Category Archives: blogging

Finding Your Content Niche & Target Audience

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One of the hardest parts about producing relevant, impactful content is figuring out your target audience. Who will be reading your articles? Will they actually respond to it? The only way to truly know if your content is going to “walk the walk” is if you’ve done your homework beforehand.

As awesome as it would be to just write something and have it go absolutely viral and bring in thousands (millions?) of bucks, that’s just not the reality of content creation. So before you hire me to start writing awesome, engaging web copy, articles, or emails, let’s start with getting to know your target audience. 

1. Think about the ideal person (group, business, etc.) you want to read your content.
  • What does this person do for a living?
  • Are they in a customer/client role or are they in a similar role to yours?
  • Do they want general advice or do they want actionable, how-to posts?
  • Are they more bite-sized consumers or do they like long-form blogs?
  • Are you selling your products or services to them?
  • What do they want to click on? What do they share?
2. Time to do your research.

Now that you have this outlined avatar of a person, it’s time to actually back up your impressions with facts.

  • Get on Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest and Instagram.
    • What are people searching for?
    • What is your target audience sharing, tweeting, saving, pinning?
    • Who are the major influencers or producers in this niche?
      • What can you do similar to them? 
      • What do you want to do differently? 
  • Get on Google
    • Search for articles or content similar to what you want to create
      • What pops up in search engine results first? 
      • What keywords, tags, or meta descriptions are used? 
    • Search your own website or content titles
      • How far on the search engine rankings are you? 
    • Use Google Trends to see how often your specific topic is searched for
      • (We’ll get more into how to use keyword and SEO research to drive traffic in a later post.)
  • Just ask!
    • If you have a few people who read your blog, a family friend who works in a similar industry, or you have a few contacts you can reach out to, simply ask:
      • What do you need the most help with?
      • What sort of content are you most attracted to? 
      • Do you like long or short content? 
      • What sort of topics do you think people like you want to consume? 
3. Test and reinvent.

You’re not stuck with content as soon as it goes live on your website or once you publish a post on Facebook. You can actually rewrite, add new keywords, and refresh old content to adapt it to your newfound knowledge!

Ask yourself:

  • Did this blog/email/post perform like I thought it would?
    • What in my research can show me what went wrong?
    • What do I need to do in the future?
  • Did my target audience enjoy it?
    • Did it get shared/emailed/commented on, etc.?
  • Am I doing something differently now that I should refresh my old content with?

Simply looking at the results of your content will help you create ever better and more impactful content down the road. It’s not a success story every time, either, so be patient!

Time and Energy = More Results

While you might be worried that this is going to take up so much time and reduce your ability to create and share your content, let me assure you: Taking time to research your target audience and evaluate the value of your content ideas will generate higher returns than losses. 

And as you immerse yourself in the mindset of your target audience and start going where they go, you’ll get more accustomed to this research and will even be able to weed out bad ideas quickly. The key, though, is always doing your due diligence and staying on top of your audience research. Google’s algorithms change frequently, as well, so keywords and tags will shift, too. We’ll discuss all of the in’s and out’s and tech bits of content creation later, though, so stay tuned!

Why create content that isn’t going to get seen, make an impact, or grow your brand? Start creating impactful, useful, result-driven content today. 

Until next time…

How a Career Content Writer Can Find Time to Blog for Herself

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It’s 9:19pm my time and it’s now time to find time to blog.

After finishing up my client work around 5pm, I then prepared and served dinner. Cleaned up the kitchen. Did the laundry. Talked to my husband. Prepped for our holiday party. Drafted some email campaigns. And then sat down to the type this. All the while thinking…

The last thing I want to do right now is write MORE. 

Ya feel me? If you’re a professional content or copywriter, if you’re a blogger by trade, or if you’re just really sick of creating content, you know the feeling. But I know how to work around my lazy ass; do you?

Here are the three tricks I use to get my creative (and efficient) juices flowing and to create the structure I need to find time to blog for myself.

The “Butt in Chair” Technique

This is my personal favorite productivity technique. All I have to do is find the motivation to sit in my comfy desk chair and stare into my monitor. Does inspiration always strike right away? No. Does inspiration eventually strike? Always.

If you want to find time to blog, block out 30-45 minutes every evening (or morning, if that works best) to start a blog draft. No, you don’t have to have it complete. Come back to it tomorrow with fresh eyes. But get the bones down now.

Thank God for My Editorial Calendar

Let me just say that if you don’t currently have an editorial calendar, close out of this window right now and open up a Google Sheet or download a plugin for your CMS. Seriously. I’ll wait for you to come back later. 

In that Google Sheet or editorial calendar plugin, start with 10-15 blog ideas you can come up with just off the top of your head. Make sure to think about topics that relate to your niche, but expand out to include:

  • Tutorials
  • Events or holidays
  • New services, products, campaigns, etc.
  • What you’ve learned

Your audience comes to you because you’ve got content that relates to them. Without going too off-base, try to incorporate some unique ideas. Then schedule or assign different dates to your new blog ideas. If you’ve got 10-15 blog ideas, you’ve got 10-15 weeks of blog posts (1 per week)!

Whaaat. Crazy easy. Now see The “Butt in Chair” Technique above to get those drafts done.

If you’re really at a loss for how to draft more blog ideas, I LOVE Sarah Morgan of XO Sarah. Check her out. This is not an affiliate link, either, I just love her. Did I say that already? 

Journal, Journal, Journal

I carry a small faux-leather journal around like a security blanket. It weirds my husband out how much I freak if I forget it. But I use my journal as a repository for all my brilliant (and not so brilliant) ideas. You know the ones that pop up when you’re in the shower? Yes, I keep my journal right next to the shower, along with a towel in case things get crazy. I also keep it on my nightstand and in my purse. I’ve been known to pull it out during hangout seshes with friends.

There is no shame in my journal game, as I tend to add 4-5 blog post ideas to my editorial calendar every week. Maybe for you, a journal won’t work. But Google Sheets has a phone app. Or you could start a running list in your planner. Or you could email yourself ideas. Just write it down when the ideas come, or you’ll be stuck staring at your computer when you actually find time to blog … more so than you already do.

BONUS TIP: Just Commit

Whether or not you ascribe to the “21 days to make a habit” theory, I recommend you make a commitment to just blog every day for 3 weeks. I’m challenging myself to do the same and I hope you’ll join me. Imagine… in 3 weeks of blogging, you’ll have 21 blogs!

I understand the challenge to find time to blog; I live it every day. Hopefully, the highly technical “Butt in Chair” tip will help you, along with creating a basic editorial calendar and brainstorm repository. I know that those tips help me find time to blog, and I hope they help you, too.

If you found these basic tips helpful or just want to say hi, please do so in the comments!

Until next time (tomorrow)… good luck!

What I Love About Being a Content Writer

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As a content writer, you don’t often get to write about topics that speak directly to you as a person.
A content writer writes about stuff meant to inspire other people on a number of topics, but not everything applies to me personally.
Thankfully, I got the chance to write for the Marfan Foundation’s blog, which supports a condition I have, known as Marfan syndrome. If you haven’t heard about it, Google it, and maybe learn a little bit about it. More people have it than we even know, and it’s a very severe condition if it goes unchecked.
I am thankful that my writing abilities are being used to spread the word on this condition. Hopefully my blog posts help someone live a little better, no matter what life throws their way.
I can’t wait to write more articles and blog posts about things that inspire myself and others. Let me know if you need a content writer who can do just that!
Until next time…
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