In Step 1 of the Go Blog Yourself series I discussed the need to know more about your audience. If you want to get someone's attention you have to know more about those that will be looking. It does you no good to bring dinner to a dessert social!
Once you know who's eye's you'll be turning your way, the next step is to really hone in on the type of content that they will want. In the world of movies, it's not hard to generate a male audience. Show a little T&A, add some guns and explosions and you've got a movie almost any guy will watch.
But the world isn't made up of only men. This something that Hollywood understands when it comes to selling TV advertising. There are the 18-49 year old male demographic, but there are also teenage boys, tween girls, older women, older men, etc. Each one of these segments has their eye on something completely different.
In the online blogging world, there is also a while range of audiences. You know who your audience is, but what are they looking for? The easiest way to figure this out is to perform a bit of keyword research. When looking for things to talk about you need to look at three different keyword categories:
If you have a good handle on your audience, coming up with topics should be relatively easy. Of course this assumes you have more than a superficial knowledge of your audience, but you're there in the trenches with them. In our illustration above we used keyword topics representative of a motorcycle battery site. If you want to write for an audience interested in learning more about motorcycle batteries you need to understand what topics they might be interested in.
Obviously the audience wants to know about batteries, but what other battery related topics might they want to read about? Some might want to know more about how to keep their batteries charged during the motorcycle off-season. Others will be interested in maintaining the life of the battery. More than a few might also be interested in various kinds of battery chargers. These are just a few broad topics that can be used to create good blog fodder.
Next you want to research keywords that highlight any specific desires they might have regarding those topics. Some visitors will want information specific to Honda batteries while others will want battery information relevant for their Suzuki bike. You will find at some point your audience wants to know about different types of chargers such as solar, maintenance free or trickle chargers. And yet again, there may be more specific concerns regarding off-season storage ideas.
The key here is to let the keyword research help you find the terminology that your audience uses. You can write an article on battery maintenance and another on battery storage, and still another on battery care. Three different approaches to what is essentially the same topic, yet each blog post addresses the distinct terminology used by your visitors and can cover a different set of thoughts and ideas.
Going beyond your reader's desires, you can tap into some more immediate or urgent concerns. These can be found by looking at more specific phrases that show up in the keyword research. You'll often see these in the form of "how to" type questions.
These questions can cover a wide range of sub topics using a variety of "long-tail" search phrases. This is really where you can get into creating dozens upon dozens of articles addressing all the various concerns that your audience might have.
In most industries there are no shortage of concerns that can be written about. Any question can turn into a valuable blog post. Any thought can be expanded on to provide your audience with new information, or at least new ideas to consider.
Any good keyword research tool will help you uncover the search patterns of your audience and provide you with dozens and even hundreds of search phrases that you can then use in your blog posts. Providing your audience with the type of content they want to see is essential to growing a blog that is well-read and respected in your topical community. Of course you have to write authoritatively on your topic but that's another issue all together.
Other posts in the "Go Blog Yourself" series
* Introduction: Writing Your Blog Post with Pen in Hand and SEO in Mind
* Step 1: Know Who's Looking
* Step 2: Know What They Want to See
* Step 3: Have a Good Pick-Up Line
* Step 4: Reveal the Goods
* Step 5: Be Easy On The Eyes
* Step 6: Keep Them Interested
* Step 7: Give Them More Than They Came For
* Step 8: Do It Right and Do It Again
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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