Real Value for Real People
As an expert in your field, you should be able to provide information that will be useful to prospects. Tips, ideas, information that is relevant to their daily lives are all great examples. (Just be sure to stay on theme!)
If you are not the expert but are still responsible for the blog, be sure that you’re reaching out to the real theme experts in your organization before posting. If you are new to the business, but a decent writer, you can even be your own organization’s blog ghost-writer. Experts love it when you can make them look like experts. If you’re like me and you like helping other people reach their goals, it can be very rewarding.
If you are the expert, I think you will agree that a lot of us are way too close to what we do. We think we know what our prospect wants, but do we really? There are two fairly simple ways to find out what topics your audience will be interested in.
The audience for my blog is fellow marketers (and sometimes sales people) so I get a lot of my ideas from questions that I read on the marketing and sales forums. By reading the forums regularly, I get a feel for which questions are on the minds of potential readers and I try to make these central themes for my posts.
If your audience is other types of business people look for the forums that pertain to them. Back when I was marketing software to manufacturers I spent a lot of time on IT forums that manufacturers belonged to. I could see the kinds of questions they asked each other and got a feel for the types of issues they might be interested in hearing from me about.
Stats from Your Own Blog
If you have been blogging for awhile, be sure you pay attention to which posts get the most attention. Comments are one thing but readership and length of time on the posts are also critical. Write more posts around those topics that draw well so that you can expand your readership. Every now and then, you can test out new subjects to see if these draw readers in as well as your old standbys.
If it’s not obvious, I’m currently testing blogging as a subject. It’s not a scientific test by any means, especially since I’ve been posting more frequently since I became a marketing consultant. Still my readership should give me some indication if the topic is of interest to other marketers.
On a final note, there are a lot of tools you can use to analyze your blog stats. I just use Google Analytics. It’s easy, free and gives me what I need.