Blogging Tips for Beginners
To get you started with defining your target market, you can read the article on Customer Avatar that should get the mind working on figuring out exactly who your content should be targeting. These are just a few of the questions you should be asking, but once you get these down, you are well on your way!
Creative Ways to Think Outside The Box For Blog Post Ideas
You might need some more ideas as you commit to consistently build your blog.
Let’s get rid of the blank screen forever. In fact, when you’re done with this list, you’ll probably have more topics than you’ll have time to cover.
1 – Pay Attention to Magazines
The magazine industry is a GOLD MINE for content topics and blog post ideas! Think about how much time, energy, money, and overhead goes into putting a magazine into print. They are not going to release just any type of content. They hire the best of the best to craft the perfect messages and headlines that attract a loyal following of buyers. This creates a HUGE opportunity for you to learn and apply the same types of marketing (and copywriting) for your audience.
Study and learn from the best magazines in your niche. Look through the pages and make note of what you see.
- What kinds of headlines are being used?
- What types of images do you see?
- Do you notice a trend or a specific target audience?
- What types of language or jargon is being used?
Men’s Health knows exactly who their target market is and what they want. Their headlines show it.
All of these questions will help you start to understand the psychology behind why people buy and what types of content they want to see.
NOTE: Pay SUPER CLOSE attention to the way they structure their headlines! Magazines have a split second to grab your attention, so those headlines need to be INCREDIBLY eye-catching.
2 – Put Together a Series Post
One easy way to start being consistent and have a plan of action is to put together different series for your blog posts.
This can be something like a daily theme (Motivation Monday, Social Media Saturday, etc). The blog topic for each day or week would centre around that theme making it simple to streamline your marketing efforts across multiple platforms.
Another idea is to do a series focused on a specific marketing method or a niche topic (Facebook, Twitter, Video marketing, Prospecting, Mindset, etc) and plan out all of your blog post ideas that week around the theme. This makes it super easy to map out the topics and allows you to walk your audience all the way through a certain topic from start to end.
For example, this week you can focus on a Twitter marketing series. One day you might make a blog post showing someone how to set up their brand on Twitter and another day you could show them how to get followers for their brand. Within the videos or blog post, you can let them know about the free Twitter training where they can learn how to get 15 leads daily. Give massive value and build your list at the same time.
TIP! If you create a weekly series on different topics, you can also then turn those 4-5 blog posts into a FREE OFFER to generate leads once you’ve finished.
One of the best ways to become a great blogger is to always remain a great student and learner. There are so many incredible blogs out there in just about any niche. Plug into some of the top blogs in your industry that most resonate with you, and be sure to subscribe to these blogs so you keep up to date with their posts.
I personally wouldn’t focus on more than 10 or so at first to not get overwhelmed. Focus on subscribing to blogs that are updated frequently and consistently with great engagement and high-quality content. Take notes, engage, apply what you learn, and blog about your own experiences on a similar topic.
TIP! Download an RSS Reader app on your phone (like Feedly) so that you can get fast, easy access to any new blog posts published.
4 – Repurpose Your Old Blog Posts and Content
Often times you can go through your old content and you’ll notice that you have A LOT more to share on a topic now than you did when you first created the original blog post. Look through and read your old headlines with a pad and pen in hand so you can write down anything that jumps out at you as you go through each post.
This provides a great opportunity to share new insights or build upon what you have already learned in a previous video or blog post. You can also use it as an opportunity to rank old, existing content in the search engines for your specific term/keyword so people can see your most up-to-date information.
5 – Browse around on Pinterest for Blog Post Ideas
Pinterest is seriously a search goldmine now! Add in the visual aspect and it is a really powerful way to absorb great information and come up with new ideas for your blog. What you can do is type a broad keyword related to your niche in the search bar (network marketing, weight loss, Facebook ads, etc).
Pinterest will not only pull up tons of images for that search, but they will also suggest long-tail keywords for your search as well. For example, let’s say you type network marketing into the search bar. You will immediately see a bunch of awesome pins related to network marketing pop up that you can now browse through, like, pin, engage, or save for inspiration.
But another thing to check out is all of the related search terms that Pinterest suggests. You can see from the photo that they suggested adding keywords such as quotes, tips, success, and recruiting to your keyword network marketing in order to get even more specific and better results.
