When you’re just getting started as a blogger, staring at a vast, blank page is frightening. It can cause all of your inspiration, ideas and the very reason you set up the website in the first place to sink without trace.
This is a problem seasoned bloggers experience, too. If we didn’t, there’d be something wrong – no human can be 100% creative and full of inspiration all of the time. Sometimes, we have to hunt down and seek out those post ideas.
If you’ve just started a blog, whether it be for personal or business reasons, you may be wondering what sort of content you should be posting. You’ll no doubt have chosen a niche or have a good grasp of your industry, but how do you write posts that draw in visitors and keep them coming back for more?
In this post, I’ve got 6 tips for newbie bloggers. Read on to find out what you should be posting on your blog and how you can gain inspiration.
1. Consider the audience
Defining your audience is a critical stage in the process of becoming a great blogger. Who are you writing for? What are their likes, dislikes, desires and values?
Thankfully, you can learn a lot from the world of marketing when it comes to building a picture of your audience.
Marketers develop things called ‘buyer personas’ which are fictional characters based on what they perceive to be specific individuals within their target market. You can do the same for your audience. Create Mr A, Mrs B and Mrs C and make some notes about their personalities. What gets them going? What are their challenges and goals?
Once you know your audience, the type of content they will engage with should become more clear.
2. Define your goal
To keep the ideas flowing, you will need to set yourself a clear goal. Is your blog based on a hobby? If so, increasing visitor numbers may not be the goal, as you’ll probably have no interest in monetising the content. It’s far more likely that you just want to impart your knowledge and love for the hobby in question.
If the blog is for a commercial entity or if you have dreams of turning it into a business in itself, then your goal will likely be to attract a growing audience.
Whether for pleasure or commercial success, defining your goal will help you decide the type of content you’ll need to post to make it a reality.
3. Be informative
People generally use the internet to find answers, and your blog could become one of the places at which they arrive after typing a query into Google.
Because you’ve defined your audience and set yourself a goal, you should start to get a feel for the types of searches people will be making about your niche, and there are some great tools out there to help you brainstorm title and content ideas.
When work’s over and we’re chilling out on the couch, we like to be entertained. The Internet is now the go-to device for most people when they want to laugh, cry or be swept up by a story that covers a topic they love.
Make your posts entertaining by treating them as stories. Create a beginning, middle and end and, if you can, add a cliff-hanger that will keep people coming back for more.
5. Educate with how-tos
‘How-to’ blog posts generally perform very well on the web, because they are designed to help people overcome a problem or challenge on a very specific subject. You can do this on your blog by picking a topic you’re familiar with and creating a step-by-step guide to achieving something your audience will need assistance with.
When writing how-to posts, use pictures or screenshots to accompany your text; this will make the post as sticky as possible (i.e. readers won’t want to leave!).
6. Post a list
A list might sound like a rather boring idea for a blog post, but they remain one of the most sought-after forms of content on the web. Regardless of your blog’s niche, you should be able to conceive several list-based posts and, if you keep them short and snappy, the visitors will start to arrive.
You can beat that blank page and become the master of your blog content if you follow the above tips. The ideas are out there, but they won’t come to you; conceiving the type of posts that will make a success of your blog relies on planning and a true understanding of who it is you’re writing for.
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