Here’s the million-dollar question: How can you generate exciting new content ideas for your blog? Here are two strategies that’ll help you do just that.
The first technique is called the expert method. This is about breaking your content categories down into subcategories and topics. Doing so makes for a much more satisfying reading experience, as it allows your blog’s followers to quickly become experts in content categories.
Think back to the bucket concept mentioned earlier. Each bucket has unique subcategories that deepen your readers’ familiarity with certain subjects. Say you want to create a blog for stay-at-home moms thinking of working as virtual assistants (people who work remotely to assist a business with administrative, creative or technical issues). One category might cover the way in which these moms market themselves. Within that bucket, you can create subcategories that deal with things such as writing pitches and creating attractive websites.
So how do you come up with subcategories? Just think about what your readers need to know to master a particular category. Once you’ve done that, start dividing your subcategories into topics or blog posts. Take the pitch-writing subcategory. You can generate lots of interesting ideas for posts off the back of it – articles such as “Cold pitch or not?” for example, or “Ten tricks to creating the perfect pitch.”
The second technique is known as the goal method. The key here is creating your content around your blog’s goals. That means setting targets and sticking to them. Ask yourself where you want to be by the end of the month or coming quarter.
Say you want 250 additional subscribers by the end of that period. You can use that target to structure your content-creation process. What do you need to do to achieve that aim? You might need to make it easier to subscribe to your blog, write a guest post on another site or simply create more posts.
Those aren’t the only strategies you can use to boost your blog. Let’s learn about a third technique next.
Creating engaging content is one thing, but using it to offer products or services is quite another. How can you convince your readers to hit the buy button and turn your blog into a moneymaker?
That’s where the offer method comes in. The offer method is a technique for designing content that shows readers how your service or products solves problems they didn’t even know they had. It’s a five-step process. At each stage, you’ll need to ask yourself what content will take them to the next step.
The first thing you need to do is draw attention to a problem your readership has – even if they’ve never thought of it as a problem – and demonstrate that you have the solution. A great way of doing this is to highlight the difficulties your readers are likely to run into because they don’t know something. Blog entry titles such as “Ten mistakes you didn’t know you’re making” are an effective way of doing that.
The second step is to provide more information now that your readers are aware of a problem. At this point, you’ll need to keep them interested by telling them a little more. A useful approach is to draw attention to the fact that you’re offering a quick and painless solution. Telling your readers you’re offering a shortcut is bound to pique their curiosity, so embrace captions like “Five simple shortcuts to great vegan meals.”
By this stage, your readers will know about the problem and the benefits of your service or product, but you’ll need to give them that last little push to make the purchase. Customer reviews and the experiences of other readers can help provide just that. But as you’ll know from your own online purchases, people often have questions, even when they’re ready to buy. Including an FAQ section or live chat function are great ways of clearing up any issues standing in the way of your readers hitting the buy button.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that readers who’ve already made a purchase keep coming back for more. The key here is keeping them in the loop. Ask them to subscribe to a mailing list that details all the other wonderful products and services that you’re offering.
Imagine how confusing it’d be for your friends if every time you hung out you spoke to them in a different voice and used different terminology. The same goes for brands. If you want people to associate your brand with a particular identity, you need to maintain a consistent tone.
To do that, you first have to come up with a “brand voice.” This basically covers the way you communicate. It’s about sticking to a particular tone and consistently using the same kind of words and style. So, if you’re consistently witty, don’t suddenly turn super serious, or vice versa. Inconsistency confuses your readers. In fact, few things will make the experience of reading your blog more off-putting.
So how do you decide what your brand voice is? There are three steps to crafting your unique voice.
Start by taking stock of everything you’ve already written. Do your blog posts already have a consistent voice? Does your writing read like other blogs in your particular niche?
Secondly, take some time to think about your brand. What three attributes best describe it and what it stands for? Is it artistic, charming and compassionate, or analytical, detailed and energetic? Defining your brand’s key characteristics will help you settle on a style that reflects them.
Finally, you’ll want to run those attributes through the ADDE formula. That stands for attribute markers, dos, don’ts and expressions. Here’s how you do it.
Say you’ve settled on “bold” as an attribute. Ask yourself what it means to have a bold brand voice.
You might say that it means not being shy about challenging accepted ideas. That’s how you define your dos.
Now ask yourself what it doesn’t mean. Being bold, for example, doesn’t mean using expletives. These are your don’ts.
The final step is to decide which expressions best suit your brand voice. They can be specific words and catchphrases, or even puns and emojis.
There are lots of ways to go about creating exciting content – you just need a strategy for generating that big bag of ideas which will attract and maintain the interest of your readers and have them clicking that buy button.
There are lots of ways to promote your blog, and social media is one of them. How about creating some images every time you blog, then share them with text overlays on Pinterest? Another way is to email everyone mentioned in your blog posts. Do you refer to another blogger? If so, email them and urge them to share your post.
Check out my related post: What is a friend of a friend? – Part 1