It’s often said that content is king, and if you’re an aspiring blogger there’s no higher authority. But there’s also something mysterious about great content, especially for those new to the game. So what’s the secret to creating captivating material?
Well, luckily, producing engaging and ultimately profitable content is something you can learn how to do according to the book, The One Hour Content Plan by Meera Kothand.
Remember the old saying about how giving a man a fish feeds him for a day, but teaching him to fish will feed him for the rest of his life? That’s the approach this book’s take. Instead of tasty, easily digestible morsels, you’ll get into the details that’ll let you really master the trade.
Follow through on what you pick up along the way, and you’ll head straight to the top of the blog pile.
Who wouldn’t want to earn their living as a blogger? But to make money, you’ll need an audience. That means thinking about how to reach your audience. The best place to start is by defining your blog’s value proposition and purpose.
The value proposition is all about who your blog aims to help, while the purpose is defined by the question of why it exists at all. Say your goal is to help women by aiding them in planning meals – that’s your value proposition and purpose respectively.
Let’s narrow down the definition even more. Maybe it’s not all women you’re producing content for, but a particular subset. Perhaps your audience is stay-at-home moms who want to learn how to cook healthy, vegan meals on a budget?
Once you’ve identified who you want to reach, it’s time to ask yourself another question: What kind of change do you want to bring about in your audience’s lives? A helpful way of thinking about this is to use the Driver of Change, or DOC, model.
It’s essentially a way of reflecting on your prospective readers’ situations before and after engaging with your content. What, ideally, will change for them after following your ideas and advice?
There are three factors you’ll want to take into account here: what your readers are going through, how they feel and what they think.
Take the author’s books and articles. Before she’d published her work, her readers were struggling to come up with ideas for their blogs. They felt lost and convinced their blogs wouldn’t be successful. But after reading her work and implementing the author’s ideas, they knew how to focus their time and efforts and were able to feel positive and optimistic about their content.
Next, you’ll want to define the categories that’ll help you change the way your readers think and feel about the subject you’ve decided to blog about. Individual categories are known as buckets, and you can have up to seven of them. So, if your blog’s purpose is to help people in their 30s avoid debt, you might think about including blog buckets like “investments,” “saving,” “budgets” and “intentional living.”
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a boy, girl or potential employer, it pays to know what someone’s into if you want to impress them, and that goes for the readers of your blog as well.
So what do you need to know about them? Think about your friends. What you know about them is also what you’ll need to find out about your readers. What makes them tick? What puts a smile on their face? What are their dreams? Knowing this means you can cut to the chase, addressing them directly without worrying about whether they’ll like your content or not.
So how do get to know your readers? One way is to start “spying” on them. Don’t worry; it’s not as iffy as it sounds! It can be as simple as looking at a blog similar to yours and seeing what their readers are saying in the comments section. That’ll tell you a lot about their desires, aims and fears, and it’s precisely what the author did.
After cruising blogs in her niche area, she realized her audience of freelancers and bloggers all had one thing in common: they were worried about not finding their own audience and craved recognition for their unique voices.
Writing a blog post filled with open-ended questions that motivate readers to join the discussion is also a great way of finding out what makes them tick. To do this, avoid posing questions that are answerable with a simple “yes” or a “no.” Don’t ask, “Are you worried that a vegan diet isn’t rich enough in nutrients?” Instead, try something like, “What concerns you about going vegan?”
Now that you know who your readers are, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of creating ideas for your blog in the next post!
Check out my related post: What is a friend of a friend? – Part 1