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How to Engage Your Audience Online Audience with a Blog
You work hard to grow your business. You are ready for more coaching clients.
You’ve heard to promote your business in today’s marketplace you need to blog. But will this so called blog really attract you more clients?
And do you REALLY need to do it?
You’re busy. You don’t need another B.S. administrative task.
I know where you are coming from, I wear the many hats of an entrepreneur too. I know how busy you are. I have been there.
There is an efficient and easy way to make your blog a customer attracting machine.
Let’s start with why you need to blog
You need to blog to reach your ideal customers, you know the ones you LOVE to coach; that love to buy from you; that have money to spend on you without hassle.
Where are all these ideal customers? They are looking for YOU online.
FACT: 81% of buyers do research online before making a purchase?
FACT: Websites with blogs are more likely to be found on online searches.
Why? More pages of quality content are on all those blog pages. Content that is dripping with the answers, the advice and the products buyers need.
It is your job to tell them how you can solve their problems.
FACT: Customers buy from people they like. Your blog will let customers get to know you and like you – bumping up your chance to make the sale.
FACT: Most buyers will not buy from you on their first website visit. They are on cruise mode, comparing you to all the others. By telling your story, giving them the “why” behind your business (and great answers to questions they have to boot) you are becoming memorable. Likable. And they will be back.
By understanding your audience, delivering the content they need, and telling them your story, your business will rise to the top of their mind.
I have three setps to get you started, get organized and feel comfortable and confident to start to blog now.
STEP ONE: Ask Your Audience Questions
A great way to engage your audience is to ask questions in your content. A direct question addressed to the reader gets them thinking and encourages them to respond. If done skillfully, you can turn every post into a lively conversation, which gives you a great deal of opportunity to interact with your audience.
But what kinds of questions should you ask? Here are some ideas.
Ask for opinions.
Ask your social media contacts for their opinion on a controversial issue. You can take a recent news item or some issue where there are differing opinions in your industry (for example, whether or not you should use a certain type of cleaning product).
Ask how customers overcome common problems.
Take a common problem that your readers face and ask them how they overcome the problem. For example, if your audience consists of bloggers, ask them how they drive traffic to their site or how they design their blog for best readability.
Ask how you’re doing.
You can use social media and your blog as a means of gathering feedback. Ask your customers how you’re doing. Is your content helpful? What would they like to see more of? Did your product solve their problem? What could you do to improve your content, service, or products?
Ask your readers, “Did you know?”
A good way to share a curious or little-known fact with your audience is to pose it as a question. Ask them whether or not they knew about this and what is their opinion of it? This can spark a discussion based around the topic.
Ask for favorites.
A great conversation starter is to ask your readers what is their favorite of something. For example, you might ask your blogger audience, “What’s your favorite plug-in?” Each person will state their favorite, but many will give reasons why and this can lead to discussions and disagreements.
Ask about experiences. Ask your audience about a past experience that stands out in their memory. Choose a specific topic. Ask for a major achievement or a hard lesson your readers learned.
As a general rule, ask open-ended questions rather than yes-no questions. If you ask a yes or no question, you’ll end up with many people simply replying “yes” or “no.”
Open-ended questions lead your readers to discuss at length and get more deeply into the topic. You can use surveys and polls for gathering data through yes-no questions.
STEP TWO: Create Eye-Catching Titles for Your Blog
The title of your blog post can make or break the visibility of your content. People skim on the internet and if your title doesn’t catch their attention, they’ll pass it by. Here are some guidelines for creating curiosity-inducing titles for your posts.
Make It Catchy
The number one rule is to make your titles catchy. This is what’s going to hook a potential reader and get them to click. Make it unique and striking. Look at other blog post titles and find ways to make yours stand out.
Wherever possible, make your title very specific and targeted. Use numbers when appropriate. If you have a blog post that offers 8 tips for how to organize your workspace, call it something like “8 Tips to Get Your Workspace Organized Once and For All.”
Consider Word Choice
Try not to overuse the same words in your titles. Use a dictionary to find synonyms to mix it up. Choose words for their emotional impact.
Although you want to make bold claims with your title, make sure that your blog delivers. Don’t write deceptive titles just to get clicks. This is called clickbait and it won’t gain you readers. In fact, it will hurt your SEO as readers will quickly leave your blog and go somewhere else.
Try to write headlines that will catch the attention of the search engines. Choose a keyword or two related to the article that have a high search volume and put it near the beginning of the title. Keywords are not as important today, but if you choose a good one and use it naturally, it will bring you some traffic.
Research the Competition
To get ideas for your titles, look at the titles other bloggers use. You can do this by searching keywords relevant to your post and examining how other bloggers create titles based on them.
The content that ranks highest in the search engines can be assumed to be the most popular, so those title formats and lengths are something to consider.
Don’t stress over the title at first. Create a working title that you know you can change later. Many writers start with the title since it’s so important, but as you write, you may find yourself going in a different direction or you may get a better idea for the title. A great way to come up with a winning title is to create five or ten initially, and then narrow it down to the one that best meets the above criteria.
STEP THREE: Create a Schedule and Stick to it
Consistency is essential when running a top-notch blog and there are many ways to successfully manage your blogging schedule. Every writer is different and each of us has his or her own flow.
Here is a 4-step process that many use which involves the best practice of goal setting to keep you on track: setting goals and working backwards.
Create a publishing schedule
Start by deciding how often and when you will publish. A very general guideline is to publish a post weekly. If you can keep up the schedule, you can choose to publish bi-weekly as well.
Once you start publishing regularly, review your metrics to see what posting schedule works best, but for now, choose something that works for you.
Set Specific Dates for Specific Posts
If you already have an idea list, assign a specific date to each. This is a provisional schedule and you can switch posts to different dates if you feel the urge to. For now, it’s good to just have a schedule you can work with.
Identify the Steps
Identify the steps that are necessary for a single piece of content. You may be able to sit down and dash off excellent blog posts on the day they’re to be published. On the other hand, you may decide to write all of your posts at once in one busy afternoon to make posting easier.
Examples of steps might be:
➢ Planning and research
➢ Rough draft writing
You may find that it’s best to plan and outline one day, write the next, and edit and post on the third day. Decide what works best for you and if you’re not sure, decide on something and then see how it goes. You can adjust your steps later.
Put the Steps on Your Calendar
Finally, assign a specific date or time to each step. Work backwards from the publishing day and put each step on your calendar.
For example, if you have just the three steps of planning, writing, and editing, your publishing schedule might look something like this:
• Friday morning: Edit post and publish
• Thursday morning: Write post
• Wednesday: Create outline
With each step entered consistently on your calendar, you’ll have a good blogging schedule where you never feel rushed and there’s plenty of time to give each step the attention it deserves, and publish on schedule.
Following this three step method will get your website in front of more of the clients you want to coach.
Give it a little time and effort to get rolling, it isn’t going to be an overnight success. And don’t forget to share each and every blog post on all of your social media channels, in groups you are a part of and to your email list.
Invite them to interact with your blog and you will start to build a community of raving fans and would be clients.
About Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, and coaches bridge the gaps, with no BS techniques, to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Her formula for success includes Mindset first, Skills second followed by Systemization to keep you rolling toward your goals in life and business.
Marketing + Digital Strategist, Business Coach, CEO, Designer, Army Veteran, Author, Speaker + Health Coach
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