Business Blogging
Business Blogging

Write for your target audience, not for yourself

The biggest mistake I see in business blogs is that the author of the blog is often times writing without their target audience in mind. The goal of a blog is to draw in traffic, of course. That’s what we all want, is someone to actually read what we write. More traffic is good, right? Not so fast. More traffic is good, yes, but the right traffic is better.

What good is a thousand people on your blog is none of them hire you? If your business blog strategy is to draw in traffic for people that want to hire you for services or buy your products, then you need to write your blog posts with your audience in mind.

Questions you should ask yourself before you publish a new blog post:

  • Will this blog post help my target audience?
  • How will my target audience use this information?
  • Will this post help build my credibility as an expert in my field?

If your post isn’t answering question, providing helpful information and tips, or building your own credibility, then it may not be the right post for your audience.

Because you’re an expert in your field, you can probably write all day about your industry. You know stuff that other people don’t know. But not all that information is useful to your audience.

Here’s an example:

You’re an artist. You love art. You want to sell art on your website. You know a lot about art history. You could write post after post about art history. But is posting about art history going to sell your art? Can your target audience, probably people who are not artists themselves, going to be interested in your art history lesson? Furthermore, if someone was to find your website by searching for something related to art history, is that searcher likely to be interested in your products?

While the subject matter is related, it probably isn’t going to lead to your desired result – more art sales.

Blog with a strategy

I always tell people to plan for blogging as part of their business, which means don’t blog as an after thought. Don’t make it a “when I have time” activity. Plan your blog posts with a strategy in mind.

For each blog post, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is my target audience for this post?
  • What do I want my reader to do after reading it?
  • What keywords would bring searchers to this post?

Before you start writing your post, sit down and brainstorm at least 12 topics you could write about. Jot down a few main points for each post, and then write those into your schedule. It’s a lot easier to write your posts if you already know what you plan to write about when you sit down at the computer.

Don’t only write about yourself

Yes, it’s your blog. But it’s not for you. It’s for your clients and customers, so remember that. Sometimes it’s important to include information about yourself as a way to help build your credibility and expertise. And that’s fair. But every post shouldn’t be about you.

When it comes to your website, it’s main function should be to attract new traffic and convert those people into customers. Which means that your post should resonate with your readers in some way.

Can you use personal stories to make a point? Absolutely. But remember who your audience is and what they are looking for.

Keep your personal life out of it

I did just say you can use personal stories to make a point, but then I turned around and said you should keep your personal life out of your blog. Which is it? It’s both.

There are times when a personal experience emphasizes a point in your business blog, and that makes it relevant and useful. But your blog post shouldn’t be about your kid’s soccer game, unless perhaps you sell soccer equipment. I know you’re a proud parent, and I’m one too, but my kids’ awards don’t belong on my business blog.

Use your voice

Don’t write like you’re turning in a research paper. Nobody wants to read your Ph.D. dissertation. This is your business blog, and it should reflect you as the owner/manager/operator of the business. Someone reading it should not only learn something useful and interesting about your business, but it should showcase who you are as well.

That means, use the language you use in real life. (Okay, maybe keep out the bad language if you’re a prolific curser.) But as a general rules, your personality should be reflected in your writing. Make it light, keep it interesting, and avoid having sterile content that doesn’t resonate with your readers.

Keep it consistent

There’s nothing that says “This business is no longer open” like a blog that hasn’t been updated in two years. The excuse I get from business owners is, “I’ve been so busy with work, I don’t have time to blog.”

Make time. There is a saying that goes, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” And that’s because it’s true. Find a way to make time to blog, delegate it to your team, and plan to keep it updated. Even once a month is better than having nothing for a year.

Blogging for your business can reap you big rewards, but only if you do it properly. Plan for your next blog post with a clear strategy and your business will benefit.

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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