You might have to set a timer on this one though or you can get sucked in for days going through amazing content.
6 – Attend Virtual Live Streams, Webinars & Hangouts
Live streams, hangouts, and webinars are an awesome way to find out exactly what people are wanting to learn. Remember, your blog post ideas should cater to your target market. What are their needs, concerns, questions, etc?
In this case, I am not only referring to the content being taught. You already expect that to be great and are prepared to take notes. (Those notes you take should also be made into new and exciting ACTIONABLE blog content)
A unique spin is to also pay attention to the viewers’ comments and questions. Often times during a live stream, the audience is able to ask questions or make comments directly while it is being recorded.
Of course, you can immediately engage right then during the chat to help answer the question, but another thing you can do is keep a list of all of the different questions you see scroll by.
You will notice people ask questions from “How are you generating 10 leads a day on Facebook?” to “How do you handle family or friends who criticize what you do?” Either jot it down or take a screenshot of the question and use that as a topic of inspiration for another piece of content.
The great part about live streams is that they tend to have a much more personal and casual environment so the questions and comments you see are real-life scenarios that people are actually dealing with. This is even more powerful than ONLY creating content around hypothetical situations or blog posts based on theory.
So whether it’s a team meetup on Google hangouts or a Facebook live stream of an industry leader, you are bound to leave the session with tons of specific questions (i.e. problems that people are looking to solve).
7 – ASK! Simply Talk to People in Your Target Market
Your conversations with others can be your greatest source of content inspiration. The more you get to know people and talk to them about their fears, desires, pain points, and dreams, the more you will uncover how you can best serve them, and specifically how you can do that through your blog content topics so that your blog helps even more people.
One thing we started doing recently is taking any questions people ask us personally in chat and writing them down on a list. Then we go through the list and make a piece of content for each question that was asked.
Here is a great example of not only providing VALUE to your community, but being able to take notes of the questions that are asked, and writing a blog post detailing the answers! This is a super simple way of helping your audience while at the same time gathering a ton of information on questions that the audience has!
Remember that if it is something that ONE person is struggling with, it is likely a topic that can help a lot of other people as well. You might even find that one question leads to a whole series of blog post ideas rather than just one piece of content.
8 – Visit sites with trending topics
Another simple thing to do is leverage sites with trending topics in your niche. This will help you see exactly what people are asking. Two great free sites for content inspiration are Alltop and Quora.
Alltop is basically a directory of pages that links to a ton of different feeds for different niches. You can choose a topic in your niche, like Social Media Marketing for example, and it will pull some of the most popular blog posts and websites in that niche. Now you have a live look at some of the current trending topics that your audience would likely enjoy.
Quora is an awesome resource that we use to come up with content based on the live questions asked directly from our target audience. You can go to the website and type in a specific keyword (niche related) and get a populated list of questions that people have already asked.
Here is an example of Quora in the Social Media Marketing niche:
You can even subscribe to different topic lists to be updated whenever a new question is posted. Do this regularly and you will have lots of topics to blog about.
9 – Start with the keyword and work backwards
Sometimes it’s easier to start backwards if you’re not quite sure what you want to blog about yet. You can do this by letting Google give you some good keywords to check out.
Go to Google Keywords Planner and look up a keyword in your niche to first make sure it gets any kind of traffic or volume monthly. Now remember that the results are all based on paid advertising but think of it like this:
Why would someone be willing to pay x amount of dollars to have their ad seen if it did not bring them traffic or sales conversions from their target audience?
Obviously, they wouldn’t. So this gives you a clear idea of the best keywords you can center your blog topics around that actually bring in traffic.
All you do is type your broad keyword into Google Keyword Planner and then simply look at all of the suggested related search terms. You can sort these terms by relevancy or volume depending on your goals.
Once you find some good keywords, you can then save that list to research and work on at a future time. You can get thousands of niche-specific topics just from here!
10 – Spy On Your Competition!
If you’re struggling with what to blog about, it may be time for a little espionage activity!
You’ll want to find those who are already creating the results YOU want to create with their blogs and content. Success leaves clues.
