If you think creating a blog to compete with industry behemoths is a daunting task, consider this: did you know that one blog is created every second? And that’s according to a 7-year-old statistic.
So how in the world are you supposed to get people to read what you write?
Sure you have a couple of “creative” and “unique” ideas… but they are not THAT good. Are they? In fact, are you even sure nobody ever wrote about them? Google it.
Now, before you give up everything and move to a farm, here’s the good news:
Creativity Is a Myth.
Well, not totally a myth, but when it comes to writing blog posts that people care about, it’s pretty darn close.
You see, for every million unique ideas people have, only one will ever get an audience large enough to pay the author enough to buy food.
So while most amateurs look for “creative” and “unique” ideas, pros simply look for what the market already likes and give it to them.
Why reinvent the wheel when you can build a bike on top of it?
Falling In Love and Blogging
To know what the market likes, first you have to define the market.
Amateurs tend to assume that blogging is like falling in love. You stumble around a few creative ideas, hope that you finally found “the one” and finally get lucky.
Pros, on the other hand, have a clear goal of what they want to achieve right from the beginning.
So before you sit down to write that post, really think about who your ideal reader is (yes, one person). This reader of yours…
How old is he… or she?
What does she like to do during her free time?
What’s her day job?
How wealthy is she (the social class she belongs in)?
Does she have children?
You might even want to look for a portrait somewhere on the web that represents what that person would look like in real life. Then print that portrait out and paste it right above your monitor.
Every time you’re about to write something, look up and ask yourself, would this person want to read what I’m about to write?
The more specific you are about who you’re writing to, the more impact your writing will be. The reason it’s going to have more impact, is because it will resonate with your readers.
You’ll be able to use the right metaphors, examples, voice, tone and even curse words.
To illustrate good content that doesn’t resonate, recall how, when you were a teenager, you ignore everything your parents said? Well, that’s exactly how it feels like to read something that doesn’t resonate.
But here’s the caveat: obviously if you go too specific, the market you’ll be writing to will get too small to be profitable. It’s balancing act – and unfortunately, there’s no one “right answer”. The best way to verify is to find at least one other blog who is writing to your target.
If there’s none, it’s probably not worth pursuing.
Once you’ve found who you want to write to, now it’s time to find out what he/she likes to read.
Go to Quora and Yahoo answers and look at what people in your niche are asking.
Go to the various social network groups and look at what people are talking.
Go to at least three popular forums in your niche and dig around at least 6 months’ worth of threads.
Go to the top 10 blogs in your niche and look at their most popular posts. Make a table out of their most shared posts on social media.
Then read the comments on these popular posts. What are people saying? What are their concerns, and questions?
By the end of the exercise, you would have a loooong list of topics proven to excite your target readers.
First things first: develop an editorial calendar out of the long list of potential topics. Editorial calendars allows you to plan the roll out of your content (should content A come before or after content B?) and maximize its impact. But more importantly, it forces you to keep to a schedule – and therefore maintain your consistency.
NOW you can start writing.
If it flops, then it’s probably because of how you execute it. But at least you KNOW where it went wrong. And the solution to that… is all over Fuel Your Blogging.
Image by 7Meteor