When you write a blog for your business, it is assumed that you have the ultimate objective of attracting leads for your business.
Hence, the content that you’ve written serves as a means to an end which, in this case, is attracting more leads.
These leads convert into actual clients and there comes your money.
Well, saying the above is quite easy. The difficult task facing you? Writing an effective blog that actually converts like crazy.
This article will consider how to write these articles for the benefit of your online business.
Understand Your Audience
Every business has a target audience. The key to success is identifying this audience and creating content that’s relevant to them.
Failing to identify with them can only set your business up for failure. The starting point and ending point of any business strategy lies with the audience.
If your audience is freelance writers, it would be best to create content that relates to the art of writing.
If you look at it from another perspective, it’s not just enough to create such content. You have to win new clients. This is the essence of conversion.
You would be surprised that your readers are not that much interested in knowing how to write.
Their interest is the incentive that your content has to their business interest. That is how you convert!
Many bloggers fail to understand their target audience. In fact, most of the articles that they write relate to their peers only.
The following is a checklist to use when trying to understand your audience:
- The actual demographics
- Their preferred location
- Their needs
- Their values and norms
- Their language and style
- Their hobbies
- Their likes and dislikes
- Their fashion
There are specific ways you can get such information about your audience. They include:
- Mingling with them at events. You will inevitably have to identify the events and forums that they go to and attend them in person. Your interaction with them will give you firsthand information.
- You can also get information from search engines. Yahoo Answers and Quora can be of great help.
- Social media can also be a great tool to obtain information. Just put in specific keywords that relate to your target audience. You can follow trending topics on social media.
- When visitors enter your website, ensure that they fill in a survey. The content of this survey should be strategic such that you can get the most basic information from them.
- You can also study magazines and other blogs that your target audience prefer. They can give you a wider perspective on what they like and what they also dislike.
Choose a Relevant Topic
The distinction between bloggers who are successful and those who are not lies in how relevant the topic is to their target audience.
When your topic is relevant, it engages the reader and it actually makes them trust you. Ensure that you pick the topics that are not only relevant, but also interesting.
Ensure you delve into the main points of discussion and by all means, show them that you are knowledgeable in that area.
For you to show that you are knowledgeable, you have to do extensive research and master the content. With regard to the topic, ensure that it is not too general.
To illustrate: Your topic could be Online Marketing Strategies. The topic is not bad in itself, but it’s too general.
It might actually be a turnoff to the majority of readers. You would be better off with a topic such as Online Marketing Strategies for Sole Proprietors.
This topic is narrow and it relates to a certain audience. It is more specific and will appeal to the specific audience that it is meant for.
Write Headlines that are Captivating
First impressions are indeed important in many aspects of life, blogs included.
You have a small window of opportunity at the start of each blog to capture and seize the interest of the reader.
The headline is what seizes the attention of the reader in the first instance. Therefore invest your time and efforts in creating a headline that’s captivating.
Most blogging circles consider headlines to be king. Even if your content is top notch, you might lose many readers if your headline is unappealing.
It is actually estimated that changing a headline that was somehow bad for one that’s now good can increase traffic to your blog to the tune of 500%.
This is enough motivation to put some work in your headline.
But let’s face the fact that headline writing is not a piece of cake! Grabbing the attention of people is not as easy as it sounds.
In fact, many people have even gone to the extent of devising some formulas for doing so. Even top brands like Buzzfeed are employing formulas in devising their headlines.
Even so, this should not scare you. For as long as you understand that your headline has the ultimate purpose of capturing your reader’s attention, you’ll be good to go.
Here are some tips on hooking your readers with the headline:
- Give a promise of benefit. For example, “8 Excellent Ideas to Increase Website Traffic” or “4 Tips that Will Increase your Business Net worth.” The promise of benefit will instantly hook your readers. They will even start picturing themselves benefiting by reading the article.
After you’ve captured your audience with the headline, you should introduce your article in a strong manner.
You should keep the interest of the reader burning. It is said that the average person’s attention span is about 9 seconds, and scientists are hinting that this span is becoming shorter and shorter.
What this means for you is that you’ll need to keep the readers interested for long periods of time.
Here are some ways to keep them hooked:
- Ask questions. Questions normally stimulate the mind of the readers. It actually engages the mind of the reader. This is what you want.
- Provide an interesting fact or statistic. There is no better way to capture the mind of the reader than listing an interesting fact. It actually excites the reader’s. Your aim is to wow the readers.
- Describe a problem of interest. Human beings by nature have many problems. When you define a problem that disturbs many people, you will automatically gain their attention. You will even appeal to their emotions. Try to give possible alternatives that can serve to solve the problem.
This applies especially when you’re trying to give a solution to a problem. You just have to be genuine. To effectively do this, you have to give actionable steps to your audience.
Whatever content you post, it should encompass the following:
- It should be educational
- It should be informed
- Should have the highest form of problem resolution
Focus on Readability
Readability is basically keeping your readers glued from the start of the article to the end.
The following are some avenues to ensure readability:
- Write in simple language. This enables you to relate to all audiences so that they can understand the point you are trying to put across.
- Observe brevity. Write short paragraphs. This enables you to keep the reader focused, and it enables your points to be relayed more quickly.
- Write in the passive voice. This will enable your sentences to be easier to read. You can use a proofreading guide to check on your readability.
Remember that you’re in this to convert leads into actual clients. This calls for you to be compelling.
In order to do this, you can make an offer to everyone that reads the blog. Convince them to subscribe to a newsletter.
Encourage them to download an e-book or journal. You can also convince them to purchase products and services that you have posted on your website.
Of great importance is to give a call to action. This should be placed conspicuously at either the bottom of your page or the top corners.
In order for your offer to be compelling:
- Highlight the benefits. This basically involves showing actual gains to be realized.
- Be unique. The competition out there is real. Hence, in order to stand out, you need to offer something that is unique. It could be the nature or the approach that you use. All in all, don’t follow the crowd.
- Make use of figures. This involves laying out all the statistics that relate to your product. Figures tend to quantify your ideals and they also give readers a sense of credibility.
- Be confident. Nothing compels people more effectively than confidence. You can actually convert many leads with the use of confidence drawn from testimonials and social proof of customers that you have dealt with.
Embrace your Emotions
Image courtesy of smarnad at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
We are all human and at times we need a break from the mechanistic approaches to life. Your audience might also need such a break.
The perfect way to do this is by igniting their emotions. This has been proven to work in favor of many businesses.
In fact, reports show that emotional content has a far reaching effect than plain mechanistic content.
The various ways in which you can evoke emotion include:
- Being Enthusiastic
- Writing in a motivational tone
- Sharing stories of liberation and inspiration
You can also use negative emotions, but watch how often you use them. You do not want an audience that turns out to be negatively charged emotionally.
Lastly, make use of images and graphics. They have a far reaching impact as far as being vivid is concerned.
People actually remember posts with images better than those with just plain text.
The message that an image sends is better placed to be remembered or understood than a whole block of text.
Therefore, make sure you add images and graphics to your blog article. And make sure that they are of high resolution.
Most importantly, remember to cite your source and give a brief description of the image on the caption.
The above tips are sure to convert your blog articles into sure-fire real leads that bring you great business.
After all, if you decide on using blog articles to get leads, you should make sure that they are top notch!
All the best in your endeavors!
About the Author
Lori Wade is a freelance content writer for Thriving Writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from education and online marketing to entrepreneurship. She is also an aspiring tutor striving to bring education to another level like we all do. If you are interested in writing, you can find her on Twitter or Google+ or find her on other social media. Read and take on Lori’s useful insights!
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