You're thinking of starting a blog or podcast but you’re wondering how to ensure its success. No one wants to spend the time and energy creating content for a blog, a podcast, a video or social media posts for that matter if it’s not going to be successful. So how do you start producing content and ensure they are successful?
FIRST THINGS FIRST. LET’S LOOK AT THE WHY.
Why do you want to start a blog? Why would you start a podcast? Some are in it for the money. They want advertisers and sales of products from their blog, videos or podcasts. Some want to show potential customers their industry knowledge or authority. While still others create content because they want to leave a mark. They want their family members, for generations, to read their stories or hear their experiences. You need to understand your own WHY before you begin and keep that in the forefront of your content creation journey to stay focused and not be swayed by either shiny objects or other people telling you all the other things you should be doing.
WHAT IS SUCCESS FOR A BLOG OR PODCAST?
This question is hard to answer because it depends on why you are starting the blog or podcast in the first place.
Your consumers are online. I don’t care what industry you are in, people use Google, SIRI, Alexa, Facebook, and everywhere else to get their questions answered. “Google, how often should I drain the water out of my swimming pool” “SIRI where is the best place to find flowers for my mom?” “Google, what is the difference between social media marketing and content marketing?” People have questions and thankfully, most of the time, Google (and other search engines) has the answers.
If your business is producing (or creating) content to answer the questions your customers are searching for, it is likely that they will find you online. Now the question is, do you want 10,000 people to read your blog and leave riveting comments or do you want 100 people to find your content and 50 of them want to do business with you? Which blog is more successful?
One person wants a blog that is reaching millions, so she can attract sponsors or advertisers. Another blogger might want to share his story of adoption to encourage another family struggling with the same situation. These two bloggers are measuring success very differently.
A friend of mine creates lots of fun and interesting video content sharing their family’s journey. The purpose was to let others see the personal side of his life while he has other videos that are all about business. If you are having fun creating the content, and you are getting better each time, isn’t that also a success? Of course, it is.
HOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS BLOG
I’m going to focus on a business blog because the ultimate goal is usually to attract new customers. When you are blogging for personal reasons or to encourage others, you will start differently.
For a business blog, start with the top FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) in your industry. What are those questions that you get asked over and over again? Don’t use industry jargon that only you use. Write the questions the way your customers would type them into Google or speak them into SIRI (even though she wouldn’t understand them).
Now, take each question and write a blog post to answer them. Then turn on that video recorder and create a short video answering the same questions. Now flip the switch on your podcast recorder and do the same. Do you see how that will help you get found? You could be blogging, podcasting, and creating video content on the same topics and they might be found by different people searching in different places. [Read: How to become KNOWN]
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO WRITE ON MY BLOG?
Google loves fresh content as much as I love a fresh cupcake! You can’t create these answers once and stop creating content. If you are a binge content creator, it will not be as effective as if you created weekly or even monthly content over a longer period of time. Today’s search engines want to know that you are in it for the long haul and they want to see that you have more than one small articles on a website about a topic. The more content you have answering these types of questions, the more they see you as a reliable resource.
Continue to create different versions of your answers. Create social media posts that ask the question and link to your blog, podcast or video. Add to your original content when you learn new information or have updates for it. Link from one blog post to your video or vice-versa. This starts creating a great web of content that shows your authority on the topics.
HOW DO I GET PEOPLE TO FIND MY BLOG CONTENT?
Once you have created your answers to the most asked questions, now you want people to find it. I’m going to give you the simple overview here:
- Tell others about it—email and social media
- Make sure you have “optimized it” –SEO elements on your blog content
- Tell others about it … again –Repeat all or part of step one.
Most people subscribe to Kevin Costner’s philosophy, in Field of Dreams. That is they believe, “If you write it they will come.” That sadly is not the case. With almost 2 BILLION websites online as of 2018 (according to Internet live stats), and an estimated 152 million blogs (this number is hard to track since Tumblr has stats on this and some websites have blogs that are not always formatted or seen as a blog.) There’s just a whole lot of content out there.
If you want people to find and subscribe to your blog, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others will certainly help, but you have to tell others about it.
Let your email subscribers know about each new post. Get the word out on social each time you hit publish and then next week do it again, both with new content and reminding them of your older content. [Read more on HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BLOG]
Watch this and PLAN TO BE FINDABLE BEFORE YOU WRITE
WHAT ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL BLOG, VIDEO OR FUN PODCAST?
So what about that personal content you want to write or create just to share stories and inspiration? Does it matter how many people read it? Not really. Sure, our ego wants the views. Our ego wants to have people share comments on how our writing has impacted them, but if we are creating this content to share from our heart, someone will be impacted even if they don’t stick around to tell us.
I write here for business and then a few years back I started a personal blog (Gina Unplugged), just to have a place to share stories that I want to pass down to my family. I was delighted to hear from people who said they loved one of my stories or they related to something I wrote, but I don’t do anything to optimize these posts and promote them very lightly on social media.
We can’t get great until we get started and the more we write, the better we get. The more we record ourselves on audio for podcasts or on video, the better and more comfortable we get behind the mic and camera.
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
If you are ready to create content for your business, don’t wait another week. Start writing, start recording and get your business found. If you are just getting started or still feeling a bit intimidated, start that personal blog or YouTube channel just to get those ideas and thoughts out of your head.
For more tips and tools check out our 15-Day Blog Challenge in the DIYsocial community.
If you're ready to be more strategic with your blog posts, download our BLOG PLANNER to plan your blog topics and SEO elements before you begin writing.