If your blog fails to attract new clients, there’s a chance you’re publishing the wrong kind of content.
The kind of content you should publish is the kind of content that answers people’s questions. It shouldn’t be about what goes on inside your business (unless it helps people with their business).
People don’t care about that kind of stuff. At least not in the ‘getting-to-know-you’ stage.
All they care about is finding answers to their questions.
It may be a bitter pill to swallow but it’s the truth.
How to turn this to your advantage
Let me explain why you should create content for people looking for information.
Think about your own searching habits for a second. What do you do when you want to know something?
You hop over to Google (or another search engine) and search for whatever it is you want to know. You might scour the results to choose which page best answers your query. Or you might click on the top result.
Either way, you’re on a website or a blog and you’re scanning the page to find the answer.
In a matter of seconds, you’ve gone from a thought to Google to answer.
So, if you’re doing. And I’m doing it. It stands to reason that your ideal clients are doing it too.
Getting in front of those people
This is where the importance of creating relevant content comes into the equation.
If you get your content onto the first page of Google, you stand a chance of drawing those people over to your site.
It gives them the chance to get to know you, to like you and to start building trust.
You do this by providing valuable information in whatever format works for you (and them). Blog posts and articles are an ideal starting point, but you can use many formats. You could even convert an existing blog or article into a video, a PDF, a printable or infographic.
Now, if you haven’t created content that answers people’s questions, you won’t show up in the search results. Instead, all those searchers end up at your competitors’ websites.
This might sound like it’s not worth worrying about. But if you knew hundreds or thousands of people search for your services every day, you might change your mind.
What I’m talking about here, in case you haven’t guessed, is content marketing.
Proof content marketing works
Back in 2009, Marcus was running a swimming pool company with two friends. It was on the brink of going bust due to the global economic downturn and a lack of a meaningful web presence. He turned to what we today call ‘content marketing’ and started creating content he could publish on the company website.
For inspiration, he used every pre-sale question people asked before buying a new swimming pool. In the articles and videos he created, he answered every question in great detail.
Many of the articles started showing up on the first page of Google. This resulted in thousands of visitors every day.
The detailed and openness of the content helped potential customers to build trust in the company. Nobody else at that time was so honest about cost, features and the potential problems that could arise from buying a swimming pool.
Instead of avoiding sensitive topics, Marcus openly wrote about them. Allowing customers to weigh up the pros and cons of their situation before making the best decision for them.
Because of his attention to detail and brutal honesty, anybody who called the company to book an appointment with a sales agent didn’t take much convincing to sign on the dotted line. Most of the time, they already knew they wanted to buy. It was just a matter of working out the right price and fine details.
Marcus’s hard work turned around the fortunes of the company and it’s still in business today.
All because of high-quality and honest content that answers people’s questions.
Let’s look at how you can transfer this approach to your business.
Brainstorming content ideas
If you’ve been in business for a decent amount of time, you’ll already have plenty of ideas tucked away in your head. You just have to get them out in the open.
Start by thinking of the most obvious questions your ideal clients ask.
Here are a few examples of articles I could create to generate traffic and attract clients.
- How much does it cost to build a website?
- How much does it cost to buy a domain name?
- How much does it cost to rank a website in Google?
- How do I start a blog?
- How do I get more traffic from Google?
- How do I get more clients for my business?
- Which is the best website building software?
- Which is the best web hosting company for a small business website?
- How do I get started in freelance writing?
- How do I get started in web design?
- How do I start an online business?
- My website won’t show up in Google, what can I do?
- My website isn’t mobile responsive, what can I do?
- What is WordPress?
- What is blogging?
- What is SEO?
As you can see, in a matter of minutes, I’ve noted down ideas for sixteen articles. And that’s just for starters. Once you start writing down ideas you’ll find more will follow. You’ll also find more ideas as you start writing the articles and blog posts.
I have a client who runs a fitness boot camp in Manchester.
We’ve brainstormed ideas for a content plan before, but he gets plenty of business from referrals, Facebook advertising and organic traffic so he’s never bothered going down the content creation route.
If he ever does, we’d create articles that answer questions relating directly to his business, and fitness in general.
Here are a few examples:
- What is a fitness boot camp?
- Which is the best fitness boot camp in Manchester?
- What should I wear to a fitness boot camp?
- What kind of exercises do you do at a boot camp?
- What happens at fitness boot camp?
How long should I exercise for?
- What should I eat before a fitness boot camp?
- What should I eat after working out?
- How do I stay energised after working out?
- What’s the best way to lose weight after 40?
- How do I lose weight after having a baby?
- I can’t lose weight, what should I do?
- How do I become a fitness trainer?
- How much water should I drink every day?
- What are the best foods for providing energy?
- Simple recipes for healthy meals
I realise most of the people searching for these phrases might never become a client or attend one of Dom’s boot camps. A lot of the people reading the articles might actually live in other parts of the country (or world). But by creating this content and attracting visitors who stick around and read the articles, Dom’s building up the authority of his website.
He’ll attract links, comments and shares on social media. In time, all of this attention will likely improve his rankings for the main phrases people use to find his classes: “fitness boot camp manchester”, for example.
All because he took the time to sit down and create content that answers people’s questions.
It might take a long time to do the initial work, but if done well, it will pay dividends over and over again, for many years to come, just like it’s done for Marcus Sheridan and his swimming pool company.
Could it work for you too? Of course, it could. However, it’s not on an overnight solution. You definitely have to look at this as an ongoing long-term solution.