That’s a smart move. You’ve heard all the talk about content marketing.
First, ads don’t work very well anymore. These days, people trust salesmanship less than they ever have. And with all the noise online these days, companies urging you to buy something can easily get lost in the shuffle.
Second, what does work what will stand out is not the hard-sell, but information and ideas that people can trust. For example, how-to lists, lists of trends to watch, lists of ways to succeed — or ways to fail, which can be just as helpful. (Yes, you can actually write blog posts that aren’t in list form. But why would you — when you see how many more readers you’ll attract with a list?)
So, in that spirit, back to your blog, with a list that I hope will be helpful. Here are the top three things that you cannot do without in your first blog post:
1. A meaningful welcome.
Maybe nobody except your mom will care that you’re starting a new blog. But if you do it right, customers and potential ones will care that you’re an expert who’s offering to simplify the whole big mess of online information and opinion about your field and sort out the wheat from the chaff.
So, don’t just tell people that you’re starting a blog. Tell them why. And then tell them what’s in it for them: Helpful hints? Advance notice of upcoming trends? Stories of success or failure?
2. Helpful advice, not promotion.
As you can see from my suggestions above, your readers will care more about your blog if it’s written with them and not you in mind. Why should you try to be reader-focused rather than internally focused? Simple: you’ll get more readers, more blog subscribers and more people who pass around your posts through their social media accounts.
That means you should soft pedal the new product promos, the half-price sales and the personnel announcements. Don’t be a salesman. Be a helpful adviser. It may not be the most direct route to making sales. But it’s the most effective in the long-run.
3. VIP treatment and insider access.
At the beginning, you probably won’t have many or any subscribers to your new blog. That’s OK. Even the most popular blogs had to start at the beginning. But what separates blogs that grow their readership from those that stagnate is that readers see a real value in the blog. And the best way to help create value is to offer your blog subscribers some special privileges not available to the general public.
Here’s the place where you can put in the occasional promotion, subscribers-only of course. But it’s also the place to give out free helpful info, again, subscribers-only: eBooks, webinars, videos, even free phone or online consultations. This will make your blog subscribers feel special and make them more likely to keep reading your blog posts and even to pass them along.
How you handle each of these points will depend on your industry. But any business from a restaurant that can make you feel less nervous about ordering the right wine to a physical therapist with tips on staying healthy to a crafter with ideas to decorate on a budget has expertise that people value.
Why not share that expertise with your online audiences as a way to build a closer relationship with your current and potential customers and online ambassadors?
— Erik Curren, Curren Media Group