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Moral? When you build your brand blog as a “magazine publisher” would, make sure to include “helpful information” in every blog post.
Have you ever considered your blog posts as separate gateways into your brand space? Very few marketers do. They see their web home page as the main gateway from which visitors may enter.
But hear this: every single blog post, indexed and ranked by Google, acts as one more gateway into your website. Over time, as you do more keyword research and create more blog posts, you will generate more and more ways through which people can enter your brand site. You will beckon traffic from many different angles.
What’s the achievement you will gain for your brand from this? For starters, you will draw in people of varied interests and pain points that your brand can solve. The more pain points you can identify that your brand can solve, the more your brand value to your various audience segments grows.
Secondly, and more importantly, when you ensure that every one of your blog posts has substantial topic depth and breadth and measurable brand authority to engage readers, you will encourage them to share your post because it’s rich with value. You will thus create opportunities for more new readers’ to enter your site through that gateway. Further, if you create varied social posts linking back to each of your blog posts, you will create even more gateways into your brand space.
1. Plan ahead: One of the most effective ways to blog more quickly is to plan ahead and create a schedule for yourself. This will help you stay organized and focused and will allow you to work more efficiently. If convenient, every weekend, plan and research for the posts to be completed that coming week.
2. Use a template: Creating a template for your blog posts can help you save time by allowing you to reuse common elements, such as headings and formatting. This can help you write faster and more consistently. You can use a template from an expert (plenty abound online) or create a unique one of your own.
3. Write in chunks: Instead of writing a complete blog post in one sitting, consider breaking your writing into smaller chunks. This can help you stay focused and avoid burnout. I write one of the main points of my article and then take a 5-minute break before the next one. It shifts the mind to the new point.
4. Use a writing tool: Many AI writing tools are now available to help you write faster and more efficiently. Don’t use them verbatim; infuse your personality into the ideas the tools offer. Another great way to speed up writing is to dictate your articles into your computer and edit them. (More about this below.)
5. Edit as you go: It’s often easier to edit as you go rather than trying to fix everything at the end. This can help you spot mistakes and make improvements as you write, saving you time in the long run. Try using Grammarly for the desktop. It spots errors on the go and suggests changes to make with a click.
6. Take breaks: Finally, be sure to take breaks as needed. It’s important to give yourself time to rest and recharge so that you can maintain your focus and productivity. I use the Pomodoro Timer (a simple tomato-shaped kitchen timer) to set work periods and break periods in between. Learn more about this tool!
I first realized the power of dictating a blog when I learned an SEO course from Jon Morrow, a copywriting guru, but unfortunately paralyzed from the neck down. Yet he has written millions of words as ebooks and articles just by voice typing! Researching this idea further (to get more speed into my blogging), I came across this outstanding video below from Steve Dotto of DottoTech.
Watch the whole video (it’s pretty short but engaging) and learn how to get blogs done at 10X speed!
When you write content for the rest of your website pages, you do have to keep your target audience in mind, as you explain to them about your business, your mission, your products, your other resources, and your contact information.
But your website copy may not require as deep an insight into your target audiences as writing a whole spate of brand-supportive blog posts may require. Blog posts work best when they are aids to solving customer problems. To solve customer problems, you have to know their psychology intimately.
Starting a brand blog thus forces you to acquire a far more intense understanding of your target audiences, their many segments, and their interests and needs. Brand blogs that succeed in generating a lot of traffic are the ones that reflect a profound knowledge of audiences’ tastes, preferences, emotions, triggers, and buying behaviors.
With every new blog post your brand creates, you get a fresh perspective or insight about your audience, depending on the topic of the blog post and the angle of approach you plan to take. This is why brands that blog a lot have a constant finger on the pulse of their audiences − and they grow to know more and more about what makes their audiences tick.
1. Conduct market research: One way to gain insights into audience psychology is to conduct market research. This can involve surveying your target audience, conducting focus groups, or gathering data through analytics tools. This can help you understand your audience’s motivations, preferences, and behaviors.
2. Analyze customer behavior: Another way to gain insights into audience psychology is to analyze customer behavior. Study how your audience interacts with your products or services or track their online behavior. Understand how your audience behaves to better tailor your messaging and marketing.
3. Use social media listening: Social media platforms offer a wealth of information about your audience. By using social media listening tools, you can monitor what people are saying about your brand, products, or services and gain insights into their thoughts, feelings, and motivations.