Don’t worry that it’s been done before. The beauty of this is that you don’t need to re-invent the wheel. You only need a small piece of the pie to make an impact on your target audience.
There are many authority blogs that already exist and get top ranks in your niche. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of all the top sites you find.
Who’s ranking in Google? Who’s getting a lot of engagement? Who has active Facebook pages with tons of followers and engagement?
All you need to do here is open up Google, and search for terms that YOU WANT TO BE FOUND FOR! What is your target market putting into Google when they have a question or concern that needs to be answered?
Look at the top search results – they are there for a reason. What are they writing about, and which of the articles are getting the most engagement? Pay attention to what stands out.
What are people reacting to? What are people commenting on? Are they asking questions? Write those questions down. This will help you see exactly what the market is interested in.
There are some sneaky tools you can use to help you spy on your competition, Buzzsumo
This tool will show you what content performs best for any topic or competitor when it comes to social sharing.
In order to provide the content that people want, you need to know what it is they want. What are they looking for? What are they sharing? It can take hours scanning all the various social sites to find out what people are talking about, what their concerns and needs are, and what they are sharing. Being able to input certain search criteria and keywords, analyzing content and finding out what is already working in your area can be priceless to a marketer. A BuzzSumo search will find the most shared content across all the main social networks.
How to Get Traffic to Your Blog Posts
When you start your blog, you’re going to need to get eyeballs to it. Otherwise, your post is like the tree that falls in the forest when nobody is around to hear.
More specifically, you want the eyeballs of the people who are in YOUR target market, who want and need the info and knowledge that you’re providing!
This is the part of the equation where many people panic and get lost. This is the part where people have trouble.
One of the biggest misconceptions about blogging is that you can simply create content, publish it, and people will beat a path to get it. WRONG! While you might get lucky and pull in a few visitors that way, it surely won’t be enough to sustain your business.
So you’re going to have to proactively get traffic to your blog.
Here are 3 Ways to Get Traffic to Your Blog Posts (Both Quickly and Long Term!)
#1 Facebook Ads
What if you could spend just $5 a day, and get your post in front of 1000’s of highly targeted people who want info on your blog topic? That’s what Facebook Ads can do for you.
You can get eyeballs on your content quickly, and get it right in front of your top prospects.
Some different ideas for who to target in your ads include:
Think in terms of leaders, company names, industry terminology, books, or other relevant topics in your niche in order to come up with the best keywords to target
The first three targeting options include people that you likely already have a bit of rapport with which can help bring your conversion costs down if those audiences are engaged. The fourth option is to branch out and reach new people in order to continue expanding your audience.
BIG TIP Be sure to take advantage of Facebook’s highly advanced pixel tracking software by placing a pixel on your blog so that you can track all of the visitors to your posts. This is super powerful because now you are able to RETARGET people who have expressed interest in your work with even more targeted ads. Exposure is key!
YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world. Second only to Google. (which owns YouTube)
Video Marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies online. When you combine the two, it’s a match made in heaven.
You can simply create videos that get ranked, and drive people from your videos to your blog post. Simply add the link to your blog post in your description, agitate the problem in the video, and indicate that the solution is in your post.
Or better yet, link to your post from congruent videos. Your post could be step #2, so that you’re adding value in your video as well. Double whammy!
As videos get ranked, this strategy will have you hauling in long-term traffic!
#3: Optimize Your Blog Posts for the Search Engines
Ranking blog content on the search engines involves both on-page and off-page optimization.
Although it can take longer for brand new blogs to rank in the search engines, it’s worth it to optimize correctly from the beginning. Search engine rankings can bring you leads residually, for years and years after you’ve posted them.
As you start to accumulate more and more posts on your blog, the authority status of both your brand and your blog will continue to grow. This only perpetuates the traffic, leads, and sales machine that your blog can be!
Rather than get too deep in to search engine optimization, we’re going to point you to some tools that can help you on SEO.
Combine Video Marketing and Facebook!
In other words you don’t have to wait for your video to rank. For $5 a day, you can drive traffic to the video, and therefore your blog, using Facebook ads.
(Hint: Upload your video directly to Facebook. YouTube is a direct competitor with Facebook, so they’re not too fond of you driving traffic away from their platform to YouTube!)