Every blog is either a business or a hobby. Most bloggers, even hobbyists, would like their blog to become more successful financially. Yet, most blogs sit in the cyber-atmosphere. It’s easier to get spiders to crawl into your shoes. If only blogs could move as quickly as you just checked your shoes. A critical flaw for most blogs is they are not specific in their purpose.
Take a moment to think about why you started blogging. Was it because you had an existing business and wanted to build a bigger digital footprint? Were you a stay-at-home mom looking to connect and share with other moms? Do you just enjoy writing?
Marketing Basics: Sell What Customers Need and Want
Every marketing and sales guru will tell you that successful marketing campaigns solve a customer’s problem or desire. It takes a look at what the customer’s intention is and goes from there. But it goes beyond that, it goes to the customer’s emotional state. This is important because the customers buy on emotion and justify it later with logic.
This was a sales truth I was taught by my mentor very early in my financial services career. It boils down to triggering an emotional need within someone. For example, someone could have a real need such as wanting to keep a newborn safe from the family dog. That is real and tangible but what is the trigger – the fear of cuddly Fido mauling a 2-week old because a little milk wasn’t cleaned off her face.
I’m a mom. Trust me, not all of us have the same fears but they usually are derived from some teenage horror film concept. So that is a real need based on a, perhaps inflated, triggering fear (emotion).
Is There a Pain Point
But what about the person who just wants to buy that new pair of kicks. Paying $450 for a pair of shoes he’s afraid to get dirty isn’t exactly solving a real-life need, is it? (Here’s my $40,000 bachelors of psychology degree finally being used for something but backed by Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD in Psychology Today– yes her degree is much better than mine.) Our limbic system is essentially our survival brain and when we perceive worry, it makes it real.
That’s really parsed down but you didn’t want a psych lesson, I’m sure. But what is means is Kid Captivate who wants his $450 kicks might be afraid of the ridicule he’ll get at school if he isn’t the cool kid or fitting in. It’s not life or death in reality, but it feels that way. On the other end of the emotional spectrum is the feeling of pride – you know, that ego is pretty strong in us.
All that to say, when you offer someone something that is based on an emotional need or want, you are more likely to close the sale.
How Google (And Really Online Users) View Your Blog
Google and every other search engine have one job – and it isn’t to make your blog famous. Not unless it warrants it. The job of a search engine to provide relevant information as requested. As more and more information has cluttered the World Wide Web, the search engines have adapted how they rate information.
Think of it this way. A grocery store will put the most common items in your site either by utilizing end-cap displays, putting popular items on middle shelves and making them accessible via end aisles. How can Google accomplish the same thing?
It takes what it sees its clients looking for through keyword searches. It then goes through the information it already has and everything else is added to rate what will help its customer base get the information it wants. If you Googled, “how to make apple pie,” and was given only results pertaining to growing apples in Seattle during months without the letter R in them, well you might not feel like you got the result you wanted.
Being somewhat pertinent is not the same as being relevant.
Becoming Relevant with Your Blog
Relevant is a big term that is used all day long by internet experts. Why? Because pertinent means you hit a few of the general concepts but really missed the mark in delivering the goods. Being relevant means you heard what the customer wanted and you gave them that. People don’t walk into a candy store looking for fruit.
Is your Sweet Tooth blog forcing fruit on the candy addict?
If it is, you need to rethink what you are selling and why? That isn’t to say that the fruit won’t sell. But if you don’t know what you are selling and why, you’ll miss the mark on finding your target audience.
Start with what: I sell fruit recipes. (Even if you aren’t selling fruit recipes per se, if your site is about fruit recipes, that’s what Google sees you selling.
Define why: Because people don’t realize the flavors are just as dynamic as candies without all the negative health benefits.
Build your who: This is the client profile, also called an avatar. We’ll really get into this a bit later.
A Who, The Why and A Niche
All three walk into a bar … oh, wait that’s why the standup comedy career failed. But there is a punchline to my bad joke and it’s you laughing all the way to your PayPal login (I know, PayPal is so 2011).
Once again, every online marketer will tell you to niche down like battening the hatches on a yacht in a hurricane. Close that concept down to essentials. Why?
- It makes it easier for your tribe to find you.
- You can focus on one thing, do it well, prove it well and then expand.
I already know what pushback you are giving me in your head. Yes, I can hear that internal dialogue explaining why your mom blog needs to cover breastfeeding, kindergarten applications, mom shaming, meals, recipes, daily planners, fitting first shoe ….
Shush. I already had that conversation with myself at least once starting back in 2011 while logging into PayPal.
Examples from My Own Brand Development
Enter into the conversation three blogs that are being started in this challenge:
Safer Family Alliance
Safer Family Pets
Single Mommy Tribe
I could argue that each one of these is a family blog that covers important things on home life. They are all three relevant to my personal life. Two have relevance to my former career as a State Farm Agent. Kim’s Crazy Life, while a fun name for a sitcom they will surely one day write about me, it’s doesn’t brand anything to a target audience.
Safer Family Alliance: created as a community program I did as a life insurance agent to promote infant CPR, first aid, and emergency planning (particularly earthquake kits). A site was built and some stuff thrown up there and then moved to Hawaii. Its purpose now: to help families develop knowledge and skills to save their own lives. Parents saving kids, kids doing their part and people reducing the need to experience real loss. What it sells: safety kits, car seats and other items that are helpful in keeping your family safe.
Safer Family Pets: created as the furbaby equivalent of Safer Family Alliance. It happened as I began to teach Pet CPR and first aid at a local animal shelter. Again, site was made, the dropship suppliers were wonky and I had no desire to sell crap to people in the name of safety and I just couldn’t vouge for the products. And I moved to Hawaii so it sat. Its purpose now: educate pet owners on health and safety issues, become a bridge for animal shelters, pet owners missing dogs and adoptions and a way to help fund animal shelters with through the sale of pet goods. What it sells: pet goods, safety and training items as well as the cute stuff too.
Single Mommy Tribe: This one gets personal which is why it is a challenge. The website’s purpose has evolved. It is an entry point for single moms to find their way to a closed support group I manage. It is evolving to host the sale of my book as well as the education center for coaching programs to help single moms develop priorities, set new goals and even apply for a paid mentorship with my content marketing company. Essentially, I want to teach others to do what I do and then hire them – it’s a pay it forward thing. It will also sell some fun mom gear, ‘cause moms love mom gear.
Tying it All Together
Each and every one of those could have been a topic in a blog on the same site. In fact, many of the topics may overlap as I develop content.
If you remember ONE THING about the niche: consumers need to know your brand. Your brand can talk about a lot of things. It can rank for keywords on issues not quite relevant but pertinent to your brand. Meaning, I can still talk about car seat safety in a blog on Single Mommy Tribe but I’m still targeting my audience in a very specific way.
Target your audience based on their perspective. That is how you get people in and keep them coming back for more.