4. Utilize customer feedback: Asking your customers for their feedback can provide valuable insights into their psychology. Gathering customer feedback can help you understand what they like and dislike about your offerings and identify areas for improvement. Ask for “actionable feedback” beyond opinions.
5. Conduct A/B testing: A/B testing allows you to test different versions of a marketing message or campaign to see which performs best. By comparing the results of different versions, you can gain insights into what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. Keep using A/B testing as a continuously running policy.
6. Understand the context: It’s important to consider the context in which your audience is receiving your messaging. This includes understanding the environment in which they are consuming your content, as well as their state of mind and emotional state. Also, note the devices which they seem to use more.
We have mentioned in our article (above) that customer surveys are a great way to get audience insights. But here’s the fact researchers rue: you need to understand customer psychology even to send out surveys that get the truth from them! The video below from Qualaroo teaches you how to structure and handle surveys to get the most from your audience research …
Watch this video because researchers have their own way of getting customers to tell the truth during surveys. You absolutely need to learn their techniques!
Most entrepreneurs these days understand that blogging is unbeatable as a tactic to increase brand visibility and authority. Unlike a short social post, a blog gives you plenty of room to include words and images that showcase your thought leadership and domain expertise in your niche.
Some marketers think, “Why should my blog posts be so long − and why does Google value such long posts − when readers’ attention spans are so poor, and they hardly read? They skim through posts!” The answer is that even if readers don’t read everything you write, they get the gist from your headlines and sub-headings. But the very presence of so many words of quality content suggests to them that your brand has a lot to say for itself.
Content depth in blog posts is reassuring to readers as a criterion for judging your brand’s knowledge and mastery of its domain. When you thus showcase your brand’s “expert status,” you build trust.
Trust is what begets sales in the online world. In the WebSphere, we are all strangers to each other, and every brand big or small is on a level playing field. Whatever your brand size, to succeed you need visibility, credibility, and trust. That’s the only way any brand can hope to generate sales.
1. Reputation: Reputation is the general opinion, respect, admiration, or trust a person or entity has earned. For a brand, reputation can significantly affect its credibility and trust. A brand with a positive reputation is more likely to be trusted by customers. Reputation is built over time, so consistency is the key.
2. Professionalism: A professional image, including a well-designed website and high-quality marketing materials, can help build customer trust and credibility. Professionalism also comes from keeping your word to your customers. Do what you promise and refrain from ever reneging on commitments.
3. Transparency: Being transparent and honest with your customers can help build trust and credibility. This includes being open and transparent about your business practices and being responsive to customer inquiries and concerns. Never let your brand pretend to be what it is not. Value what you are.
4. Expertise and authority: Establishing yourself as an expert or leader in your industry can help build credibility and trust with your audience. This can be achieved through consistently creating high-quality content, speaking at industry events, or collaborating with other experts in your field.
5. Social proof: Social proof, or the idea that people are more likely to trust a product or service if others have recommended it, can also affect the credibility and trust of your brand. This can be achieved through customer reviews, testimonials, and social media endorsements from respected influencers. These days influencer blogs on Instagram have immense word-of-mouth power.
6. Customer service and support: Providing excellent customer service and support can help build trust and credibility with your customers. This includes being empathetic and responsive to customer inquiries and concerns and offering helpful resources or support to address their needs.
I discovered this wonderful infographic below from Newsvoir.com that demonstrates how central brand visibility is to all other benefits of blogging – such as building authority, trust, and sales. The infographic shows how many simple ways there are to increase brand visibility, and many of these suggestions revolve around blogging and putting out quality content in various forms.
As the second point on this diagram illustrates, ensure consistency of content and post frequently!
Blogging is the exact opposite of advertising when it comes to brand marketing. In advertising, you push the brands into public view in a way your audiences cannot avoid seeing them. You hard sell the qualities of your brands, whether or not your audience is ready to hear all this spiel.
In this kind of “interruptive and intrusive” selling, you show no courtesy to the readiness of the target audience to receive your messages. This is why audiences online have been eager to enjoy “seller-less” self-paced product information gathering.
They’d rather have the seller disappear while they complete nearly 80% of their buying journeys − and may only want seller intervention should something go wrong in the ultimate choosing and buying.
Marketers who understand this behavior of online audiences know that they are subtly pushing back against the old method of unwanted advertising, pressurizing them to buy when they are not ready. Blogging is the best way to give your target audiences all the information they need, which they can consume in a self-paced way before they are prepared to buy. This is seen as genuine caring.
