Building your business through blogging is an exciting adventure. It brings with it the freedom to manage your message and offers the visibility many businesses fail to find with any other marketing medium.The design, content creation and promotion that transpires in order to produce and maintain a superstar blog is exhilarating. The benefits are improved brand awareness, increased reach and significant financial returns. But at the end of the day, no blog becomes a superstar overnight. Building a successful blog requires vision, an unfailing commitment to purpose and a willingness to go that extra mile.It can be easy to lose focus and find yourself sidetracked in the beginning. This makes it imperative that you understand a few key elements that make up a successful and eventually profitable blog.
Know Your Audience
When I first started blogging, I struggled to find my purpose. I was a random blogger without consistency. I also lacked content that served any one niche in particular. I was spinning on the Ferris Wheel of trepidation and fear. I worried that if I took a stand, I would somehow miss the massive target audience I was seeking.My mistake was simple and one that many early bloggers make. I did not identify who I was truly looking to reach. I had forgotten the importance of having an intimate understanding of my audience, an awareness of what motivates them and a deep desire to satisfy their needs.Ask yourself these questions to define your target audience:
- Who does your product or service serve?
- What is their age, location, income level and marital status?
- Why would they buy your product or service?
- Where is your audience spending their time online?
Superstars Commit to Purpose
Finding the meaning behind what you write may not be something you immediately identify with. This is why it is important to stick with topics you are familiar with. Take your knowledge, your years of expertise and your passion for your message and put your heart and soul in to each article. If you are longing for a purpose behind your blog, answer a few important questions.
- What drives and excites you?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Is your brand unique?
- Is your message clear and powerful?
- Do you have a system in place to effectively stay in front of prospects and past clients?
A couple of these are soul searching, gut wrenching "why the heck do I get out of bed" questions. Take your time and answer them. Ignoring your answers is a mistake and a regret you will have down the road.
Superstars Are Passionate
Are you passionate about your topics? If you only blog for the search engines, you will quickly lose your enthusiasm for the subject matter. Blogging consistently requires you to be on fire for your topic. Consistency will build authority and credibility, but it will take time.Writing about your topics should come as natural as breathing. If your content feels forced, your readers will sense that.I encourage you to perform a small test. Write down the first 10 topics that come to your mind. Then ask yourself if these topics excite you and whether or not they are something that you could write about daily. If your answer is yes and they are not a part of your blog now, then you need to consider making a change. If not, begin to eliminate the ones you dislike and focus on the top 3 - 5 that knock your socks off.
Superstars Create a Conversation
Do you work daily to engage your readers, draw on their emotions, and ask them to discuss, debate and contact you? Are you asking open ended questions or using free offers or advice to draw them in? Have you defined a call to action and do you ask them to take action on a consistent basis?If you do not create a conversation then you will never gain an audience that feels a part of your community. Make it feel like home to them. A community where they belong and enjoy spending their time. You also want to create a feeling of loss if they miss an article.Take a look at your current content and determine how you can drive readers to your blog and engage them consistently. e.g. blogging about hot topics, local information, answering frequently asked questions. Be specific and then take action by adding this to your blog.
Superstars Relate to Their Audience
By continuously offering value to your readers, you create a rhythm and a reason behind your blog. As your readers begin to comment, listen intently to their feedback. What worries or concerns them and where can you meet that need? Craft your content around their most pressing wants and desires.Remember: your articles should be a refuge, an answer to their problems and a reassuring voice throughout their purchase decision. Give them the information they are searching for in an easy to digest format and they will be forever grateful.You can turn your blog into the superstar catalyst that drives you toward your goals. Identify your purpose and then write with conviction. Open up your creative flood gates and allow your audience to connect and grow your brand and your bottom line.
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.