The CODA System for Advanced Blogging Success- C is for Content
by Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D. The Blog Squad
Simply writing on a blog isn’t enough to drive business. You have to pay attention to four key areas to have a successful blog: Content, Outreach, Design and Action.
The CODA system is an easy check list for paying attention to what really matters on your business blog. If you aren’t getting the kind of results you want from your blog, study each of these areas to find where you can improve and then make the necessary adjustments.
C Is for Content…
By far the best way to get traffic and results from business blogging is through the quality of your posts (blog content). There are three important keys for writing effective blog posts.
1. Post 2-3 times a week or more on your blog (Note: if you can, every other day is better!)
2. Write quality posts, short and to the point, linking to sources, helping others solve their problems
3. Stay relevant to the purpose of your blog, always writing for the needs and wants of your readers
Your writing should be about building trust and credibility in the mind of your reader. In many ways, blog writing is different from writing articles, special reports, web pages and white papers. It is more like a conversation than a one-way knowledge transmission. All readers look for what’s in it for them.
10 Ways to Connect with Readers
Here are 10 ways to connect with readers in your blog posts:
1. It’s not enough to relay information to your readers. When you find something fascinating, don’t simply copy and paste. Include your own perspective and opinion. Then ask readers for theirs. They aren’t going to share their opinions until you do first. For you to build trust you must share yourself openly.
2. Don’t be afraid to be radical in your views. When you write tentatively using words such as “maybe,” “in a way,” “perhaps,” “could be,” “might be”… you are being wishy-washy. Be firm and be direct. Stand up for principles and values. And then ask your readers to agree or disagree (respectfully, of course).
3. Use emotional words and phrases. Think about triggering hot buttons. There are universal drives and human motivators. Some of these are:
b. The desire to know it all
c. The desire for control
d. The desire to love and be loved
e. The desire to enjoy and have fun
f. The desire for family values or feelings of moral righteousness
g. The drive for prestige
h. The drive for self-achievement
i. The drive for power and influence
j. The drive to help others
Find out what drives your readers. Keep in mind, that your audience is probably mixed and appeal to a variety of motivations.
Another way to look at this is to ask, “What are readers seeking?”
* Security (safety in numbers)
* Recognition – fame
* Revenge/something to prove
* Lost youth
* Ego-Driven…….Empire builders
* Values-Driven……Worry about what others think
4. Clients can’t want what they can’t imagine or picture on an emotional level. You must tell them how they will feel, when they use your services or products. Use imagery and associations. How is this product/service/concept going to reach out and touch your client? How is it going to improve your client’s life?
5. A good way to connect is through writing a case study. This is important because when you write about a typical client and the problem you solved, readers can identify with similar problems. You are implying that as you helped this person, you can help them.
6. Share a mistake you’ve made. Show readers how you goofed up, and then write about how you handled it, and what lessons you learned. Be vulnerable. Sure, people respect winners and high-achievers. They also identify with making mistakes and respect your honesty and ability to show humility.
7. Generously share your knowledge. Even if you give away entire chapters of your book, or give them details on what it is that will solve a problem for them, they will still want to buy your book or hire you to do something for them. Giving away information and knowledge is a smart way to build trust and credibility. If you’re going to give something away, make sure you collect contact information and give the reader a darn good reason why they should give it to you.
8. Build that trust by sharing details of your life. The more specific you are about details in your life, the more readers will see you as an authentic human being, going through life just like them. But don’t go overboard. Nobody really cares what you had for dinner, unless there’s a point to it. Always keep the reader in mind and teach them something with a story relating to them and their needs/wants/desires.
9. Use well-known names and authors if you can as long as it is appropriate to your blog post. You can use celebrity names in titles and in posts as their names are good search engine fodder. But only do this if there is a reason to use their name and it makes sense to your readers.
10. Tie-in your content to what you do for a living. When you write something like, “During a consultation with a client, he asked if…” or, “When I speak at large conferences, I am often asked about…” you are embedding a message of how you work, and how people can hire you.
This is subtle and important. If you aren’t continually tying in your stories with what you do for a living, you aren’t giving readers the message that you are a working professional. They won’t see the opportunities to work with you, or the benefits that your clients receive from you.