You already know that, “Content is King” on the Internet, but great content is what helps you build a community of loyal blog readers who buy from you. Your goal should be to engage blog readers with the highest quality content you can muster, with absolutely no fluff. There is far too much garbage floating around online that doesn’t help to solve your target market’s problem or add anything new to a discussion.
Good business blogs – the ones that have large readership – are like good restaurants. You go there for a good meal and leave pleasantly satisfied. Compare that to fast food places that serve greasy high-fat meals: you feel bloated and stuffed but not healthy.
Keep in mind that many people and Internet users have short attention spans. Not only do you need to have great content, but you need to present it in the right way. Think of what food at a French restaurant looks like compared with your local McSnack basket.
Don’t run the risk of having visitors to your blog click away. Once they leave, it’s unlikely they will return. Seize the opportunity to capture their interest by giving them content they can sink their teeth into from the beginning.
Start with a Topic You Can Build On
Let’s say you have a financial site and you choose a topic such as payday loans. This is a tool many people are using these days and they have lots of questions about. How can you make meaty posts about this topic?
One thing you can do is set up an RSS feed for Google News to alert you to interesting stories about developments in the industry. When an organization like the Community Financial Services Association of America issues a white paper called “Payday Loans and Deposit Advance Products,” you can write a post about it and provide a link to it for your readers.
Since many blog readers are interested in consumer information, consider reviewing the Top 10 Payday Loan Companies for your readers. Your goal should be to offer value to readers and to establish yourself as an expert on the topic.
Breakup Text into Bite-sized Chunks
Blog readers are more likely to skim a post rather than give it an in-depth reading (at least at first). Rather than posting long paragraphs, break up your text into smaller chunks. Use numbered lists, bullet points and subheadings to capture the reader’s interest. They can go directly to the portion of the post that is most interesting to them, and skip over a part that they find less relevant.
Don’t Be Afraid to Write Longer Posts
You can engage your audience with longer, thoughtful posts. If your topic is something that you can’t cover in a short post, give it the attention it deserves to cover it properly. Your audience will appreciate your attention to detail, so long as you are providing value.
Review your content (or your writer’s submission if you outsource this part of your business) carefully. If you could easily remove the sentence or the paragraph from the post and it would still make sense, then it doesn’t need to be included.
Get Personal with Your Readers
One of the reasons you want to have a blog is to engage in conversation with your readers. Use this platform to share an opinion about current events or ideas related to your general topic. If you are writing on behalf of your business, the ideas you express don’t have to be your “personal” opinion, but would reflect your company’s take on these issues.
You don’t necessarily have to confine your posts to issues that have an impact on your own industry. It’s possible to take a general topic, such as payday loans and link it to banking, financial planning, taxes, or money management topics if you wanted to branch out to attract a larger audience for your posts. Keep in mind that your readers are interested in getting information to solve a problem or meet a need, but that they also have related needs that you can help them with.
Think about what it takes to establish yourself as an expert in the blogosphere. You need to know a little bit more than the average professional. Provide blog readers with high-quality, meaty blog posts and you’ll be well on your way to reaching that goal and you’ll be rewarded with loyal readers and increased sales for your business.
About our Guest Author: Melissa Hathaway is a freelance writer with a degree in international business and journalism.