Right now, you’re staring at your computer, feeling frustrated. You know you need to do a blog post for your business, but you just don’t have the inspiration. You have no idea what you should write about, and you can feel the pressure building. You read somewhere that you should be blogging at least once a week, and you haven’t published a blog in a few weeks because there’s always something else that needs to be done. And you know that now that you’ve made time to work on a blog post, it’s just going to suck anyway.
You’re right. Your blog sucks. Your customers aren’t reading it. Your leads aren’t reading it. You don’t even read it once you hit “publish.” You just hope that Google does the thing it does and that someone finds your website buried on page 237 in search results.
Why bother, right?
Maybe you bother because you read that Hubspot guide that suggested that companies who blog see twice the traffic from their emails as those who don’t.
Maybe you need to let your clients know about a new product or service, and you know that a blog post will give you a little bit of exposure.
Those are all great reasons to bother. But your blog still sucks.
That’s okay, though.
I’m going to help you make it suck less.
Create a Blog Strategy
First, your blog sucks because you don’t have a strategy. You know you need to write posts, but without a strategy, your blog is like your Uncle Craig at Thanksgiving-always has a story to tell but ends up rambling about that one time when he was doing that one thing. There’s no point.
Without a solid blog strategy, your blog has no point either. A blog strategy gives your blog posts a reason to exist; they are part of an overall content marketing plan that has specific goals and measurable return on investment (ROI). The content marketing plan allows you to tie your blog posts, social media posts, more substantial pieces of content, and even sales strategies together in a neat little package designed to build sign-ups, sales, or brand awareness.
Developing a content marketing plan is a monumental step in marketing your business. In fact, it’s so huge that it intimidates many small business owners, so they just skip it. Unfortunately, skipping this step means their blog becomes rambling, and then it descends into the annals of blogs that suck. Blogs without a strategy don’t bring quality SEO return, and they don’t connect with readers, either.
So what’s the fix? First, you need to develop a content marketing plan. Even if it’s a very bare-bones outline of what you will be blogging about, supported by robust keyword research, and some social media posts that support your blog topics. A more developed plan can include anchor pieces of content such as ebooks or white papers that are released quarterly or yearly, value-added products that drive newsletter sign-ups, and keywords and anchor content that complement the sales strategy. You can hire a professional to help, or you can read a few books on the topic and develop one yourself.
Maximize Your Keywords
Besides not having a strategy, your blog sucks because you aren’t maximizing your keywords. I’m going to tell you a harsh truth that may break your heart. Your blog is never going to rank for whatever widget or service you provide as a single keyword. A solid keyword strategy, tied into your content strategy, understands this truth and will help you develop long-tail keywords and other derivatives of your primary product. This allows you to develop a broader plan while keeping true to your overall goals.
Maximizing keywords are one of those areas that people who aren’t professional marketers feel like they are in over their heads. They know the importance of keywords, but determining long-tail keywords and other words that will help their customers find them simply escapes them. Thankfully, Neil Patel has done extensive studies on the effectiveness of long-tail keywords, and he’s got it down to a science. He explains how the drilling down of your keywords to specific phrases increases your conversion rates.
Hire a Professional Copywriter
Your blog also sucks because you’re not a writer.
I know, I’m full of harsh truths today.
But the harsh truth is, you’re not a writer. You haven’t studied the art of science of content writing or understand how words work together to weave a story. You don’t have a degree in marketing or writing or anything remotely creative. You started your business because you’re an expert in that area, and you’re not an expert in content writing.
Chances are, you don’t need to hire a full-time copywriter to solve your problems. A marketing agency or freelance writer can address many of your obstacles, without the overhead of having a full-time employee. If you have developed your strategy, then a copywriter can help you implement it; if you haven’t yet, you can find a freelancer or an agency that handles content marketing plans and writing. The right writer will see herself as a partner in achieving your goals and will invest themselves in making sure that you are publishing the type of content that will grow your business and help you increase your ROI.
There are many reasons to hire a professional copywriter. The fact that you aren’t a writer is just one of them. Copywriter Susan Greene details several of them. Copyblogger speaks to several situations in which you should hire out the content writing side of your business, and makes an excellent argument for when the stakes are high. When your business is in a period of significant growth or about to launch, you don’t want to skimp on copywriting.
Another essential fact to consider: Chances are, your blog sucks because you underestimate the amount of time that it’s going to take you to write a post, and you end up rushing out an inferior product because you have run out of time. After all, you have a business to run. Hiring a professional copywriter helps to ensure that the blog post that you’re publishing on your website is an incredible representation of your brand, not a thrown-together piece of work that you pushed out to have something current on your blog.
The good news is that even though your blog sucks, you can fix it. You can put a plan together, allowing you to plan blog posts that have a purpose rather than posts that exist because you feel the need to publish something. When you blog with a purpose, you have a better chance of connecting with your readers, which leads to an increased conversion rate and a higher customer retention rate.