Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Content is king. If you don’t have great content, you will not gain readers. Poor content will drive your readers away. Dire warnings, all. What steps can you take to create better blog content? There are myriad ways in which to do that and they range from reading great blog content. Reading great (ie, well-written) blog posts can help you understand what readers want. How can you tell if you’re reading great content? Check out the social media shares, the comments on the posts and listen to your gut feeling on whether the content “speaks to you.”
- Your content is the sum of its parts, not an appetizer tray. Consider this: When you decided to become a pet blogger, you likely had a niche in mind under which you’d be blogging, correct? That is your SUM of the parts. The PARTS are those nuggets that you share with your readers on a regular basis to keep them fed and happy. For example, if you’re a blogger who writes about best practices for dog trainers — that is the SUM, the PARTS are the posts you share that offer up a weekly tip or a daily to do or a what-not-to-do when housebreaking a puppy, etc. A way to keep yourself on track is with an editorial calendar. Look at the entire year when you’re doing your planning, then break the months and weekly blog posts down into manageable bite-sized chunks.
- Your content is your story. Every business owner and every business pet blogger has a story. I have my unique reason for blogging about pets (Henrietta, the Diva Poodle and Calico Lucy) and my unique reason for writing about time management and stress (breast cancer survivor). What is your story? Think about it, write it down and share it. You can share it in snippets in your blog posts and then on your About Me page. Your story is what helps you be looked at as the authority on your particular topic.
- Your content should be both useful and entertaining. When you’re writing a blog post you should stop and ask yourself these questions. (Yes, the recovering journalist in me is coming out!) WHO are you writing for? WHAT are you hoping they will have as a takeaway from the content? WHEN is this content valuable? (today, tomorrow, next week?) WHERE can your content be used? (Are you promoting an event?) WHY should people listen to you or believe that the information you’re sharing is to be believed?And WHY does this content matter to the reader? (The answer to this is part of your story and also in the authority you bring to the conversation) And sometimes HOW can this person take the information you’ve shared and implement it into their daily lives? Remember, make your content entertaining. Most topics that you’re writing about can be told in an entertaining way.
- Stay open-minded. What? How does listening in on conversations when I am in line at the post office help me create better blog content? If the person in front of me is discussing how they can’t seem to get through the piles of paper on her desk or how he never has enough hours in the day to stay in touch with his clients — viola I have two blog post ideas based on real life situations. Regardless of your niche, I’ll bet if you keep your ears open when you’re at a networking event or a conference or in line at the grocery store or when you read a newspaper article, you will eventually see that everything is content if you know how to tweak it to your niche.
- No blogger is an island. Reach out to bloggers both within and outside of your niche. Ask them to guest post on your blog and then return the favor and offer a guest blog for them to use. Partner with a blogger outside of your niche and brainstorm with them on content you could both use (with your unique tweaks) on your own blog. Even those of us who work from home have to realize we cannot exist in a vacuum. We need to interact, communicate and reach out to those in our industry as a way to keep creating great content!
What can you do to make your content better, stronger, more read-able? What steps can you implement before the new year hits or as part of your 2015 blogging plan to keep your content fresh, exciting and to keep the readers coming back for more?
(Photo Shutterstock: Woman using computer)
(Photo Shutterstock: Dog in glasses with notebook)