Driving Your Blog with Questions
In keeping with my last post’s theme of questioning, let’s look at the most angst-riddled question every blogger asks him or herself at least once a day:
What should I write about?!
You can have the best blogging platform in the world. (I’m partial to the benefits of Innoblogs…but that’s just me.) You can have a legion of wordsmiths at your disposal. You can even have tons of eager prospects chanting, “Blog! Blog! Blog!” at your web site and a foolproof way to turn those prospects into clients. But the truth is, without a steady stream of quality content…Your. Blog. Will. Die.
Heavy, I know. But an easy way to relieve that what-to-write anxiety is to turn the question around: What do my viewers want to read about? What are the key questions coming from your audience? If you have been in business for awhile and pay the slightest bit of attention, you’ll know. My photography clients want to know how much they’ll pay, what they’ll get, and what they should wear…I’d say 95% of the questions I get are variants on those three themes. (The other 5% usually riff on, “Does this make me look fat?” which I refuse to answer for many reasons.) If I boil it down even more, everyone is essentially asking, “How will you preserve my memories for me?”
Essential questions (for you may have more than one) are the anchor for your blogging and content marketing efforts. If you’re stumped for content, go back to an essential question and choose one aspect of that to address. If, on the other hand, you find yourself wandering off through a forest of words, stop and ask yourself, “Does this answer one of my audience’s essential questions?” If not, redirect your post or–gulp–start over. Tough love, yeah. But the blogosphere is at or above saturation, so if your content isn’t tightly focused, you risk making little to no impact on your readers. Define your niche and expand as your audience grows.
Here at Innogage, our audience is asking: How do we connect digital and traditional marketing? Some riffs on that basic question include:
- How do we connect blogging with overall marketing strategy?
- How do we connect visual media with overall marketing strategy?
- How do we connect with leads?
- How do we connect with current clients?
- How do we connect SEO with overall marketing strategy?
- How do we connect outposts with overall marketing strategy?
Using essential questions to drive your blog requires knowing your audience and knowing your business, and that can take time. That’s okay. But refining your essential question(s) is crucial to focusing your blogging efforts. Once you have a truly essential question, then you can elaborate and expand to build a deep body of content. In my next post, I’ll discuss how to multiply your blog ideas so you’ll never be stuck with the question, “What should I write about?”
- To Blog or Not to Blog… How Will it Affect my Business?
- Cut the Bull: Blog with a Purpose | Blogging from Content Marketing World
- Driving Customer Engagement | Using email marketing effectively