I was talking with a friend this week who started asking me about my blogging habits. She was wondering how I create new content almost every day, and how I can stay with it month after month. Do I really have that much to say, or am I just filling up my site with content?
I’ve been to a lot of sites that simply fill up their blog with content, and really don’t care what they put in each post. They focus in on keywords, and add the content just to have something there.
I take a different approach. If I don’t have something to say, I skip a day.
Yep, there are always days when I wake up, search the ‘net, and can’t think of a thing to write about. Or I’m out of the office, traveling, or focusing on something else, and I simply don’t get to my writing for the day. That leads me to my first tip.
Tip #1 Make Your Content Valuable
I’ve been listening to a variety of training seminars over the past few weeks. And one of the teleseminars I listened to talked about a new approach to getting content in the system. Instead of choosing one niche and focusing on creating valuable content, his approach was to blast it out. Find dozens of niches, with hundreds of keywords. Create a little bit of content on each and throw it out there to see what sticks. Then choose those that have the most potential to focus in and create more valuable content.
It sounds like a great strategy. But what I can’t agree with is the cluttering up of sites with content that basically “sucks”. If something has my name on it, it has to be quality. Otherwise its not worth writing at all.
I suggest you take that same philosophy with what you do. With everything you write, everything you create, is it strong enough that you will be proud to have your name on it? If not, rethink it. If you don’t think you’ll be proud of the same content five years from now, don’t do it at all.
Tip #2 Tell People What You Want Them To Do
One of the biggest mistakes people make online is assuming they will know what to do once they get to your site.
Yet if your site is filled with content, and then enter on one of your blog pages they read on Facebook, will they truly know what to do next once they are finished reading?
You can instruct them with simple sentences at the end of your posts: “If you enjoyed this post on wedding photography, please view our packages and then give us a call.” This goes a long way. You’re not selling throughout the post, but you are offering a helpful tip at the end, linking over to more information they may find useful.
Tip #3 Keep Your Contact Information Above The Fold
I’ve been to many photographers sites, and noticed that a great majority of them hide their contact information. Why? What are they scared of? The whole idea of building a website is to attract potential customers. If they can’t connect with you, or you make it difficult, you are potentially telling your potential customers to go away.
Why not put your phone number in your header? Or create a box in the sidebar that makes it easy to connect with you? You can use forms, give out your email and phone numbers, even use live chat services that make you available with a click of a button.
If your contact information resides at the top – no scrolling to find it – and is on every page, they can easily connect with you when they have that lightbulb moment, and they know they need to connect with you.
Tip #4 Understand Your Purpose and How You Will Make Money
If you write about a lot of different things without thinking how they will link back to your products or services, you’re missing the point.
While you should never write content for the sole purpose of selling, you have to give quality information that leads people to the sale. You can’t use old world marketing – Buy this now – and expect people to do anything but tune you out. But if you create a post that is filled with images from your latest wedding, engagement, or family portrait, and you show your passion for what you do, that will come across. People see themselves in what you do, and want the same thing.
We posted hundreds of images on our site from every wedding we took. And if we had a favorite wedding, we highlighted it and used it as examples/samples. We had one bride come in and love our sample so much, she found them on our site and used them to plan her wedding. While they ended up using a different reception site, much of the wedding duplicated our sample. The bride wore the same dress, the colors were the same, and even the flower combinations resembled our sample. She saw what we did, and loved it so much she couldn’t live without it herself.
Tip #5 Promote Your Site, Not Social Sites
Yep, this one will probably cause a reaction from some people. But social sites are owned by the social site. They are free to you, but controlled by the owners of the social site. If they decide to make a change, they don’t consult you on how it will impact your business; they just make the change. And if you have any doubts, let me ask you if Facebook today is still working the same way it did a couple of months ago. I know Facebook has changed several of its functions, which means its even harder for businesses to gain traction within Facebook.
If you control your blog, use it to grow and gain traffic to it continually, you will find success overall.
Free is great for awhile, but it will always hurt you in the end. The only way to succeed in business is by taking 100 percent control over your marketing, your sales process, and using it to grow over time.