By Michael Killen from Sell your service.
Who is this post for?
This post is for any business or professional who needs to get more blog posts read. You don’t have a traffic problem, people just aren’t interested in what you’re saying. This post WILL get more people to READ YOUR BLOG.
Newspaper headlines are brilliant at it. Some people call it click bait or sensationalism.
But I can assure you that a post titled “How a mutant bat boy saved my business” is going to be read more than “My business is fully tax compliant for 2015”. Shocking.
I wrote this specifically as a series to get more leads from blogs. This is the first part, nailing the title.
The title provides the content idea AND most importantly, it just has one job. Get someone to read the first line of the post.
We’ve also got a free blog post template for giveaway at the end, so make sure to pick that up when you’re done.
1. How [industry/professional] can [yay] without [boo]!
Lets start with an easy one. If you’re writing blog posts, they’re obviously directed at your customers. Use your customer’s industry in the [industry bracket] and then think of a success that they’d like. That’s the [yay] bracket. Easy ones are-
- more leads/customers
- save money
- get more followers online
- charge more money
- have better quality customers
- close more sales.
Then use the [boo] bracket to take a common complaint, something like ‘without looking desperate’ or ‘without spending more money’. Something people hate to do or see.
Then just document the process. Maybe use a step by step post, or a video talking about how their industry can benefit without a problem.
“How florists can get more walk in customers, without spending money on advertising.”
“How law firms can write blog posts without boring people to sleep.”
Here’s the interesting thing about writing blog posts. Especially titles. Your customers don’t care if the advice your giving, ISN’T from your industry. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, who designs logos for high street stores, you are perfectly entitled to write a post about-
“How high street shops can sell products online, without an expensive e-commerce solution.”
What’s important to the customer, is THEIR industry. Not where you’re from. Some of the most successful blog posts on the internet, are ‘co-branded’. Think of it as cross selling. You’re not just an expert in YOUR industry. You’re an expert in THEIR industry.
2. 5 ways to [industry/professional] can [benefit].
The ‘5 ways’ post is the easiest to write. You’re reading one now. All you need to do is write down 5 different ways, your chosen industry can grow, or benefit. The most common things that people and businesses like to do are-
- make more money
- have more leads
- save more money
- have better quality customers
- close more sales
But there are hundreds more. For example, a customer of mine is a financial advisor. They specialise in investing money from large businesses and helping them grow. One of their most common complaints that they hear from large companies is about ‘on boarding staff’.
So they wrote a very specific piece about ‘5 ways large data and IT companies can on-board staff faster and more safely’.
It was written for a very specific target market, they even got an HR company to help them write it. Because it was so specific, it didn’t need a ‘boo’ or a downside. That industry already knew the negatives of not doing this properly.
3. How we [celebrate status] in [easy step].
I love this blog post type. It’s a chance to brag a little and show off. But it also shows that you WANT to help your customers, gain the same results you have.
My customers ALWAYS want to be able to charge more. Digital creative professionals seem to suffer from not being ‘allowed’ to charge as much as they like. So, I wrote a post on ‘How I made £3500 in one day by asking one simple question’.
Then I had a bit of a story and documented the process I went through. I provided a few steps, some ideas. I also took a look at the most common objections that I would hear. Fears and scepticisms about why this wouldn’t work.
Use these posts to position a recent win, a product launch, an update. Anything. Take one of the ways you did that and expand upon it. Talk about why you didn’t think it would work, how you learnt about it, why it’s good for your business.
Customers want to be able to relate to your business. The most common misconception I hear, is that people need to know what you’ve done before they buy from you. In fact, in the largest projects that I’ve won, I’ve never been asked about my background.
This is your chance to boast a little AND demonstrate some value.
4. Rant, attack or debate post.
A little controversial this one. But bear with me. This is closer to an ‘open letter’ or a ‘what if’ post. Think about something that your customers have to deal with. Or perhaps something that you’ve noticed.
We’ve all got opinions, but having something valid and that shows value to a customer is a little different.
Think about the main pain points and headaches that your customers have. It might even be with your industry.
You of course need to be careful, you can’t just have a go at any company. But it can be done well. Take the post by Defective by Design called An open letter to Steve Jobs.
The point is to polarise and to spark dialogue, even debate. As a consultant, you could write a post on ‘What if the customer isn’t right?’ or maybe as a developer ‘Why I’m not going to follow Android down the app route’.
Having an opinion shows you’re human. You are not going to get everyone agreeing with you, of course, but you might open up a conversation.
5. 5 questions you need to ask [industry/customer/supplier].
Another personal favourite. 5 questions you SHOULD ask as opposed to FREQUENTLY ASKED. Everyone knows the common questions. But if you’re a copy-writer who writes sales letter for car dealerships, a post called ‘5 questions you need to ask your copy-writer’ is going to get read.
It’s a win win, because if you write these questions, they’ll get asked and you know how to answer them. Also, if they’re tough, they’ll wind up your competition.
But take this post to write questions that really do help your customers. Remember, that your job is to be an expert in THEIR industry as well as your own. As a graphic designer for online magazines, does that industry need to be more educated on a certain area?
Interestingly, most businesses have the same complaints about a number of areas. Staff hiring, revenue, accounts, social media etc. However, if you write 5 questions [specific customer industry] needs to ask their accountant, you’ll find the response rate is much better as it appears targeted. The truth is that you could swap out the specific industry with a few different customers and provide a bespoke title to each of them.
So, to wrap up. Grab a piece of paper and write down a few titles. Don’t worry about anything else, just get your titles to be interesting and the rest will follow.
Next week we’ll be looking at ‘How to write better content that gets more leads’.
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