1. Focus on providing value to your readers rather than selling a product or service: This means providing helpful information, tips, or resources to help your readers solve a problem or learn something new. The best form of persuasion is to allow the self-education of the customer with adequate information.
2. Avoid using language that is too promotional or pushy: This includes using words like “buy,” “order,” or “purchase,” as well as phrases like “get this amazing deal now!” or “act fast to secure your spot!” Many potential customers can be lost at the first hint of pressurized selling. No business can afford that.
3. Use a more conversational tone in your writing: Instead of sounding like you’re trying to sell something, try to sound like you’re having a conversation with your reader. This can help build trust and make your content feel more authentic. Many experts say the best blogs must sound like personal tips to readers.
4. Include examples and case studies to illustrate your points: This can help your readers see how your product or service has helped others, which can be more persuasive than simply telling them about its features. In other words, let your actions speak louder than words. Let past work do the selling for you.
5. Use images and graphics to break up your text and make your content more visually appealing: This can help keep your readers engaged and make your content more enjoyable. A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. Images can achieve both – please the eye and hammer a point home.
6. Include calls to action, but make them subtle and relevant to your content: Rather than trying to sell your product or service hard, encourage your readers to take the next logical step, such as signing up for a newsletter or downloading a resource. Don’t push for action; nudge customers towards action for their benefit.
Quuu has a great infographic on five simple points to follow to avoid your blog being perceived as too pushy and un-classy. The Quuu philosophy: First, you must have something worth selling. Second, people love to buy, but they hate to be sold to. Third, standing out doesn’t mean shouting about how great you are. It’s the opposite.
The last point here works for me every time. Give away something free, and people will feel they have to reciprocate your gesture by giving you their business!
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Empathy is not just about being on a common wavelength with your customers. Genuine empathy is the ability to handle a multilevel synchronization of your psyche as a brand marketer with your potential customer’s mind.
Experts believe in three levels of empathy.
At its basic level, we have “cognitive empathy,” where we know how the other person (the customer) feels and what they might think. At the next level, we have “emotional empathy,” i.e., when we physically feel what customers feel, as though their emotions were contagious. The third level is “compassionate empathy,” where we can convey the idea that “we’re all connected” and reinforce the idea that we are trustworthy brands.
Brands must have the skills to exhibit all three levels of empathy to resonate with their customers. Remember, your customers are most reassured when your blog post matches their comfort level with the level of empathy your brand shows – no more and no less. Blogging helps marketers offer readers the exact level of empathy that matches their maturing familiarity with their audiences.
1. Use “you” language: When writing for your blog, try to use language that speaks directly to your reader. Using words like “you” and “your” can help create a sense of connection and make your content more relatable. Likewise, use a lot of “I” – to talk about your experiences. Not to show off but to share yourself.
2. Show understanding: Acknowledge that your readers may have different experiences or perspectives than you do. This can help create a sense of understanding and encourage them to engage with your content. In fact, if you can, applaud others for having thinking that may differ from you.
3. Be authentic: Be genuine and authentic in your writing. Don’t try to be someone you’re not or pretend to have all the answers. Being authentic will help build trust with your readers and make your content more relatable. Nothing is as off-putting as trying to sound like a smug and condescending Know-It-All.
4. Use inclusive language: Make sure to use inclusive and respectful language for all readers, regardless of their background or identity. These days you have to be extremely careful about using allusions to gender, ethnicity, or race in your writing, and inadvertently offending people. Remove every sign of bias.
5. Be understanding: Try to put yourself in your readers’ shoes and consider how they might feel as they read your content. This can help you craft messages that are more compassionate and empathetic. If readers were of your knowledge level, they wouldn’t need you. But that gives you the responsibility to level down to help them understand.
6. Offer solutions: If your readers are struggling with a problem or challenge, try to offer solutions or resources that can help them. This can show that you care about their well-being and are willing to help. There’s no harm (and all good) in pointing people to many sources of know-how other than yours.
Dr. Paul Ekman was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine and ranked fifteenth among the most influential psychologists of the 21st century. He is a person to listen to when you want to understand how to implement ideas like empathy, compassion, and understanding. He has a way of simplifying these heavy emotions into lay language.
Most people suffer from vague knowledge of what these words mean without being able to convert these into practices. So, watch!
