This is a guest contribution from Will, a young entrepreneur slash marketer.
We can all agree that the most popular blogs have a few things in common – they all inspire, interact with and inform their readers. As Darren has discussed before, these three pillars should form the foundation for your blog’s content plan.
I’m not much of one for introductions, so let’s just jump right in…
As you continue reading, you’ll learn specific tactics and strategies to utilise inspiration, interaction and information on your blog.
Remember that both positive and negative emotions are inspirational; what matters is that your readers are provoked. Not in a manipulative way, but so that they genuinely want to learn more and take action.
Here’s how to create that inspiration for your fans:
You’ll be amazed how far simple enthusiasm gets you. When you’re genuinely excited about your niche, people notice.
So, how do you show your passion to your audience? Just think about how you’d identify an enthusiastic person:An enthusiastic person loves what they doAn enthusiastic person works hard and takes initiativeAn enthusiastic person wants to share their ideas and experiences
How can you display these qualities to your audience?
One of the best ways to inspire your readers is by telling them who or what helped you become the expert that you are today. This shows them that everyone starts somewhere, plus it makes your current authority that much more believable.
If you credit another expert in your niche, all the better! You’ll be giving your readership another resource to learn from. Remember that the other authorities in your niche are your partners, not your competitors.
Some people might call this a moral grey area, but nothing inspires people to take action like controversy.
Controversy doesn’t always have to be negative, though. For example, my buddy Kyle wrote a great post on our blog titled The Harsh Truth: Why your Side-Business is Failing and How to Fix It… While the message is controversial, the end result is that our entrepreneurial readers were inspired to work smarter and harder on their startup ideas.
Interaction only happens when your audience feels completely comfortable. So, whatever platform you push your readers to interact on, be personal, friendly and natural.
Here are a few ways to create more interaction opportunities for your audience:
Interviews allow your readers inside the mind of an outside expert. You can discuss your own strategies and ideas while giving your readers a look at another recognized authority’s success story.
On top of that, if the person you’re interviewing has a blog, then suddenly you’ve both doubled your interaction potential by getting in front of each other’s readership. Used strategically, this can do wonders for both blogs’ traffic.
Social networks are the obvious place to make yourself available, but remember that there isn’t a single platform that works in every single niche. It’s up to you to identify where you’ll get the best ROI… And the answer isn’t always Facebook. For example, we’ve had great results from niche forums and Reddit.
In addition, make sure you keep up with your email! Hire someone to help you, if you must, but your readers want a quick response when they contact you. Every loyal reader matters, which means that every email matters too.
One of the best ways to turn a visitor into a reader is to make your blog feel like a club.
For example, Darren’s Digital Photography School and ProBlogger.Community both encourage interaction through their very name. Marketing Profs is another great example, and their membership base is staggering. Our blog, Startup Bros, also has that built-in feeling of camaraderie.
Don’t stress if your domain name doesn’t evoke community, though… An exclusive-feeling email list or Facebook group (or any other membership platform) will do just fine.
The information section is last because, honestly, most of us are already pretty good at keeping our audiences informed. Usually, that’s the easy part.
However, since we tend to prioritise information, it can sometimes feel like you’ve run out of new stuff to teach. Writer’s block sets in, you start settling for sub-par content, then nobody’s having a good time.
So, here are six quick ideas you can use to maximise the information you provide your readers:Use industry news to keep your readers in the loop. Feedly.com is a life-saver after Google Reader shut down earlier this year.Use case studies and real-life examples to re-teach old lessons to your readersCreate a recurring blog series so that you have a pre-filled content slot every week. Works great with industry news.Use mixed media to make old information consumable in different formats. For example, make your blog posts into videos, slideshows or podcasts. This also gives you more platforms for interaction!Publish your own surveys and discuss the results.Keep an eye on social networks – there are tons of new ideas out there if you can listen well and ask the right questions.
Each one of these content pillars – inspiration, interaction and information – could’ve each received their own full-length blog post. Instead, this post showcases some of my best ideas taken from personal experience, then leaves it open to the awesome community here at ProBlogger to fill in the gaps.
So, what other strategies have you used to inspire, interact with, and inform your audience? Share your wisdom in the comments below!
My name is Will, and I’m a young entrepreneur slash marketer living in Tampa, FL. I’ve been launching successful online businesses since 16, some of which you’ve probably heard of. If you’re curious, learn more about me and my story from the StartupBros About Page, or you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook to get my latest entrepreneurial advice.