Why do companies blog?
There is a misconception about what a company blog is. It’s not meant to add more keywords to your SEO. It’s not meant to act as a “heartbeat” to show that your product is alive. It’s meant to help. And then convert.
Below I’ll show you how to come up with infinite content ideas and present you with a step-by-step algorithm on how to execute it.
Step 1: Solve someone’s problem
One thing to keep in mind when writing is that you’re not addressing an audience. You’re addressing one person - your reader. The best articles make the reader feel understood, like you are replying directly to them.
You can achieve that easier than you might think: go to Hacker News or Reddit and literally reply directly to people. Then rewrite your reply in the form of an article. You can even use their original question as your post’s title.
It’s a common misconception that you need to be a renowned expert to be able to help people on the internet. The only thing that you need is to be more knowledgable in one particular area than the person you’re helping. Is there something you’ve spent months or years doing? Surely it’s conceivable someone else is only just starting out.
Step 2: Add links to your other articles
At the time of this writing this article from Mark Manson contains 16 links to his other articles. Before you’re done with the first one you’ll have more tabs open than you did the last time you went on wikipedia to check something real quick.
Did you finish a new article? Update your old ones to mention it. The added benefit is that Google ranks fresh content highier.
Just starting out and don’t have enough content? Your mission is to help and add value - link to other people’s articles, and replace the links later.
Step 3: Add a CTA
How many problems did you encounter this week? How many of them have you solved by doing a Google search? Can you recall the names of any of the sites that helped you? While some websites support themselves with ads, that’s not you - you’re selling a product and you have to be remembered.
Add a Call To Action in the middle or at the bottom of your article. You can either ask the user to sign up to your mailing list to get more advice, or ask them to create an account.
Here is a great example of a CTA from Mark Manson’s Blog:
And here is one from Stacking The Bricks:
And here is my CTA:
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Step 4: More marketing, less content
Did you hear about the 80⁄20 rule? It’s not enough to create content, you must help people discover it too. Spend 20% time writing, and 80% marketing.
Let’s look at two different examples:
When posting on Quora Ryan Holiday likes to make his answers look like blog posts. He’s answering the question, he’s helping, but he’s also linking profusely to his website (which contains CTAs).
Not all marketing needs to be fancy, if it’s obvious how your tool solves a problem you can just tell people to try it. Here is how Amy Hoy does it on Indie Hackers.
You now have a content creation framework. With this perspective analyze a few successful blogs and see what your favourite entrepreneurs are posting online. Good marketing takes consistent effort and you should forget the myth of a one-and-done launch.
Make sure you constantly improve your style. And make sure to do the work.