Ready... Set... Blog! Top 3 Tips for Blog Researching

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You, as an informed marketing enthousiaste know that blogging is one of the best ways to communicate with your brand’s audience. You know that blogging can help with your website’s Search Engine Optimization. You know that blogging (and all Content Marketing) can help you attract traffic, convert traffic into leads, close leads into customers, and delight customers into promoters.

But now, you need to do it.

Staring at a blank word document or WordPress editor can be frustrating for many online content creators.

That’s why we at Illumine8 Marketing & PR have put together our Top 3 Tips for blog researching. With these tips, you'll be planning and researching your blog content quickly and efficiently and be ready to get your blog up and running easily!

Tip #1: Think Like Your Audience

We at Illumine8 have a saying: “you are not your target market.”

Especially in a B2B environment, blogs are more successful if they are tailored towards what your audience wants to hear. Buyer Personas are semi-fictitious identities (based on research) of your ideal customers. Developing well-researched buyer personas can help you to narrow down your audience and learn about how to write for them. Buyer personas should feature information such as likes, dislikes, pain points, and, perhaps most importantly for blog researching, “watering holes” (where your personas obtain their information). With this information in hand, you can more easily place yourself in your audience’s shoes and write for them.

Tip #2: Do Your Research

Wondering why I emphasized those watering holes above? Knowing where your audience gets their information takes a huge load off of your shoulders because you can learn from and emulate those sources of content. For example, if one of your personas gets their information from online marketing blogs (copywriter, for example) you can look at the styling and formatting of their posts and borrow from their style. However, be sure to also identify yourself and remain individual; there is a reason your audience should be reading your blog instead of a competitors.

My favorite way to research other blogs is by using an RSS reader. RSS is a way to consolidate the news from different blogs and get an ever-refreshing source of information. My reader of choice is Feedly. Feedly is a cross-platform app that you can organize by category.

With this tool, you can create a category for each of your personas, and look at the feed for current information from your persona’s watering holes. You can then use this strategy when you are following tip #3…

Tip #3: Plan Your Content

Finally, the easiest way to create content for your blog is by planning ahead. Using a content calendar isn’t only useful for social media; it can be invaluable for blogging topics as well. By thinking about your audience and researching what other online content creators are doing, you can plan out weeks and sometimes months of blog content. By spending a day or two planning your blogs, you can put together calendars that include publishing dates, sources to draw from, and even some notes that can be extremely helpful when you actually sit down to write your blog.

One of my favorite ways to plan my blogs, especially for more seasonal clients and personas, is by looking at the content that was posted last year. That way, you can see what people want to read about at certain times of the year in your given content area. For example, if you are writing for an HVAC blog, knowing when to stop talking about air conditioning and when to start talking about autumn maintenance can be very helpful on a new blog.

However, be sure to balance the content you produce that is based on older topics with new ones as well. For new topics, the most successful posts will be based upon what your personas are talking about. Look at RSS feeds or social media platforms to learn what is going on in your content area and inform what your personas are interested in reading.

Bonus Tip: Just Get Started

Blogging isn’t just about helping engage with your audience and boosting imaginary SEO points; it can also be helpful and fun for you as the writer. Being involved in your market shouldn’t just be work, it is also in invaluable tool for staying current in your industry and talking about what makes your brand different from what else is out there.

So what are you waiting for? Get writing!

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