It used to be said that converting buyers is hard unless you touch prospective customers at least 7 times. These days, with all the competition and surfeit of blog posts around us, it takes as many as 12 touches to convert customers – or so the experts say.
What it all boils down to, for a serious brand blogger, is that unless you make visiting your site a natural habit for customer prospects, it’s going to be tough to build enough trust in your brand. The more people return to your site to see and read your new blog posts and slowly increment their faith in you, you will not be able to generate the sales levels you desire.
How do you get more people to revisit your site and read more on your blog? With every blog post you write, build in a mechanism for people to want to subscribe to your mailing list … and then send them weekly follow-up emails or newsletters listing the attractions of the new posts on your blog.
Making your site a regular go-to resource, and creating a fresh crop of blog posts beckoning your captured mailing list subscribers every week, is a no-fail plan. I do it. I succeed with it. That’s why I recommend it.
1. Set specific goals and deadlines for your blog content: Having clear targets in mind can help motivate you to produce more content regularly. At the same time, if having deadlines pressurizes you and makes your quality go down, avoid setting too stiff goals or deadlines. You may end up producing more.
2. Make a realistic schedule for yourself and stick to it: Determine how much time you can realistically devote to blogging each day or week, and schedule that time into your calendar. Most amateur bloggers get overawed that others are doing 7 blog posts a week, but that kind of rat race should not be entered into.
3. Make use of productivity tools and techniques: There are many tools and techniques that can help you be more efficient and productive while writing, such as using a timer to stay on track, using a writing app to help you focus, or using templates to streamline the writing process. Use tools that help you.
4. Use prompts or ideas to help spark your creativity: If you’re struggling to develop new ideas for blog posts, try using prompts or brainstorming techniques to generate new ideas. In general, keep ideation time separate from writing time. Different parts of your brain work for ideation and writing.
5. Write in batches: Rather than writing a new blog post every day, try writing several posts at once and scheduling them to be published over several days or weeks. This can help reduce the pressure to come up with new ideas daily. It may also give you a variety of work to keep your mind fresh and active.
6. Seek out guest bloggers or collaborate with other writers: Inviting guest bloggers to contribute to your blog or collaborating with other writers can help increase the frequency of new content on your blog. This can also help bring in new perspectives and ideas, keeping your blog fresh and interesting for your readers.
You may have come across a YouTube Channel called Madeleine Blogs. It’s by the same Madeleine who owns the website CappuchinoAndFashion.com. Her claim to fame. Without AI tools, she can write 3000 words blog posts in 1 hour. Since we all know that the more new blogs you write, the more your online business succeeds, blogging at speed is a hack you need to have in your arsenal.
So, go ahead and watch Madeleine give you her tricks of the trade. I love some of the points she makes, and I have even implemented them to drive up my blogging speed.
There’s a secret that some brand bloggers know that others don’t. People love to mingle and congregate with others online to make friends.
The content you create can become the center of such community hubs where people of common interests can share ideas and woes and find solutions. If your blog has a vast archive of posts on a particular topic of interest to a target segment, people will come for the content but stay for the company.
Several brands have successfully built substantial fan bases by developing communities where people congregate for the topic − and then begin to enjoy the company of similar others so much that it’s hard to leave the group. To build a brand community, create a free membership scheme to which people can subscribe. It’s just a way to get them to feel like they’ve entered an exclusive portal where they can find excellent content and actively engaged people like themselves.
I would even go so far as to say blogging for your brand must include this “community-building goal.” Not only will your brand community become full of trust and bonding, but it may also give you loads of new ideas for blog posts and products you can create. It can become your brainstorming group. Trust and bonding go hand in hand with more significant sales.
1. Clearly define your brand values and mission: A strong sense of purpose can help attract and retain members who share similar values and goals. People like belonging to vital causes and feel proud of the communities they are part of … so make your mission sound like an attractive purpose to belong to.
2. Foster meaningful interactions and relationships: Encourage members to engage with each other, share ideas and experiences, and provide support and feedback. To have this kind of spontaneous engagement, you must first seed the community with information and questions. Slowly people will start responding.
3. Offer valuable content and resources: It’s one thing to get members to join your community but something else entirely to retain them there. Provide value to your community by sharing relevant and informative content, including industry news, tips and tricks, and exclusive offers. Give them something to cherish.
