wonderful your content is.
And, if you don't do regular blogger outreach and blog promotion, your content can be stellar but no one will see it or share it.
Over the last 4 years of blogging, I have learned the formula for a successful blog that makes money. And I know this formula works because this isn't my first time at the rodeo.
I started a stress management blog in 2011. As I grew that blog, I learned a lot of important lessons that most bloggers don't talk about. Like:
- how great content isn't the best written but the best promoted content
- why you shouldn't write for your own blog that often in the first 6 months
- that you don't need to spend more than 15 minutes a day on social media
- how one simple survey question helps you create your first product and know what to write about on your blog
- how a simple wait list can help you sell out your launches of your products and services
- And even use a content discovery platform like Outbrain
I've been able to distill all I learned into a step-by-step blueprint for beginning bloggers (and I consider a beginning blogger to be someone who has less than 1,500 subscribers on their list).
So what's the “Successful Blogging Blueprint”?
It's a blueprint that any blogger can follow and be successful. It takes time and patience but it works!
Step One: Great Content That Will Be Shared
Today, I'd like to start with “Great Content” which is the first element to profiting with your blog.
As you know, content takes many forms – it can be a written blog post, an audio podcast, video, and visual information, like images and infographics.
But before you create any type of content, you need to take a step back and ask yourself, “What problem do I solve for my readers?”
By getting in touch with the frustrations and challenges your readers have, you'll be able to discuss these issues and make your posts hit home every time.
You may already have a blog and have never asked yourself this question. I've had blogger clients who were also unsure about what problem they solve.
So what do I recommend? To send a one question survey email to your subscribers. (If you don't have a list yet, ask the same question on Twitter or on the groups you belong to in Facebook)
The question? “What is your biggest challenge with __your niche____?
For example, one of my clients, Pam, is a wedding planner. So she sent out the question “What is your biggest challenge with planning your wedding?”
She got some great answers, ranging from “my family is interfering with my plans” to “my budget” to “I'm stressed out because there is too much on my to-do list”.
Once she got her answers, she figured out which of these frustrations were repeated the most often. There were 3 issues that kept reappearing with most of her survey participants.
I then coached her to make up 3 personas, one for each main challenge her readers described.
So, we came up with “Sally, a 40-year-old, 2nd time around bride whose budget is lower than she wants it to be”, “Monica, a 33-year-old first-time bride whose family is interfering with her wishes” and “Samantha, a first time bride at 27 who is stressed out by her huge list of things to do”.
Now that she had her 3 typical readers (and ideal customers), she could focus on talking about their problems in her blog posts. When a new reader that was worried about her budget landed on the post, Pam wrote about DIY table centerpieces, she felt right at home. The reader felt that Pam was talking right to her.
The second aspect of great content is great promotion. That's why this post is titled “Content marketing is king”. You may be the best writer in the blogosphere, but if you don't promote your posts, you are not going to be successful.
As one of my mentors, Jon Morrow says,” Your connections are far, far more important than your talent as a writer, your expertise about your subject, or even your persistence and dedication”.
What You Should Do Next
So what's your first action step to start creating great content?
It’s simple: Figure out the problem you solve for your readers. Then come up with one to three customer personas so that you can write for them each and every time you create a post.
Don’t forget, every single super-star blogger you follow got to where they are by starting with the same concept of “what do their readers struggle with?”.
Now you just need to find the one main problem that your readers have that you can solve and you can start creating your content.
Coming Up Next: Free Traffic
In part two of this Successful Blogging Series, I will reveal to you the secrets of how to get free traffic to your blog posts.
Continue on to the next lesson here:
Part 2: How To Get Traffic To Your Blog