Is your blog working hard to help you grow your business?
Did you know that your blog is one of the best tools you have for letting people know what you and your business is all about?
It’s prime real-estate to show off your personality, how you help clients, and what makes you unique. It can be a mega tool for getting your brand noticed and established.
I know that I’ve been pretty random and inconsistent with my blogging in the past 8-ish years of working for myself. AND I’ve had times of clarity, purpose and consistency with my blog. I can tell you – without a doubt – that blogging with intention makes a HUGE difference in how much money I make and the growth of my biz.
For example, I just graduated from college in May, after working my ass for for 5 years to finally earn my degree. During that time, especially in the past year, I’ve hardly blogged at all – my focus has been on school.
But, when I graduated, I knew it was time to turn my part-time business into a full time gig – there would be no more student loans coming along to help me pay my bills. Yikes! (and the dreaded 6 month mark when I have to start paying them back is fast approaching).
One of the very first things I did was give my blog some love. I took a long look at it, cleaned things up, made a plan and got to work creating a bunch of new, awesome content to help YOU build a better business.
The result? I just did a financial check in and guess what? In just 2 months, I have replaced my student loan income with real, actual, business earning income. I’m officially making a full time salary! It’s not the BIG salary that I want to be earning – not yet, but it’s enough to support me and my family without me having to run off to get a job. WOOT!
All of this I attribute to 2 things: showing up and my blog.
I have for sure upped my game with how I show up on social media – being a presence and sharing what I know and how I help people. The main way I’ve done that is with my blog – and then, of course sharing my blog every chance I get.
So what can you do to make sure you are using your blog to grow your business faster?
Here are 8 things you can do to bring more intention and focus into your blog:
1. Be clear about who your blog is for
This goes back to the dream client conversation and being crystal clear about who you serve and what matters most to them.
Then, making sure you’re writing your blog posts TO THEM so they feel heard and that you’ve got their back.
2. Know what problem you solve AKA how you help people
Your blog should be ALL about this! Offering up advice, tips, how to’s, and insight that will help your dream clients to accomplish their goals.
If you’re a photographer or jewelry maker, your blog should be filled with your gorgeous images or products – showcasing how what you do is making life for your clients more gorgeous.
If you’re a health coach, your blog should be all about ways to live a healthier life – with tips, ideas and knowledge that your dream clients can use RIGHT NOW to feel better.
3. Have a plan for the specific categories and topics that you’re going to talk about
You don’t want to just randomly show up and talk about whatever is on your mind. Make sure that you cover the things that your dream clients most wants to know about.
The name of the game is ALWAYS to make a difference and contribute, so have a clear plan for how you’re going to do that with your blog.
Go into your categories and set the ahead of time and then come up with a plan for when your going to write and what about. List out a bunch blog post ideas and then SCHEDULE when those posts will come out. Then, start writing your heart out.
4. Be insanely useful
Notice how I keep saying the same thing over and over again in different ways? That’s because it’s so dang important. Make sure what you’re writing about is useful for your dream clients.
Ways to be useful:
- Teach people how to do something
- Inspire people – with beauty or with insight
- Deepen someone’s understanding about a topic that you’re an expert about
- Solve a problem
- Provide a service that someone needs
5. Clean up old posts
Go back through your archives and get rid of post that sort of suck. We’ve all done this – written things that don’t really contribute, that fill space, or that don’t really align with our big picture vision.
Delete content that doesn’t really fit with you and your brand anymore. Make sure that what you’re putting out there is totally in line with what your business is here to provide for people.
6. Clean up your sidebar and “extras”
Sometimes we put things on our blog because we saw someone else do it and thought it was cool. Or we weren’t really sure what to add to the sidebar, so we just throw up a bunch of random stuff.
Or we think we need a ton of extra plugins to make us look professional and “get more readers.”
Simple is always better! I’ve actually been seeing more and more bloggers not even use a sidebar!
Get rid of all the extra junk that isn’t really serving a purpose.
7. Up the game with your visuals
Part of having a strong brand is telling a consistent visual story. This is especially true for your blog images. I suggest coming up with a template for your images that you can use so that your images are consistent – following the same format, colors, layout, fonts, etc.
You can take this even further, by going back and tweaking the images on old blog posts once you get your photos looking the way you want them to look.
This will be an ongoing process, most likely, so don’t make yourself crazy trying to come up with a “perfect” blog image layout. But, for sure keep improving the way you tell the visual side of your brand story.
8. Start thinking about SEO
One of the best plugins that you can install for your blog is the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin – without knowing much about SEO (search engine optimization) you can optimize each blog post to increase your chances of being found on Google.
Here’s my SUPER brief lesson about SEO:
Basically google wants to know that what you’re publishing is in fact going to help people that are searching for similar information. One of the ways they do that is by scanning pages to see if what you say your post is about is actually what you’re writing about.
With the Yoast plug-in you pick a keyword – this is what people would search for – it could be a string of words, like “website audit.” You then make sure that an article heading, your title, the page URL, some of your content and the page’s description all have that keyword in it.
This is what the yoast section of your blog post will look like:
See how it has each item marked off with “yes?” If it says no, you can go back up to tweak your post so that each element is there. This will help google recognize that YES, this article is about what she says it’s about and you can start to see more people finding your blog from their google searches.
Now, some keywords are just totally dominated by big businesses, so you won’t likely see your post coming up against those giants. But, using longer key word strands and getting as specific as you can can really start to help. Something like: “how to set up seo for a photography business.”
That is a LONG keyword string and will be a little more tricky to fit into your wording several time – it has to be exactly how you write it in the keyword slot. But, the chances of someone finding your blog with that longer type of a keyword will be much higher than if you just went with “SEO.” Make sense?
This is especially true if your business is LOCAL based – make sure that your city or region is in every one of your SEO setups. like: “photo shoot in Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs”
Ok, I think that’s enough for now to give you some ideas for how to improve your blog. Let me know if you have any questions or need a little guidance for making your blog better.