4. Encourage participation and feedback: Encourage members to share their experiences and insights and actively listen and respond to their feedback. Every community has its share of extroverts and introverts. Identify some extroverts to get discussions going with those who are shy to start conversations.
5. Foster a sense of belonging: Create a welcoming and inclusive environment that makes members feel like they are part of a community. Instead of merely having a Facebook or LinkedIn Group, have events like workshops, webinars, or group brainstorming to bring people together for collective activity.
6. Recognize and reward contributions: Show appreciation for the contributions of your community members by recognizing their efforts and offering rewards or incentives. This can help to foster a sense of accomplishment and encourage continued participation. Contests are great ideas too.
Brandata is a company dedicated to the concept of brand relationships. Part of that is building a brand community that can accelerate your brand growth. In this video below, Brandata asked themselves. “How do you build a brand community with real connection?” They got their answers via a chat with Danielle Letayf, founder of Badassery, a professional community for rising leaders.
Danielle has shared her thoughts which in turn should set you thinking. Check it out!
As we said at the outset, brand blogging has to identify the target audience’s pain points and offer helpful solutions. So, at the end of every blog post, it’s perfectly okay for a brand to subtly say, “We’ve given you many possible solutions, but if you still need help, our offering can give you a stronger and surer answer to your problem.”
Create a CTA (Call-To-Action) that includes a button people can click to set up a free Zoom chat or a telephonic one-to-one “no-obligations” conversation with you.
A blog post for a brand that does not end with a CTA leading to direct customer conversations is a huge opportunity wasted. At the same time, marketers must realize that people come to a blog post for information and helpful hints and may or may not choose to ask for your help. Just having a CTA at the bottom of your blog post is enough to tell them you are here if they need you.
Familiarity and kinship develop with every different blog post from your brand that they read subsequently. When they see your CTAs repeated at the end of every blog post, saying you can help solve the problem mentioned in the blog post, they get a feel of the depth of services or products you offer. And that’s how familiarity grows into a “Let me check this out!” kind of action.
1. Make the CTA actionable: Use action-oriented language such as “Sign up,” “Join now,” “Get your free trial,” or “Buy now.” Don’t beat around the bush. Get to the point directly because many people need direct and clear help to know what they can do next after reading your blog post. Make your CTA to the point.
2. Keep it simple: Avoid offering too many options like “Do this, or that, or else …you can try this too.” Also, avoid using too many words or complicated language in the CTA. The goal is to get the user to take action, not confuse them. Make it succinct if you have to use a logical process to explain why the next step makes sense.
3. Use contrasting colors: Choose an accent color for the CTA button or area to make the CTA stand out from the rest of the design of your blog post. This helps draw the user’s attention to the CTA. Also, ensure you put in a prominent action button (not just a text link) because buttons strongly impel action.
4. Use directional cues: Use design elements such as arrows or other visual indicators to guide the user’s attention to the CTA button. You should do so if there’s a strong reason to highlight your action button. It creates a sense of urgency if an extra design element highlights an action button.
5. Use personalized language: Use language that speaks to the user and addresses their needs or pain points. This can help increase the effectiveness of the CTA. The word “you” can do wonders in a CTA because there’s no ambiguity that you mean the reader has to take the action.
6. Test and optimize: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different CTAs to see what works best. A/B testing can help you determine which CTAs are most effective at converting users into customers. Sometimes (not always), setting a time limit for taking action and incentivizing early action also works, so try that out too.
HubSpot uses what they call “smart CTAs.” Based on where people are in their buying journeys, they can see different Calls-To-Action. For example, first-time site visitors see a CTA that can convert them to leads. Leads (people who’ve already taken some earlier action on the site) see a CTA that converts them into customers. And, those already Hubspot’s customers see a CTA that triggers new actions for new purchases.
See the three types of CTAs different Hubspot audiences see on the same blog post. This type of customer segregation into visitors, leads, and customers can be done with some marketing automation.
1. Google expects every brand to now offer “helpful content” in every blog post. Please get familiar with Google’s clear mandates based on its latest algorithm.
2. What can blogging do for your brand? There are at least 8 significant results to aim for and achieve.
3. Feel free to use my list of eminently practical steps to blog correctly for your brand. It’s a plan I have personally used to grow my business, and it can help grow yours too.
The important takeaway from all this is that blogging must never be done too casually or without a definite goal. If brand blogging is persisted with, based on a solid and achievement-oriented plan, it cannot fail. It pays in ways you may not have thought of.
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