It’s one thing to know you need to build blog traffic; it’s another thing entirely to know how to get there. These six goals will get you on your way to building a loyal readership.
Bloggers who avoid writing about micro-specific topics because they fear fishing with too small a net run out of ideas for blog posts in short order. They’re doing their blog and their small business a disservice.
GOAL 1: Create a chart with related topics, potential subtopics, and sub-subtopics. Write a posts for every sub-subtopic you can identify.
Be a Problem Solver
What questions do you get asked routinely in your line of work? Write them all down, and use those questions as a springboard for generating new blog content on your website. The idea is to use those questions to write informative posts that help your audience solve problems.
When you’re starting out, it’s okay to answer vague or general questions, but don’t avoid the more complex questions just because they require a little digging. Helping your readers solve problems will prove to them that you write content worth coming back for.
GOAL 2: Write 12 posts addressing questions your clients frequently ask.
I’d be surprised if you asked a subject matter expert for an interview and he or she turned you down. When you write interviews, it makes you and the expert look good. Readers will subscribe to find out who you interview next.
The trick to getting experts to work with you is to connect with them individually. Don’t spam a list of emails and hope your generic message sticks. Keep your initial proposal specific, short and sweet. You can iron out the details after the interviewee green-lights the project.
GOAL 3: Ask six A-Listers if they’ll answer your interview questions for an upcoming feature on your blog. Know what you want to ask before you approach the expert.
Don’t Write What You Know
This probably goes against everything you’ve ever heard. And, yes, it’s easier to write what you know, but it’s not necessarily the best way to build your audience. When you tackle stuff the other guys are too busy to touch, the blog world will take notice.
Plus, it’s hard to stay excited and interested in your blog writing when you’re rehashing the same old tired topics all the time. Branching out will give you a new perspective and help keep your writing inspired. Inspired content will bring in more traffic.
GOAL 4: Identify six industry-related questions you can’t answer without researching. Then research and write about your findings.
Host a Virtual Event
Virtual events produce a lot of quality content on your blog, and they are great for drawing in new readers. An event could be something as simple as a week-long series of guest posts on an exciting topic or a giveaway you host once a week for an entire year. The format is up to you.
GOAL 5: Host one virtual event on your blog in the next year. Give it a great, attention-grabbing name and promote the heck out of it.
Write Better Headlines
Are your headlines pulling their weight? Great content without a killer headline won’t get new traffic. You need those headlines to get some attention when they’re posted to sites like Twitter and Facebook. For tips on writing headlines, check out Copyblogger’s How to Write Magnetic Headlines.
Thank you for a timely and relevant post. Blogging seems to be more and more common these days, and finding good topics can be so difficult. Your post gives a lot of ways to generate new ideas, and that is very helpful. I especially liked the idea of writing down different questions customers ask. In our business, this will provide us with a variety of new blog subjects. The killer title is also right on.
Great stuff! I especially like the part about being a problem solver. I routinely look for answers to very specific technical questions and love when I can find them readily.
Thanks Emily! Good information. I’m new to the blogging space and so far I’m having fun writing and somehow helping other people. Interviewing experts is actually one of the things that I’m interested in exploring. Do you have any other tips on how to approach experts? Thanks in advance.
Hi Richard. Sorry for the delayed reply. I would suggest when you approach experts, either by email or in person, that you keep things genuine. Don’t flatter unless you mean it, and be respectful of the other person’s time. Also, be very specific about who you approach. Only reach out to experts that are connected to the industry you write about. If you’re not having any luck making individual connections, you might also try calling for interviews using HelpAReporter.com.
Very good points! I especially like Goal #4. Writing on topics that you don’t know a lot about makes it more interesting for yourself and you almost always run into new topics to write about since you are going into new territory. Thanks for the post!