You’re sitting at your desk pounding out a list of possible blog topics. You feel pretty good about the ideas you’ve put together and are ready to plug them into your editorial calendar. Not so fast.
Before you type word one, there are some important questions you have to ask yourself. First, who cares about this post? Second, why should they care?
Audience is the single most important thing to determine. No matter what your blog topic, you probably have multiple audiences. Here at Roundpeg, we’re writing for prospective customers who don’t know a great deal about marketing, web design or social media, but we’re also writing for those with more knowledge to position ourselves as [experts, leaders, whatever term doesn’t make your eye twitch] in the field. As long as a blog post serves the needs of one of those two groups, we’re in good shape. Of course, we might then subdivide further by speaking just to HVAC customers or just to fellow marketers in Indiana. You can get as specific as you like, as long as there’s someone out there you have in mind as you’re writing.
Great. You know who you’re writing to. But do they actually care about the information you’re presenting? Ask yourself, is your content:
- New information to my target audience?
- Presented in a way that’s particular to my brand instead of echoing what everyone else is doing?
- Actionable or thought-provoking?
- An article I would read if I didn’t write it?
- Information my audience can’t readily find elsewhere?
If you said “no” on two or more of these questions is no, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. You might be able to tweak your idea, adding a bit more meat onto its bones until it meets all these criteria. If you still can’t make anyone care, it’s time to move onto your next idea and tweak it until it’s just right.
People tell you it’s important to put out content, which is true. But it is more important to put out good content. Churning out dull, useless stuff isn’t going to gain you a single new customer or make you a thought leader in anyone’s mind. But that’s okay: if you can pass the two-step sniff test, chances are you’re well on your way to creating great content already. Just tighten things up, ask yourself the tough questions, then get writing. All the rest will shake out.
photo credit: seanmcgrath via photopin cc