A Security Marketer’s Guide to Murder: Stop Killing Your Blog
About this time last year, you started your blog. And at about the same time you started killing it. It probably wasn’t intentional, but there it is in a heap at the bottom of your website, and you hope nobody is looking. The problem is, people are looking. Here are some important ways to resurrect your blog before the crime scene tape needs to come out.
Understand What a Blog Is
There are a lot of things your blog isn’t — such as a white paper, a press release, or a daily account of what you do. That may be interesting to other dealers and integrators, but if other dealers and integrators are not your main readers, you may as well step away from the keyboard now and save yourself the trouble. A blog is a regularly updated log of interesting, useful and engaging information.
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is usually easy. It is writing for them that people get wrong. Your blog isn’t for you. It isn’t even primarily about you. It is for those whom you want to attract, and about how you, your services and your products relate to their lives. Think about it this way: If you are going to spend $50,000 on a car tomorrow, do you want to hear about the dealership or do you just want to get behind the wheel of the car? Understand who your customers are.
It’s Not About You
Remember your blog isn’t about you; it’s about being “U.” Avoid (at all costs) things about you personally or using your blog as a platform to constantly overtly promote your company. Instead, concentrate on making your posts fit the “U Structure” of being Unique, Urgent, Useful and Ultra-specific.
There are real people behind your service. You have experiences that relate to your readers, so use them. Let readers know you understand their pain-points, share them, and can address them.
Don’t Be Boring
Let’s face it — there are only so many topics that relate to the industry, and it is easy to run dry if you are writing too frequently or taking the same approach over and over. But boring doesn’t attract. Take a new approach to old information. Relate to current events, movies or something else of interest. Home automation, again? Boring. Home automation as it relates to Batman? Okay, now we’re talking.
Forget About SEO & Sales
SEO and sales are important, but set them aside as you write your blog. The idea is to attract visitors to your site organically and keep them there long enough to convert. A blog hopped-up on keywords may get them there eventually, but the artificial nature of it will send them walking away even faster.
Craft Your Headline Well
Craft your headline with purpose. Don’t (always) get too clever or removed from the topic. Remember that your headline will appear in many places, including the top of your post, in search engine results, feed readers, and subject lines. The idea is to craft titles that draw the reader and search engine. A headline that reads “1,000 ways Batman Would Rock Home Automation” could be far more effective than “What Does the Home Automation Industry Offer?” Chances are you already know which blog you’d read, right?
Write for Digital Readers
Remember, you are not writing a book; you are writing a blog, and many of your readers will be reading on their phone while killing time. Write in short blocks of text and make it easy to scan. Use bullet points where possible to draw readers in. Keep in mind only a small portion of text can show on mobile screens.
Add Great Images
Having a great blog post with no images or poor images is just as bad as having no blog at all, or worse. Think about it as scenery: if you were planning a vacation, what images would help you decide where to go — one of a beach with turquoise sparkling waters or one of the closet in the hotel? Choose bright, compelling images.
Readers come to blogs for two reasons: to learn something and be entertained. Do this well, and you’ll keep your next post from being your blog’s obituary.